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Texas student expelled for refusing to wear tracking chip


Flycatcher chip may allow internet to penetrate everything from toasters to trees.


Yoshikazu Tsuno

Officials at the Northside Independent School District in San Antonio, Texas are going to get really, really angry if your kid misses even one day of school. "Welcome back to the new school year!," reads a letter that the school district sent to parents. "We are looking forward to working with your student every day, so please encourage your students not to miss school. It is important that he or she be present every day." It seems like they're hinting that they want your kid to come to school every day?

Oh, and if you didn't catch the hint, we will find you: "During the 2012-2013 school year, the District will be piloting software that will help us immediately locate students while they are in the school building....The project has several goals and is dependent on a 'smart' student identification card that all students will be required to wear during the school day." The terrifying letter explains the purpose of the program: "This is so that we always know where the students are in the building." The letter does not say what happens to students who are not in the building. 

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While some of the parents and students went along with the dystopian new program and put on the "smart" ID badges, others protested. Andrea Hernandez, a sophomore at the district's John Jay High School, refused to wear the badge around her neck, so the school expelled her this week, Wired reported

Hernandez refused to wear the badge for religious reasons, according to court papers. The Rutherford Institute, a liberties campaign group, joined the protests and defended Hernandez in court. They argued that the badge also violates her privacy, WND reported.

A district court judge in Texas has now sided with Hernandez, temporarily reversing her expulsion while the case continues and agreeing that she should not have to wear a name tag containing an RFID (radio-frequency identification) chip for now, BBC News reported

"The court's willingness to grant a temporary restraining order is a good first step, but there is still a long way to go - not just in this case, but dealing with the mindset, in general, that everyone needs to be monitored and controlled," John Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute, said in a statement to the BBC.