|Here is a Big Brother is Watching you photo with Tony Blair (image source: flickr.com)|
|Picture of Halo 3, another video game that could be affected by the new rules|
1. In Virginia Beach, Virginia, a pair of 7th graders were expelled for the "crime" of doing airsofting in their own yards, not far from the rest stop. I don't know what all lead up to the expulsions, but the kids were playing some airsoft in their own yard (which is somewhat similar to paintball, where you you shoot small airsoft pellets at targets or sometimes even each other which is pretty harmless, though they can leave bruises and welts much like in paintball) and a neighbor complained about it and somehow the school found out about it and expelled the kids apparently for "possession, handling and use of a firearm" (apparently airsoft guns are considered fire arms as far as the school was concerned and not allowed, even at home). Not sure if the students were able to overturn their expusions or not. By the way, if me and my brothers were in that district, we probably would have been expelled too considering that we used to do mock civil war battles with cap guns in our back yards, even went paintball and laser tagging on a few occasions too.
2. In another incident a student from Louisianna was arrested because he was using an app called, "Real Strike" to "shoot" fellow students. Real Strike is an augumented reality app for the Iphone that mimicks Call of Duty in Real life settings (much like how it is with Laser tag, where people can shoot harmless "lasers" at each other). Now while "shooting" fellow students was definitely inappropriate in my opinion, having the student arrested shows how far the zero tolerance policies can go.
3. Perhaps a more disturbing story: Student getting expelled for refusing to wear an RFID tracking chip
In this story, a girl named Angela was expelled from school because her family wanted to opt out of the RFID program apparently for both religious (apparently she thought it was the prophecized Mark of the Beast from Revelation in the Bible) and privacy reasons. It was apparently a chip embedded in student asb cards that can track student werabouts at all times (both on campus and off campus) and apparently kids had to check in with staff members to go over the RFID data. Apparently it was also used to reduce truancy as well. Personally I have mixed feelings about the chips. First off personally I doubt that the chip is the "mark of the beast". From Christian standpoint, the mark of the beast system is not supposed to be implemented until when the end time events happen, probably around the mid point of the 7 year tribulation period (just before the great tribulation that is supposed to take place during the last 3 1/2 years before Christ's return) and will be imposed by the Antichrist himself (he is a prophecised world leader that will appear, probably in Europe or the Revived Roman empire as a charismatic leader that will impose a global dictatorship on the entire world and will eventually be indwelt by Satan himself, claim to be God and demand to be worshiped, which will also lead to the imposition of the mark of the beast system). Most likely it will likely be some sort of microchip, tattoo, or similar implant that goes on the right hand or forehead and people won't be able to buy or sell without it, with the threat of death (probably by beheading) for people who refuse it (you can read the book of Revelation in the bible for everything you need to know about the antichrist, mark of the beast, etc). Obviously people will want to avoid the mark of the beast at all costs (even if it means martyrdom) given the eternal ramifications for people who take it. Anyways, last I checked, t he tribulation has not begun yet and the Antichrist is not on the scene yet, so I doubt that the RFID chip is the mark of the beast. It could be a predecesor to it for all I know, but it is not the mark of the beast (at least not the present form). As for privacy concerns, while the school officials may have good intentions for it, such as being able to tell where students are on campus (especially in the case of emergencies or fire drills) and even help find kids who go missing (which can be useful considering some kids do get kidnapped or lost at times), the technologies can definitely get intrusive too. I can't imagine what it would be like going to a school or college where staff members can track your every move both on and off campus (for example, I wouldn't even think about going into a bar or pub the schools I went to tracked my every move).
I am sure this list goes on, but this article definitely shows how far schools can go when it comes to imposing their policies on students on and off campus and how more authoritarian schools are becoming. Personally, I think big brother and zero tolerance policies is a dangerous mix when it comes to people's freedoms both in England and here in the US considering that many unsuspecting students and kids can easily find themselves caught in the ever expanding system, especially when there already does seem to be school to pipeline style system in place in many places across the country and taking a big brother approach to things could definitely lead to more people falling into that system, which would be terrible for society in my opinion. Hopefully people will work on setting up checks and balances for school systems to ensure they do not get too much power over peoples' lives and reduce unnecessary suspensions or interactions with law enforcement agencies. I will try to keep you updated on this story as I come across more.
What do you think. Should schools be able to dictate what games kids can play or should it be left up to their parents? Do you have teens that play games like Call of Duty or similar games? Feel free to leave a comment below. For fellow Americans, what would you do if schools inacted similar parties.
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