Last fall, Northside Independent School District in San Antonio, Texas introduced student ID cards with tracking chips in them. Wearing the ID card allowed school administrators to know the location of students using GPS-like technology.15-year-old Andrea Hernandez and her parents were protesting the tracking mechanism for religious reasons. The Hernandez family believes the badge is a “mark of the beast”. However, Judge Orlando Garcia ruled that the IDs are legal, and the school has the right to expel any student who does not comply with the rule. Hernandez will be transferred from her high school if she does not wear the tracking badge.
Judge Garcia stated in his 25-page ruling that the badge “has an incidental effect, if any, on (Hernandez’s) religious beliefs” and that because she wore a previous ID badge for several years, her decision to not wear the new ID badge “is clearly a secular choice, rather than a religious concern.” Andrea and her family have until the start of the new semester, January 22, to decide if she will comply with the rules to stay at her magnet school, or continue to refuse to wear the badge and therefore be expelled and transferred to her home school.
The Hernandez family and their counsel, Rutherford Institute, plan to appeal the judge’s decision, insisting that her religious concerns are sincere, and should not be dismissed.
BMWK – what are thoughts on the school using a tracking mechanism to know the location of the students? Do you think it violates their rights?