Texas School Kicks Student Out of Magnet Program for Refusing to Wear “Smart ID” Tracking Badge—Rutherford Institute to Seek Prelim. Injunction

 

 

Texas School Kicks Student Out of Magnet Program for Refusing to Wear “Smart ID” Tracking Badge—Rutherford Institute to Seek Prelim. Injunction

For Immediate Release: November 20, 2012

SAN ANTONIO, Texas —School officials for the Northside Independent School District in San Antonio, Texas, have informed high school student Andrea Hernandez that she will be “withdrawn” from John Jay High School’s Science and Engineering Academy, effective Monday, November 26, because she objects to wearing a name badge signifying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. For Hernandez, a sophomore, the badges pose a significant religious freedom concern in addition to the obvious privacy issues. In coming to Andrea’s defense, Rutherford attorneys are preparing to seek immediate judicial intervention to ensure that Andrea is not removed from her school as a result of adhering to her religious beliefs and refusing to express approval of the Project. 

“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,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute. “By virtue of the First Amendment, students in our society are at liberty to conscientiously choose which governmental programs they will support and which they will oppose. It’s a sad day in America when school officials deny someone an education simply because she stands up for what she believes in.”

 

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