A high school in Washington is forcing unvaccinated student athletes to wear ankle monitors in order to participate in sports, according to an outraged parent.
A 15-year-old student at Eatonville High School says that she was forced to wear an ankle tracking monitor to be able to participate in volleyball practice.
According to a report from the Post Millennial, after receiving a text about the ankle monitor from her daughter, an outraged mother drove to the school and spoke to an employee in the school office, as well as a coach, and was informed there was a meeting last week discussing the ankle monitoring program for unvaccinated teens.
The program, they said, was designed for contact tracing if a student tests positive for COVID. The TraceTag monitors used by the school are made by a company called Triax, whose website says it was created for “maintaining social distancing guidelines” and to provide “real-time insight into whether these guidelines are being observed” for construction and other manufacturing businesses. The website does not mention using them in schools.
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The ankle monitors provide “…a visual and audible alarm, so individuals know when to adjust their current distance to a proper social distance,” according to their website, and provides “passive collection of worker interactions for contact tracing should an individual test positive.””The mother identified the coach as Gavin Kralik, who told her that the device would inform the players when they were too close together and was only used for indoor sports. She was also informed that the device would be used for contract tracing so that in the event of a positive test, non-vaccinated students would have to quarantine for up to 14 days. Vaccinated students would not have to quarantine,” the Post Millennial report explains.
The coach had claimed that there were forms for parents to opt-out of the ankle monitor program, but the mother who spoke to the PM said that she had not received any communication about it.
A public school in Washington forced an unvaccinated child to wear an ankle monitor without telling her parents. The entire public education system is broken. We need change and we need it now. We need choice and we need it now. Fire everyone involved! https://t.co/cW2Gh1Gvgl
— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) August 24, 2021
“According to the mother, the athletic director acknowledged the error and apologized for the “slip up” of not getting her consent,” the report states. “The mother said that when she told the school employees that she was taking her daughter home, the teen was asked by an office staff member to remove the device before she saw her mother and said that the mother could only photograph the device in Kralik’s hand as pictured above, not on the child’s ankle.”
Read the full report here.