UPDATE: Armband plan put on hold, officials say


BUTLER — The school district in this Morris County borough wants students to wear an electronic armband that will monitor their body temperature when they return to school.

The armband is part of the district's effort to keep a handle on the spread of the coronavirus but the plan is being criticized as intrusive.

The district's back-to-school plan said officials will provide armbands for staff and students. The wireless-connected devices will provide a "daily report to our nurses to track wellness within our school district," the plan says.

Each student will be responsible for charging the armband and wearing it. Students who don't wear it will not be allowed into the school building.

Students who lose their bands will not be allowed to return until they've replaced it.

The band is made from polyester fiber and worn on the upper arm.

Schools Superintendent Daniel Johnson told ABC 7 Eyewitness News that the armbands, donated by the manufacturer, will not be ready for use on the first day of school. He said that the information collected would be kept private in accordance with health and student privacy laws.

Johnson did not return a message from New Jersey 101.5 on Monday.

Jeanne LoCicero, legal director for the New Jersey chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, called the armbands a type of "ongoing intrusive search."

"Parents should not be forced to choose between their child’s education and their privacy rights," LoCicero said in a written statement to New Jersey 101.5. "They also should not be forced to take responsibility for this equipment in order for their children to be able to attend school. We know from other districts that there are less burdensome ways to protect the health of school communities."

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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