NY Schools Monitor Fat Kids…Even at Home

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Some New-York schools have decided to strap fat kids with devices that monitor them 24/7. The device collects all kinds of information from the students and sends them to a database that can be consulted by school officials and such. This was apparently done without the parent’s consent and represents an unprecedented intrusion in student’s private lives. Some might say “Well its in an effort to fight obesity and blah blah blah”. I say: 1- Its mostly an effort to make money for the company that makes these things 2- these kinds of privacy violations are always “justified” by a bogus “good cause” and 3- Why don’t we monitor the fat teachers at the school too? And the fat principal? And the fat lunch lady? And the kids’ fat parents? You see where that could lead. Here’s an article from the NY Post.

Schools ‘spy’ on fat kids

TOO FAR, TOO FAST? School aide records a student’s heart rate.
Big Brother is joining the battle of the bulge.

A group of Long Island students will soon be wearing controversial electronic monitors that allow school officials to track their physical activity around the clock.

The athletics chair for the Bay Shore schools ordered 10 Polar Active monitors, at $90 a pop, for use starting this spring. The wristwatchlike devices count heartbeats, detect motion and even track students’ sleeping habits in a bid to combat obesity.

The information is displayed on a color-coded screen and gets transmitted to a password-protected Web site that students and educators can access.

The devices are already in use in school districts in St. Louis and South Orange, NJ — and have raised privacy concerns among some parents and observers.

But Ted Nagengast, the Bay Shore athletics chair, said, “It’s a great reinforcement in fighting the obesity epidemic. It tells kids, in real time, ‘Am I active? Am I not active?’ We want to give kids the opportunity to become active.”

The monitors are distributed by Polar Electro, of Lake Success, LI, the US division of a Finland firm.

In the South Orange-Maplewood School District, where earlier versions of the devices have been used for two years, upper-grade students’ marks in phys ed are based in part on heart-rate monitors and activity sensors.

Teachers use hand-held computers to collect data from each student’s wrist monitor during class, then upload the information to the school computer system for storage and long-term tracking.

But privacy advocates and parents worry that schools are using electronic monitors in phys ed without families’ knowledge or consent.

“I didn’t even know it was going on, and I’m active in the school,” said Beth Huebner, of St. Louis.

Her son, a fourth-grader, wore a Polar Active monitor in class without her OK last fall at Ross Elementary School.

“We have gotten no information about the Web-site security or where the data will go,” Huebner said.

“When you get into monitoring people’s biological vital signs, that’s a pretty intrusive measurement,” said Jay Stanley, of the American Civil Liberties Union. “There are key privacy interests at play.”

At the very least, says Stanley, parents must have a say in how long the data will be stored and who will have access to it and schools must obtain parents’ consent.

“A program like this should only be voluntary. Nobody should be forced to reveal biological indicators,” he said.

“It’s all about secondary use,” said Virginia Rezmierski, an expert on information technology and privacy at the University of Michigan.

“Does the data pass along with the child from school to school? When will insurance companies want to get access to it? Will a school want to medicate a child that the monitor identifies as hyperactive? It’s potentially very dangerous ground.”

– Source: NY Post

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96 Comments on "NY Schools Monitor Fat Kids…Even at Home"

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Zaina
10 months 22 days ago

Im so glad I was homeschooled.Its bad enough I hear about school shootings,fights,and rape but this takes the cake with extra frosting!Lol All kidding aside,This is Insulting and utterly stupid to even have something like this in schools.Its just another scam to get all of the kids fat so they can spy on all of the children and parents.It wont be too long until all ages of people,races and body types have these "healthy wristbands monitors"

LLLL
3 years 21 days ago

that's discusting. the goverment is to blame for obesity in the first place. this has to stop.

shocked
3 years 6 months ago

I know this is just not rght. I mean I have a kid who is very active but tends to be a few pounds over. The other day the state sent home a letter stating that she has to lose a lot of weight by exercising and maintaining a healthy diet. But If you ask her what her favorite sweet is she would say: strawberry. aNd that is probably the most sugary thing in the house!!!!

nay
4 years 7 months ago
Right now its monitor the fat kids, next it will be monitor the parents of the fat kids, then monitor the kids who are borderline to make sure they don't get fat, then monitor the skinny kids to make sure they stay on the right track, eventually we will all be forced to be monitored because as you all know the US is the most obese country. So we will all be apart of "PROJECT SLIM DOWN". Now thats just a pretty way of saying WE GOT YOU!! I know and see everything you do!! between these monitoring systems and… Read more »
JayF
4 years 7 months ago
When i was a kid i ate everything, the difference was we played outside, we were more active, nowadays everyone is afraid of everything and its easier to leave your kid in front of the tv and computer (which is more dangerous than playing outside). I agree that schools should have better food if they want to "help" kids grow healthier. This monitor crap is not going to help anything, a person knows if they are active or not, people are not that dumb, and its a big violation of everyones rights, its my kid, you are not gonna use… Read more »
4 years 7 months ago
And this is why we homeschool…Although… I received an email through a homeschool group that was in regards to a local university conducting "tests" on kids ages 8-12 that monitored their physical activity. After your child completes the program they get a t-shirt! Just making it clear that the homeschool community, our children, are not immune to this nonsense. Uncle Sam/the elite/illuminati or whatever you want to refer to it as, their job is to infiltrate everyone in society…violate ALL people's rights and liberties no matter what color, creed, religion or status. No one is immune to their trickery. Protect… Read more »
WDDB
4 years 7 months ago
OSTENSIBLY, this is all about health and well-being and saving health-care dollars down the road. Michelle's Big Cause as FLOTUS (Obama is stick-thin, and MO has publicly chastised Malia for her weight. Those duaghters are pre-anorexic, but I digress….) in order somehow to reduce HC premiums for all of us, as if Big Pharma and Big Insurance would allow that. HOWEVER, the electronic monitoring AND RECORDING of the very heart-beats of children is not for their helath, though public-school teachers and administrators may be duped (and/or paid) into thinking so. Such recording of bodily functions is but a pre-cursor to… Read more »
Rob
4 years 8 months ago

funny thing about schools, I'm not sure if this is related in any way but my daughter brought home a paper asking parents to provide them with the numbers of our Grocery Store Bonus Cards. Students had no idea what for, nor did the paper explain why they needed it. I thought it was kind of fishy for them just to ask for that out of the blue. What reason would that be for? None of the parents at her school submitted the numbers

4 years 8 months ago

The 'Health Matrix' – lovely 🙁

Godgifted
4 years 8 months ago
So let me get this right…this school spent $900 on these things instead of checking what kind of food that they serve to the children in the cafeteria? Where did this money come from to pay for these and ethically I have a problem with the parents not even being notified. Obesity has its origins in a number of factors: genetics, environment, always eating fast food, etc. Ozymandias, let me say to you that this isn't a simple pedometer. These readings get uploaded to a secure database that is monitored by whom? This isn't like a pedometer that I can… Read more »
aj
4 years 8 months ago
this is outrageously ridiculous… I when I wAs younger i was a wouldn't say fat but overweight kid, but when I grew up and went to middle and high school I participated in sports and lost a substatial amount of weight(also worked hard labor with my family to support ourselves underneath the scorchering hot texas sun). After I lost so much weight people started viewing me as anorexic. You can't please everyone. I mean let the kids decide for themselves what they truely want for their lives. When their older they will realize that they have to change their lives… Read more »
Ozymandias
4 years 8 months ago
This sounds like a simple pedometer, blown up with unreasonable scare tactics. A pedometer simply measures the number of steps a person takes in a day, and therefore the number of calories burnt by walking. These are used by the overweight to monitor their exercise and eating habits. If a child is overweight, I see no reason why a school shouldn't offer support. These are not mysterious "devices" that collect "all kinds of information". The tone of this article is jarring in that it supposes that the public school system is an evil operation that seeks to control the public… Read more »
degunk
4 years 8 months ago

Pedometers can be notoriously inaccurate: they can both be faked to say more, and worn to show less than the "REAL" number of steps taken.

But like Godgifted said: where IS that info going? And WHAT are the monitors going to do with it?

Ozymandias
4 years 7 months ago

Dear dear dear, I fear what the illuminati will do with the secret knowledge that Mikey took 300 steps today. I am getting increasingly disappointed with this website. I used to find real issues here, but as of recent the articles have been slipping into paranoia territory. And the worst part is that the paranoid articles threaten the legitimacy of the real articles on this site.

amy
4 years 8 months ago
The only way to fight obesity is to change today's parents or at least some of them who neglect their children in a way that they don't spend as much time with them as they could and this can finally lead to obesity or even more serious emotional problems. Today's parents simply don't realize that children need to interact and cooperate with others in order to develop healthy relationships later in life. That's why I visited as many baby-centers in Toronto as possible when my children were born. I discovered a number of funny ways to build a strong relationship… Read more »
laura
4 years 8 months ago

Thtta is really wrong and messed up … And yet I wish someone would have interfiered with mi weight problems at that age … I WILL NOT SUPPORT IT AT ALL but it would have saved me soooo much problem.s

Terri
4 years 8 months ago
This information is absolutely false. The source is the NY post which is not known to be a hotbed of facts. Here are the facts: The devices are only used with parental consent and only with volunteer students. No one is forced to wear them. No one has to wear them at night. They are educational tools for student who are interested to personally know how active they are. Just like a text book, a student signs one out and then brings it back to the school after use with all their personal information cleared. No information is downloaded, stored… Read more »
WDDB
4 years 7 months ago

Are you also claiming that the school mentioned is not grading Phys Ed based on monitored heart-rates instead of observable skills?

degunk
4 years 8 months ago
That may indeed be true. That doesn't change these facts: 1) Voluntary "studies" like this one often become mandatory later. (a few years ago, there was discussion of new cars being equipped, eventually by law, with sensors to detect driving habits. The sponsors? Insurance companies. This was in mainstream, and more "reliable" press than the NY Post. No laws have happened to implement this, but those sensors were billed as "just for informational purposes." I strongly suspect the idea is still kicking around still.) 2)Information collected from such studies are almost always used to shape some kind of policy, and… Read more »
Zafiro
4 years 8 months ago
Dear Vigilant, I want to thank you for helping me see things in a different angle. About shading light on what is in the dark and hidden. For helping us understand things that maybe few like me found weird in the entertainment industry and how one thing correlates with the other and make it part of the “big bang” per say (part of a bigger plan) the Elite has for this World. I read your article few weeks ago how the US is trying to do what China and other tyrant countries due with their citizens about controlling the masses… Read more »
Kristina
4 years 8 months ago
You know, I used to find intelligent discussion on the comments. But now even the majority of the comments are propaganda and idiocy shining through themselves. Anyways. This has nothing to do with fighting obesity. They want people to be obese. Fat people eat more (spend more money on crap food) and have more health issues (they'll die off easier to decrease the population). These devices are simply to humiliate children thus screwing with their psyche, and also start getting children used to the idea of being monitored and watched 24/7. Maybe if the parents decided to cook more rather… Read more »
thirdeye
2 years 9 months ago

i know this is from a long time ago but in doing some research i stumbled across this article and the fact that you another sheep in the flock and they have you right where they want you doucher

Kristina
4 years 7 months ago
Lol, if anyone will bother to read this at this point… I will repeat, "You know, I used to find intelligent discussion on the comments." Born with a silver spoon in my mouth? Lol. Yeah. Right. That's why I'm busting my butt as a waitress to put myself through school while living with my mom who's struggling more than I am. I can't support kids, I'm well aware of that. The 19 year old host thats 8 months pregnant with no plan and no money isn't. Nor is the 21 year old alcoholic server that just popped her first kid.… Read more »
Kristina
4 years 7 months ago

I meant 2 does not mean "to" or "too."

And while we're at it, the correct spelling is PEOPLE.

And you may not be aware of this sexyaries, but the general rule is that you capitalize the first letter at the beginning of any sentence. You sound like a 12 year old doofus boy and you say you are a mother. That seriously terrifies me.

degunk
4 years 8 months ago
Like Zaphiro said, you have a right to have your own opinion… As well as have it challenged once you express it. While I think it is irresponsible to feed kids a steady stream of junk food: 1) most food that costs less than $1/pound IS junk food, including the veggies, fruits, and "lean meats" so scrupulously prescribed by all the health gurus. (see VC's multiple articles about the junk put into "normal" foods) 2) more than one serving of "organic" food per shopping trip is often outside the budget of averagely paid Americans. (folks in my area joke that… Read more »
4 years 8 months ago

I agree 100%…I'm a single parent with 1 child..and there r times when I'm 2 tired 2 stay up all night trying 2 cook the most perfect organic meal ever, and I also don't have 100 bucks a night 2 shell out on it..I notice comments like that come from ppl who were born wit a silver spoon organic food in their mouth, or dosent have 2 work, live in a white picket fence..everybody can't do the same as you..and it dosent make ppl idiots or lazy or anything (some are of course) but don't assume thy all are.

Roberta13
4 years 8 months ago

since when do you think you have the right to tell people how to live?

Zafiro
4 years 8 months ago
Kristina, I respect your opinion, everyone is entitle to an opinion even if may offend some or many. The World is not meant to be perfect and things happen for a reason, whether we like it or not that’s its all part of Gods plan. Obviously if you lean towards Eugenics and etc, it makes you as evil as the Elite and. Question? Are you perfect? Maybe your in shape, have a career and can support 3 or more kids or maybe you’re just in high school being fed with a silver spoon??? We will never know but one thing… Read more »
4 years 8 months ago

Exxxxactly…its so easy 4 ppl 2 judge others..sorry if sum ppl can't spend 500 bucks a meal

drewe
4 years 8 months ago

Yep Kristina. Please more comments from you. I love them.

Smokey the Nerd
4 years 8 months ago

So what about the skinny kids who are also inactive? aren't they a health risk? thiis is just another way to track humans, fat kids are the test dumbies… next, the vchip

Nell
4 years 8 months ago

That's it. I'm home-schooling.

Chris
4 years 8 months ago

It's to help them avoid getting diabeetus.

Wilford Brimley approves of this message.

no_gmo
4 years 8 months ago
If this becomes acceptable practice I can see a hypothetical situation: A person wants to get life insurance but is refused because according to data collected on the person, he or she has not exercized enough and poses a health risk. This could be applied to a person being refused for a job because the other day, on the news, people were debating wether people should be tested for nicotine before being accepted for a job. I also see a possibility of this pushing an agenda for mandatory exercize for everyone in order to access healthcare, jobs, or other benefits.… Read more »
Lina
4 years 8 months ago

That is SICK. It's even worse than the microchips they put in dogs and cats. This is what you call dictatorship. Shaming children into losing weight is going to do nothing but cause them psychological problems. What a breach of privacy and human rights! This is not the way to go!

YaNoCiega
4 years 8 months ago

This is all too appalling. I would not permit this in my household either. Luckily, my daughter is only a toddler and I have a little more time to decide how we will conduct her schooling, but I am SERIOUSLY considering a homeschooling program through a charter school. A friend has sent me information and a contact and her son loves it. Definitely a real consideration……….public school has SO many things wrong with it these days.

Mel~Ski
4 years 8 months ago

Ok so why don't they fix the problem at the core instead of violating one's privacy? Oh that's right, because we are all supposed to be stupid and turn a blind eye to anything they do to "better us". Let my child (well my niece) come home with one of those things on, they'll be ninety bucks short and she won't be going back to public school.

STOP!
4 years 8 months ago

The fuck is this o_o ?!? -_-

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