Arnold Ahlert / June 4, 2013

Grooming the New Totalitarians

America’s younger generations are being groomed for totalitarianism. We begin In Polk County, Florida, where students at an elementary school, a middle school and a high school had their irises scanned – without parental permission – as part of what officials are characterizing as a “student safety” program. “It simply takes a picture of the iris, which is unique to every individual,” wrote Rob Davis, the school board’s senior director of support services, in a letter sent to parents.

America’s younger generations are being groomed for totalitarianism.

We begin in Polk County, Florida, where students at an elementary school, a middle school and a high school had their irises scanned – without parental permission – as part of what officials are characterizing as a “student safety” program.

“It simply takes a picture of the iris, which is unique to every individual,” wrote Rob Davis, the school board’s senior director of support services, in a letter sent to parents.

“With this program, we will be able to identify when and where a student gets on the bus, when they arrive at their school location, when and what bus the student boards and disembarks in the afternoon. This is an effort to further enhance the safety of our students. The EyeSwipe-Nano is an ideal replacement for the card based system since your child will not have to be responsible for carrying an identification card.”

The letter gave parents the option of declining the procedure. But by the time they received it, the students had been scanned. None of the students themselves declined, a reality that should surprise no one.

Last year I did a report about a student in Texas who declined to wear an RFID tracking badge to school. After briefly winning a stay from being forced to do so, 15-year-old Andrea Hernandez was given two choices by a federal judge: submit or leave the school.

“There has been no harm to Plaintiff, and there is no foreseeable harm to Plaintiff in the future,” wrote federal district Judge Orlando Garcia last January. “On the other hand, tying the District’s hands and preventing its administrators to exercise their discretion always raises a concern. The scales tip in the District’s favor.”

The District’s concerns were ostensibly financial. It doesn’t receive daily funding for a pupil who is not in his seat during morning roll call. One is left to wonder how attendance was taken prior to the advent of such technology, but apparently such a question is no longer relevant.

A 2010 story from the “Electronic Frontier Foundation” reveals what is potentially and frighteningly relevant, following the revelation that preschoolers in California’s Contra Costa County were outfitted with RFID chips in their shirts, courtesy of a federal grant. Again this was pitched as a cost savings move because, prior to this wiring up of children, teachers were actually expected to keep track of child’s attendance and meal schedule. Yet here’s what else can be tracked:

“But of course, an RFID chip allows for far more than that minimal record-keeping. Instead, it provides the potential for nearly constant monitoring of a child’s physical location. If readings are taken often enough, you could create an extraordinarily detailed portrait of a child’s school day – one that’s easy to imagine being misused, particularly as the chips substitute for direct adult monitoring and judgment. If RFID records show a child moving around a lot, could she be tagged as hyper-active? If he doesn’t move around a lot, could he get a reputation for laziness?”

Creating an extraordinarily detailed portrait, not of a child’s day, but of the child himself, is called “data mining.” Fast forward to 2013, and the Obama administration’s Common Core educational program. Or what they’re billing as an educational program. The merits of the curriculum, a troubling question in and of itself, is a subject for another day.

On the other hand, if this expose of Common Core’s data mining initiative doesn’t get your blood pressure pumping, you’re either brain-dead, or every bit the totalitarian these government jackboots would love every American to become. Try this:

“Data mining. States who have adopted Common Core to continue being eligible for Obama’s ‘Race to the Top’ federal funding will be obliged to implement a State Longitudinal Database System (SLDS) used to track students. They will track students by obtaining personally identifiable information which will involve a huge violation of privacy. The information collected will not only include the student’s test scores and perhaps other measures of academic proficiency, but will be much more extensive, including demographic, emotional, and psychological data. How will some of this data be collected? Students will be extensively questioned, while being observed by facial-monitoring equipment and by sensors strapped to their bodies. They will also be neuro-psychologically tested. In its February report, the US Dept. of Education displayed photographs of the actual technology that will be used on students, when the department’s plan is fully implemented. What they call the ‘four parallel streams of affective sensors’ will be employed to effectively ‘measure’ each child. The ‘facial expression camera,’ for instance, ‘is a device that can be used to detect emotion…. The camera captures facial expressions, and software on the laptop extracts geometric properties on faces.’ Other devices, such as the ‘posture analysis seat,’ ‘pressure mouse,’ and ‘wireless skin conductance sensor,’ which looks like a wide, black bracelet strapped to a child’s wrist, are all designed to collect ‘physiological response data from a biofeedback apparatus that measures blood volume, pulse, and galvanic skin response to examine student frustration.’”

Had enough? Too bad, there’s more:

“‘Personally Identifiable Information’ will be extracted from each student, which will include the following data: parents’ names, address, Social Security Number, date of birth, place of birth, mother’s maiden name, etc. On the other hand, according to the SLDS brief, ‘Sensitive Information’ will also be extracted, which delves into the intimate details of students’ lives:

  1. Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or parent;

  2. Mental and psychological problems of the student or the student’s family;

  3. Sex behavior or attitudes;

  4. Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, and demeaning behavior;

  5. Critical appraisals of other individuals with whom respondents have close family relationships;

  6. Legally recognized privileged or analogous relationships, such as those of lawyers, physicians, and ministers;

  7. Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or the student’s parent; or

  8. Income (other than that required by law to determine eligibility for participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under such program).

Now ask yourself one question. How would you feel being strapped up like a lab rat and having every emotional tell of your personality monitored, and then placed in a database that could be sold to various companies – or maintained by the government?

Sadly, there is no question in my mind that millions of parents will subject their children to this outrage, out of ignorance – or a willing accommodation to the Brave New World of Common Core standards. As the previous stories in the column indicate, they and their children have been groomed to do so for years.

And when their little darlings graduate high school, college campuses, up to their own collective eyeballs in anti-Constutional speech codes await. Speech codes that essentially elevate the "right” not to be offended above that quaint anachronism we call the First Amendment.

For the umpteenth time I will warn my fellow Americans: the nation’s educational institutions are the central battleground for the nation’s soul. It is a battleground where the American left is doggedly determined to turn America’s younger generations into people with no concept whatsoever of personal privacy, even as a reverence for the collective, aka the “greater good” is unrelentingly nurtured.

The evidence of their handiwork is everywhere. The most blatant manifestation is the reality that kids can no longer do simple mathematical calculations such as making change. While their ignorance is mildly amusing, it represents a paradigm shift in the way people think for one overriding reason: math is the gateway to logic. Rob a child of the ability to think logically and anything becomes possible.

Especially totalitarianism.

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