USA, Texas – Over on the We Are Change Texas YouTube Channel is the public discussion from last Monday’s RFID Forum, run by Texans for Accountable Government with RFID privacy expert and activist Dr Katherine Albrecht speaking about the RFID Student Locator Pilot Programme run by the Northside Independent School District in two schools John Jay High School and Anson Jones Middle School.
The school’s superindent and board were invited to attend, as was the vendor. The school board declined and the vendor unfortunately got sick at the last minute. Dr Katherine Albrecht was interviewed on the Alex Jones Show and revealed the following – The Northside Independent School District’s attitude was that the RFID scheme was done, a done deal. Dr Katherine Albrecht then attended a city council meeting later in the day, had her name on the list to speak at the meeting and got told, when at the meeting by the school board, that she would not be allowed to speak. (A repeated behavior by the school board, previously shown at a meeting in September 2012, where parents had little or no right to comment on the RFID scheme.)
At these two US schools there are at least 4,200 students wearing RFID tags round their neck with a Radio Frequency pulsing every 45 seconds emitting up to 75 feet. This frequency is at 433MHz, which is near/just about in the Amateur Radio Frequency and a frequency commonly used for remote keyless entry. 433Mhz is an unliscenced industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) radio band and a simple internet search for 433MHz antenna/receiver shows how available this technology is to buy. (The UWB location RFID at a UK College recently using a Real Time Location System (RTLS) pulsed at a 1 second interval at 6.35-6.75 GHz on an ultra wideband Radio Frequency for up to 100 feet.)
Andrea Hernandez, a 15 year old John Jay High School student, refused to wear a RFID tag and also refused to wear a dummy tag and as a consequence was barred from her school. A gutsy stand by Andrea and supporters, upholding up her personal principles, did not convince a court decision on the matter of her still attending John Jay High School without a RFID Locator Tag and sadly in Andrea’s instance, a refusal to participate in an RFID scheme resulted in discrimination against her schooling options. However there are now three Bills introduced in Texas Legislature dealing with RFID tracking students “Where a schools district may allow voluntary use of RFID – Schools districts must provide an alternative identification” or even that “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”
This recent public forum was opportunity to ask questions, voice concerns, discuss responsibilities, privacy and civil liberties of RFID location tracking, potential health issues of RFID and to keep the debate in an open, honest format. Hopefully the prejudice that Andrea has experienced will not have to happen to another individual not wishing to participate in any location tracking device.
A shame that school representatives and the vendor could not attend. I suspect their absence spoke louder than any discussion they may have brought to the forum.
Here is the first part of the debate. The rest of the debate is on the We Are Change Texas YouTube Channel – thank you to them for sharing this.