Student in court regarding refusal to wear “mark of the beast” ID badge

An update to this story from November about a student who refuses to wear an ID badge.

Student Appeals Suspension for Refusing to Wear RFID Tracker | Wired.com.

A Texas high school student on Friday asked a federal appeals court to overturn a lower court’s order upholding her school suspension for refusing to wear around her neck an RFID-chip student ID she claims is the “Mark of the Beast.”

The Northside Independent School District in San Antonio began issuing the RFID-laden student-body cards when the semester began in the fall. The ID badge has a bar code associated with a student’s Social Security number. The chip monitors pupils’ movements on campus, from when they arrive until when they leave.

U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia’s ruling gave the girl and her family until Jan. 18 to decide whether to go to a different school or comport. She appealed Friday, arguing that adorning herself with the ID card, even one without an RFID chip, amounted to discriminating against her “sincerely held beliefs.”

When we first covered this story, it did sound concerning but not for the reasons given. Well, the idea of the chip being satanic or a false god is absurd. What does she think about TV and paying taxes? Anyway, the real point is that schools wish to track locations of students. They will claim it’s for their own good but this sort of tracking can be abused. Her real concern should be about privacy. To make it about religious belief is nonsense and detracts from a serious discussion about the use of this technology in schools.

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  8 comments for “Student in court regarding refusal to wear “mark of the beast” ID badge

  1. spookyparadigm
    January 13, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    A detail both the conservative and the tech & other press did not make much attention about, was that prior to the lawsuit, the school offered a compromise, that she could remove the chip but had to wear the badge. Her father also considered this satanic, so here we are. It’s right there in the linked article. But then that doesn’t fit the various narratives people wish to have about this “story.”

    • January 13, 2013 at 2:02 PM

      Yes. I noticed that. The whole family seems dysfunctional and so should probably just stop participating in American culture. It seems a bit too much for them to bear.

      • spookyparadigm
        January 13, 2013 at 2:36 PM

        I guess my argument is that on this one, it became a darling of Wired and Boing Boing etc. because it fit into their twin narratives as well (geeking on tech, legitimate but sometimes knee-jerk concern about privacy and rights). When in reality, the RFID element probably helped trigger the response, but it is not the real story. As for your comment re: taxes, well, see the growing incidences of run-ins with the Sovereign Citizen movement (a militia leader just got jailed in Alaska after taking Sovereign Citizen ideology farther and attracting the attention of the FBI).

    • January 13, 2013 at 7:10 PM

      Tracking whereabouts aside, Good luck to her ever getting a non-menial job. It’s been a long time since I last worked at or went to any company that did not require the display of a photo-id badge. Unless, of course, she and her family really don’t believe what they say they believe.

  2. Bobbi Snow
    January 13, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    But you see… we can’t have it both ways! The Evangelicals take the Mark of the Beast very seriously, and always have. One of the rallies against Social Security was not the word “social” – it was about assigning a Number to a person. I remember my great-granddad talking about this when I was a little girl in the late 1940s. He was also against “secret society memberships.” The last straw of his lucrative career came when in 1953 he had to join the Union or quit, so he stood by his faith and quit. Let me tell you… he was VERY grateful, then, for his Social Security!

    I agree that being “tracked” by an RFID chip or wearing an ID badge can be disconcerting; it takes away anonymity. Many of our policies are two-edged swords. Some argue that if a policy saves even just one life, it’s worth enacting in the long-run. There are two sides to that belief – one by those who benefit from it, and the other by those who get hacked and harmed.

  3. January 13, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    Makes me wonder if she has an iPhone, or Android phone? Both of which have been tracking users for years, gleaning mountains of data for demographic/marketing purposes, but still.

    I guess we just need to put “the cool” back into RFID, then people will line up around the block to get them. Maybe Lady Gaga could wear an RFID dress, or something? ;-)

  4. One Eyed Jack
    January 14, 2013 at 3:36 AM

    Why are these people always from Texas?

  5. John Doe
    January 14, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    And isn’t the mark of the beast “666”? How’s that supposed to be the same thing as a frekin’ ID chip??!

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