COVID Money Funded Ankle Monitors for Student-Athletes in Washington
The American Rescue Plan, passed in March of this year, came out to $1.9 trillion dollars. “This legislation provides resources needed to open our schools,” said President Joe Biden after it was signed into law. “How many of you have dealt not only in your own home and with your children and grandchildren, if you have them, with how difficult it is, the mental pressure and stress that are on so many families? So many people…needing help…because it’s caused an enormous, enormous stress.”
The law gave schools wide latitude in how to use those taxpayer dollars. One school in Washington state got creative, investing in ankle and wrist monitors to track student-athletes playing on indoor moderate-contact or high-contact sports teams, including football, soccer, volleyball, basketball, cheerleading, and tennis, among others.
Eatonville High School, located outside of Seattle, said it fitted students and coaches with the monitors to get data points on their proximity to others during practice in the case that a player or faculty member developed a case of COVID-19.
“If a student or coach tests positive, we will have immediate information regarding athletes’ and coaches’ contacts, so we can more tightly determine who might need to quarantine,” the school said in a statement.
But the district backtracked on that yesterday, putting the program on hiatus after it received backlash and reportedly failed to get permission from all parents. “The proximity monitors have been temporarily shelved pursuant to further parent input,” said Eatonville School District Superintendent Gary Neal in a statement.
Triax Technologies, which makes the moni
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