Two school districts in the Houston area have reportedly had success using the technology already, and have seen increased funding for improved attendance.
The lawsuit, brought by Hernandez through her father, had sought an injunction that would permit the high schooler to attend John Jay without having to wear a badge.
School district officials had offered a compromise that would have allowed Andrea Hernandez to stay at John Jay, the Express-News notes. Under the compromise, Hernandez would wear a special badge with the microchip removed.
She and her family rejected the proposed arrangement.
“Today’s court ruling affirms NISD’s position that we did make reasonable accommodation” to Andrea’s religious concerns, the district said in a statement, according to the Express-News. “The family now has the choice to accept the accommodation and stay at the magnet program, or return to her home campus.”
Hernandez has about a month to make a decision.
While the Hernandez family reportedly has not spoken about the adverse ruling, Andrea previously told the Express-News that an appeal would be forthcoming if the district court ruled against her.
Officials with the Rutherford Institute, a Charlottesville, Va.-based civil liberties organization that has provided legal support for the Hernandez family, have indicated that an appeal is in the works.
“By declaring Andrea Hernandez’s objections to be a secular choice and not grounded in her religious beliefs, the district court is placing itself as an arbiter of what is and is not religious,” said John W. Whitehead, the institute’s president, according to the Express-News. “This is simply not permissible.”
Northside Independent School District — the fourth largest in Texas — comprises more than 100 schools over 97,000 students. It could eventually use the ID tracking system program at all of its campuses.
The principal at the high school had threatened Hernandez with expulsion before she and her father filed the lawsuit.