Could state law be preventing parents from tracking students with GPS in school?

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wwltv.com

Posted on May 16, 2013 at 6:51 PM

Updated Thursday, May 16 at 7:28 PM

Ashley Rodrigue / Eyewitness News
Email: arodrigue@wwltv.com | Twitter: @ashleyrwwl

BATON ROUGE- A Northshore lawmaker wants the state education board to study whether current law prevents parents from placing GPS devices on their students while in school.

State Representative Tim Burns, R-Mandeville, said rules against electronic devices in classrooms, like phones, could be in the way. If so, he wants to find a middle ground. That could mean new legislation, or changing the old law. One school district leader says he supports a study.

"This is something new that's come to our attention,” said St. Tammany Schools Superintendent Trey Folse, “Of course, school security is the number one concern for schools across the country, and certainly in St. Tammany Parish. I feel that we have some good measures in place, but I'm always open to learning more, hearing more."

Parents we talked to agree devices that communicate should stay out of the classroom, but like the idea of being able to track their child wherever.

"When they're in school, you're assuming your child is in school and that's where he or she is and they're safe,” said parent Monica Ackel, “But if something happens and your child takes the bus to school, or home, the bus breaks down, the bus driver doesn't call you, your child is supposed to be here at a certain time, your child's not there, you can find out where your child is."

Parent Ashley Neumann said, "I think that the GPS tracking while the child is in school is a good idea as well, you don't know what happens to your child in the school."

The resolution will be considered by the senate education committee in the next few weeks. If it passes through the session, results from the study will be due 60 days before next year's session.

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