Tag Archives: prejudice

RFID for pupil attendance not fit for purpose

Northside Independent School District (NSID), San Antonio, Texas, have scrapped the 433 MHz active RFID tracking technology used to log students in school.  It was claimed tracking children with RFID would improve attendance.  In reality it made virtually no difference whatsoever.  “student attendance increased by only 0.5 percent on the high school campus where the program was tested. Results at the middle school campus were even lower, at 0.07 percent.”

What it did do was made for a good exercise to see how tagging kids with 433MHz – the same frequency used by the Department of Defense, Homeland Security and NATO to track their assets around the USA – worked in a civilian population.

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.

‘You can’t be writing about that’

A video by We Are Change (WAC) Texas Hill Country protesting about John Jay High School’s use of RFID real-time tracking students and expulsion of Andrea Hernandez.

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)

School refuses students request

A recent Federal Court ruling sided with a Texan school, John Jay High School, Northside 01-18-2013_Hernandez_Letter from Rutherford Institure1Independent 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 InstituteOn 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.

(The ‘Position Paper on the Use of RFID in Schools ‘ August 21, 2012 details issues surrounding RFID in schools)

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.

Judge blocks schools move to expel non RFID student

A judge has postponed the suspension of 16 year old high school student, Andrea Hernandez, for refusing to wear RFID chip…

This in from Wired Magazine
2:30 p.m. PST UPDATE
: A local Texas judge
on Wednesday tentatively blocked the suspension, pending further hearings next week
.

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”

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/

Recent media

Fox News discussion from October 16th – “RFID chips lets schools track Texas Students”
http://video.foxnews.com/v/1904395539001/

Fox News from October 15th – ” Contoversy over schools tracking students with RFID chips”
Does truancy programme violate privacy?
http://video.foxnews.com/v/1902421989001/controversy-over-schools-tracking-students-with-rfid-chips/?playlist_id=164000

TYT Network from October 13th – “Big Brother: RFID Chips Track Kids’ Truancy, Eating Habits”

NCB article from October 14th – “School ID badges track students”
http://nbcnews.to/PjikSK

Russia Today, October 10th – “Texas schools punish students who refuse to be tracked with microchips”
http://rt.com/usa/news/texas-school-id-hernandez-033/