Skeptic News: US school tag tracker project prompts religious row

From: BBC News

A court challenge has delayed plans to expel a Texan student for refusing to wear a radio tag that tracked her movements.

Religious reasons led Andrea Hernandez to stop wearing the tag that revealed where she was on her school campus. The tags were introduced to track students and help tighten control of school funding. A Texan court has granted a restraining order filed by a civil rights group pending a hearing on use of the tags.

ID badges containing radio tags started to be introduced at the start of the 2012 school year to schools run by San Antonio’s Northside Independent School District (NISD). The tracking tags gave NISD a better idea of the numbers of students attending classes each day – the daily average of which dictates how much cash it gets from state coffers.

Ms Hernandez refused to wear the tag because it conflicted with her religious beliefs, according to court papers. Wearing such a bar-coded tag can be seen as a mark of the beast as described in Revelation 13 in the Bible, Ms Hernandez’s father told Wired magazine in an interview.

Hernandez is supported by the American civil liberties group the Rutherford Institute who are defending her right not to wear the tag based upon her sincere religious beliefs.

All of which seems to indicate the right protest but for the wrong reasons: not protesting this on the grounds it’s unethical and an invasion of privacy by the state but because of a belief in a centuries old text seems odd. But perhaps it is the best way to combat such things.

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