It starts with our kids and then they’ll demand everyone has one in order to buy and sell just like it says in the Revelation. This is just a precursor to the Mark of the Beast.
A Texas school district has gone live with a controversial program requiring all students to wear a locator radio chip that will enable officials to track their every move – or face expulsion. During registration they were required to obtain new badges containing a radio frequency identification tracker chip. Students refusing the chips were threatened with suspension, fines, or being involuntary transferred. On October 1, the schools went live with a program to use the chips to track the exact locations of students using the badges. The badges would even be able to tell if a student in a classroom is in his seat or somewhere else in the room.
The district’s stated reason is to help obtain funding from the state by documenting the number of students who attend the school. The district spokesman Pasqual Gonzalez said the two schools have a high rate of truancy, and the district could gain $2 million in state funding by improving attendance. However, a counselor at the school told Steve Hernandez, a parent whose daughter Andrea is a sophomore at John Jay, that the district currently does not have any single person assigned to monitor the location of students or track the data. “That destroys the argument that the purpose to track students for attendance purposes,” Hernandez said. “How are they supposed to safeguard privacy concerns if no one is responsible for its administration?”
The website ChipFreeSchools.com states “Children should never be used as test subjects for technology, no matter what their socio-economic status. If schools choose to move forward without complete information and are willing to accept the associated liability, they should have provisions in place to adhere to the principles of fair information practices and respect individuals’ rights to opt out based on their conscientious and religious objections,” the statement said.
Andrea Hernandez has refused to wear the new badge citing religious and privacy concerns. She said that since the policy went into effect several students have engaged in civil disobedience by leaving their badges at home. However, Hernandez has been wearing her old badge to school in an attempt to have some form of ID. Hernandez has already faced consequences for her refusal to take the chip. “About two weeks ago when I went to cast my vote for homecoming king and queen I had a teacher tell me I would not be allowed to vote because I did not have the proper voter ID,” she explained. “I had my old student ID card which they originally told us would be good for the entire four years we were in school. He said I needed the new ID with the chip in order to vote.”
Andrea Hernandez said that since she has begun taking the stand she has been surprised by how many students agree with her. “On Monday a group of students came up to me in the lunch room asking me about the chips after they saw me appear on television,” she said. “I got the majority to understand there were legitimate reasons for not wearing the badge. Many of them thanked me, saying they were uncomfortable with wearing them, but were unsure how to explain why they should not have to wear them.”
Heather Fazio, executive director of Texans for Accountable Government, said the district has not been willing to take steps to listen to parent’s concerns over the chips. “The school board refuses to put it on the agenda or hold a forum where the matter can be debated publicly,” Fazio said. “Parents are allowed to speak to the board on any item not on the agenda, but the board is under no obligation to respond to what is being said. When we mentioned our concerns to them, they looked at us with indifference.”
Highlighting the dangers the chips pose to student privacy issues even while off campus, Fazio said she was able to get list containing the names and addresses of all of the students in the district by filing a Freedom of Information Request. “After paying a $30 fee with the FOIA request I was able to get every student’s name and address,” Fazio explained. “Using this information along with an RFID reader means a predator could use this information to determine if the student is at home and then track them wherever they go. These chips are always broadcasting so anyone with a reader can track them anywhere.”
Andrea says while the school has not yet taken any retaliatory action, she is concerned that there will come a time when they will decide to retaliate. “It is just a matter of time before they write me up and expel me. This would put a big black mark on my record if this were to happen, but I don’t feel I should be punished for standing up for my religious rights and privacy issues.” She said, “In order to get into the Science and Engineering Academy I had to have good grades, great attendance, and be in pre-AP [advanced placement] classes. I had to fill out an application and write an essay about why I would be a good student. Now they want to take the education that I have worked so hard for away from me because I refuse to wear a tracker.”
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