Lawsuit targets ‘locator’ chips in Texas student IDs

A Texas student is suing the Northside Independent School District over its SmartID student-tracking technology.

To 15-year-old Andrea Hernandez, the tracking microchip embedded in her student ID card is a “mark of the beast,” sacrilege to her Christian faith—not to mention how it pinpoints her location, even in the school bathroom.

But to her budget-reeling San Antonio school district, those chips carry a potential $1.7 million in classroom funds.

Starting this fall, the fourth-largest school district in Texas is experimenting with “locator” chips in student ID badges on two of its campuses, allowing administrators to track the whereabouts of 4,200 students with GPS-like precision. Hernandez’s refusal to participate isn’t a twist on teenage rebellion, but it has launched a debate over privacy and religion that has forged a rare like-mindedness between typically opposing groups.…Read More

Watch: Texas school ID tracking chips protested by parents and students

Student IDs in a few Texas schools now have tracking chips that will allow teachers and staff to know where students are at all times, the Huffington Post reports. Northside Independent School District in San Antonio has handed out “smart” IDs to its students, citing student safety as a reason for this development:

“Northside ISD is harnessing the power of radio frequency identification technology (RFID) to make schools safer, know where our students are while at school, increase revenues, and provide a general purpose “smart” ID card. Parents entrust us with their children and expect that we always know where their children are; this technology will help us do that.”

The “Student Locator Project,” as it is called, is being piloted at two Northside ISD schools, Jay High School and Jones Middle School, which have a combined enrollment of 4,200 students. When the district announced the proposal in the spring, officials estimated that the move could bring in much-needed revenue, as higher attendance figures could lead to more state funding in the neighborhood of $1.7 million…Read More

RFID locator chips embedded in school uniforms keep track of students in Brazil

Grade-school students in a northeastern Brazilian city are using uniforms embedded with locator chips that help alert parents if they’re cutting classes, the city’s education secretary said Thursday, according to the Associated Press. Twenty thousand students in 25 of Vitoria da Conquista’s 213 public schools started using T-shirts with chips earlier this week, secretary Coriolano Moraes said by telephone. By 2013, all of the city’s 43,000 public school students, aged 4 to 14, will be using the chip-embedded T-shirts, he added. Radio frequency chips in “intelligent uniforms” let a computer know when children enter school and it sends a text message to their cell phones. Parents are also alerted if kids don’t show up 20 minutes after classes begin with the following message: “Your child has still not arrived at school.”

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