Texas Students Face Repercussions for Refusing RFID Tracking

Kaye Beach

Oct. 9, 2012

Are you OK with tracking kids via active RFID chips at school?  Some kids and parents in Texas are NOT OK with it and they are holding their ground. (article below)

Here are some of the objections parents and students might have against wearing and RFID tracking device (from Position Paper on the Use of RFID in Schools dated August 21, 2012 signed by a wide variety of civil liberties advocates);
• Dehumanizing uses: While there is an expectation of supervision and guidance in schools, monitoring the detailed behaviors of individuals can be demeaning. For example, RFID reading devices in school restrooms could monitor how long a student or teacher spends in a bathroom stall.
• Violation of free speech and association. RFID tracking software can monitor associations of RFID tags, which could dissuade individuals from exercising their rights to freedom of thought, speech and association. For example, students might avoid seeking counsel when they know their RFID tags will document their presence at locations like counselor and School Resource Officer (SRO) offices.
• Violation of conscience and religious freedom. Many individuals object to RFID systems on the basis of their deeply held philosophical or religious beliefs. Schools are required to make accommodations for students on the basis of these beliefs.
• Unauthorized use. While RFID systems may be developed for use in a school, the RFID tags may be read covertly anywhere by anyone with the right reading device. Since RFID reading devices work by silent, invisible radio waves and the reading devices can be hidden, unauthorized or covert uses can be nearly impossible to detect. In addition, information collected on systems could be shared or compromised without individuals’ knowledge or consent. For example, a student’s location could be monitored from a distance by a jealous
girlfriend or boyfriend, stalker, or pedophile. Individuals run this tracking risk any place they carry or wear a school-issued RFID tagged item—even miles from the campus.

Read more of the Position Paper on the Use of RFID in Schools

Texas School District Reportedly Threatening Students Who Refuse Tracking ID, Can’t Vote For Homecoming

Posted Oct. 8, 2012 at the Huffington Post

Weeks after Northside Independent School District in San Antonio rolled out its new “smart” IDs that tracks students’ geographic locations, the community is still at odds with the program.

The “Student Locator Project,” which is slated to eventually reach 112 Texas schools and close to 100,000 students, is in trial stages in two Northside district schools. In an effort to reduce truancy, the district has issued new student IDs with an embedded radio-frequency identification (RFID) chip that tracks the location of a student at all times.

The program officially launched October 1 at John Jay High School and Anson Jones Middle School. Without the badges — required to be worn around the neck — students cannot access common areas like the cafeteria or library, and cannot purchase tickets to extracurricular activities. WND reports that the district has threatened to suspend, fine or involuntarily transfer students who fail to comply and officials have noted that “there will be consequences for refusal to wear an ID card as we begin to move forward with full implementation.”

Read more

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