Rantz: Eatonville High School uses ankle monitors on student athletes to track COVID outbreaks

Aug 24, 2021, 4:20 PM | Updated: Aug 25, 2021, 11:54 am
Eatonville HS asks players to wear tracking devices during some sporting events to help track COVID exposure. (Photo: Eatonville High School Facebook page)
(Photo: Eatonville High School Facebook page)

Eatonville High School is using taxpayer-funded ankle monitors to track the proximity of student athletes during the COVID pandemic. But not all parents reportedly signed off on this move.

The Eatonville School District confirms to the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH that the district uses proximity monitors. Regardless of vaccination status, coaches and staff wear them during high contact and moderate indoor contact sports. The district says students are not tracked. Instead, the device’s radio-based sensors monitor the distance between others who wear one.

“If a student or coach tests positive, we will have immediate information regarding athletes’ and coaches’ contacts, so we can more tightly determine who might need to quarantine,” the district said in an emailed statement.

The statement goes on to say that: “Athletes and coaches not in contact with the player who tested positive can continue to participate in the sport.”

Rantz: Middle school teacher says we’re ‘lucky’ if unvaccinated die, HR investigates

School didn’t get complete parental consent, according to a report

While the school says they notified parents and sought consent to use the monitoring devices, not all parents were aware.

Speaking to the Post Millennial, one mother says she was not informed nor did she sign any consent paperwork. The website reports that mom said the school’s athletic director acknowledged a “slip up” in not first getting her consent.

A school spokesperson did not respond to questions over the veracity of the mother’s claims. They also did not respond when asked if parents signed consent forms for all other students given the monitoring device.

She also alleges the school asked her daughter to remove the device before her mother’s arrival and would only allow limited photos to be taken of the device.

The device is manufactured by the company Triax. The district paid for the devices using tax dollars from the American Rescue Plan, which mandates 20% of the funding go to the elementary and secondary school emergency relief fund.

School spins this into a positive

Eatonville High School is attempting to spin this program as a positive.

“This system prevents taking students out of school and athletics unnecessarily. It allows us to keep more students engaged and involved in class as well as athletic activities. This is a top priority for staff and families here in Eatonville. This school year we can expect numerous changes and for situations to be dynamic,” the statement reads.

They’re even placating fears by comparing it to the technology used by the NFL.

But the optics of monitoring teens as if they are out of prison on an early release? It is not ideal, to say the least. It’s made worse when not all parents offered consent.

Did you like this opinion piece? Then listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow @JasonRantz  on  Twitter,  Instagram, and Parler, and like me on Facebook

Jason Rantz on AM 770 KTTH
  • listen to jason rantzTune in to AM 770 KTTH weekdays at 3-6pm toThe Jason Rantz Show.

Jason Rantz Show

Jason Rantz

tacoma, officers, tacoma police, manny ellis, Urquhart...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Police staffing crisis in Tacoma is nearly as bad as Seattle, morale ‘decimated’

The Tacoma Police Department is dramatically understaffed as crime continues to surge across the city. Police officers are now sounding the alarms.
1 day ago
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Inslee firing thousands isn’t about health – it’s about forced vaccinations

Governor Jay Inslee's COVID-19 vaccine mandate isn't about public health. It's about power and forced vaccinations. 
2 days ago
KTTH staff

Pierce County Sheriff Troyer says he knew charges were ‘coming since day one’

Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer joins the Jason Rantz Show to react to two misdemeanor charges against him from the attorney general's office.
2 days ago
Jason Rantz

Rantz: State AG charges Pierce County Sheriff with 2 misdemeanors after ‘unusual’ move

Attorney General Bob Ferguson's office is readying misdemeanor charges against Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer. The filing could come as early as Tuesday.
3 days ago
police, consent decree...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Seattle mayor downplays crisis, falsely says only 24 officers didn’t turn in vaccine paperwork

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan told reporters on Monday that "only about two dozen officers have not put in their [vaccine] paperwork" ahead of the midnight deadline.
3 days ago
unvaccinated officers Seattle...
KTTH staff

Seattle mayor: ‘About two dozen’ SPD officers have yet to submit proof of vaccination

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and interim Chief Adrian Diaz both submitted final pleas to unvaccinated officers over the weekend. 
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Medicare open enrollment for 2022 starts Oct. 15 and SHIBA can help!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at www.ComcastRISE.com for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
Rantz: Eatonville High School uses ankle monitors on student athletes to track COVID outbreaks