With Skyview (aptly named) High School recently installing active RFID tags for staff and students working with wifi 2.4GHz for “safety” reasons, on the back of Sandy Hook, and knowing that RFID to improve attendance is a dead duck in the water, maybe the focus on perceived and totally unproven safety aspects of RFID at NSID may com into play – lets hope not.
Yet another defiant move by the school to quash dissention about the RFID scheme saw another student suspended for 3 days for attempting to publish an article about John Jay High School’s RFID tracking scheme.
Wise words spoken by WAC at the end of the clip: “This is a civil rights, a privacy, a religious, a health issue. It must not be ignored. You really need to do the research on the health effects and the unconstitutionally of this. We know that this is a fight and a fight we must fight now.” (Video link broken)
A recent Federal Court ruling sided with a Texan school, John Jay High School, Northside Independent School District, in that it was acceptable to discriminate – to the point of expulsion – a student, Andrea Hernadez, for refusing comply with the RFID programme the schools runs.
This image to the right is a letter Andrea wrote yesterday to her school – which speaks volumes. (From the Rutherford Institution’s website.)
From the Rutherford Institute – On January 18th ‘in a phone call delivered near the end of the day before a long holiday weekend, school officials at John Jay High School informed Andrea Hernandez that they would not be granting her request to stay at the magnet school.
In coming to Andrea’s defense, Rutherford Institute attorneys alleged that the school’s attempts to penalize, discriminate and retaliate against Andrea violate her rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.’
It is difficult to believe that in this day and age, with the knowledge of what discrimination can potentially do in our society, that the school district have pursued this course of action. It is clear to me that the school district’s priority does not lie in the care of education, or respect for the teaching the children in it’s community but in budgets and stamping their authority to a point of overriding children’s and families religious beliefs.
Andrea with her family and supporters I think here have exposed that there is a desperate need for an open and honest discussion of issues on the use of RFID in schools.
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.
From the Rutherford Institute: “The Rutherford Institute’s request for a temporary restraining order to prevent Northside Independent School District from removing a San Antonio high school student from John Jay High School’s Science and Engineering Academy because she objected 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”
Article – Biometrics and RFID tracking in UK Education
Documenting the rise of biometric and RFID technology used in education
Book – Surveillance Schools
With the growth of surveillance technologies globally, Dr Emmeline Taylor focuses on the phenomenon of the Surveillance School and explores the impact that continual monitoring is having upon school children, education and society.
433MHz military capabilities of tracking students
Interview with Katherine Albrecht, technology and privacy in schools
Katherine Albrecht show - July 2013. Katherine and Pippa King discuss the victories in removing or preventing biometric and other tracking systems from being used on our children.
Interview: Biometrics & RFID in schools, 433Mhz
Interview with Pippa King by Tony Gosling from BCFM - August 2013