Strange, 1984-esque tidings are coming from Texas, where a school district has threatened to expel a student due to her refusal to wear an RFID tracking “spy chip,” a move that is eerily reminiscent of “big brother” and his policies of total social control.
The Northside Independent School District in San Antonio implemented the “Student Locator Project,” mandating its students to wear tracking badges in an attempt to increase federal funding by counting the students on the grounds and so demonstrating the attendance that will bring in the funds.
Claiming that these badges are the biblical “mark of the beast,” a token of allegiance to the anti-Christ that condemns the bearers to Hell, 15-year-old student Andrea Hernandez objected to wearing it on grounds of religious freedom, and took the matter to court. She now faces expulsion from school if a federal court does not rule in her favor.
WND Education reports:
“Both Andrea and her father, Steven Hernandez, testified they believed the electronic system was sign of the Antichrist described in the New Testament book of Revelation.”
We at Via Meadia suspect that the reign of the anti-Christ will not begin in a Texas high school, but a school requiring students to carry trackable e-chips, even only on campus seems a little over the top. We can dimly recall from our own school days that teachers used to perform a little morning ritual called “taking attendance.” We are not quite clear on why spending a lot of money on fancy electronic IDs works any better than the old method. And knowing students and the way that Murphy’s Law goes into overdrive on a high school campus, we don’t think this fancy high tech system will have a long half life.
A cynic might note that it would be much easier for crooked administrators to fake high attendance with a centrally controlled system. The more attendance you claim, the more money you get. Fiddle the computer and you can get some nice high student numbers without having to get a lot of teachers to lie for you on their attendance sheets: much easier, and much less chance of exposure. Also, if the computer registers their attendance on campus, the students don’t have to show up in class to be counted as ‘present.’ Nobody is learning anything, but the money still rolls in.
In any case, requiring students to wear e-chips at school doesn’t feel like the anti-Christ at work, but this kind of intrusive, meddling officiousness looks like the mark of a different beast: the nanny state gone rogue. We hope the judges slap it down.