A Washington state mother said Thursday she was “horrified” by her daughter’s high school not informing parents about having athletes wear ankle monitors as part of an effort to enforce social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“I dropped my daughter off at practice on Monday for volleyball. She had sent me a text saying ‘hey, mom, they’re putting an ankle monitor on me. This is really weird.’ So that is how I found out,” Nicci Hadman told “Fox & Friends.”
Hadman contacted Eatonville High School to confront the athletic director about the ankle monitors.
“He indeed tells me that he did put a tracking monitor on my child. He apologized and said he would speak to the coach that did it. It was very short and sweet. There were no answers or who was accountable for it or what repercussions there were.”
“There was no consent,” Hadman added.
The Eatonville School Board shelved the ankle monitor program for athletes after parental pushback.
The pushback came from parents during a meeting at the Eatonville High School stadium on Wednesday.
The Eatonville School Board of directors announced on Wednesday that its proximity monitoring program for student-athletes will be paused until a final decision can be made by parents and students.
Eatonville High School tried to monitor the movement of coaches and athletes who play in higher contact sports using proximity monitors.
According to the district, the proximity monitors give information about contact made while participating in high contact sports. Such information helps the school determine who may need to quarantine in case of a positive COVID-19 test.
“These have been shelved. We will not put them back into place at all. What we’re going to do is allow the coaches and the parents to make the decision,” Eatonville School Board director Matt Marshall said.
“According to a FAQ on the district’s website, the monitors are not tracking students. Instead, the monitors contain radio-based sensors that track the distance between individuals wearing the device as well as length of time spent near one another. The monitors, according to the district, are worn only while participating in a sport,” K5 reported.
Hadman posted the tracking device on social media which caught the attention of former Seattle City Council candidate Ari Hoffman. Hoffman said that he got in touch with Hadman “right away.”
Hoffman proceeded to call a friend who is a member of the Eatonville school board. Hoffman said that the school board was “just as surprised as anybody else.”
“They knew this program was being considered but they didn’t know it had been implemented. It seems that the superintendent of the school and the athletic director took it on themselves in order to implement this program and the school board had no idea it was actually finalized and in the works at the school itself,” Hoffman said.
Hadman went on to say, “They are upset that I’m taking away children’s football season which is absolutely not what I’m trying to do. If these parents want to have these tracers on their children, that’s their deal, not mine. My child is absolutely not wearing one. And I would never okay that and I was not given a choice whether she was going to wear it or not. And I think that is completely wrong and absolutely horrifying.”