New protective clothing options for U.K. school-bound kids

Published 23 August 2007

Back to school: U.K. clothing manufactures offer school uniforms with embedded satellite tracking devices — and stab-proof t-shirts, hooded tops, and school blazers

Here are two stories — the first one gives an entirely new meaning to the term “digital generation,” while the second can serve as another installment in our “What’s the world coming to” series, which we began on Tuesday with a story about a Massachuetts company doing brisk business selling bullet-proof bakcpacks to school-bound kids.

* Parents already have a way to monitor kids’ phone calls and text messages. Parents of teenage children can also track their resteless sixteen- or seventeen-year olds when they borrow dad’s car on Friday. Parents may soon have the means to track children wearing school uniforms. Clitheroe, Lancashire, U.K.-based Truetex, a manufacturer of uniforms is considering adding satellite tracking devices to its line of school clothing so that parents can locate their child’s whereabouts at all times. Trutex believes there is a demand for such clothing. “As well as being a safety net for parents, there could be real benefits for schools who could keep a closer track on the whereabouts of their pupils, potentially reducing truancy levels,” said Trutex’s marketing director Clare Rix. In a recent survey of its own, the company found that 59 percent of 800 parents surveyed were interested in buying uniforms with embedded Global Positioning Systems.

Will a teenager willingly wear a GPS-laced outfit? Only half of kids twelve and under (who were surveyed) said that they would not mind wearing the clothes.

* The tracking device idea comes after another English clothing company, Bladerunner of Romford, Essex, two weeks ago revealed it was selling stab-proof t-shirts, hooded tops, and school blazers — and knife-resistant gloves — to parents worried about their children being attacked. The stab-proof t-shirts have proven popular with both female and male joggers worried about being stabbed while running.