Tag Archives: education?

Judge rules against school on RFID tracking case

Student Wins Tracking ID Case reports Frontpagemag.com

Sanity, thankfully, has prevailed in the case of Andrea Hernandez who has been incredibly brave standing up to the school’s absolute instance that she wears RFID chip or pretends to and that she stops protesting or she gets expelled. This plucky teenager said no!

This from the Rutherford Institute who took Andrea Hernandez’s case to court:  “A court has temporarily blocked The Northside Independent School District from suspending high school sophomore, Andrea Hernandez, for her noncompliance with a neck badge that monitors student movement throughout the campus via a Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) chip.

A federal court judge ruled that John Jay High School principal Robert Harris’s actions were a violation of Hernandez’s rights to freedom of speech and the free exercise of religion. Hernandez will also receive compensation, the amount of which will be determined during a trial, according to court documents.”

After enduring threats from the school district:
 “As we discussed, there will be consequences for refusal to wear an ID card as we begin to move forward with full implementation.”  Andrea and her family have done really well in this instance, with privacy groups and alternative media highlighting her situation and  drawing attention to this heavyhanded approach from the school and school district.

A surprising aspect of this case was that the school and the school district were so unwavering in their insistence that Andrea wore RFID.  Insistence which seemingly will involve the school paying compensation to Andrea for their discrimination and disregard for civil liberties.

The question has to be asked, just what was the school and school district trying to achieve here because this dogged insistence did not seem solely about attendance figures and financial gain.  Was the school that desperate to throw away civil liberties for cash?  Just what, exactly, are we teaching our kids?

Andrea is a shining example of a human spirit standing up for what she believes is right and this has been a very valuable lesson for all students.  Children have most probably learnt more from this brave individual than any teacher could have taught them in school about civil liberties.

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“And we can look at them in groups, such as peer groups.”

According to an article from April 2012 in RFID Journal, [NB. This RFID Journal article was withdrawn from the RFID Journal’s website w/c 7 Jan 2013.  A Copy of the article (pdf) is here and here is the original article on the Internet Archieve Wayback Machine] West Cheshire College are RFID tracking 5,500 full-time students and have been doing so since 2010.

After the opening of its new campus at Ellesmere Port, Liverpool, the college “has successfully implemented Zebra’s real time location tracking solution with the ability to track and increase the visibility of 20,000 students across its two campuses” states Zebra Technologies, the US company who supplies the RFID tracking system.

Kevin Francis, West Cheshire College’s Building Services Area Manager, uses an interesting choice of language on Zebra Technologies website  [ NBZebra Technologies withdrew the article from their website late February/early March 2013. A copy of the press release (pdf) is here  and this is Internet Archive Wayback Machine’s link to the original webpage] to describe the college’s reasons for buying the technology – using the terms “asset tracking”  and  “optimizing our learning resources.” (referring to the students presumably?) with “specialist location solution capabilities” .  Are these phrases we may be hearing more of as other schools follow suit?

This all boils down to funding, states the RFID Journal :

“…the school also plans to utilize the RTLS [Real Time Location System] solution to reliably, quickly and accurately track student attendance, and to document that each student’s attendance record matches the actual number of hours for which the college receives funding (a process that is currently manual and time-consuming).”

It could be argued that an alternative method, other than RFID tagging students, could be found that would not be manual and time consuming.  An alternative, less invasive attendance system could be implemented, one that does not involve the college’s knowledge of each students every move.

The accurate attendance of students and the financial rewards that may reap from RFID tracking pupils is not the college’s only reason for locating the students and staff in real time, as Kevin Francis states to the RFID Journal:

Francis says this software will provide “reports if [students or staff] are leaving early,” stating,
“We can search for individual [students or staff]. And we can look at them in groups, such as peer groups.”  (Why?)

The privacy implications for the use of RFID technology constantly tracking a persons every move are massive, possibly insidious and very much open to abuse.  Clearly, as stated by Kevin Francis in the RFID Journal’s article, West Cheshire College will not just be monitoring attendance levels but will also be looking at individual associations.  The technology will reveal where students are with Real Time Location Systems.

How will this affect student and staff behaviour?  Trips to the toilet – been there too long?  Too many visits to a school nurse?  Student/staff relationship?  Students relationships?  Who has access to this information?

This RFID technology tracking humans in real time certainly raises more questions, than solutions it provides.

20,000 RFID tagged students in UK?

West Cheshire College, England, UK, uses RFID to track up to 20,000 students? – and not a mention on their website? –  the US company who has sold them the technology uses our UK school to promote their RFID technology.

With the school’s Building Services Manager travelling all the way to Orlando, Florida to promote/advertise the system:

“The college opted to deploy Zebra’s UWB tags and reader infrastructure because they provided reliable and more accurate location data—and at less cost compared with a Wi-Fi-based system—Kevin Francis, West Cheshire College’s building services area manager, told attendees at RFID Journal LIVE! 2012, held last month in Orlando, Fla.”

(Nice perk of the job there Kevin)

Kevin Francis, West Cheshire College’s Building Services Area Manager
http://www.rfidjournal.com/article/view/9476/2
[NB. This RFID Journal article was withdrawn from the RFID Journal’s website w/c 7 Jan 2013 – The same month the college refused to answer Freedom of Information request on how consent was gained from the students.
A copy of the article (pdf) is here and here is the original article on the Internet Archieve Wayback Machine]

Student suspended for not wearing RFID

Well it has happened – pure discrimination against a human not choosing not to be tagged with RFID, in this – possibly first case of RFID discrimination – a child.  USA you should be proud to have reached the heady heights of the big brother state that your rivals China, North Korea, Russia have not even achieved.

School student Andrea Hernandez, 16 years old, is suspended for refusing to wear an RFID lanyard.  The Northside School District has not wavered at all in this and now Andrea is taking legal action against the school.

Is this what children can look forward to in a “democracy”?  No religious right of expression if it doesn’t suit the establishment?  Even on privacy grounds, or for any reason, children and parents should be able to refuse carrying RFID.  It is a gross invasion of privacy and apart from that invasion the technology has not yet proved it is safe for health reasons.

Hernandez was told she would be expelled and transferred to another high school in the district that had not yet adopted the tags, if she refused to comply.

The teen is now taking the school to court in a bid to overturn the decision.

Hernandez is backed by civil liberties organisation The Rutherford Institute, which has accused district authorities of implementing the program purely as a money-making scheme.

“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,” Institute president John Whitehead said.”

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/parenting/student-takes-school-to-court-after-being-suspended-for-refusing-to-wear-tracking-device/story-fnet08ui-1226522006688#ixzz2Cwk7kElA

Rutherford Institute – https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/on_the_front_lines/texas_school_kicks_student_out_of_magnet_program_for_refusing_to_wear_smart

Infowars – http://www.infowars.com/preliminary-injunction-sought-in-school-rfid-tracking-badge-case/

ZDNet – http://www.zdnet.com/student-expelled-for-refusing-to-wear-rfid-tracking-chip-badge-7000007723/

Russia Today – http://rt.com/usa/news/rfid-badge-texas-hernandez-269/

NISD School Board meeting – RFID opponents censored

This excellent video by We Are Change TCH – “Protest RFID Round 2 at NISD School Board SA, TX” posted September 29th 2012

Hopefully the NISD school board will see sense with so much opposition, 17 people wanted to speak against RFID tagging of children, only 5 were allowed to speak.

“Beginning this year, the NISD School Board has decided to take on a pilot program for two schools John Jay High School and Jones Middle School of San Antonio, Texas, that will branch out to 110 more schools after the pilot, utilizing the RFID Tag on a Lanyard. If you thought the barcode around a kids neck was a horrible idea, like I did, this takes it to a whole new level. We’ll touch on the health issues in a moment, but here’s some numbers to throw at you:  It cost $525,000 to set up this new program for two schools, all the tags, and for the monitoring set-up. It will cost $136,000 a year, per school to run and maintain. This at a time when John Jay HS is having teachers print textbooks on copy machines, classes are lacking chairs, as well as some teachers only pulling in 11k a year! Not to mention all the other things teachers provide out of their own pocket, the teacher lay-offs, pay-cuts and the maintenance needs of the schools. Once you figure in the other 110 schools, that’s $38,800,000 start up cost, a $15,232,000 to maintain yearly, and this money is allocated for education. Education for whom? Someone’s learning a lot about your kids.

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The Hernandez Family is spearheading the fight against RFID Tags, and Andrea Hernandez has taken her stand on the school grounds, refusing this indoctrination, by not wearing “the mark” Which also makes her marked. Andrea was gathering signatures on a petition for a moratorium on the RFID Tags after school, and was harassed by NISD lackeys to hand over the documents claiming she could not do so on school grounds, and forced her to leave the property or face arrest by the schools’ Black Boots, also frothing around her. Back in this writer’s day, we had student councils, we liked to fight issues at school, and it is our right to petition the school with grievances! Apparently that’s not the case anymore according to Andrea, now it seem’s the school keeps their cattle in line from the top down by putting pressure on people with academical threats, and persuasion through incentives. Andrea was even told by the Superintendent, that her failure to participate in the pilot program might get her transferred to another school, kicked out, fined or other forms of removal. On one account, she spoke of her being given the option to wear the old/new plastic bar code if she would come out in favor of the new RFID system and that they would “give her back her rights”, seeing the hypocrisy of the suggestion, and the insult to her humanity, she declined. What are they teaching your kids with that methodology?  Think of the dog training method. They can’t buy or check out books, can’t buy tickets to events without it!? Teachers giving candy, to high school students for wearing the tracker, and scolding them by not giving candy to those that don’t wear it! How likely will that generation, or the next, when adults, be willing to take RFID in the body so they won’t forget it for work, or a license, bank account, and all the like that have been put out as reasons to get a CHIP implanted?

Today was the second round of NISD Board meetings. Support of the family had grown, and with 17 people signing up to speak before the board, measures were taken to shave down the opposition. The only news coverage was channel 4 WOAI, and INFOWARS Nightly News. The Chair Person contrived to allow only 5 people to speak on the RFID issue, and a three minute allowance for each peasant to speak. Others had signed up to speak on a separate issue, the budget, and were given time to speak but they angered the chair when they used part of their time to address the RFID issue as wasteful spending. The chair barked and warned of any outburst will cause the meeting to adjourn. Five speakers addressed the Board, bringing up valid facts and points on the issue, ranging from religious, privacy and medical affects. More coverage on the events in the board meeting to come.”

Refusal to wear RFID tag at school

From Wired.com  –  “Just as the U.S. Department of Agriculture mandates Radio Frequency Identification Device chips to monitor livestock, a Texas school district just begun implanting the devices on student identification cards to monitor pupils’ movements on campus, and to track them as they come and go from school.

Tagging school children with RFID chips is uncommon, but not new. A federally funded preschool in Richmond, California, began embedding RFID chips in students’ clothing in 2010. And an elementary school outside of Sacramento, California, scrubbed a plan in 2005 amid a parental uproar. And a Houston, Texas, school district began using the chips to monitor students on 13 campuses in 2004.”

This RFID tagging of humans is not resting well with some families. Here on The Alex Jones Channel  –  “Steve and Andrea Hernandez of Spychips.com who talk with Alex in-studio about San Antonio area High School honor student who has refused to wear a school mandated RFID tracking beacon around her neck because doing so conflicts with her religious beliefs.”

RFID in schools – School District spokesman Pascual Gonzalez “This is not surveillance.”

You’re kidding me right?

According to  Fox News, Northside Independent School District spokesman Pascual Gonzales is of the opinion that using RFID with children in schools, tracking their every movement throughout the day…

[RFID]…is not surveillance.”

Quite astonishing!  What quite is RFID used for then?

We would suggest that Pascual return to school as a student, rather than a spokesperson, not only to complete his education (which obviously has some glaring gaps in the subject of technology) but so he too can experience what it is to be tracked going to the toilet, being observed who he is associating with and how his time keeping bears up.