The Rutherford Institute has come to the defense of a San Antonio high school student who was told that she must wear a name badge containing a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chip as part of her school district’s new “Student Locator Project.” So small that they are barely detectable to the human eye, RFID tags produce a radio signal by which the wearer’s precise movements can be constantly monitored, raising serious privacy concerns. For Andrea Hernandez, a sophomore at Jay High School, the badges also pose a significant religious freedom concern. In coming to Andrea’s defense, constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead is demanding that school officials accommodate students’ requests to opt out of the surveillance program.
“Once looked to as the starting place for imparting principles of freedom and democracy to future generations, America’s classrooms are becoming little more than breeding grounds for compliant citizens—and these RFID surveillance programs are just the tip of the iceberg,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute. “Forcing a student to express support for a program she finds repugnant is just as unconstitutional as prohibiting a student from voicing her frustration with that program.”