A public high school out in Washington state has allegedly started forcing its student-athletes to wear a taxpayer-bought ankle monitor as a way to track their movements and help with tracking coronavirus outbreaks, or they will be kept from taking part in any sports.
The school in question, Eatonville High School, is situated just 60 miles south of Seattle and required student-athletes to wear ankle monitors for all medium-contact and high-contact sports such as volleyball, football, basketball, wrestling, and soccer.
These “Trace Tag” monitor systems are made by a company called Triax and have an alarm system that alerts the wearer when they get too close to another person wearing one of the devices. The tracking device also compiles contact tracing data just in case the wearer ends up later testing positive for the virus. The device is also designed to be attached to a hardhat or worn on other areas of the body.
As stated by the school in a fact sheet that was released, the monitor devices were being worn by both students and coaches on the field, “regardless of vaccination status.”
“If an athlete were to test positive for COVID-19, the entire team could be quarantined,” stated the school. “By using the proximity monitors we can immediately determine who might have been exposed to Covid-19.”
In a statement made to the Daily Dot, a spokesperson for the school said that students could opt out of wearing the ankle monitors, but doing so would disallow them from participating in any sporting events whatsoever.
However, the school then assured that students are not being tracked.
“The proximity monitor contains radio-based sensors that track distance between individuals wearing the device, as well as length of time spent in proximity to one another. The monitor is only worn during participation in the sport,” stated the school.
Supposedly, the parents were made to sign off on the ankle monitors through a parental consent form, but it has been found that at least one parent was reportedly not informed.
The mother of one 15-year-old girl stated, to The Post Millennial, that her daughter was being forced to wear the ankle monitor during team practice for her volleyball team.
The mother reached out to the athletic director, who she claimed noted that the school had mistakenly failed to get her consent form handled for the monitor and issued an apology for the “slip up.”
The school has now reportedly “shelved the devices until proper procedures including community input and board approval process occur,” stated Matt Marshall, the school board director.