I can understand that when you join certain organizations or you attend a public school you operate with a relaxed enforcement of your basic rights under the Constitution. For example, children in public school have no need to brandish a firearm in accordance with the Second Amendment or a military person may not exercise their right to freedom of speech at a rally whilst in uniform. They are small limitations that we have come to accept because of their intent of protection. But what happens when these protections cross over into egregious violations under the guise of security? That question is currently being examined in San Antonio, Texas of all places in John Jay High School in the North side Independent School district.
I suppose in a twisted way this makes sense as you would expect to find these watershed cases in major metropolitan areas and S.A. is the second largest city in Texas after Houston and the seventh largest city in the United States overall. Which means what? It means a large urban population that largely is made up of more liberal meaning people. What do they have to do with this? Well, look at the largest sections of blue in the country, they tend to have higher crime rates, lower median income, and a higher rate of some kind of government subsidy. Government subsidies usually, but not always, come with strings. If you can get people to accept the strings you can work them like puppets. Once they are used to that, boom rights go out the window. But back to the case.
So this high school instituted a RFID ID badge policy that all students must have and wear around their necks at all times. A student has refused, repeatedly and is now being expelled from the school. The student has claimed the policy violates her religious beliefs and unduly infringes on her privacy. The badge includes the photo and name of each student, a barcode tied to the student’s social security number, as well as an RFID chip which pinpoints the exact location of the individual student, including after hours and when the student leaves campus.
Clearly this is going a bit too far. The chip program is designed to cut down on both truancy and tardiness but at what cost. The student is now under what amounts to constant surveillance. This is a clear violation of the fourth amendment which pretty much guarantees a right of privacy and a violation of the first amendment as well.
The school has offered to remove the RFID chip and the battery from the ID, but only if the student stops criticizing the scheme publicly and comes out in public support and endorse the program or she could be expelled. This smells pretty much like the extortion of a minor by the school district and a gross violation of her rights.
But I suppose the school district and by extension the state, who offer this free public education we all pay for, will dictate how it will be administered and how many rights they will violate to do it, or she can just get her free education somewhere else. Benjamin Franklin wrote, Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. When someone says they want to watch you for your own good, you should worry. This is not a case dealing with the security of minors, it is a test of just how far a big faceless government can infringe on your rights. In this case we’re only wandering closer to totalitarianism.