A high school student claiming her school’s electronic monitoring policy violated her religious beliefs has been shut down by a federal court.Andrea Hernandez was suspended from John Jay High School after she refused to comply with the school’s requirement that she wear a badge equipped with an electronic monitoring tag.
The teen objected to the ID tag on religious grounds, claiming it constitutes the “mark of the beast.” But the school told NBC’s The Daily Nightly the monitoring tags could come in handy during an emergency because they make it easier to locate students.
And Western District Of Texas Judge Orlando Garcia agreed.
“In today’s climate, one would be hard pressed to argue that the safety and security of the children and educators in our public school system is not a compelling governmental interest,” Garcia wrote, according to MySA.com. “One could envision many different methods of ensuring safety and security in schools, and the requirement that high school students carry a uniform ID badge issued for those attending classes on campus is clearly one of the least restrictive means available.”
However, Andrea’s father Steven Hernandez told The Daily Nightly in October the school was forcing his daughter to wear “the mark of the beast” so it could rake in revenues.
“My daughter should not have to compromise (her) religion just because Northside Independent School District wants to get paid,” he told The Daily Nightly.
The district claimed it loses about $1.7 million per year because of underreported attendance.
“The revenues that are generated by locating kids who are not in their chairs to answer ‘present,’ but are in the building – in the counselor’s office, in the cafeteria, in the hallway, in the gym – if we can show they were, in fact, in school, then we can count them present,” Northside spokesman Pascual Gonzalez told The Daily Nightly.
That mark of the beast is the 666 sign often associated with the devil.
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