Texas schools are broke and are evidently paid by the state based on how many students attend. One way to keep track of that number is to embed tags into school IDs that will verify attendance. But this is causing troubles.
A federal court in Texas on Monday will take up the case of a high-school student who refuses to wear her location-tracking school ID.
The 15-year-old sophomore says the ID badge, which has an embedded radio frequency identification tag, is a violation of her rights. The student, Andrea Hernandez, believes the ID is “the mark of the beast” from the Book of Revelation.
Steven Hernandez says his daughter was alarmed this summer when John Jay High School in San Antonio informed families that new IDs would include the chips, which would help the school know electronically if the student was on campus.
“And she says, ‘Daddy, I’m not going to do this.’ And I said, ‘Why aren’t you going to do this, honey?’ She says, ‘Dad, that’s exactly what it talks about in the Book of Revelation that you were teaching us about taking the mark of the beast. This is the exact same thing,’ ” Hernandez says.
The Hernandez family is evangelical Christian and attends John Hagee’s Cornerstone Church in San Antonio.
Exact same thing as the book of Revelations? Evidently this family hasn’t read the book or they’d discover that Revelations is one crazy text. Peruse the link and perhaps you can show me where, exactly, you’ll find anything concrete (no mental gymnastics, please) on this subject.
When Whitehead says the school should opt out, he means the school should let Andrea Hernandez opt out of having to carry the locator chip. That’s something the district has offered as long as Hernandez still wears the new ID badge with no chip inside. But Andrea doesn’t want to do that either. She wants to wear her old school ID.
For the school district, this is all about money. The state of Texas slashed funding to public schools by more than $5 billion. Districts all over the state, rich and poor alike, many exploding in population, are desperately underfunded.
“The school district receives federal funding based upon the number of students who are in attendance each day at school,” says Craig Wood, the lawyer for the Northside Independent School District. “Given that we’ve got a crisis in educational funding in the state of Texas, we’re trying to recapture every dollar that we can in order to try to do more and more with fewer and fewer resources.”
The chip program is costing Northside $500,000, but the district expects to recover about $1.7 million more from the federal government. So that’s $1 million worth of teachers Northside doesn’t have to let go. The chips have been successfully introduced in a school district near Houston without fanfare.
Word’s still out on whether the family uses cell phones. If so, they should be advised of the GPS function in them.