Welcome to school, here's your tracking device

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A school in Sutter County California is requiring students to wear ID badges with tracking transponders built into them:
The Tatros' complaint and objections by other parents to the tracking system have led the district to relax its rule that all children wear the tags. If parents send a note saying their children don't want to wear the tag, they don't have to display it, but they must carry it on their person until the board makes a decision on the program's future at a special meeting called for next Tuesday.

The badges contain a photo of pupils, their grade level and their name. On the back is a tube roughly the size of a roll of dimes.

Within it is a chip with an antenna attached. As the chip passes underneath a reader mounted above the classroom door, it transmits a 15-digit number, which then is translated into the student's name by software contained in a handheld device used by teachers to check attendance.

I'm not wild about this for the obvious reasons, but here's a question parents might be interested in: a tracking system like this can be used by third parties (aka strangers) to track their children. Is that something they really want?

Note: it's possible to build systems like this where you can't get the transponder to respond without being an authorized reader (e.g., by signing the reading request or having the response be encrypted using a semantically secure algorithm), however in my experience systems like this generally aren't designed this way. I'd be interested to see if this one is.

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