ONTD Political

Judge stops school from expelling girl who refused to wear tracking device

8:48 pm - 11/27/2012
A Texas high school student will be allowed to continue going to class for now despite her refusal to cooperate with a program that forces pupils to be mandatorily tracked with computer chips.

Andrea Hernandez was told she’d be expelled from John Jay High School’s Science and Engineering Academy in San Antonio starting next week if she insists any further on disobeying a new policy that requires students to wear ID badges equipped with tiny Radio Frequency Identification (“RFID”) chips. Now attorneys with the Rutherford Institute say Hernandez has been granted a temporary restraining order that will prohibit the Northside Independent School District from relocating the student to another facility.

“The court’s willingness to grant a temporary restraining order is a good first step, but there is still a long way to go — not just in this case, but dealing with the mindset, in general, that everyone needs to be monitored and controlled,” Rutherford Institute President John Whitehead says in a statement.

Starting in September, students at John Jay and one other area school were asked to wear ID badges that broadcast their location so educators can keep more accurate attendance records and, ideally, be provided with more funding. Hernandez refused to cooperate right off the bat, however, a maneuver that she said landed her in hot water with educators almost immediately.
"I had a teacher tell me I would not be allowed to vote because I did not have the proper voter ID," she told WND. "I had my old student ID card which they originally told us would be good for the entire four years we were in school. He said I needed the new ID with the chip in order to vote."

Earlier this month, the parents of John Jay students were told that pupils are required to carry the badges, and that Hernandez would be expelled starting Nov. 26 if she continues to protest.
“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,” Whitehead said after the school issued their warning.

“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.”

According to San Antonio’s KENS5 News, a judge gave Hernandez a temporary restraining order from the school district and ruled on Wednesday that the principal's orders to make the surveillance mandatory were a violation of the student's speech and religion. On her part, she equates wearing a badge — RFID equipped or not — with the biblical “mark of the beast.”
A hearing on the preliminary injunction will take place next week, at which point the future of the tracking program will be brought into question.


How is this even legal? Doesn't it violate privacy laws, especially for eighteenand older students?
kekekekekekeke 28th-Nov-2012 03:33 pm (UTC)
mark of the beast D:
cozmic_oceanz 28th-Nov-2012 03:35 pm (UTC)
what the hell...I'm guessing this must be a private school and that is how they are getting away with it...but even so...wtf.

That girl is awesome. The other students should follow her lead!
papilio_luna 28th-Nov-2012 03:39 pm (UTC)
Northside Independent School District

That's a public school district.
katrinar 28th-Nov-2012 03:54 pm (UTC)
So wait, they told the kids/parents they HAD TO, but did they ever ask for signed permission from the parents to track these kids?

That's some next level big brother shit.
ragnor144 28th-Nov-2012 04:00 pm (UTC)
I'm glad that it is being challenged, but I kind of wish that it wasn't under the "Mark of the Beast" objection by the student. I think some people will write this off as a legitimate privacy concern because of the religious aspect.
mamasboo 28th-Nov-2012 05:16 pm (UTC)
True, I don't want the bigger picture lost due to people who freak out when religion is mentioned. I respect her reasons to not want to be tracked and it seems obvious to me that anyone and everyone should fight such a ridiculous thing, but religion will make it harder to be taken seriously.

Are the teachers also being tracked? What's the point and what's the lesson here, exactly? That when you're an adult your boss/job should be tracking you, too? I also don't see how it makes anyone safer.
redstar826 28th-Nov-2012 04:08 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure that it would violate any privacy laws to track kids within a school building so long as that information isn't shared with anyone who shouldn't have access to it.

I can see where schools want to create a foolproof system to track attendance since it can be a pain in the ass and sometimes it just doesn't happen perfectly (teachers accidentally mark something wrong, teachers forget to do it one hour, subs screw it up and/or kids purposely fuck with the sub trying to take attendance, etc). However, I am not convinced that this is the way to do it.
darsynia 28th-Nov-2012 04:42 pm (UTC)
Well, for one thing, it would depend on how specific the tracking was. It's not the school's god damned business how often I pee, for example.
makemerun 28th-Nov-2012 04:16 pm (UTC)

I stopped reading at "...she told World Net Daily"
circumambulate 28th-Nov-2012 04:14 pm (UTC)
While I think this is problematic, I also see some pretty positive applications for this, like making use of the school-funded lunch programs a lot more low-key/non-obvious. Increased security in school-access, etc..

I also find it hard to believe that they went to the added expense/complexity to use active RFID chips for something as abused a student ID. It's more likely passive RFID which doesn't broadcast, it can only be read in close proximity. The most they could do is do things like put a reader gate at the doors to track when people went in/out, etc..
girlwonderrobin 28th-Nov-2012 04:16 pm (UTC)
I don't like this at all. If the parent decides this is best for their child, and does it on their own, that's one thing, but a school deciding that? I think that's way over the line. All of us, even those of us who are underage, are entitled to a personal, private life that nobody else knows about. I'd go for corporal punishment before I'd go for this bullshit, and I am staunchly against anyone but a parent disciplining a child physically.
skellington1 28th-Nov-2012 08:36 pm (UTC)
IKR? I feel like I should be able to walk down a back alley and get black-market cranial-implanted neural hardware any day now.

/has read too much cyberpunk
ultraelectric 28th-Nov-2012 04:21 pm (UTC)
Why's it always Texas? I read an article last year from The Guardian where some schools in Texas have police (actual police) on school grounds and if kids misbehave, instead of being sent to the principals office, they can get fined and have to go to court.

I can see how this could be helpful in keep track of kids at the school, but I feel we are turning so many of our schools into prisons. (Again, Texas) I'm pretty sure some parts of Texas also have a program where if you miss so many days of school, they can put a ankle bracelet on you to monitor you going to and from school to make sure you go to school.

Can we just let schools be schools?
mamasboo 28th-Nov-2012 05:23 pm (UTC)
Why can't they just make tracking mandatory for kids with attendance problems (and maybe for a limited period of time)? Why involve the entire school?
ladypolitik 28th-Nov-2012 04:55 pm (UTC)
As sketch and creepy as a tracking device seems (I couldnt bring myself to endorse that), I bet it's legal in the same way that school/campus surveillance cameras are legal.
art_house_queen 28th-Nov-2012 05:42 pm (UTC)
I agree -- though I think they might be able to get around it because this tracking device has to physically be placed on the "person" of the student, whereas security cameras are intrinsic to a school before the student walks inside.

Not sure if that argument makes sense...
(no subject) - Anonymous
thelilyqueen Re: a better idea29th-Nov-2012 01:08 am (UTC)
Well, let's be accurate here... they're not claiming kids skipping class is a security threat. They're claiming kids skipping class impacts the school's already strapped funding, which is true. The method they've chosen to try to deal with the issue though is... oy.
mamasboo 28th-Nov-2012 05:27 pm (UTC)
Whether it was freedom or religion, I think the court should uphold the decision to respect her. Unless she is constantly truant or has some kind of record of being a problem, I don't see why it is so important to track her every move while in school.

Even though the religion angle might seem laughable to many, it is serious to some and it isn't hurting anyone to exempt her from this program. They could have her use a sign in/sign out sheet or something like that if they're that anal.

I have to say though that I'm not a big fan of TX schools as their policies are sometimes ridiculous and hypocritical. Like for instance Eisenhower Middle School in the NEISD forces kids to tuck in their shirts to look "neat" but I witnessed tons of teachers walking around with THEIR shirts hanging out. We're just teaching kids that adults are big hypocrites, really.
dw_10rosefan 28th-Nov-2012 06:12 pm (UTC)
the_physicist 28th-Nov-2012 07:39 pm (UTC)
they tried to make people at my university wear their ID cards round their necks as a compulsory thing once. that lasted all of zero days, because everyone refused to do it.

a very large amount of data can be stored on an RFID chip. what i wonder is if everyone has a unique number on their RFID tags (I would presume so), which can be associated with them, and yeah... that they can therefore track individual people moving about college or attending lectures, rather than simply counting the volume of students.

I also think they are ridiculous for trying to push when someone refuses to do it, how could they not see that they would get into trouble for trying to enforce tracking students?

as for the reasoning giving by the student... well, yeah. whatever. the real issue i see is tracking students.
randomtasks 28th-Nov-2012 08:37 pm (UTC)
they tried to make people at my university wear their ID cards round their necks as a compulsory thing once. that lasted all of zero days, because everyone refused to do it.

All of the schools I've been to required the same but no one ever did it anyway because it was pointless since most of them didn't have pictures (you had to pay $20 for your picture to be printed onto your ID) or a barcode/swipe on them.
bestdaywelived 29th-Nov-2012 12:06 am (UTC)
So this irrationally terrifies me. I was told as a child that it would constitute the "mark of the best" if people were forcibly tracked with microchips, and that's what the government wanted from us.
toxic_glory 29th-Nov-2012 12:16 am (UTC)

even though I am no longer religious, stuff like this still scares me

I remember family members of mine talking about how the rapture is near when they came out with those tracker chips that you can give to your pets. they were like, "soon they'll be doing it to people!"
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