MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
With all the national discussion of improving education, it's always a bit ironic to see how many school districts fail to educate by example.
Take the program that is being implemented in the Northside Independent School District (NISD) in San Antonio, Texas. Students are being required to wear Radio Frequency Identity Chip (RFID) badges so that their locations can be tracked.
According to the BBC, this is allegedly being done to gain a more accurate attendance record:
John Jay High School is one of two schools piloting the program, which eventually aims to equip all student badges across the district's 112 schools with radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips.
The badges reveal each student's location on their campus, giving the district more precise information on attendance.
The daily average of the attendance is related to how much funding each school receives.
However, in an age of an increasing encroachment on our privacy, this appears to be a solution right out of a gulag instead of a democracy that values individual rights.
On January 8, a federal court upheld the action of the Northside Independent School District in indefinitely suspending a student, Andrea Hernandez, 15, who stopped wearing the badge on religious grounds.
That's the kind of lesson in violating constitutional rights that educational administrators should not be imposing on students.
The school district claims it offered "reasonable accommodation" by allowing Hernandez to wear the badge without the RFID chip, but leaving the tracking program intact. Unfortunately, the federal court agreed.
(Photo: Paradox 56)