Parents Upset Over Lunchtime Palm Scanner
$300,000 system leads to privacy concerns.
Parents of students at Carroll County schools in Baltimore say a new policy that scans kids’ palms to pay for their lunches goes too far.
With the PalmSecure system, students hover their hands over an infrared scanner that ID’s them by the unique patterns in their skin and registers a sale, according to a report from the Daily Herald.
The Herald talked to Mike Richmond, who has two children at a Westminster elementary school. He said the scanning started before parents were given the chance to opt out.
"I didn’t appreciate how they handled it. I’m concerned about it. I know it’s the way of the future, but it’s fingerprinting, it’s palm-printing."
The district said the goal is to decrease the time it takes to pay for lunches since the children have a limited amount of time to eat their meals.
The controversial system is operating in three Carroll County elementary schools with plans to expand to the whole district within a year. It’s also used in many other schools around the country where there have also been concerns about invasion of privacy as well as the cost of the system. Once implemented, PalmSecure will run the Carroll County district about $300,000.
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Photo: Barbara Haddock Taylor/Baltimore Sun/MCT via Getty Images
I think it's a great way to keep track of lunch charges. No ID tags to loose, no misunderstanding a childs name in a noisy lunchroom...
For three years now we have been getting robo calls from the school trying to collect for lunches our child did not buy!
Their system: "We try to remember the childs name or ask". Both highly unreliable.
We even showed proof that our daughter was absent one day she was charged. Made no difference, they still try to collect.
I'm sure the system is used for more than just lunch charges. Like attendance, knowing where the child is at all times, etc. Ever tried to pick up your child from school and they can't find her? Not a good feeling!
The district says it's to decrease the time for children to pay for lunches and that children have a limited time to eat?
Don't all schools have a "limited" time for students to eat?
Geee back in my day, we bought "lunch tickets" as we walked in the cafeteria, then grabbed out milk out of the rack then grabbed our tray and down the line we went. We TOOK what they DISHED out to us.. and we ATE it. THAT was lunch and it was regulated.
the problem is, Kids have TOO many choices for lunch at school. Maybe if parents fed their kids the way they're sposed to at HOME, ie, breakfast AND supper, it wouldn't be up to the shool districts AND the taxpayers to make sure they have ALL the "choices" they feel like eating THAT day.
Sell em a damn ticket and GIVE em their lunch. If they're hungry enough, they'll eat it. WE DID.
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