Lawyers for the student, Andrea Hernandez (15), said they will appeal the judge's decision to not grant their client a permanent injunction so she could attend John Jay High School's magnet school for science and engineering without having to wear the badge.
"Now the case is going to be going up to the Appeal's Court, and to be honest with you I thought that's where it was headed anyways. It's tough to win these cases in the lower courts; the higher you get, the better chance you have of actually winning a first amendment case based on the First Amendment Religious Exercise Clause," said John Whitehead, Hernandez' lawyer with the Rutherford Institute.
Northside ISD initially offered Hernandez the chance to wear her ID badge without a locater chip in it when she first decided to take the district to court.
"Today's court ruling affirms Northside's position that we made reasonable accommodations to the student by offering to remove the RFID chip from the student's smart ID badge," said Pascual Gonzalez, spokesman for NISD.
Hernandez has repeatedly refused to take the school's offer on the grounds that it would still appear as if she was participating in the program, therefore allowing the school to make her wear the "mark of the beast," which is foretold as a mark of the Antichrist in the Bible's Book of Revelation.
"The family now has the choice to accept the accommodation and stay at the magnet program, or return to her home campus," said Gonzalez.
Hernandez' lawyers are satisfied that in the meantime the judge's decision at least allows her to stay in the magnet program.
"One good thing out of this decision is that she can stay in school for the rest of the year," said Whitehead. "She just has to give written notice before the end of the school year what she's going to do, and what decision she's going to make about the chip."
By: Marissa A. Wagner
Tuesday, January 8, 2013