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Texas School Kicks Student Out of Magnet Program for Refusing to Wear “Smart ID” Tracking Badge—Rutherford Institute to Seek Prelim. Injunction

Rutherford Institute

SAN ANTONIO, Texas —School officials for the Northside Independent School District in San Antonio, Texas, have informed high school student Andrea Hernandez that she will be “withdrawn” from John Jay High School’s Science and Engineering Academy, effective Monday, November 26, because she objects to wearing a name badge signifying participation in the school district’s new “Student Locator Project.” The badges include tiny Radio Frequency Identification (“RFID”) chips that produce a radio signal, enabling school officials to track students’ precise location on school property. For Hernandez, a sophomore, the badges pose a significant religious freedom concern in addition to the obvious privacy issues. In coming to Andrea’s defense, Rutherford attorneys are preparing to seek immediate judicial intervention to ensure that Andrea is not removed from her school as a result of adhering to her religious beliefs and refusing to express approval of the Project.

“There is something fundamentally disturbing about this school district’s insistence on steamrolling students into complying with programs that have nothing whatsoever to do with academic priorities and everything to do with fattening school coffers,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute. “By virtue of the First Amendment, students in our society are at liberty to conscientiously choose which governmental programs they will support and which they will oppose. It’s a sad day in America when school officials deny someone an education simply because she stands up for what she believes in.”

The Northside Independent School District in San Antonio, Texas, has launched a program, the “Student Locator Project,” aimed ostensibly at increasing public funding for the district by increasing student attendance rates. As part of the pilot program, roughly 4,200 students at Jay High School and Jones Middle School are being required to wear “SmartID” card badges embedded with an RFID tracking chip which will actively broadcast a signal at all times. Although the schools already boast 290 surveillance cameras, the cards will make it possible for school officials to track students’ whereabouts at all times. School officials hope to expand the program to the district’s 112 schools, with a student population of 100,000. Although implementation of the system will cost $500,000, school administrators are hoping that if the school district is able to increase attendance by tracking the students’ whereabouts, they will be rewarded with up to $1.7 million from the state government.

High school sophomore Andrea Hernandez, a Christian, expressed her sincere religious objections to being forced to participate in the RFID program. Reportedly, Hernandez was informed by school officials that “there will be consequences for refusal to wear an ID card.” For example, students who refuse to take part in the ID program won’t be able to access essential services like the cafeteria and library, nor will they be able to purchase tickets to extracurricular activities. Hernandez was prevented from voting for Homecoming King and Queen after school officials refused to verify her identity using her old, conventional student ID card. According to Hernandez, teachers are even requiring students to wear the IDs when they want to use the bathroom. School officials offered to quietly remove the tracking chip from Andrea’s card if the sophomore would agree to wear the new ID without the imbedded RFID chip so as to give the appearance of participation in the Student Locator Project. Andrea refused this offer. Andrea has also been prevented from distributing flyers to fellow students explaining her objections to the program.

https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/on_the_front_lines/texas_school_kicks_student_out_of_magnet_program_for_refusing_to_wear_smart

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8 Responses to Texas School Kicks Student Out of Magnet Program for Refusing to Wear “Smart ID” Tracking Badge—Rutherford Institute to Seek Prelim. Injunction

  1. European American says:

    She should be happy. Now she won’t have to go through their “Program”.

    Home Schooling will be the only ‘intelligent” method of educating children, someday, in this country.

  2. uninformedLuddite says:

    So she doesn’t wear the card and is subsequently unable to purchase food, use services like libraries, vote, etc. Wonder what’s coming full time for the generation that is being trained that these are normal.

    • BentSpear says:

      Slavery & Death.

      • uninformedLuddite says:

        They won’t see it that way. They will believe they are living in an enlightened technological wonderland. I wonder what the 21st century equivalent of throwing christians to lions will be? It’s all entertainment after all.

  3. georgew says:

    I don’t know if she made the right choice….those shadow kids in the article above are STYLIN’….

  4. NC says:

    “There is something fundamentally disturbing about this school district’s insistence on steamrolling students into complying with programs that have nothing whatsoever to do with academic priorities and everything to do with fattening school coffers,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute. “By virtue of the First Amendment, students in our society are at liberty to conscientiously choose which governmental programs they will support and which they will oppose. It’s a sad day in America when school officials deny someone an education simply because she stands up for what she believes in.”

    Damn right, dude! It has absolutely NOTHING to do with academics and everything to do with control.

    “School officials offered to quietly remove the tracking chip from Andrea’s card if the sophomore would agree to wear the new ID without the imbedded RFID chip so as to give the appearance of participation in the Student Locator Project. Andrea refused this offer. Andrea has also been prevented from distributing flyers to fellow students explaining her objections to the program.”

    BAHAHAHAAHAAHAA!!!! They are basically saying, “Please wear this so we don’t look bad and if you wear it without the tag, then eventually we will slowly force you into wearing the tag WITH the RFID chip in after a few months. But we won’t worry about that right now. Just wear it for the time being. We’ll work out the details later.” How communistic of them. Using the old, “Resistance is futile” approach on her. Pathetic. Next they will use the old “peer pressure” approach and say, “well, everyone else is wearing them, so why don’t you?”. Once again, how communistic of them.

    I guess students don’t have rights anymore. Remember when it was a fundamental part of their education for students to speak out against things that they feel are bad? Now they are preventing them from posting flyers? What’s next, having them pay for a school permit to post a flyer around the hallways? Have we really become that sick as a society? It’s already happening in our neighborhoods. When I was in China in 2005, my colleagues and I were laughing and thought how pathetic and absurd it was that Chinese people or even students could not post a simple flyer on public bus shelters or public posts for an exciting school event to get people to come together and enjoy the fun. After returning to America in 2011, I can’t believe how our country has become so much like China in that sense. As I said before, what happened to my country when I left? I’m sure the military veterans feel the exact same way with TSA and DHS and our Big Brother government. It’s just become a complete nightmare. It’s really sad.

  5. NC says:

    So how come these people haven’t sued the school? How come more of these student’s parents haven’t sued the schools? No balls. They just continue to play along to get along. How socialistic of them. Until someone stands up to them, they will continue to do it and get away with it. Like George Orwell says, “picture a boot stomping repeatedly on your face”.

    • uninformedLuddite says:

      If and when somebody stands up they will no doubt be shouted down by the mob. Think of the children for gawds sake.

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