Category Archives: Court

Three US state lawmakers introduce bills to ban RFID in schools

Northside Independent School District’s expulsion of student, Andrea Hernandez, this month has demonstrated how RFID application might save school dollars but clearly does not work in the fact that it has affected one students education.  Has it really been worth the saving in money the schools district claims will happen in the light of the fact John Jay High school discriminated against a child for refusing to take part in the RFID programme.?

With the religious, privacy and ethical issues involved here we look forward to seeing how the debate goes with the below bills filed in Texas recently that would prohibit RFID in state schools.

We have this technology and we cannot undo the technology but we need to use it responsibly and respectfully – which is why an open and honest debate is required.

TexasHB101 – introduced by Rep. Lois Kolkhorst and Rep. Cindy Burkett in November 2012
– Where a school district may not require a student to use a RFID device or similar technology to transmit information about the student or track the location of the student.
– Where a schools district may allow voluntary use of RFID
– Schools districts must provide an alternative identification

HB102 – introduced by Rep. Lois Kolkhorst and Rep. Cindy Burkett in November 2012
– A school district may not require a student to use a RFID device or similar technology to identify the student, transmit information or track the location of the student.

SB173 – introduced by Senator Craig Estes in January 2013
– A school district may not require a student to use a RFID device or similar technology to identify the student, transmit information or track the location of the student.

From My Antonio – Kolkhorst said she thinks the Legislature needs to debate the appropriateness  of that use, which she hopes will happen now that Northside’s pilot program has  drawn scrutiny.  Kolkhorst said her bills on the issue in the past haven’t been able to make  it out of committee.

I am concerned that this technology can be very dehumanizing,” Kolkhorst  said. “I really don’t like how parents don’t have much input and think it is an  example of government overstepping its bounds.”

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Judge rules that religious beliefs not enough to refuse to be part of RFID system

In Texas a 15-year-old student, Andrea Hernandez, refused to wear a trackable RFID tag and then refused to wear a pretend RFID tag that Northside Independent School District offered her.  The school district then insisted Hernandez wear this pretend tag or face suspension.   (You almost couldn’t make it up).  So Andrea took the school district to court.

Religious rights?However a federal judge’s 25 page ruling on violation of her rights to religious freedom in that wearing the pretend RFID would amount to showing support for the programme, stated “The accommodation offered by the [school] district is not only reasonable it removes plaintiff’s religious objection from legal scrutiny all together,” U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia wrote.

Northside Independant School District’s insistance for Andrea to wear pretend RFID is presumably to give the impression to students and parents that no one dissents.  There is no room for objection.  It is good to be tagged and tracked.  Look!  Everyone is wearing a RFID tag – life must be good, right?

Why the school’s dogged insistence?  Does the school district have such little regard for their students religious beliefs and privacy that they are willing to sell out for a few budget dollars?

What exactly is the price do you put on the next generations beliefs and privacy? 1 million dollars, 5 million dollars?

Surely respect and tolerance for peaceful religious, spiritual beliefs and a right to be private is priceless to a decent society and a basic respect we should pay to each other as human to human, especially adult to child?

Andrea plans to appeal so this is not the last we will hear of this.

Texas School District want case to be heard in federal court

Northside Independent School District want Andrea Hernandez’s case moved to a federal court “In a move aimed at sidestepping a potentially unfavorable state court hearing” states the Rutherford Institute

MySanantonio.com goes on to say “A hearing scheduled in state district court Wednesday on her request for a  temporary injunction to keep her at her magnet school at Jay  High School was canceled after the district asked that the case be moved to  federal court.

Since the student, Andrea  Hernandez, has said wearing the badge violates her religious beliefs,  Northside’s attorneys are arguing it’s a federal constitutional issue.

Neither a judge nor a date for a federal hearing has been set.”