A Defeat for Microchip Tracking System in Texas School District

fingerprintWall Street Journal reports that a Texas school district, Northside Independent School District, in San Antonio, will drop the microchip tracking attendance program.  That program was unsuccessfully challenged by a student, Ms. Andrea Hernandez, who asserted that it violated her religious beliefs.

The students at some schools in this district were required to carry ID badges containing microchips in order to have their attendance be tracked and counted. This policy by Northside Independent School District was instituted to secure state funding, as the funding is tied to student attendance.  Ms. Hernandez filed the claim against the microchip ID badge requirement, claiming that since carrying the badge was a form of submission to a secular authority, and since this was forbidden as a form of idolatry under her evangelical Christian beliefs, it conflicted with her religious beliefs. For her refusal of compliance with the program she was expelled from her school.

Ms. Hernandez’s claim was rejected by a San Antonio federal judge, and the appellate court upheld the ruling. However, the main reason this policy was dropped is not because of the lawsuit, but because, according to the district officials, the costs of the program were not justified sufficiently by the increase in the attendance.

While it may be a disappointment to some civil rights advocates that the reason for the dropping of the policy was the cost, and not the legal and constitutional one, it nevertheless should provide some comfort.

For more on this, please read at http://on.wsj.com/17j0ofk.




Yevgeny Ioffe

Yevgeny Ioffe

Yevgeny Ioffe, or as people call him, Yev, has been working in both the startup world and established companies. His career spans from joining Xplana Learning as it launched to Cengage Learning to MBS Direct when it acquired Xplana in 2009. Yevgeny brings to EdTech Times his passion for start-ups and technology, along with his interest in the ever evolving world of edtech. Yevgeny obtained his BSc and MA from Brandeis University and MBA from Boston College.