Students fight college ID tracking badges

11:54 AM, Aug 29, 2012   |    comments
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SAN ANTONIO, Tex. (NBC) - Students and parents are rallying against new ID badges that track student movement on the campuses of two San Antonio, Texas schools.

Father Steven Hernandez does not agree with the district's new pilot program called Radio Frequency Identification System, or RFID.

The new identification tags are designed to help the district improve safety by locating students at any time, while on campus, at John Jay High School and Anson Jones Middle School.

RFID tags are also supposed to help with attendance by counting students more accurately as the enter the building.

District spokesman Pasqual Gonzalez says the two campuses have a high rate of truancy and tardiness, and the district could gain $2 million in state funding by improving attendance at the schools.

According to Gonzalez the system will not be fully implemented until the end of September.

Hernandez considers the new ID tags a spy chip.

Katie Deolloz agrees.

She lives in Dallas and felt it was important to join the protest effort.

Deolloz is a member of CASPIAN, or Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering.

The group is joined by national radio host, Dr. Katherine Albrecht, co-authored a book opposing RFID.

She is lending her support to Hernandez.

"NISD is a school district and not a government," he said.

His daughter has decided to wear her old photo ID even though students were told the new micro-chip ID is mandatory.

"It makes me uncomfortable. It's an invasion of my privacy," said Andrea Hernandez.

The sophomore at John Jay High School thinks other teenagers will be rebellious against the new rule and stuff the badges in a locker or hand them to a friend to leave campus.

She doesn't think the monitoring device will stop students from skipping classes.

She believes the tracking system isn't necessary since the district has surveillance cameras and police officers on duty.

The teenager is also worried about who else might track students since the RFID tags continue sending a signal even when students leave school.

"With a smart phone you can use the option to use your locator but this I can't turn it off," Hernandez said.

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