Northside Independent School District in San Antonio has come up with a rather unusual way to keep track of its students on campus – by making them wear RFID tags. When a sophomore student named Andrea Hernandez, attending John Jay High School, refused to wear the tag, and the school district had threatened to expel her. With the intervention of a local court, the expulsion has been temporarily cancelled.
The school recently launched a project called ‘Student Locator Project’ which aims to keep track of the students on its campus. Naturally, that offended the sensibilities of many, since it essentially infringed on the privacy rights of the individual students. The project was criticized by the likes of EFF, ACLU and other organizations. Based on such objections, Hernandez refused to wear the RFID tag.
The school initially threatened to expel Hernandez over refusal to wear the tag, but Hernandez has been able to secure a temporary restraining order against this from a local Texas court. The restraining order is applicable until a hearing on the issues concludes by next week.
It has been revealed that the school’s primary motive in implementing such a draconian monitoring project is monetary. By implementing the locator project and proving the attendance of the students during the study hours, the school will be able to make as much as $1.7 million each year. In light of the growing scrutiny, the school authority offered to grant an exception for Hernandez by removing the RFID tag and battery from her SmartID if the family drop the campaign against the project.
Courtesy: The Verge