How my child’s Safety get impacted by technology?

In last 2 years. the school bus picks my daughter school from home to school and vice-versa. Being a parents, I and my wife know the driver and lady attender who takes care of children coming on regular basis. While school bus has arrived, another child from apartment has not come to the apartment entrance, I request the driver to stop. My daughter calls child’s home using security intercom to check whereabouts of the other child. Have felt proud that there is coordination between parents,children and driver.

Starting this academic year, bus has been installed with GPS and also cameras in school . I think the additional money to cover infrastructure was for this purpose. School ask parents for money in name of security and safety. How does GPS and camera ensures security and safety of my children?

Let me breathe and start with number of SMS message to my phone related to school bus

1. SMS message “School bus has left the school premises” in the morning.
2. SMS message “School bus crossed this location. Expected to arrive at your stop between 7:39 and 7:45 am”
3. SMS message that “bus has reached the school”.
4. SMS message that that “School bus has left the school premises” in the afternoon.

Here is incident to share how SMS message misleads in boundary scenarios. One day my daughter has to attends event in another school and event got delayed. On other hand, I received SMS that school bus has left. Waited for her to arrive and started to realize that my daughter has not arrived, On calling school,I am shared the attempts made by school folks to reach my mobile and adds “Your daughter got delayed in event he went to attend. The bus has left and she is on her way. Can you come and pick her up?”.  Why are SMS messages send to create unrealistic expectation of my child’s safety. In real world, school makes me believe a false assurance though SMS and there is no real assurance in real world.

Here are observations related to safety and privacy of my data and child’s data .

  • Why misleading messages from school? Neither feasible for school to send personal messages based on each children’s safety.
  • SMS message does not come from school. If from school , Sender would  have school name. The sender comes as “NorthStar”. Who is  NorthStar?  Who authorized school to provide my phone number to third party?
  • A toll free number gets mentioned in message. This number does not belong to the school. Is it advertisement? Without parent permission, how can school track my children’s movement  using a third party? What happens when GPS system gets hacked and data falls in the hands of wrong people?  Who is responsible?

Earlier the morning used to be free of mobile messages. Today that peaceful time has been spoiled with bus messages. There are 5 messages per day. Who pays the cost of SMS ? Technology is leading school to new ways to charge parents.

Here are observations related to discipline child learns.

  • A parent comes and asks why bus that has started early  has not arrived in time shared in SMS message?
  • A parent comes and says that he saw bus started late and may not come early. One data the bus came on-time and left without this parent’s child. The parent was late based on the SMS message and he cribs why bus is not waiting?
  • In last few weeks, the bus driver wants to leave in hurry and hesitated to wait when I ask him to wait and try to reach parent whose child has not arrived at the gate.

Here are  observations related to safety of the child

  • What cause change in behavior of the driver to be in hurry and not wait if a child does not turn to entrance. Is the driver worried of meeting times proposed in SMS to parents?
  • What happens when there is sudden heavy traffic? Would the pressure of meeting time mentioned in SMS lead to school bus drivers at high speed or drive rashly and (Fear to write).

Found NorthStar is profit firm working on school transport  and can relate to sending more SMS( leads to more money).