ACLU Says Special Badges for Bad Students Violates Privacy Rights

A child in a dunce cap

The ACLU is fighting back against a new policy at an Arizona high school that requires students with low grades to wear a special red badge.

A new policy at Mingus Union High School in Cottonwood, Arizona, requires students with low grades to wear a red badge on their student ID card. The card is worn around their neck for security purposes.

One student profiled in a local news report said that she has a red badge due to an illness that pulls her out of school frequently for doctor visits. Her absence has led to a slip in her grades. Now, the student has to wear the red badge on her ID card.

The ACLU says that the red badge is a violation of student privacy that leads to bullying. More specifically, the civil rights group says that it violates FERPA, an act that requires schools to keep student’s academic records private.

Students told a local Arizona news affiliate that the red badge policy makes them feel humiliated. Additionally, they said that it makes them feel isolated from their classmates. As a result, the ACLU has decided to characterize the badge as the “scarlet badge,” an obvious tie to the famous 1850 novel, The Scarlett Letter, which is about a society that forces a young woman to wear a red “A” which stands for “adulteress.” The novel explores how society uses the letter punishment to shame the young woman.

“Upperclassmen who are missing any credit, whatsoever, any credit, are immediately slapped with a red card,” one student said. “I said I like to study history. And a kid immediately chimed in saying ‘You like to study, then why do you have a red card? That must mean you’re stupid or something.”

The ACLU sent the school a letter demanding that they abolish the red badge policy. Stay tuned to Breitbart News for updates on this story.


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