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Big Brother is Coming to School.


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Hi! No I haven't heard about the drills. Please tell me!

I completely agree with Mr. Kallestad's statement."The excuse behind the fingerprint scanners has something to do with reimbursement for government subsidized meals. It sounds like a good idea to somebody entirely unconcerned with technology abuse - kids tend to forget pin numbers and would probably lose RFID tags. They never forget their hands. Technology like this would make sure the school is reimbursed for all of the meals they should be reimbursed for.

But then again... what about the system that we used when I was a kid? Paper punch cards. It worked back then. It's working in plenty of other schools. And... if you lose a puncher, it's like 4 bucks to replace. If a puncher breaks down somehow and won't put a hole in anybody's punch card, it's like 4 bucks to replace.

What is the potential for abuse? What could somebody do with a fingerprint, anyways? Initially, nothing. In fact, it'll probably take a few years for the concerns of people like me to die down enough for a principal to do something really stupid. Take for instance this scenario: There's a bomb threat at an elementary school. The call came from a payphone at the school. The tech savvy principal realizes he can get a print off of the phone and compare it to his database. He grabs the print, runs it through the database and suspends the kid who he found. All jimdandy right? Wrong. First - identification by fingerprint is nowhere near as accurate as you were raised to believe. Second, only kids having subsidized meals would be in the database (rich kid? no problem. poor kid? suspension). Third, parents unwittingly allowed government authorities to collect forensic evidence on their child under false pretenses.

The moral of the story is this: Stand up for your kids. Don't give up their privacy before they have a chance to protect it themselves. Don't simply accept that technology is a better solution where no problem exists."

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