A federal judge in Texas has issued a ruling that a student’s religious objections to wearing a badge from a school ID program that utilizes radio chips to identify students and faculty and monitor their movements are secular, and therefore, not a concern to the school or court.
“Plaintiff’s objection to wearing the Smart ID badge without a chip is clearly a secular choice, rather than a religious choice,” wrote U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia in a case brought by the Rutherford Institute on behalf of student Andrea Hernandez, who has been attending John Jay High School in the Northside Independent School District in San Antonio.
“The accommodation offered by the district … removes plaintiffs religious objection from legal scrutiny all together.”
The court record shows that the Hernandez family “felt the chip in the badge was ‘the mark of the beast’ and had a religious objection to the ‘tracking’ of his daughter. Mr. Hernandez also believed that the card prohibited his daughters’ ‘rights’ as a student,” the judge wrote.
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Student Suspended for Refusing to Wear RFID Tracker Loses Lawsuit
A Texas high school student who claimed her student identification was the “Mark of the Beast” because it was implanted with a radio-frequency identification chip has lost her federal court bid Tuesday challenging her suspension for refusing to wear the card around her neck.
Sophomore Andrea Hernandez was notified in November by the Northside Independent School District in San Antonio that she won’t be able to continue attending John Jay High School unless she wears the badge around her neck. The district said the girl, who objects largely on religious grounds, would have to attend another high school that does not employ the RFID tags.
She sued, a judge tentatively halted the suspension, but changed course Tuesday after concluding that the 15-year-old’s right of religion was not breached. That’s because the district eventually agreed to accommodate the girl and allow her to remove the RFID chip while still demanding that she wear the identification like the other students.
The Hernandez family claims the badge and its chip signifies Satan, or the “Mark of the Beast” warning in Revelations 13:16-18. The girl refused the district’s offer, sued, and was represented by the Rutherford Institute.
Read Judge’s Ruling Here:
Tagging school children with RFID chips is uncommon, but not new. A federally funded preschool in Richmond, California, began embedding RFID chips in students’ clothing in 2010.
It’s An Easily-Tracked World After All. Disney Parks Are Getting RFID-Enabled ‘MagicBands.’
Hitachi Develops World’s Smallest RFID Chip
The Japanese giant Hitachi has developed the world’s smallest and thinnest Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chip.
Measuring only 0.15 x 0.15 millimeters in size and 7.5 micrometers thick, the wireless chip is a smaller version of the previous record holder – Hitachi’s 0.4 x 0.4 mm “Micro-Chip”.
The company used semiconductor miniaturization and electron beam technology to write data on the chip substrates to achieve this decrease in size.