Key Coverage

When Roll Calls Go High-Tech

John Jay Science and Engineering Academy started making students carry “smart ID” badges implanted with microchips this fall to ensure they are counted as present, since some state funding is tied to student attendance. But Andrea Hernandez, a 15-year old sophomore at the magnet school for exceptional students, filed a federal-court petition on Nov. 30 seeking to be excluded from the program.

She argues that as an evangelical Christian, she can’t wear the badge because it is a sign of submission to a secular ruling authority, a form of idolatry she says is prohibited in the Bible’s New Testament.