"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." - Thomas Jefferson 1820

"There is a growing technology of testing that permits us now to do in nanoseconds things that we shouldn't be doing at all." - Dr. Gerald Bracey author of Rotten Apples in Education

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Polar Monitors Used to Track Student Depression, Suicide, Cancer, Alcohol/Drug Use, Sexual Activity? Public Student Data Stored on polargofit.com website

Polar Monitors may not only measure and provided data to schools about physical activity and heart rates in PE classes, there may also be assessments relating to student suicide, depression, cancer and diabetes risk.  It can even track student sexual activity, drug and alcohol use.  The company states this these invasive assessments are only suggested for those students 18 years or older, but is this the type of information that should be gathered by educational institutions on students of any age?  

The circumvention of FERPA law will allow this information to be disseminated on your student to various federal agencies and private companies.  The article contains a nifty link so you can see how this information will be gathered and how with the click of a mouse, broadcast to the cloud(s).

You can also read how school districts are funding these expensive monitors while cutting teachers and support staff.  We'll be writing more about this in the future and provide links so you can determine if your school district is signing onto this program providing your student's data and personal information to entities, probably without your knowledge or active permission.

This is from "Is the Privacy of the American Student at Risk" at The Revered Review:


School:  A place where children learn to read and write. A place where they learn mathematics, science and history. Moreover, a place, away from home, where children are supposed to be safe.

Yet now it’s a place, across the country, where children’s hearts are being monitored, their activities are being tracked, and it’s being determined if students are obese or overweight. In addition, health risk assessments are being made on students and the information can be stored or saved as a PDF file.

In this physical education class, students are training using spin bicycles. However, in many schools, students are using Polar monitors in physical education classes. (Photo Credit: MJMonty)
Some students across the country, including in many small towns—are now wearing heart rate monitors and activity monitors—sometimes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—as part of their schools’ phys ed programs. The New York Post reported that three schools were using these monitors and some, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and parents, questioned the possible intrusion into students’ privacy.

(Link here to continue reading the rest of the article from Revered Review)


  1. Gretchen, Love to tell you this was a good piece--but my stomach won't let me.. WTF is Congress? This is a blatant violation of the Fourth Amendment, not just the Privacy Laws. The ACLU normally jumps on stuff a lot less serious than this.. they are only saying it could be problematic? Why doesn't Boehner have Duncan's butt in front of a committee trying to explain where a damned political appointee gets the power to intentionally violate the plain language of the Constitution?

  2. I don't believe any public school teacher woke up one morning thinking this would be a great idea. Today, they simply comply or else.Is this an example of disruptive innovation? The article represents the type of investigative journalism that parents, community members, and taxpayers need. It shines light on the troubling aspects of this data-obsessed environment, the marginalization of parents, informed consent, security and privacy concerns.

  3. Hello, this is Jessica Zummo,Editor of the online national news source, The Revered Review. I have sent you a couple emails, would you be so kind as to get back to me? By the way, this is a terrific blog- one that I will be sure to reference and use as a resource in the future! Terrific job being bold and brave. That is what it is all about- making a difference WITHOUT fear.

  4. Do not bury this one on our own Parkway schools!

  5. The use of alcohol, depression, and sleep deprivation are common problems of students. I think Polar Monitors are really effective in assessing a student's behavior. Whether he or she is suffering from depression or any other related diseases that may affect their lives.


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