Parents defeat school’s attempt to implement infrared palm scanners

December 5, 2013

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Mikael Thalen Mikael Thalen

Mikael is the lead features writer at Storyleak.com. His articles have been featured on sites such as the Drudge Report, Infowars and Natural News.

PUYALLUP, Wash. – Parents from Washington state’s Puyallup School District successfully ended the  implementation of palm-scanners this week after attempts to push the system  without parental approval backfired.

palmsideAccording to the district, the devices, which use infrared technology to map  vein patterns in students’ palms, would cut back on fraud by linking students  pre-paid lunch account information to their biometric data.

“Efficiency is another reason for implementing this. The accuracy of the  scanner reduces human error, reduces fraud, the ability for students to share  numbers allows parents to know the money that they’re spending is being spent on  their child’s lunch,” said Puyallup School District spokesperson Brian Fox to Kiro 7.

Parents were shocked to receive notification letters only a few weeks before  the intended mass roll-out, even after two schools already began using the  system. The 71 scanners purchased by the district for all 32 schools totaled  $38,695.

“To hear those words vein recognition program… it’s very invasive to me,”  said parent Christina Allen.

Other parents compared the program to the new controversial Apple iPhone 5S,  which links a user’s fingerprint information to unlocking the phone and  purchasing apps.

“It’s concerning,” Jeanna Snyder told the News Tribune. “If we put that information out there — it’s  data. It’s somewhere.”

Shortly after parent’s expressed their concerns, Puyallup School District  officials apologized during a Monday night school board meeting, announcing the  end of the program.

“We failed at communication significantly on this,” said board president Chris Ihrig. “We got an ‘F’ on this  one.”

While the system may be inherently harmless, the attempted implementation  joins countless other surveillance technologies appearing in classrooms across  the country.

Just last September, a group of New York engineers announced the development  of a “biometric classroom.” According to developers at SensorStar  Labs, cameras that track students’ eye movements, conversations and smiles will  help teachers improve classroom learning.

Just last year, a high school student in Texas was suspended for refusing an  RFID-enabled ID badge that tracked students movements during  school. The student was later banned from school functions for carrying her old  ID card.

The victory in Washington state represents a glimmer of hope in the continued  fight against the federal governments attempt to shift the public school system  towards a technological surveillance prison.

Authored by Mikael Thalen – Storyleak

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