The San Antonio school district has recently passed a requirement that all students at John Jay High School and Anson Jones Middle School are required to carry identification cards embedded with a microchip. They are tracked by the dozens of electronic readers installed in the schools’ ceiling panels. The program eventually could be used at all of Northside’s 112 campuses, officials have said. The district is the fourth largest in Texas with more than 97,000 students. Students will be required to carry this new ID badge at all times or they will not be allowed to attend school. This new program sets disturbing trend in the rights of the state and government to invade the privacy of individual citizens. It is concerning that this invasion of privacy will threaten rights of all people as the government continues to grow in power and strips away the rights of individual citizens.
While the right to privacy isn't directly mentioned in the Constitution, the US Supreme Court has held that it is a fundamental liberty deserving protection because privacy is implied in the First, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments (Due Process Clause). In order to determine whether the government has valid cause to interfere in people's lives, the Court must apply two tests: the "rational basis test" and a "strict scrutiny test". While this new requirement may pass the rational basis test due to government interests, it should not pass the strict scrutiny test as other less invasive options are available to achieve the same measures.
1) The "rational basis test" is to determine whether the legislation is related to a legitimate government interest. Because the school is seeking additional funding through government sources based on attendance, this new law may pass the "rational basis" test allowing it to infringe on the rights of others for the benefit of a legitimate government interest.
2) If the law passes the rational basis test, the Court next applies "strict scrutiny" to determine whether there is a compelling state interest that justifies violating the groups' or individuals' fundamental rights, and whether the law is applied as narrowly as possible to infringe those rights as little possible. Because there are many other options to monitor the attendance of school students (including old fashioned attendance taking at the start of each class), this requirement would have little chance of passing the "strict scrutiny" test as it would prove to be an unnecessary infringement on individual rights since it's mission could easily be accomplished through other less intrusive measures.
I would ask each and every person to sign this petition and to prohibit Texas being allowed to authoritatively strip away individual rights that were designed to be protected by Constitution and Bill of Rights. If we don't take a stand now, it may be too late by the time YOUR rights are gone also.