Court Temporarily Blocks School District From Suspending Student For Refusing To Wear Student ID/Tracking Device

from the maybe-someone-should-ask-the-administration-to-wear-one-during-the-work-day dept

A few months back, Tim Geigner covered the story of a Texas school district's efforts to track its students' whereabouts using student ID cards with embedded RFID chips. The district attempted to paint this "students-as-livestock/prisoners" effort as being there for the safety of students and staff. But underneath all the "safety" talk was a large pile of money that the school district hoped to pocket. The so-called "Student Locator" project Texas' Northside Independent School District was implementing put school officials within handout distance of nearly $1.7 million in state government funds.

Although many students and parents have expressed their displeasure with the new program, it wasn't until a student at John Jay High School's Science and Engineering Academy opted out that any punishment had been handed out in connection with the RFID cards. Andrea Hernandez has refused to wear the ID card, citing religious and privacy reasons. In response, the school district has suspended her indefinitely, moving her to another high school in the same district that has not yet implemented the Smart ID policy.

Despite all the talk about "safety," the school district was more than happy to undercut the entire stated purpose of the Smart ID in order to keep Hernandez and her family from speaking out against the program.
The school offered a special lanyard with the RFID tag removed, in the hopes to put a damper on the whole situation. The student’s father refused the deal, however, because it came with strings attached.

“He told me in a meeting that if my daughter would proudly wear her student ID card around her neck so everyone could see, he would be able to quietly remove her chip from her student ID card,” Steve Hernandez told WND. “He went on to say as part of the accommodation my daughter and I would have to agree to stop criticizing the program and publicly support … it. I told him that was unacceptable because it would imply an endorsement of the district’s policy and my daughter and I should not have to give up our constitutional rights to speak out against a program that we feel is wrong.”
Apparently, the ID cards are so essential that the school district is willing to suspend a student for not wearing one, but not essential enough that the ID card needs to be fully functioning. Any stated concerns about "safety" are completely laughable if the district is willing to let students wander the school grounds untracked, sporting only plastic badges.

It's pathetic that this attempt was even made. The school district's main concerns seem to be a) having students appear to support the program, b) using the RFID cards to provide proof of attendance in exchange for funding and c) shutting down criticism.

Unfortunately for the school, the attempted suspension is now on hold.
The Hernandez family decided to take action against the school with the help of the Rutherford Institute, a civil liberties and human rights group which immediately took the view that the school district is looking for more public funding, which it can only receive if there is proof of positive student attendance rates. Rutherford attorneys filed a petition for the aforementioned TRO, as well as immediate injunctive and declaratory relief alleging that the school’s actions violate Hernandez’s rights under Texas’ Religious Freedom Act, the First Amendment, and the Fourteenth Amendment.

“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 W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute, said in a statement. While the TRO has been granted, a hearing on the preliminary injunction will take place next week.
The Rutherford Institute's filing (PDF) states that the district currently has no policy or procedure in place that deals directly with the RFID badges, much less one stating that students can be suspended for failing to wear the new IDs. It also points out that requiring Hernandez to wear a nonfunctioning ID as a "show of support" for the Student Locator Project violates her First Amendment rights by compelling her to convey a message she does not agree with. The filing also claims that the school district's ID program clearly violates both her Fourteenth Amendment rights as well as Texas Freedom of Religion Act. According to Hernandez, many other students have refused to wear the ID cards, but none of them have been punished to the extent that she is, prompting claims of religious persecution.

All in all, this doesn't look good for the school district, which has pushed through an intrusive student surveillance program in order to secure additional government funding. The "safety" of the student body is just the sales pitch. Any supposed "concern" for student safety went out the window, along with the legitimacy of the program, the moment the district offered to remove the tracking chip. The audacity of the district's actions is breathtaking -- both the implementation of such a controversial program, and its response to this student's refusal to participate.

The only other situation in which human beings might need to be constantly surveilled at an individual level is at a maximum security prison. But if you're willing to treat minors looking for an education like dangerous convicted criminals, there's no telling what your next "bright idea" might be. Here's hoping this early effort leads to the entire program being scrapped before it can do any more damage.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 5:39am

    Giving up freedoms for more national security, such as through the PATRIOT act = Perfectly acceptable.

    Giving up freedoms to get more state funding = a wrongful violation of human rights.

    We got one of those situations right, now if only we could get the other situations right involving national security.

     

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      Wally (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 5:42am

      Re:

      The school's descision has nothing to do with the Patriot Act. Don't forget these are minors getting RFID implants against their rights. The school could easily make school ID's.

       

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      E. Zachary Knight (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 6:21am

      Re:

      Giving up freedoms for more national security, such as through the PATRIOT act = Perfectly acceptable.

      Only for those who fall for the "but but but terrorism" BS. For everyone else, the Patriot Act is a clear and dangerous violation of Constitutionally protected natural and human rights. Just as bad if not worse than this school RFID crap.

       

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      Lord Binky, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 7:09am

      Re:

      A badge with a chip in it? That's unheard of! What kind of barbaric practice is this?! CTHULU HELP US!!! They are being treated like they are important and security matters, like a business does. A badge that Identifies that the kid is a student of that school and is allowed there, instead of say, a school uniform?

      PLEASE remember, these are NOT adults. They are not giving up rights because they don't have those rights...yet. They are not responsible for themselves yet. Fourth amendment? I can't wait till these kids start claiming fourth amendment rights for the parents to NOT search their bed room.

      Keep in mind the school is legally responsible for these kids. They are NOT adults, the parents transfer responsibility to the school. So NO this is NOT the same as police requiring everyone implant a chip in themselves for tracking or tattooing a bar code on people. This is not physically altering the child in any way, it is not violating their body at all, why are people compairing this to tagging animals? I really hope they are not THAT stupid, and are just being overdramatic to pat themselves on the back. I could definitely be wrong about people though....

       

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        The Real Michael, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 7:20am

        Re: Re:

        IOW, you're in favor of conditioning our youth into acceptance of a big brother system.

        "PLEASE remember, these are NOT adults. They are not giving up rights because they don't have those rights...yet. They are not responsible for themselves yet."

        That is perhaps the most dangerous aspect of this whole thing. Because the students are still so young, this allows the system to influence them ina potentially dangerous way.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 2:36pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          It's also false, because they do have those rights. There have been so many court cases over the years to dispute that argument that it is amazing someone is still making it.

           

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        btr1701 (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 7:51am

        Re: Re:

        > PLEASE remember, these are NOT adults. They are
        > not giving up rights because they don't have those
        > rights...yet.

        The Supreme Court disagrees with you.

        "Students do not check their rights at the schoolhouse door."

        Tinker v. Des Moines Indep. Community Sch. Dist., 393 U.S. 503 (1969)

         

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          The Real Michael, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 7:56am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I bet certain schools would rather not teach students that they have rights, much less point out which ones are being violated by "SMART" ID.

           

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          Lord Binky, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 9:22am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Yeah and Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier(1988) stated that it allowed the school to forbid conduct that "materially and substantially interfere with the requirements of appropriate discipline in the operation of the school"

          As part of the operation of the school they require wearing an ID, which allows for much more freedom than the already acceptable practice of school uniforms.

          The students already are identified and numbered regardless of the existance of the badge. There's nothing new that is possibly a great injustice. RFID is what makes it wrong? Or the badge? Or the fact that the kid already has a SSN given by the government?

          The RFID itself presents no harm to the student, and speeds up a process that is already in place. The process itself changes (roll call anyone?), but the purpose and the outcome is the same, tracking the student. nothing new.

          A badge is what's wrong? How long have they provided school ID's? That isn't new and the only difference from a school ID is a clip so you can wear on your person. There are also badges/insignias/logos/etc, that function as the same purpose. Police officers have badges, and uniforms. City workers may have sewing or some kind of identifier on their clothing to mark them. It is already standard practice, so what is the problem?

           

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            MrWilson, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 11:59am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            First of all, these are minors, not adult employees. Employees can agree to wear badges as a condition of employment. These minors are not being given a choice, so consent is a significant issue. The parents of this minor also disagrees with the practice.

            Beyond that, the potential for abuse is significant. We've already heard about school laptops surreptitiously taking photos of students in states of undress in their own homes. These RFID tags have the potential to track movement of students outside of school if they have their badges on them. They provide school officials with more information than they need to know. Attendance can already be done easily without them.

            "It is already standard practice, so what is the problem?"

            Argh. This logic is so flawed that pulling a Godwin is the clearest way to clear it up.

            "Persecuting Jews was already a standard practice in Nazi Germany, so why was the Holocaust such a problem?"

            No, I'm not saying that this is on the same scale as mass genocide, but the logic is the same. Just because something is already standard practice does not make it okay to continue or to escalate and spread into more areas.

            [insert comment about how it's crazy to compare school officials to Nazi's here, which I'm not actually doing]

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 1:31pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Beyond that, the potential for abuse is significant. We've already heard about school laptops surreptitiously taking photos of students in states of undress in their own homes. These RFID tags have the potential to track movement of students outside of school if they have their badges on them.


              Your argument sounds better if you have your facts straight. RFID chips have a range measured in feet. Maybe tens of feet if conditions are just right. Even if the student in question lived right next door to the school, no one would be able to track their movements.

               

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                MrWilson, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 5:21pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                You're assuming that I'm referring to the school administrators doing the tracking outside of school.

                Anyone with the right equipment can detect RFID tags. Shopping malls have already talked about tracking shoppers by their cellphones without consent.

                Not to mention that once this system is in place and accepted as standard practice, how much longer before someone suggests the school start monitoring shopping malls where truant students might hang out?

                The whole scenario is ripe for abuse and I don't have to come up with every single one that could be bad because if you institute the system, you'll have an entire population of people amongst whom many people could come up with ways to abuse it that I haven't even thought of. If the system isn't in place, it can't be abused. Period.

                 

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            Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 12:43pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            School is mandatory. Government is the actor. The school remains a public place. The government is obliged to respect rights in ways that private individuals and organizations are not, or to put it differently, the government is subject to constitutional limits on its exercise of power.

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 2:39pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Students are not wearing IDs. They are carrying them. Part of the 'deal' they were offering the family would have required her to wear her ID out in the open, which just marks her as someone that is causing trouble for the school. Thus it wasn't any real 'deal' at all, even dismissing the rest of it.

             

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            btr1701 (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 7:35pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            > Yeah and Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier(1988) stated that
            > it allowed the school to forbid conduct that "materially
            > and substantially interfere with the requirements of
            > appropriate discipline in the operation of the school"

            That hardly means kids don't have rights at all because they aren't adults.

             

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 8:32am

        Re: Re:

        I would say that if the parents don't want the child to have the RFID, she doesn't get one.

        After all, the school needs a PERMISSION slip to take a kid on a field trip. Why no permission slips for the chips?

         

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          Lord Binky, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 8:51am

          Re: Re: Re:

          They need a permission slip to take the kid off the campus.

          What you should be asking is,do they require a permission slip for the books they give the kids?

           

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 8:37am

        Re: Re:

        You're right, it's not the same as police requiring everyone implant a chip in themselves for tracking or tattooing a bar code on people. It's just the best way to condition the next batch of ID numbers aka citizens that doing such a thing really wouldn't be that bad. After all, it already happened when they were in school.

         

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          The Real Michael, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 8:38am

          Re: Re: Re:

          That's the idea.

           

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          Lord Binky, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 8:55am

          Re: Re: Re:

          That's just conspiracy crap. Why were you ok with drivers licences, passports, and most importantly social security numbers and birth certificates.

          Why is it this badge that is the somehow wrong, yet the ID numbers of citizens are already present and a requirement for legal employment, enrollment, and many other things?

           

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            The Real Michael, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 12:48pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            The real danger, besides tracking students' every move, is that it sets a dangerous precedent for the future. It starts in the schools, then it shows up in other key locations until finally it spreads like wildfire.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4S5o6F66cw

            Oh, and do notice at about 1:14 the swastika insignia. That's not fiction, that's hard fact.

             

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        John Fenderson (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 9:02am

        Re: Re:

        PLEASE remember, these are NOT adults. They are not giving up rights because they don't have those rights...yet.


        Minors have the same rights as adults. The only difference is that the parents or guardians of the minor are the temporary caretakers of those rights. A bit like power of attorney.

         

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          Lord Binky, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 9:31am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Then the parents or guardians of the minor are transfering their responsibilities to the school as the caretakers of those rights, effectively the same thing.

          The only reason she has to dubiously fall back on her religious rights being violated is that there is nothing else being even remotely violated. Although none of that stands up against the fact she accepts all the other more intrusive forms of government and non-government tagging and identification with no problems.

           

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            John Fenderson (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 9:45am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Then the parents or guardians of the minor are transfering their responsibilities to the school as the caretakers of those rights, effectively the same thing.


            Not really. Or, only in a very limited manner. The school, for example, does not have the right to authorize medical treatment.

            When schools justify things like random locker searches, for example, they do so not by saying that they are the student's guardians, but that they are the property owners and it's their property.

            As to the rest of your comment, I agree.

             

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            btr1701 (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 7:38pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            > Then the parents or guardians of the minor
            > are transfering their responsibilities to the
            > school as the caretakers of those rights, effectively
            > the same thing.

            Not voluntarily. The state forces parents to send their kids to school, so any "transfer of rights" is invalid, as its not voluntary.

             

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              btrussell (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 8:46am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Too bad you don't have home schooling or private schools etc...

               

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                btr1701 (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 3:29pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                > Too bad you don't have home schooling or
                > private schools etc

                And if those options aren't available, the parents can't just not send their kids to school, so it's still involuntary.

                 

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          Lord Binky, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 9:37am

          Re: Re: Re:

          And they are not fully the same rights, such as age limits for purchasing and owning guns in the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act.

           

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            John Fenderson (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 9:49am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            That is no different that with adults, in concept. There are many rights which are limited for adults depending on circumstances. Felons can't own firearms in most states, for example. Age can be one of those circumstances -- but that doesn't mean that minors have a special "reduced rights" status in a court of law.

             

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              Lord Binky, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 9:57am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Ok, I concede to that point. It is not correct to consider it reduced rights. It is more properly the same rights with limits in place by the circumstance of their age.

               

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 12:37pm

        Re: Re:

        I think that the rights that kids don't have, reside with their parents. Not the state.

         

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    Wally (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 5:40am

    This is sort of a shock because Texas is known for violating 4th Anendment rights and Habeas Corpus laws. All I can say is that the use if the RFID implant system in this mannorism is extremely stupid. They cause scars if removed and are permanent if they are not removed.

    An ID system utilizing RFID on a card would have been much more sensible.

     

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      nerdnamedchris (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 6:06am

      Re:

      the chips are in the cards, not the students. still stupid, but less violating.

       

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        Wally (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 6:41am

        Re: Re:

        A lot of articles I read involving the case said it wasn't a card. My cousin got one. But since I'm now a little more updatedthe story goes beyond whether or not a card or implant was useable.

        The real problem is clearly stated:

        "Andrea Hernandez has refused to wear the ID card, citing religious and privacy reasons. In response, the school district has suspended her indefinitely, moving her to another high school in the same district that has not yet implemented the Smart ID policy."

        It's religious persecution as the district she was in had no policy against not wearing the trackers and yet she still got punished.

         

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          Jeff (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 6:50am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Any thing can be called religious persecution if you claim that. What if you got a ticket for not having insurance card on you/in your car but went to court and claimed carrying the insurance card was a kin to being the devils helper what do you think would happen. How is this different?

           

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            The Real Michael, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 7:02am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Because if you're driving a motor vehicle, you're required to carry a driver's license, whereas students are being forced (or, in this case, bullied) into a mandatory tracking system which violates their rights.

             

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              Lord Binky, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 7:14am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              1) She goes to this school voluntarily, so it is no different then refusing a drivers licence.

              2) She's a kid, the school tracking her is their legal responsibility because they are responsible for her.

              3) What's the difference between a mandatory tracking system and required tracking system? Why does a mandatory tracking system violates rights but a required one does not?

               

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                The Real Michael, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 7:29am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                1) Clearly she doesn't seeing as they relocated her to another one. Other students opted out of the Smart ID system and were still allowed to attend, yet she opted out, citing religious reasons, and she's discriminated against. Further, our tax dollars are paying their salaries, so if they want to expel her or whatever, they should also deduct from her parent's taxes whatever % is appropriated towards that education system of bullies and crooks.

                2) The end doesn't necessarily justify the means. Just because someone else is responsible for the children's safety doesn't give them carte blanche to get away with anything.

                3) Beats me.

                 

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                  Lord Binky, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 9:52am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  She's at that specific school voluntarily. It's part of a program to put her in that school as opposed to the one she would go to if they went by where she lived. She wants to participate in a program to attend that specific school, then she needs to follow the rules of that specific school, she is not being deprived to going to school, just the schools she doesn't agree with their policy.

                  We don't even know if her parents tax dollars are going to that school because that's not the schools zone they're in.

                  The reason she's actually there is a separate issue where they try to bring in kids with good test scores to bring up the state average.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 12:46pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    The government can't require that you give up your constitutional rights to enjoy magnet schools (or whatever is so special about this school).

                     

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                Ben S (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 8:32am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                1) To protect both the driver as well as pedestrians and other drivers, people need to be fully trained in the use of a motor vehicle. A Driver's license is proof of having completed the training, and that you know and are capable of employing the methods needed to keep yourself and others safe. It does not emit a signal for law enforcement to track your whereabouts.

                2) The school is not responsible for tracking her. It is responsible for teaching her, and maintaining a safe environment through out the school.

                3) There isn't a difference just in the terminology. The problem is in what the tracking system is designed to do, the whole "big brother" aspect, where you are practically followed and stalked as you go through the school, as opposed to merely carrying a non-tracking license.

                In response to earlier criticisms regarding religious persecution (not yours), it isn't merely a claim if you are the only one of that religion who refused to use wear the tracker, and the only one who is suspended, while others not of your religion also refuse to wear it, and are not punished. It could be that it was some one randomly chosen, but the details aren't sufficient to determine if that's the case

                 

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                  Lord Binky, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 10:06am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  How is the school not responsible for tracking her? Maybe if it's a completely open campus. If she went missing during a school day, I can't see how the blame and responsibility would not fall on the school if it did not know what classes she did or did not attend that day or whether she was ever on the school campus or not.

                  The RFID doesn't track her everywhere, it's not like a GPS house arrest ankle bracelet. It is meant to track her while she is under the schools care, among the large amount of other students.

                   

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                    Ben S (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 10:39am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Actually, it does. It only works from distance measured in feet, so you have to have multiple detectors scattered through the school. You can tell where they are based on which detector is scanning them.

                    It's not responsible for tracking, because in order to do their jobs, they need only make sure the student is in class. Making sure they are in the building, but not in class, doesn't make sense, taking credit for the student being present in the school but "playing hooky" is the opposite of what it should be doing.

                    Want to verify the student is in the building? Give them a scannable badge, not RFID, then have them scan to enter, and to leave. Problem solved. This with out going overboard on monitoring that tells the exact location of each and every student, where they go, and at what time of day.

                     

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                    Ben S (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 10:47am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    In regards to the comment about knowing what classes she was in, that's a simple solution. Traditional roll call already does that. RFID does not add some sort of magic new functionality, and in fact, is easier to abuse. Want to appear in school, but not actually be there? Give your card to a friend to carry with them along with their own. Traditional roll call involves the teacher actually verifying with their own eyes the presence of the student. Even using cards that you swipe, it can be fooled. In the aforementioned friend helping you appear present, simply carry the badge with their own, scan both, then enter.

                     

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                Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 8:43am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Are you just being obtuse for laughs? The difference is operating a motor vehicle presents a danger to others. There's a clear public safety issue with allowing those who do not know how to operate them onto our streets. There is no such danger in allowing children to attend classes in school without RFID tags (which aren't even in the same ballpark as a drivers license anyway).

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 9:46am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  And you don't have to have the licence to actually operate the motor vehicle, just operate it legally. So the licence itself does not provide any magical driving ability.

                  And there's a clear issue with the kids safety without identification of who is intented to be there and who isn't. It's the same reason for badges in an office building.

                  So it must be the evil electrons that make this inhuman.Fine, get rid of the RFID tag and put a QR code on it. Is that still wrong to efficently keep track of kids, if so we should stop taking attendence at all.

                   

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                    Ben S (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 10:00am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    That would be fine. The problem with RFID is the degree to which it enables you to be tracked, such as seeing when you go to the bathroom, as well as other safety concerns regarding the personal data stored on those cards in an unencrypted format. Simply having an accurate means of verifying you went to class is not such a big deal. Stick a QR code that represents your student ID number on a card, scan it as you enter class, and they know you are there, they know if you're on time or tardy, and they don't see what you do, or where you go, when you aren't in your classroom.

                    Truth is, we don't really even need a change to the traditional system, roll call is effective for this, and takes only a minute or two. The whole thing is just a ploy for more money from the district.

                     

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                      Lord Binky, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 10:45am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      The same degree of tracking information can be gathered by the security cameras already in place, or simply teachers in a hallway with a watch and a notebook.

                      RFID is GREAT for safety though. Let us say, during a fire, or evacuation of any sort, instant access to who is and is not inside the building. Very important information. Is there a parent that would really say, I would have my child burn in a fire while trying to find out if they made it outside or where they could even be in the building, rather than them wear a badge that could instantly tell if they are in the building and what room they are in. This isn't the same as 'track everyone for safety!', it is different because the school has the responsibility over the child's safety. It's no different a legal responsibility than the hospital that is responsible for your safety and has to bring you out in a wheelchair regardless if you want to walk or not. If it was cost effective (some may already do this) a hospital would use an RFID chip in their ID bands that they print your info on, although I'm sure many already have employee's badges with RFID in it.

                      I would be surprised if they actually went through any more trouble than having RFID readers at the entrances/exits of the building. It isn't unreasonable if they had readers at each of the classroom doors. I agree if they track that a kid is in the bathroom it MIGHT be going too far (as the teacher should already be keeping track of that anyways right?), it DEFINITELY is going too far if they know what stall the kid is inside the bathroom. But that doesn't mean that the whole concept of using the RFID is wrong because it could be mis-applied. Knowing the difference is important, and that difference is something these kids should learn instead of being taught to fear all of it.

                       

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                        Ben S (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 11:29am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        If the building is on fire, just how are you going to be verifying if the user is out of the building? Generally, in the event of a fire, there's a specific plan people follow, and everyone gathers together into the same place to ensure that everyone is accounted for, and everyone made it out. Anyone not there is probably still in the building. Where is intense heat can damage the chip if the kid was caught in the fire, the sensors can also be damaged, making the RFID system unreliable at best, assuming you can even get to the system to make the check in the first place.

                        Here's another thought, what if the chip shows as active, and being in the school, because the owner gave it to a friend, who hid it in their bag, then left the bag in the school? Now you've got a false report of some one in the building who really isn't.

                         

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                        Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 12:29pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        I can GUARANTEE that there will be at least one badge in the school that is not physically on a student, giving the fire department a false report, causing them to risk their lives to attempt to save a student who is not in the building or at least not at that location in the building. And that's IF the system is still working during a FIRE which is presumably so out of control that the student cannot just find an exit.

                        And just to pour on some nightmare fuel, the school officials have also evacuated the building and do not have access to the computers which could tell them where the students currently are. UNLESS they took a laptop with them, are currently in a hotspot (no pun intended), and they can access this information from the Internet. But in order for this to work, it means you constantly have the real-time exact location of every student available from the Internet. Think about that.

                         

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            Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 8:42am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            She's arguing for religious persecution. That's certainly not the only avenue of argument against human RFID tagging legal or otherwise.

             

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 8:39am

        Re: Re:

        I'm not seeing how it's less violating to be forced to wear it on your person like a collar. It's a violation either way.

         

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      BentFranklin (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 6:07am

      Re:

      Um, read the first sentence again?

       

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      Jeff (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 6:34am

      Re:

      Where in the world did you get the idea there were implemented. They are on a card worn around the neck.

       

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      ldne, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 7:44am

      Re:

      Wally, the RFID chips are inside an ID tag worn on a lanyard. That's what they mean about the school offering to take the chip out if she'd wear the empty tag in support.

       

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    uh huh, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 5:41am

    safety?

    i wonder what it takes to get rid of an ID card?

    *takes card off shirt*

    wow not alot of security there.

     

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      Wally (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 5:52am

      Re:

      Unfortunately it's not a card...it's an implant that requires surgery to remove.

       

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      Wally (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 5:54am

      Re:

      You're toating security over putting something in your body.

       

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        Michael Whitetail, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 6:08am

        Re: Re:

        FTA:

        The school offered a special lanyard with the RFID tag removed, in the hopes to put a damper on the whole situation. The student’s father refused the deal, however, because it came with strings attached.


        Its not surgically implanted, its ID cards with RFID chips attached

         

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          The Real Michael, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 6:59am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Its not surgically implanted, its ID cards with RFID chips attached"

          That's true, just as it's true that people have the right to be suspicious of it.

          As someone else commented, this is an attempt at conditioning the youth, setting a precedent, so that later on in life they'll come to accept being monitored 24/7 by big brother.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 7:18am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Remember that the next time someone wants to take away your liberties. 1984 was a warning, not a guidebook.

             

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            Lord Binky, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 7:20am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Setting a precedent? Later in life they may work a facility that requires badged access, like many jobs require NOW.

            Why the fuss over big brother for doing what businesses already do? A business can fire you for how you act in public, while off the job. Where's the outcry there? Sheesh, little late to the game on that one.

             

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              The Real Michael, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 7:36am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Excuse me but we're not here to discuss the adult workforce but rather children in school, children who are susceptible to adult influences.

               

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    trish, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 5:42am

    hmph

    If this happened here where I;m from, students all over the province would walk out of class and demand that the program be terminated before they went back. America 'land of the free' puh

     

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      Wally (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 5:50am

      Re: hmph

      Don't let one US state's idiosyncratic tendancies determine the judgment of the entire nation. It's like judging Canada as a barren frozen wasteland because of Yelloknife.

       

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    DannyB (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 5:45am

    Think of the children!

    Since it is not completely unknown in history that teachers or faculty have abused children in private, maybe the teachers should wear RFID tags for every moment they are on school property.

    It only makes sense and is consistent with precedent. If it can rarely occur that a student is a danger to themself or others, and this is worth forcing RFID tags; and if an odd terrorist or two per decade can force us to endure the TSA, then why shouldn't faculty have to also wear RFID tags and undergo the same security screening as the students?

    Think of the children!

     

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    Michael Whitetail, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 6:04am

    Not so sure about this...

    I feel a little different about this as this is government funded, public schooling. What right to privacy do you have there, outside the existing exceptions of bathroom/locker rooms?

    Look at it this way, there are already laws compelling attendance which leads to activities such as manually taking attendance/row-call and signing in/out of school for a variety of reasons. All of which are aimed at keeping record of your attendance/whereabouts on campus. This program just takes visual ID cards and adds an automated attendance gathering function. The move saves time for staff which, *could* be given over to actual teaching. Is it really that much more evil just because its automated instead of manual?

    You don't hear outcries like this about corporations that require RF security badges just to walk in the companies door. Who track your every move through the building and time spent in each area in the name of efficiency....

    Also, as a neo-pagan who honors my tribal heritage (Seminole Indian), I take pride in my beliefs and I will defend, not only my rights to them, but yours as well, to the best of my ability. But I cannot take her claim of religious persecution here at face value. Her family claims that the ID is akin to "The Mark of the Beast" and forcing her to wear it is persecution, yet do they also consider Social Security numbers, IRS Tax IDs, Driver Licenses and all other state and Federal numbers alike? If not, then this feels like false pretense, and cannot be seriously considered as a reason to ignore the rules.

     

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      The Real Michael, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 6:21am

      Re: Not so sure about this...

      "Also, as a neo-pagan who honors my tribal heritage (Seminole Indian), I take pride in my beliefs and I will defend, not only my rights to them, but yours as well, to the best of my ability. But I cannot take her claim of religious persecution here at face value. Her family claims that the ID is akin to "The Mark of the Beast" and forcing her to wear it is persecution, yet do they also consider Social Security numbers, IRS Tax IDs, Driver Licenses and all other state and Federal numbers alike? If not, then this feels like false pretense, and cannot be seriously considered as a reason to ignore the rules."

      If the "rules" violate someone's Constitutional rights and religious views, the "rule" is at fault, not the individual.

      As for that other stuff, when was the last time that you were forced to wear your IRS Tax ID, Social Security number, etc.? Yeah, I thought so.

      I say good on that student and her parents. RFID is dehumanizing to the core and there's no excuse for treating students like cattle. The way the school district attempted to manipulate this student and then subsequently discriminate against her bespeaks a contempt for human rights.

      I would be very interested to know which company is lending their services to the government/school district. Perhaps ...IBM/Digital Angel? Wouldn't surprise me one bit.

       

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        Michael Whitetail, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 6:37am

        Re: Re: Not so sure about this...

        Do you consider attendance taking to violate the Constitution? If not, does automating the process become a violation? Is mandating IDs, even without RFID or magswipe technology, a violation? If so, how does that compare to Licenses/ID Papers which must be kept on your person?

        As for the "The Mark of the Beast" literal meaning:
        “He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Revelation 13:16-17

        However, many denominations have expanded the meaning to any authoritative number/ID/symbol that is required by law or decree.

        In the case of this child, how is the school ID, with or without RFID tech different from other state required IDs?

         

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          The Real Michael, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 6:50am

          Re: Re: Re: Not so sure about this...

          "Do you consider attendance taking to violate the Constitution? If not, does automating the process become a violation?"

          Where it violates a person's Constitutional rights and religious views, yes. There's no valid reason why the school cannot take attendance just as they always have, by having the teachers call out the names of the students for them to raise their hands. It takes about a minute.

          "Is mandating IDs, even without RFID or magswipe technology, a violation? If so, how does that compare to Licenses/ID Papers which must be kept on your person?"

          Ah, but alas, you're not forced to wear them on your body. You may keep them in your wallet or elsewhere. As well, stuff like your SS card, birth certificate papers, et al. do not require RFID technology (and shouldn't).

          "However, many denominations have expanded the meaning to any authoritative number/ID/symbol that is required by law or decree."

          Considering all the attempts by government to undermine people's rights, I'd say they couldn't be too careful with regards to that sort of thing.

          "In the case of this child, how is the school ID, with or without RFID tech different from other state required IDs?"

          Already answered.

           

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          Wally (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 7:15am

          Re: Re: Re: Not so sure about this...

          Cielings in most public schools are easily moved and modified. You can easily install an RFID reader in them. The school probably has them throughout the building which means students with tags are tracked whenever you got take a piss.

           

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            The Real Michael, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 7:38am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Not so sure about this...

            This guy is doing an awful lot of defending for this miniature 1984 surveillance system. It wouldn't surprise me if he were a teacher or something related doing damage control.

             

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            Lord Binky, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 10:50am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Not so sure about this...

            Because the school doesn't keep teachers posted in areas that they could track students already? There aren't already cameras recording this activity?

            This is just fear of technology, there's no new problems that arise with a badge and RFID.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 8:15pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not so sure about this...

              The critical difference is that the technology enables far more complete logging (ISTR from a piece by Cory Doctorow that it has been found unconstitutional for schools to track everyone by face recognition). Once data is collected, it almost always gets used for fishing expeditions, which go far beyond what is reasonable.

              It is like the difference between police being able to tap your phone and listen in and the Echelon programme, or between putting a tail on someone and data-mining CCTV recordings: the technical weakness of older systems provided a level of protection for the common man against those with the resources to throw at surveillance, simply because no-one could afford the kind of fishing expedition we see nowadays.

               

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      Agnostic, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 6:35am

      Re: Not so sure about this...

      Please Sir

      You are allowed to have your religion

      I am allowed to worship Harry Potter

      My "religious" beliefs that i am not allowed to wear brown shoes is as legitimate as yours and hers

       

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        Michael Whitetail, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 6:45am

        Re: Re: Not so sure about this...

        You miss my point completely.

        If they claim this ID program is the mark of the beast, then they must also claim that other required IDs are such. My question was, are they also suing for religious persecution over other mandated ID programs?

        If not, then I see they're claim of persecution somewhat lacking from a legal standpoint.

        Do not forget that Religious belief can be overridden by existing laws. An example would be requirement of providing medical care despite religious practices outlawing doctor/hospital care.

        I do not believe there are any exceptions for Religious beliefs in existing state/Federal ID laws.

         

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        Michael Whitetail, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 6:47am

        Re: Re: Not so sure about this...

        You miss my point completely.

        If they claim this ID program is the mark of the beast, then they must also claim that other required IDs are such. My question was, are they also suing for religious persecution over other mandated ID programs?

        If not, then I see they're claim of persecution somewhat lacking from a legal standpoint.

        Do not forget that Religious belief can be overridden by existing laws. An example would be requirement of providing medical care despite religious practices outlawing doctor/hospital care.

        I do not believe there are any exceptions for Religious beliefs in existing state/Federal ID laws.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 2:55pm

          Re: Re: Re: Not so sure about this...

          Ummm... I am not seeing how you got from Point A to Point B with this one. As for some of your other points? Laws can, SOMETIMES, run around religious practices, but now always. How about the Muslim woman in Florida who refused to remove her veil for her driver's ID? Just a single example. As for your 'requirement of providing medical care,' no one can be forced to have medical care unless they are already under someone else's care (ward of the state, for example).

           

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      Wally (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 6:58am

      Re: Not so sure about this...

      It is actually up to the states to determine public school funding, and local school districts to determine policy and cirriculum. The Feds only control how much funding each state gets for its education system.

      I should point out to you that some Christian debominations do not believe in vaccines. It has nothing to do with any stereotypical Christian beliefs that you mentioned involving "The Mark Of The Beast", this girl was punished for not wearing her tag for not just her rligious beliefs, but for her rights involving the 4th Anendment to The Constitution of the United States. Other students were doing the same thing and were not punished for it. Since the school she was at had no policy regarding punishment for not wearing the tag, it's pretty obvious it's religious persecution.


      You need to do some reading on modern Christianity. Not to convert, but to make yourself more informed so you can put away your silly "Mark of the beast" assumptions.

       

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      Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 7:13am

      Re: Not so sure about this...

      WhWhat right to privacy do you have there

      The same rights to privacy you have anywhere else - those declared in the Amendments to the Constitution.

      Is it really that much more evil just because its automated instead of manual?

      I don't see the RFID tags as evil. It makes a lot of sense. But the school's actions are reprehensible. Not allowing her to opt out of being tracked? Shady moves to limit her freedom of expression when she objected to the program? Expelling her, especially when they have no guidelines on tracking? Those cannot be supported.

      Do I think she and her family are religious nutjobs? It is a definite possibility. But the only way I know to insure I have the freedom to not believe in any god or gods is to allow religious nutjobs to believe what they want to believe.

       

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        Wally (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 7:20am

        Re: Re: Not so sure about this...

        I really hope that you get comment of the week for what you just said Josh in CharlotteNC.

         

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        btr1701 (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 7:58am

        Re: Re: Not so sure about this...

        > The same rights to privacy you have anywhere else -
        > those declared in the Amendments to the Constitution.

        The Constitution actually says nothing at all about privacy.

         

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          Wally (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 1:59pm

          Re: Re: Re: Not so sure about this...

          4th Amendment to the Constitution of The United States has to do a lot with it.

           

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            btr1701 (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 7:42pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Not so sure about this...

            > > The Constitution actually says nothing at all
            > > about privacy.

            > 4th Amendment to the Constitution of The
            > United States has to do a lot with it.

            Odd, then, that when the Supreme Court magically discovered the heretofore unknown right to privacy in the Constitution, they never mentioned the 4th Amendment as its source. They laid it all at the feet of the 14th Amendment and mysterious 'penumbras of freedom' that apparently only old men and women in black robes can detect.

             

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        Lord Binky, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 10:22am

        Re: Re: Not so sure about this...

        She doesn't get to opt out of being tracked, if they take attendence that's happening, much less the more intrusive security cameras they likely have everywhere.

        What she wants is to choose how she is being tracked and she gets that freedom. She is part of a voluntary program to attend that specific school. She no longer agrees with the program's requirements, so why should she continue to go to that school?

        If there are other kids that are able to opt out, I bet they live in the school's district and the school is required to allow them to attend, while she is brought in under agreements from a different district that must allow her to attend their school. So compared to the other kids she has actually has a choice between the two schools where she has more freedom of choice, but somehow because she doesn't like everything about one of her choices, they have to change for her... Doesn't sound conceited at all does it?

         

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          The Real Michael, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 12:57pm

          Re: Re: Re: Not so sure about this...

          Your entire post conveniently ignores the fact that she, and only she, was discriminated against for opting out of the program, due to religious views, whereas all other students who opted out for non-religious views weren't treated the same way.

           

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      ldne, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 7:50am

      Re: Not so sure about this...

      It's "roll-call", not "row-call", and the rest of your post is as lame as your spelling. If your job requires you to wear a tag all the time, you're an adult, you can tell them to stick it in their ear and find employment elsewhere, hide the tag in your desk, or any of a dozen other things regarding it and face little consequence or problems out of it. Kids are required by law to go to school and they and their parents face legal consequences if they don't go. The other Identification you speak of does nothing unless you choose to present it to someone, these stupid chips can be used to monitor your position in a room from 15 feet away while in your wallet with no input from you at all. That's a huge difference.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 12:14pm

      Re: Not so sure about this...

      "Her family claims that the ID is akin to "The Mark of the Beast" and forcing her to wear it is persecution, yet do they also consider Social Security numbers, IRS Tax IDs, Driver Licenses and all other state and Federal numbers alike? If not, then this feels like false pretense, and cannot be seriously considered as a reason to ignore the rules."

      Most people think the slippery slope is a fallacy. You seem to think that it's a requirement. At her age, how many of those things has she actually encountered at an age where she could do anything about them? And how many of those actually involve her having to wear them around her neck to facilitate government tracking?

      I would also point out that the district attempted to force her to stop disagreeing with the policy. There is no justification for THAT. Even if the school wins the religious argument, they cannot win the free speech one.

      "But I cannot take her claim of religious persecution here at face value."

      So what exactly is your theory on why she opposes this enough to go to court over it?

      "You don't hear outcries like this about corporations that require RF security badges just to walk in the companies door."

      Yes, I once worked for a company that had ID badges and even fingerprinting. But I was free to quit at any time. I assume people who oppose this sort of thing would not take such a job in the first place. You might say, "but this student was free to transfer to another school!" True, but those other schools do not offer the same classes. You might then say, "How is that different from me going to a different job that might not offer the same benefits?" It's different because the school district, which is a government body, has an obligation to provide equal opportunities for education, while a business does not have an obligation to provide anyone with a job.

       

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    BentFranklin (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 6:05am

    The article never explains the connection between the use of the ID tags and state funding.

     

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      BentFranklin (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 6:37am

      Re:

      What funding mechanism requires this tracking? It seems like there's a whole other, larger, story there.

       

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        Wally (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 9:33am

        Re: Re:

        The State of Texas funds their schools based on attendance rather than actual student populace. I see a ton of problems here where it could doch schools of funding for sick days. In Ohio, it's completely different. We take a percentage of the local property tax in a levy system.

        In all honesty it's probably a good idea to have an RFID system to count attendance. The problem lays in where and how you deploy such a system. At the entrances of the school, I see no problem. But the school mentioned in the article has the RFID reading equipment scattered throughout the building...including the bathrooms. Some people don't like to be tracked and as it's been proven in certain other cases involving student rights vs school policy, the schools have been proven unreliable in keeping the constitution in mind when it comes to making policy.

        That being said, the problem here is that Hernsndez's religious beliefs (not entirely religion alone) do not believe in the method they implemented. She got suspended based upon said beliefs.

        As for the tracking throughout the building, and as heavy handed as Texas laws regaurding truency are concerned, a tracking system like that should be completely unessecery.

        Outside of First and Fourth Amendment concerns, another major problem can occur. Districts and schools could easily skew the numbers based on attendance by having multiple tracking stations throughout the inside the building. It only needs to be implemented at the door.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 3:00pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Actually, in Ohio, attendance also determines Federal and state funding. The levy system only covers local taxes at the county (and local, for exempted schools) level.

           

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      Rikuo (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 6:44am

      Re:

      The schools get more funding if they can accurately prove high attendance rates. RFID tags have been determined to be the most accurate way of doing that, so there you go.

       

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        The Real Michael, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 7:13am

        Re: Re:

        Sure, they add nice perks in order to incentivize usage of the chips, because outside of 'mandatory' systems, most people would naturally refrain from it, leaving them with a supply of useless technology. Now they have a system, however small, to test the technology, unfortunately on society's most vulnerable: our youth. Nice going.

        As this story demonstrates, it's foolish to simply accept everything that happens. I find it curious that they attempted to silence the student into not talking. Just what do they have to hide?

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 8:03am

        Re: Re:

        The system will keep track of which tags are in the school, this is not necessarily the same as the number of children in the school, nor is it definite as to which children are in the school.

         

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      Some Other AC (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 6:55am

      Re:

      Have not read the article yet, but as a Texas resident with children in public schools(luckily one of the better districts), state funding for the districts is based in part on attendance numbers. My understanding is that this district is implementing the RFID chips in order to concretely prove their attendance numbers to obtain funding.

      From the Wired article:
      "Like most state-financed schools, their budgets are tied to average daily attendance. If a student is not in his seat during morning roll call, the district doesn’t receive daily funding for that pupil, because the school has no way of knowing for sure if the student is there."

      But with the RFID tracking, students not at their desk but tracked on campus are counted as being in school that day, and the district receives its daily allotment for that student.
      Texas has some pretty stiff laws in relation to school attendance overall. Parents can be fined/jailed for their children not attending school or for proof that they are participating in an approved Home Schooling program.

       

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        Wally (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 7:51am

        Re: Re:

        There are better ways than tracking people throughout a building to take attendance. You could use regular ID cards with magnetic strips...but no, this school not only uses RFID for attendance, but also to track your every move. I don't know about you, but if I had my children in a district like that, I wouldn't want people tracking them to which bathroom they use and when in the name of attendance.

         

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      Dee, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 8:24am

      Re:

      Yes, it did, but only in passing--to provide proof of attendance, which apparently leads to more funding.

       

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    OkVol (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 6:12am

    But why is the funding tied to attendence?

    Yes, school is mandated. Kids skip school anyway. But couldn't schools attract kids to stay better with more money to start with? The incentive that triggered this debacle is flawed to start with.

    What would you do for a million dollars?

     

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    Tom, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 6:15am

    Wait, what?

    Re: Wally. Implants? "student ID cards with embedded RFID chips" is not the same as implants.
    ——
    Portraying this as "tracking" is a little over the top; these aren't GPS transponders, they are RFID tags, that get scanned when you e.g. go through a door. It's likely they can tell who is at school and that's it. Want to have some fun? Get scanned on the way in, and put your ID in a shielded pouch before you go home. The system will think you didn't leave.

    As far as religious "mark of the beast" objections go, I hope the student doesn't own a cell phone, or ever plans on getting a debit or credit card.

     

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      ldne, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 7:57am

      Re: Wait, what?

      The chips work from as far as 15 feet away with the right gear and the school has transponders placed all over it as part of the program, they know exactly what room every kid is in from the time they enter school grounds. the only reason to do this is to be able to report attendance numbers at the start of school for state funding purposes, even if a kid is taking a leak or running down the hall late, they can report him as present. Debit and credit cards, at least most of them, require you to actually do something with them in order to be tracked by them and cellphones, unlike these tags, have an off switch.

       

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        Wally (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 8:16am

        Re: Re: Wait, what?

        But does that nake it right to suspend a student that will not wear an RFID tag based on his or her religious beliefs???! That's the core problem with it. If it's for school funding I understand, but not when a school violates the rights of a student. Texas would make a lot more money going off of Ohio's funding system.

         

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      Wally (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 8:10am

      Re: Wait, what?

      You missed the part of the article where it states that other students were doing this without being punnished and that the schools had no policy requiring punishment of students who wouldn't wear them. Hernandez stated that she would not wear the RFID tag as it viloates her religious beliefs and her 4th Amendment rights.

      She would have NO objection to magnetic strips on her. People will be able to track you throughout the building...this includes bathrooms. So the fact that other students. If you want to take accurate attendance try using a photo ID with a magnetic strip. Do not track students everywhere they go.

       

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      akp (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 10:30am

      Re: Wait, what?

      Yeah, I'd be buying my kids RFID blocking wallets if I lived there...

       

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    Paul, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 6:16am

    Safety is in the eyes of the beholder

    We must remember the context of "safety" depends of the talker's point of view. In this case, the talker's point of view is coming from State and Government. So when they say "safety" they're talking about the government's safety, not the people's safety.

    Revelations 13: 16-18, which warns of the Mark of the Beast:

    "[16] He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, [17] and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or[a] the name of the beast, or the number of his name. [18] Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666."

    Oppressive measures are always imposed on young people in schools first, so that when they grow-up into adults, these oppressive measures will seem common place to them in their adult lives. It's called "conditioning".

    RFID chips can also be used by pedophiles to track children's signals on their way home from school. RFID chips also stores a student's social security number inside the chip, which leaves them exposed to identity theft and fraud. So once again, this is about Government's "safety", not our security.

    I still remember from my youth, when I was in elementary school, the teachers rounding up all us kids and took us down to the Principal's office. Inside the office was a Police officer, with black ink pads on the table. Every single one of us lined up, and the Police officer pressed our tiny little fingers on the black ink pad and then onto a white sheet of paper. Finger printing every last one of us.

    I have no idea why I remember that day. I was very young, maybe 6 or 7 years old. At the time I didn't think anything of it. I was told it was for my protection, but somehow I think it had more to do with law enforcement's desire to have my identity in a finger print database, than it had to do with "my" personal protection.

    I wouldn't be surprised if hospitals take DNA samples from newborn babies at birth these days. Seems like it would be standard policy handed down to hospitals by the government without parental consent. Just remember who's "safety" they're really talking about.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 6:21am

      Re: Safety is in the eyes of the beholder

      "His number is 666"

      Hey! That's the combination I have on my luggage!

       

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      The Real Michael, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 6:27am

      Re: Safety is in the eyes of the beholder

      Brilliant post and, sadly, all so very true. This is all about empowering those in authority at the expense of everyone else's rights, all for the sake of almightly security.

      That's why whenever I see those commercials by companies like Cisco and IBM where they paint this gloriously intelligent world wherein everyonea and everything is being tracked a-la 1984, my stomach turns. These people have BAD intentions.

       

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      Deirdre (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 6:28pm

      Re: Safety is in the eyes of the beholder

      I always thought it rather creepy that a certain small town in Ohio I passed through put up road signs bragging about their participation in a child fingerprinting program. It was done to-- I don't know why it was done. Maybe to tell Mr. Stranger Danger to go down the road and leave these children to the family, friends and neighbors who are most likely to abuse children.

       

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    Colin, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 6:17am

    I'll say it: Texas is a hell of a place.

     

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    Jeff (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 6:44am

    These things are to record attendance at school only, I can't see where any rights have been violated. Does taking roll call violate any rights? What's the difference?
    I don't buy the mark of the beast crap, that's just fanaticism.

     

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      ldne, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 8:02am

      Re:

      The whole school is wired. Taking roll doesn't tell someone at a computer miles away that you're in the john. Taking roll doesn't tell that same person every single location of your itinerary for the school day either, including side trips or bathroom runs. Wise up.

       

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        The Real Michael, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 8:15am

        Re: Re:

        This is a strawman argument, that just because they cannot be monitored from miles away (supposedly) warrants use of the system.

        The Nazis used the IBM-created Hollerith machines to montior the Jews and others inside their concentration camps. So what's the difference between that tracking system and the school district's Smart ID system? Both are being used for the SAME purpose -- to track people.

        This is a social engineering project, period.

         

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          Wally, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 9:52am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Social Engineering still involves scientific method, but it also needs to account for ethics. Tell me, is it ethical to claim your taking attendance and then deploy the system into unessecery places? If it were a true social engineering project, they would account for the ethics involved.

           

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            The Real Michael, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 1:04pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            It is social engineering in that the students are the participants in a tracking system with sketchy oversight. Who knows what this system is being used for besides increasing school funding? What data do they collect and who gets access to it? You cannot answer as you do not really know.

            The very fact that the school district tried to manipulate her into silence really doesn't paint a trustworthy picture, especially where pertaining to supposed "security" matters (which I suspect is just a convenient scapegoat).

            Imagine if I tried to con you in order to guarantee your silence ...a violation of the First Amendment. You wouldn't like it very much, would you?

             

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 8:26am

        Re: Re:

        The chip only tells the system where the chip is, and need not be carried by the person in 'belongs' to. How long before dummy cards are made, so that the real on can be carried into and left in a room, and the student wander about with a dummy card on show. Also a student could carry someone else's card in a bag, creating a false record of where a student is and has been.
        I am sure that some of the more creative students will soon be defeating the system in various ways.

         

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          The Real Michael, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 8:36am

          Re: Re: Re:

          That's probably part of the reason for the Smart ID (guinea pig) system: allow people to exploit it so that those who implemented it can learn by trial and error. Who knows? Maybe they're even putting together a database on students, with special attention to those who find workarounds or shun the system.

           

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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 7:20am

    Bah

    It's not as though she couldn't "accidentally" destroy the RFID chip via 30 seconds in the microwave...

     

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    That One Guy (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 7:40am

    Lead by example

    If the teachers and administrators are going to try and convince students to wear cards that allow them to be tracked, then they should all be wearing them too.

    After all, if they are really that harmless, then the best way to convince the students of it is to wear the things themselves, starting with the top(the principle, or whoever is pushing to have the things implemented).

    If the higher ups objected to doing so, as I would very much expect, then shelve the program, as that would indicate that they themselves didn't think it was as harmless as they were presenting it as to the students.

     

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      The Real Michael, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 7:49am

      Re: Lead by example

      And while we're at it, let's do the same for all other Constitution-eroding, privacy violating stuff by other organizations. *hint hint* What's good for the goose...

       

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        That One Guy (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 8:56am

        Re: Re: Lead by example

        Indeed. I've noted before, and still believe, that if any program or law like this was used first against those that propose it, such things would pop up significantly less often, as for all their claims about stuff like this 'not being a big deal', they always seem to screech the loudest when it's them in the spotlight or being tracked.

         

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    btr1701 (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 7:48am

    Huh?

    > In response, the school district has suspended her
    > indefinitely, moving her to another high school
    > in the same district that has not yet implemented
    > the Smart ID policy.

    If they're suspending her, why do they need to move her to a different school?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 7:51am

    We have photo-ID in a lot of other countries and the stamp cards of certain factories with a stamp in and stamp out is not at all unheard of. If they want to let students unlock doors, a keycard with a bar code is a pretty good safety measure against thieves.

    The step from bar coded photo ID to full RFID is potentially huge though and it has potential for a lot of abuse depending on the exact implementation.

    Still, it is not the technology or even the card that is problematic in any way in this case: It is how it is used and the rules around it! That distinction seems to be lost in this discussion, while it is crucial for understanding the issue.

     

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    Andrew D. Todd, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 8:03am

    A Big and Troubled School.

    The most important thing about John Jay High School is that it has 2900 students. Ross Perot once made an unkind remark about Texas high schools, to the effect that they are deliberately made huge, in order to assemble a critical mass of boys big enough to play football at a college/professional level. At any rate, in a school that big, it is practically impossible for the teachers to know students by sight. Note that, despite having a magnet school on the premises, accounting for a quarter of the students, John Jay is only rated "academically acceptable" (ie . lowest passing grade, with about a 50%-75% graduation rate). It is a common practice to "embed" a magnet school in an otherwise failing school as a form of "protective coloration." I think we can assume that John Jay has ongoing and persistent discipline problems.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Jay_High_School_(San_Antonio)

     

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    Greg G (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 8:22am

    I graduated from John Jay back in 1984. I'm glad the technology wasn't around then or I'd be in the same situation as Andrea is. (I would have either microwaved the ID card, or left it at home, or left it in my locker.)

    John Jay are the Mustangs. You don't track Mustangs.

    Unfortunately, the NISD only sees $$$$$$, so to hell with student privacy. Almost makes me wish I still lived over by Jay. I just hope the Comal district I live in now does't try this crap.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 9:05am

    Everything old becomes new again

    When my daughter was in elementary school about 15 years ago, the school decided to implement and require an RFID tracking system like this one. This never got to the court level, as a substantial minority of the parents revolted and stated they'd just withdraw their children form the school if it were put in place.

    The school backed down.

     

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      The Real Michael, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 1:08pm

      Re: Everything old becomes new again

      Good on you, sir! *clap* We must defend our children from having their rights trampled on by this invasive tracking system.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 9:11am

    What's the difference?

    When I was at school in England we had a roll call in the morning and another in the afternoon, and teachers and prefects (bastards!)constantly checking to see that we were where we were supposed to be and not hiding out in the cloakroom or toilets or smoking in the bicycle shed.

    Is this not just a much more efficient way of doing that?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 9:54am

      Re: What's the difference?

      If I understand the issue correctly the problem is the laws about children attending school in Texas. They get more money if more children are at the school and thus the count cannot be made by teachers since they are employed by the schools and will see an advantage in overstating the numbers.

       

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    Hugh Mann (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 9:34am

    Privacy?

    I didn't realize students had a right to wander around school unsupervised. What do they expect to do when they get a job that requires access cards with their name and picture on it?

    As long as there's no expectation on anybody's part that the card is used at all after school hours or off school grounds, what's the issue?

    And it doesn't appear to me that it's just some sort of money grab by the school - part of their regular funding is based on students showing up. They want to make sure they are counting every last one that they can legitimately count. I'm not hearing anything that indicates to me it's some sort of a scam.

    While I can understand the logic of trying to get one vocal opponent to appear to switch camps, and how that might seem to be a good result if it meant fewer students overall were causing trouble over this, I disagree with using that tactic. Even though it might make tactical sense, I think it's strategically misguided.

    HM

     

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      The Real Michael, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 1:16pm

      Re: Privacy?

      "They want to make sure they are counting every last one that they can legitimately count."

      Blah, blah, blah. Employ the common touch much? *vomits*

      Yeah, that's the ticket. It's all about 'leaving no child behind,' right? Nothing at all to do with increasing funding while conditioning students into blind acceptance of an Orwellian state, to say nothing about religious discrimination by the school district.

      Carry on.

       

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        Hugh Mann (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 9:36pm

        Re: Re: Privacy?

        I didn't say it was about improving education or being compassionate to kids or any mamby-pamby stuff like that. But I don't see it as some sort of scam in that they're not fabricating kids in attendance who don't even exist or something like that. If there are 100 kids on campus, they want to make sure all 100 kids are accounted for. They're not using it to claim they've got 150 kids in attendance.

        As for "blind acceptance of an Orwellian state", do you get really good radio stations on that tinfoil hat of yours?

        HM

         

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        Hugh Mann (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 9:41pm

        Re: Re: Privacy?

        ... and I just plain reject the "religious freedom" crap. Those who are so fundamentalist that they look for "the beast" in everything should probably be home schooling their kids anyway in order to turn them into the next generation of fundamentalist wackos.

        In any case, I actually suspect the religious thing is more a position of convenience than one of conviction.

        HM

         

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          The Real Michael, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 7:26am

          Re: Re: Re: Privacy?

          First of all, is everyone who's religious automatically derided as a wacko in your eyes? If so, would you object if they forced the kids to wear IDs with the Nativity on it?

          Contrary to your argument, people DO have religious freedom and so, if the student/parents object to the RFID because they feel that it is evil, it's within their right to do so.

           

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            Hugh Mann (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 11:06pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Privacy?

            No, those who are merely religious are not automatically wacko in my eyes. But, fundamental, fire-and-brimstone, "mark of the beast" Christianity IS wacko. It just is.

            But, yes, even the wackos in our society have the right to be wackos, as long as their ridiculous beliefs are sincerely held and are not interfering with legitimate and reasonable societal functions.

            I don't see any significant difference between RFIDs and regular ol' hall passes and taking attendance each period. Both are ways of making sure the kids are where they are supposed to be and that their whereabouts are known. It's just that RFID is fancier and more accurate.

            Merely thinking something is evil is not a religious argument. I think Hitler was evil. What religion is that? I'm willing to bet they don't even REALLY know what the "mark of the beast" even is. They just know "it's bad, m'kay?" Or, as I suspect (admittedly with nothing but my gut and an inherent distrust of those who cling to extremist religions, as support), this is a very convenient excuse, not a sincerely-held religious belief.

            As someone else (perhaps several others) has already noted, does this family also refuse to use driver licenses and other forms of ID? Do they refuse to use keys for their house? Are motion detectors "the mark of the beast"? If a security guard notes their entry to a building, has their religious freedom been trampled by the observation?

            There are much more legitimate arguments on both sides of this issue. We shouldn't have to deal with someone who wants to shake their magic totems at the whole thing.

            HM

             

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              The Real Michael, Nov 29th, 2012 @ 6:18am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Privacy?

              "I don't see any significant difference between RFIDs and regular ol' hall passes and taking attendance each period. Both are ways of making sure the kids are where they are supposed to be and that their whereabouts are known. It's just that RFID is fancier and more accurate."

              That RFID is "more accurate" is certainly debatable.

              "Merely thinking something is evil is not a religious argument. I think Hitler was evil. What religion is that? I'm willing to bet they don't even REALLY know what the 'mark of the beast' even is. They just know 'it's bad, m'kay?' Or, as I suspect (admittedly with nothing but my gut and an inherent distrust of those who cling to extremist religions, as support), this is a very convenient excuse, not a sincerely-held religious belief."

              You're dodging the issue, that being that when other students opted out for various reasons, they were allowed to, yet when this one student opted out of the same program due to her religious convictions, she was discriminated against and told to go to another school. That is the core issue here. Regardless of what YOU personally think about religious people and their views, they have a right to believe as they do and that includes deciding whether or not something contradicts their faith.

              Like I asked you before, if the school district decided that the students had to wear an ID with the Nativity on it, would that be objectionable? What if some atheist students objected because it clashed with their (lack of) belief and were expelled from the school? You wouldn't have a problem with that?

              "As someone else (perhaps several others) has already noted, does this family also refuse to use driver licenses and other forms of ID? Do they refuse to use keys for their house? Are motion detectors 'the mark of the beast'? If a security guard notes their entry to a building, has their religious freedom been trampled by the observation?"

              This is a total strawman predicated on your assumption that these people view every technology as being inherently evil. They don't, they simply object to the RFID chips, as do I.

              Let me reverse the arument. Supposed this student objected to the RFID, not for religious concerns but for some other reason. Would her reasoning any more or less valid? The school district clearly sees a duality in the approach, hence why they attempted to boot her from campus. Religious intolerance includes discriminating against people due to their convictions. The school has no right imposing something upon her that she sees as immoral.

              "There are much more legitimate arguments on both sides of this issue. We shouldn't have to deal with someone who wants to shake their magic totems at the whole thing."

              If the school district forced students to wear a cross and atheists objected, then got expelled, you would be up in arms about how their rights were violated ...and you'd be right. But just because this girl chooses to believe in *one more God than you do*, you're acting no less discriminating as the school district in question.

              You lambast others for their faith in a higher power, all the while you yourself are willing to place yours in a government-imposed tracking system. Good little sheep. "BAAAH!"

               

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    identicon
    anon, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 9:37am

    Really

    Ok I get why they are stopping this and why the courts are against it, but on school grounds if the school tells every student to wear something like this surely it would help overall with school absenteeism and problems with leaving school during the day and not returning, also the safety of the students , especially if this is used on younger children.

    I honestly do not see the problem and wonder why there is such an outcry, yes remove the tags when they leave school at the end of day, but this is a great system to organise the school and to protect children.

    Imagine how amny lives this could have saved if there was an accident or fire or attack on the school by some idiot.

    Now i am not saying this should be used outside of school hours or even off school property.

    I suspect the outcry is just people wanting to prove that they can object and have the legal right to do so.

    What a shame as this really could help schools improve there performance in many areas.

     

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      The Real Michael, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 1:20pm

      Re: Really

      Why is it that whenever somebody wants to step on our rights, they ALWAYS cite "security" as the catch-all reason? How much more transparent can you get?

      Yes, of course, TRACKING everybody will make them secure!

      Sooo... what's your favorite book? 1984?

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 10:13am

    Wow, I didn't realize TD was full of so many pawns who were perfectly OK with the institutions they are forced to work with shoving even more invasive trackers and IDs up their bum because "WELL UR FORCED TO HAVE A DRIVERS LICENSE TO BE A PRODUCTIVE MEMBER OF SOCIETY SO THAT MAKES IT OKAY THEN".

    NO! That does NOT make it okay, this girl HAS to go to school and the idea that everyone needs to be tagged because they could always just live on the street and starve to death as a 'viable option' needs to STOP.

    If you think this, if you think that these institutions that a person has to interact with in order to live in our society is a 'voluntary transaction' and they are therefore entitled to do whatever they want to you, then you are an idiot and a tool. That goes for every person hurring and durring about how this kid has no rights and what little rights she had was checked out when she agreed to be the unwilling slave of a school that is clearly operating without scruples.

     

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    slick8086, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 10:16am

    I may be going against the grain here, but I can't see how having a student ID card with RFID chip amounts to constant surveillance.

    Am I subject to constant surveillance because I carry a cell phone with GPS, much less NFC/RFID?

    I also don't see the privacy concerns. They are not required to have it on when they are not on school property.

    How much privacy is a student entitled to in a public school?

    Obviously this school faculty handled this poorly, I don't dispute that, but I don't think the students arguments are valid either.

    US schools have a ton of problems already though and they should probably work on improving their ability effectively deliver education before streamlining administration anyway.

     

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    Rekrul, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 10:22am

    Don't worry, soon all driver's licenses will have RFID chips as well. Of course the next step after that is to build a network of tracking towers across the US, so that anyone carrying a license can be located at any time.

     

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      gblack, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 1:23pm

      Re:

      Except, of course, when they vote. That's the one time the power elite don't want to know who or where you are as long as you vote for them (however many times you can get away with).

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 11:44am

    Safety Issue

    Just a thought, but who had the bright idea to get kids to wear a cord round their necks, and who gets the blame when a kid is injured or worse by another kid grabbing said cord?

     

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    Braydan Wilson, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 12:30pm

    Stop wasting time and get to class

    The law requires that schools act as parents while students are under their care. The process of recording attendance is already performed every time a student is in a class, and the time wasted on collecting the data, confirming its accuracy could be spent actually teaching the content of the lesson. The who,e process is designed to "protect" the students by ensuring they are where their parents think they should be.
    What is the chance that if these parents discovered their kid was killed in a car smash while supposedly in the "compulsory" maths class they would choose to sue the school district for not providing a duty of care to monitor student whereabouts? Meanwhile administration like roll marking consumes valuable minutes and contributes to the dumbing down of content as management needs consume mor write and curriculum crowding requires broader topics fit into the same available time.
    The system sounds simple, uninvasive and efficient. Sure the school ballsed up the handling of "conscientious objectors", but complaints look like a mountain being made out of a molehill.
    The religious freedom argument is an absurd aside and can easily be solved by parents taking their child to the nearest madras or convent.

     

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      gblack, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 1:20pm

      Re: Stop wasting time and get to class

      Pitiful comment. You will make a good ward of the state someday. Shall we stitch a satellite card to your probably oversized rear while we're at it? You're supposed to be home sick when you call in sick to work. Would you like to be monitored and questioned about trips you made during the day when you return from a sick day? Spare us the "y'all kids get to yer studies" BS, pop. This is about an ever-encroaching government taking liberties with our freedom.

       

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        The Real Michael, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 1:26pm

        Re: Re: Stop wasting time and get to class

        100% agree with you.

        What is up with this blind acceptance of government-instituted Orwellian technology? Are people insane!? Maybe 'The Walking Dead' isn't so far-fetched after all.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 1:34pm

      Re: Stop wasting time and get to class

      "The system sounds simple, uninvasive and efficient."

      You think so? What about the part where they can track each time the student enters the bathroom? What about the case where one student simply carries another student's ID in their pocket so the system thinks they are present?

      And seriously, how much class time is taken by attendance? If you have assigned seats, this takes seconds. The teacher even could do it while asking students to pass their homework forward or something.

      "What is the chance that if these parents discovered their kid was killed in a car smash while supposedly in the "compulsory" maths class they would choose to sue the school district for not providing a duty of care to monitor student whereabouts?"

      If the teacher takes attendance and the student is not marked present, how exactly is the school responsible? And how does the ID help?

      But I bet the parents would have a greater chance of winning with a similar lawsuit filed when the student skips school after giving their ID to another student to pretend to be in class, and the teacher fails to notice because they no longer take physical attendance.

      "The religious freedom argument is an absurd aside and can easily be solved by parents taking their child to the nearest madras or convent."

      A suitable insult to your dismissal of religious practices and beliefs does not immideately spring to mind, but consider me to have made it. Reasonable accomodations can and must be made. In fact, the district WAS willing to make some accomodations, but only on condition of student and family giving up their free speech, which shows the district's position to be unsupportable.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 2:20pm

      Re: Stop wasting time and get to class

      "The system sounds simple, uninvasive and efficient."

      It is, if the objective is to track the rfid tags. Any relationship of the tags to specific pupils is assumed and not proven unless validated by a reliable identification of the person associated with the tag.

       

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    TheLoot (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 12:38pm

    More like Religious Privilege

    I refuse to support this girl and her family simply because they're making an issue of "religious freedom".

    The constitution should only protect your right to belong to your faith of choice, and to practice it in private, alone or with people who share that faith. It should not allow you to avoid doing something that everyone else is required to do in a public setting.

    The only thing that accomplishes is discriminating against people who don't need to believe in myth to go through their lives.

     

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      gblack, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 1:15pm

      Re: More like Religious Privilege

      You are a blithering idiot and a troll. This is a constitutional issue not a religious issue. They included religion in their complaint but that is not the core issue. I'm an atheist and view their religion as a mythology, also. You are missing the forest for the trees and disregarding the corrupt actions of an unethical administration seeking money and control at the expense of basic rights. You make atheists look bad with your blocked headed babbling.

       

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        TheLoot (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 2:23am

        Re: Re: More like Religious Privilege

        Thank you for starting with the insult and accusation of trolling; it makes it clear you have no good argument.

        This is indeed a constitutional issue, but you admit they made it about religion. This is why I couldn't care less about this family's specific situation. They've chosen a ridiculous argument because they know bias will be on their side in a Texas courtroom. If they had asserted a right to privacy and freedom as the reason, my opinion would be much different.

        YES, I AM SPECIFICALLY FOCUSING ON THE USE OF RELIGION AS AN EXCUSE.

        Also, don't assume I'm an atheist just because I despise religion. While I myself have found no reason to have a belief in a higher power, I have not ruled it's non-existence an absolute. I also have no beef with personal faith (personal being the key word), but religion's only purpose is to convert more sheep to the flock, and to gain enough power to force its beliefs on those who are not a part of it.

         

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          The Real Michael, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 7:35am

          Re: Re: Re: More like Religious Privilege

          "This is indeed a constitutional issue, but you admit they made it about religion. This is why I couldn't care less about this family's specific situation. They've chosen a ridiculous argument because they know bias will be on their side in a Texas courtroom. If they had asserted a right to privacy and freedom as the reason, my opinion would be much different."

          Bull. Everyone else who opted out was allowed to, yet this one student objected for religious reasons and is discriminated against by the school district. That's a clear-cut violation of her rights. If you disagree then tell me, if the students were forced to wear a cross but a few students objected due to religious differences, then those students were expelled and told to go to a different school, would you not consider that a violation of their rights?

          Yes or no?

           

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            TheLoot (profile), Nov 29th, 2012 @ 8:53pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: More like Religious Privilege

            "Bull. Everyone else who opted out was allowed to, yet this one student objected for religious reasons and is discriminated against by the school district"

            From the article: "According to Hernandez, many other students have refused to wear the ID cards, but none of them have been punished to the extent that she is, prompting claims of religious persecution."

            It's an uncorroborated accusation by the party suing the school. The article says that parents and students complained, but no mention of anyone else opting out, especially no mention of them staying at the school.

            " If you disagree then tell me, if the students were forced to wear a cross..."

            Nope, stop there. It's either a christian school, so they wouldn't even be there if they objected to it, or the school is already violating the First Amendment by promoting a religion (I know it specifies Congress, but it should apply to every level of government). RFID is in no way related to religion, so your analogy, like most, is stupid.

             

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              identicon
              The Real Michael, Nov 30th, 2012 @ 8:22am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: More like Religious Privilege

              "It's an uncorroborated accusation by the party suing the school. The article says that parents and students complained, but no mention of anyone else opting out, especially no mention of them staying at the school."

              They said, "...many other students refused to wear the ID cards, but none of them have been punished to the extent that she is..." This, in my view, demonstrates discrimination. If they take it to court, I guess we'll see.

              "Nope, stop there. It's either a christian school, so they wouldn't even be there if they objected to it, or the school is already violating the First Amendment by promoting a religion (I know it specifies Congress, but it should apply to every level of government). RFID is in no way related to religion, so your analogy, like most, is stupid."

              No, it isn't. You're just looking for a way around answering the question I posed, but anyone with common sense knows the answer anyway.

              As for RFID not being related to religion, for some people it violates their beliefs, as has been widely discussed over the past several decades, so to pretend otherwise is to feign ignorance. Besides the religious contention, there's also very serious privacy and human rights concerns over the technology, and with good reason. If it weren't such a big deal, nobody would be discussing it, simple as that.

               

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    identicon
    gblack, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 1:10pm

    Fire every single administrator invovled, today

    Every single administrator who participated in the persecution of this girl and her family should be fired. The district should compensate the family and the program should be outlawed.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 3:27pm

    "Protect the children"

    Time to use this one for good. How long do you think it will be before some techer or janitor uses this system to track someone they shouldn't be tracking. My understanding from postings elsewhere is that the system may even indicate when each student uses the bathroom. If that's not great for every pedophile out theere I don't know what is.

     

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      identicon
      The Real Michael, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 7:44am

      Re: "Protect the children"

      Yeah, they can pinpoint a specific student so that when he or she is by themself, the would-be predator can either go watch them in secret or try and do something. The smart ID system is like a dream come true for stalkers and pedophiles because an observer can detect a person's habits, where they tend to go and at what time, etc. VERY disturbing.

       

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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 4:58pm

    Blah blah blah blah blah.

    The school claims that this is about getting paid. They are so poor, they spent money to contract with AT&T to offer and maintain this system. Consider that.

    And as I said over on Boingboing when they covered this...



    To those who thought it was just when you arrived and left...
    "The ID badge has a bar code associated with a student’s Social Security number, and the RFID chip monitors pupils’ movements on campus, from when they arrive until when they leave."

    Yeah NO possible way for this to go poorly.

    "The district, in a letter last week to the family, said it would allow her to continue attending the magnet school with “the battery and chip removed.” But the girl’s father, Steve Hernandez, said the district told him that the offer came on the condition that he must “agree to stop criticizing the program and publicly support it,” a proposition the father told WND Education that he could not stomach."

    Our program is super important, but we'll carve out a secret exception for you if you shut up and tell everyone how wonderful this is.

    "But with the RFID tracking, students not at their desk but tracked on campus are counted as being in school that day, and the district receives its daily allotment for that student.
    “What we have found, they are there, they’re in the building and not in their chairs. They are in the cafeteria, with counselors, in stairwells or a variety of places, some legitimately and some not,” district spokesman Pascual Gonzalez said in a telephone interview. “If they are on campus, we can legally count them present.”"

    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/09/rfid-chip-student-monitoring

    So screw them if they aren't in the classroom, bleeding on a stairway... they were in the building pay us!

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 5:27pm

    RFID by the Numbers

    1.ID badges are not implants.(Read the article again.)
    2.You cannot be "tracked" by an RFID Badge except in a confined space such as your workplace or school.The max distance a passive RFID can be read is approx 70ft and has to be close to the reader that connects to the computer that contains specialized software.
    3.The data contained on an RFID is usually just a ID# that corresponds to your profile contained in a database at your work or school computers.
    4.Badges can be (and usually are when you leave work or school) removed or covered with tin foil or placed in a shielded wallet(Aluma Wallet).
    5.They are a cost effective and efficient way of tracking large groups of people or things at the same time.
    6.If you have a credit card you probably have one in your pocket.(Do you see anyone following you?)
    7.You and your car can be tracked 24/7 via your cell phone and freeway cameras and license Plate readers.
    8.When you are in public areas you are being watched via surveillance cameras.
    9.When Apple introduced the iphone5 people were upset that it did not contain NFC (RFID).
    10.The most popular Android phones contain NFC...people seem to want it.
    11.Walmart and other big retailers use RFID to control their inventory.When you take home your package it still contains an RFID Chip.
    12.Pedophiles Cannot track your children because they have an ID badge with a RFID chip.They can be tracked however by watching them or following the bus.
    13.RFID chips do not contain a camera or microphone.
    14.Bluetooth is like RFID...just different freq.
    15.Location of an ID badge is only reported to be near the closest reader.( if a child is in the restroom and the reader is in the hallway then the child is in the hallway)
    16.Thousands of companies, government building and schools worldwide use RFID.
    17.Mark of the beast! You just can't argue with religious nutcases.They're always right even when they're wrong and can sometimes be amusing.Mostly they're harmless with some exceptions.(George Bush and certain members of the republican party,for example)
    18.If you go out of your house you are in public areas.
    If you are in public areas you have zero expectations of privacy.RFID doesn't change that one way or the other,and you can be tracked and watched without RFID.
    19.I for one am for anything that keeps my child safe.This is only a tool and when used with other safety items such as cameras and diligent security personnel and teachers, is welcome as far as I'm concerned
    20.Bluetooth is like RFID...just different freq.
    21.I feel bad for the student for having such a stupid father but the school handled it badly too.They should just drop it and go back to the old way of tracking your kids.
    22. If you're a Tech and you don't know this stuff about RFID, I'm sure you're a fine person, but i'm glad I don't work with you. For all the others...Do a little research before posting and you may be taken a little more seriously.

    People are afraid of technology because they don't understand it.But with a little knowledge the fear can easily be replaced with frustration and confusion.

     

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      That Anonymous Coward (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 8:52pm

      Re: RFID by the Numbers

      2 - This can and will be hacked at some point.
      3 - School spokesman said tied to their SS#
      4 - In a country where instructions for irons include "Do NOT attempt to iron clothes while wearing them." common sense is dead. I see people with work IDs on all the time, because they forget they are there.
      9 -10 non of them are in charge of a group compelled by law to be there. People freely making the choice is different than spending tax money on a system to get funding.
      12 - you underestimate them. Someone will do it to prove a point, and quickly be arrested as a threat to children.
      19 - This does not keep children safe, this reports bodies (alive or dead) contained within the school so they can get paid for each kid.
      21 - He was offered a deactivated unit as long as he publicly embraced the program. If the program is so important why carve out a secret exemption to get another cheerleader.

      No one wants to talk about how much AT&T is being paid.
      No one wants to talk about the privacy concerns that have stalled this program in MULTIPLE states, and they still can offer no clear answers.
      No one wants to talk about just because you can, doesn't mean you should.
      No one wants to talk about how long data is retained in the system, how else it might be used beyond counting, the implications are actually staggering. Well we busted these students for drugs and the network says you were there. We have zero tolerance get out. Sounds silly, but these are schools... where they expelled a small child for a GI Joe sized rifle in his pocket... because they have zero tolerance about guns.

       

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 10:38pm

      Re: RFID by the Numbers

      Let me take a crack at those.

      1) True, some idiot posters forgot these were ID badges and not implants.

      2) True, and if someone invents a way to make the RFID trackable from significantly longer range it will probably be public knowledge.

      3) That would be the sane way to do things. In real life they probably actually use the SS number as the ID. Yes, schools are actually this stupid. The college I went to continued doing this even after they were ordered to stop.

      4) What, you expect people to actually wear a tin foil hat so they can stick their badge in it? And how do you even know if that is working?

      5) Not really if you're trying to track students with an interest in hacking the system. And leaving aside intent, there are so many students at a typical high school that even if each student forgets their ID only one time during the course of the entire 4 years they are there, that means that pretty much every day there are students without a badge.

      6) This is voluntary, and most high schoolers don't have credit cards.

      7) I object to license plate readers that read every plate that goes by just becuase you can. Cell phones can be turned off.

      8) Maybe and maybe not. Not everyone lives in a large urban area, and if you REALLY want to you can cover your face in public.

      9) 10) So what?

      11) Most people won't have to carry around that packaging farther than their house, and they have a choice as to where they shop.

      12) Probably mostly true. A devious enough mind might be able to find some use for the things - for example, if they gain access to the main database or if certain information is on the chip, with the RFID scanner they could call any child by name even if they've never seen them before. I can't imagine that happening very often.

      13) Well, that's good. I mean, THAT would be BLATANTLY illegal. I assume they also do not contain asbestos, lead-based paint, swine flu, self-replicating nanobots, or trans-fat.

      15) So I guess this depends on exactly how the readers are placed.

      16) That's nice, but there's a difference between "uses RFID" and "involuntary tracking of students".

      17) I know it's popular to bash religion, but they have a religious belief and a right to believe in and practice their religion. The school must make a reasonable accomodation.

      18) This is not entirely true. Your expectation of privacy is greater than zero. It would be illegal, for example, for someone to go around secretly recording everything you say. Also, at some point, unwanted manual tracking of an individual becomes stalking.

      19) ANYTHING that keeps your child safe? Did you buy your child a bulletproof backpack, just in case? So you're the target audience for those politicians that do things "for the children". Anyway, this isn't for safety, it's for funding. if a student is going to go smoke in a secluded part of the school, they aren't going to be wearing their ID while they do that. Heck, if a student leaves in the middle of the day, they have the choice of leaving their ID with someone else or just taking it with them knowing they can't be tracked beyond the school gates. You think someone is monitoring the RFID of each student 24/7? And on many days, some of the students are SUPPOSED to be outside at any given time due to PE, which would make a alarm system difficult.

      20) You said that already as 14. And so what? I've never heard of a school mandating Bluetooth.

       

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      identicon
      The Real Michael, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 8:34am

      Re: RFID by the Numbers

      All of your points are invalid based on the simple fact that we're talking about human beings, not products or cattle. Having an RFID chip won't magically make them any safer. It's a conditioning process so that later in life they'll come to accept being monitored 24/7 by big brother government in the name of security, the same justification used for every other privacy-eroding measure.

      In fact they've already tried to push for RFID implants, such as in hospitals, but they cause tumors due to radiation. The Humane Society implants RFID chips in all of their animals and, apparently, there's been a effort to sweep under the rug just how much harm and death RFID implants have caused. For example, some RFID chips would work through an animal's body and get inside their vertebrae, causing death. Also interesting is that Myth Busters was going to do a show awhile back exposing RFID but were prevented from airing it due to pressure by backs/credit card companies, of all things, which gives new meaning to the saying: "follow the money."

       

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    identicon
    VMax, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 7:29pm

    This is odd

    A TD article that I actually have experience in. My day job is tracking inventory using passive RFID. My evening job is writing software for school attendance/discipline. Most schools have an (monetary) incentive to show improvement on attendance. Schools get more money by showing an improvement in attendance. While all of you get bent out of shape about RFID, we track kids by fingerprint. I spent a month explaining how the fingerprint works (it's a localized, partial thing, and I still don't like it). we have an option for RF as well, low frequency range about 3 inches for teachers and "good" students. So am I a bad guy?

     

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    identicon
    E, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 10:26pm

    Whats more disturbing is that there is even a Gov't program that incentivizes any state agency to so monitor citizens thru appealing to dept heads greed and moral decay.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 10:19am

    Big Brother society. Terrible.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2012 @ 12:35am

    How about we all just tattoo a number on the inside of our forearms and be required to wear an indicator on our shirts?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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