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Showdown in San Antonio

Protesters Rally Around Student Who Refuses to Wear Tracking Beacon

Andrea Hernandez found an outpouring of support when she and her father Steve showed up for the Northside Independent School District (NISD) Board meeting August 28th.  The San Antonio area High School honor student has refused to wear a school mandated RFID tracking beacon around her neck because doing so conflicts with her religious beliefs.


Andrea Hernandez shares why she and other students at Jay High School refuse to wear RFID tracking beacons around their necks.

Her father and mother support her decision, but have been on edge ever since Andrea took her stand, worrying the school will try to expel her or punish her.

Click here to learn more about Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and why leading privacy and civil liberties organizations have joined with us to oppose the use of the technology in schools.

Members of CASPIAN, We Are Change San Antonio, We Are Change Texas Hill Country, and other concerned citizens rallied around Andrea in a pre-meeting protest outside the NISD school administration building in San Antonio, Texas. After the protest over two dozen supporters packed the board meeting room, and several addressed the school board.

Protest

The NISD Board heard nearly an hour of testimony from Andrea, Andrea's father, and other citizens who shared the downsides of RFID tracking technology. Speakers expressed heightened concern about student safety since the microchip devices chosen by the district actively beam a unique identification number up to 70 feet, which could put students at risk from stalkers and pedophiles. The devices are always "on," even when students leave campus.

Steve talks to the board
Andrea's father, Steven Hernandez, addresses the school board

Andrea and her father are hoping and praying the NISD board took their concerns seriously and will respect her right to attend school "spychip free." While this is a very difficult time for the teen and her family, the good news is that the ACLU of Texas has stepped in to help them assert their rights.

Northside ISD's Jay High School and Jones Middle School began requiring students to wear Student ID badges equipped with RFID tracking chips when school started August 27. The district said it decided to trial the technology to boost revenues lost due to absences.

Reaction to the school mandate was swift and drew protesters from as far away as Austin and Dallas on the first day of school.

The Hernandez family is standing firm, and so are we. Many thanks to everyone who has worked both near and far to decry RFID tracking schemes that threaten the privacy and civil liberties of all of us, including our nation's kids.

Special thanks to We Are Change San Antonio, We Are Change Texas Hill Country, and CASPIAN's new Membership & Protest Coordinator Katie Deolloz for coordinating these events and helping send a strong message to NISD and any other school districts contemplating an RFID tracking agenda.

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