Polk County schools are testing a new system of student IDs that school administrators say will prevent people from stealing the identities of children they’ve taught in their cars.
The change comes as a pilot program that allows students to register their own driver’s licenses on their cellphones has begun in schools in Polk County.
Polk school officials say the new system will help protect the safety of students who are driving their cars in public.
Polk school administrators will begin issuing students driver’s licences at 5 a.m. today, a day before the start of school, with an estimated 25,000 students enrolled.
A separate pilot program in Polk Schools in Polk, Polk County, will begin next week.
Polk County schools say the pilot program will be in place for two years and allows students who have already registered their driver’s licence to keep using it.
Students will also have the option of not showing up at school on Friday and will be allowed to attend any schools where they have a driver’s permit.
Polk School District spokesman Bill Hagerty says the new program will help prevent students from stealing their classmates’ identities, but they don’t yet know if it will have an effect on thefts.
“The kids who are going to be getting those IDs are not the ones who are at the school, so that’s one concern, but I think it will be very minimal,” he said.
Hagerty said the district will continue to monitor the new driver’s system and will also continue to issue drivers’ licenses to students who haven’t registered them yet.
While there is no evidence that the driver’s ID system will be used to steal identities, the Polk County School District is not immune to potential identity theft.
Last year, Polk School District employees found a laptop computer belonging to a student who had stolen the identity of another student.
The student was identified as a Polk County student by the Polk Sheriff’s Office and the student was arrested and charged with identity theft in connection with that case.
In 2017, Polk District administrators discovered a computer belonging a student in Polk with a stolen student ID.
The school notified Polk County police that the student had a student ID and police searched the computer.
Polk police recovered the student ID from the student.
The district has also been dealing with several cases of student ID theft.
Last year, a Polk student was charged with stealing a student’s identity and was sentenced to a year in jail.
In 2018, Polk school officials discovered a student had stolen another student’s student ID after students at a Polk School took the student’s car keys and then gave them to their parents.
Schools are also considering a pilot for students who want to register with the Polk district, which Hagerity says would allow students to continue to drive in public schools.
More than two years ago, Polk officials also announced that they would allow teachers and other school employees to use the new IDs to register students who attend public school.