Texas School: Wear RFID Chip or Get Expelled

A Texas high school student's family is suing the school after the student was expelled for refusing to wear an RFID chip as part of the school's mandatory surveillance program.

by / November 26, 2012

A San Antonio, Texas, school district is facing a lawsuit after a student who refused to wear an RFID chip was expelled. Northside Independent School District spent more than $500,000 implementing a new program that requires all students to wear a badge that contains a barcode and an RFID chip, The Register reported. But a sophomore at John Jay High School's Science and Engineering Academy declined to wear the badge and was expelled.

The student, Andrea Hernandez, objected to wearing the lanyard because she said it violated her religious beliefs and invaded her privacy. The school offered Hernandez a lanyard without an RFID chip, but she refused, not wanting to support the school district's surveillance system in any way. "I feel it's the implementation of the Mark of the Beast,” she said, citing the Book of Revelation. The student's family is now suing the school, according to The Register.

The badges are used by students to vote in school elections and access school facilities, including the library, cafeteria and restrooms. The school uses the lanyards, along with more than 200 closed-circuit cameras to track students and prevent truancy.

"What’s happening now is going to spread across the country," said John Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute, a civil liberties group helping the Hernandez family with its lawsuit against the school. "If you can start early in life getting people accustomed to living in surveillance society then in future it'll be a lot easier to roll these things out to the larger populace."

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