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Parents Upset Over Lunchtime Palm Scanner

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Question: Would you be ok with a palm scanner in your child's lunchroom?




I am not sure

Only group members can vote in this poll.

Total Votes: 60

View Results

Parents Upset Over Lunchtime Palm Scanner

$300,000 system leads to privacy concerns.

Parents of students at Carroll County schools in Baltimore, Md., say a new policy that scans kids' palms to pay for their lunches goes too far.

Photo: Barbara Haddock Taylor/Baltimore Sun/MCT via Getty ImagesWith 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.

Bing: Read more about the story.

Photo: Barbara Haddock Taylor/Baltimore Sun/MCT via Getty Images



by on Oct. 7, 2012 at 9:09 PM
Replies (41-50):
by Gina on Oct. 8, 2012 at 10:06 AM

I voted no because I think the money could be better spent elsewhere.

I agree with the person who said give them and ID with a barcode on it to deal with it.

Our school is small, so we just have a woman with a clipboard who checks off which kids have lunch and which have only milk.

by Bronze Member on Oct. 8, 2012 at 10:09 AM
There are ALWAYS other things that need the money. Unless EVERY child with SN in that district has SUPER quality education, they should be spending the money on that. And what about the Gifted kids? Gym, music, art, field trips? Tutoring?
How about laptops for the classrooms? There's always something else they could be spending the money on.

Quoting katzmeow726:

Call me a tech geek, but I think it's kind of cool!  And as a kid, I would have absolutely loved it, being the nerd that I was lol

Besides, DH actually used a similar type thing to clock in at his old job.  I AM in a bit of sticker shock over the price tag of it though...but if the school could afford it, and there were no other financial needs that needed the funds more, then I guess I can't begrudge them the scanner.

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by Lois Lane on Oct. 8, 2012 at 10:11 AM

It's not so much the fact that they wanted to do this as the fact that they did it without parental input first. You don't do something like this without asking parents first if they agree with it. A few years ago, we had a local school district that wanted to do something similar using fingerprints. Because there was such an uproar, it didn't go through. Schools need to understand that while they are custodians and supervisors of our children during the school day, that doesn't mean they have ultimate rights on what sort of things are done to our children.

by Lois Lane on Oct. 8, 2012 at 10:12 AM

Also, our school uses key codes similar to what is used at an ATM machine. Each kid gets one, and it stays with them all through school. They punch it into a little keypad at the checkout line. It works fine, and it doesn't hold up the line any more than a kid stopping to scan their hand print does.

by Silver Member on Oct. 8, 2012 at 10:26 AM
A waste of money.
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by Platinum Member on Oct. 8, 2012 at 10:37 AM
Or to find if they eat their veggies LOL
I don't see anything wrong with this system, except the price. 300 000$ is way too much

Quoting Woodbabe:

If God created each and every one of us, how can the fingerprints/palmprints he gave each of us be 'the mark of the beast'? 

I'd be more inclined to accept that theory if it they were micro-chipping the kids in order to be scanned to eat lunch.

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by Angie on Oct. 8, 2012 at 11:34 AM

A blatant invasion of privacy is what I call it.  And just where else is your child's unique palm print going to wind up?  Why can't people see this for what it is. 

by on Oct. 8, 2012 at 1:21 PM

There's a financial factor, and a breach of religion factor that I can see.

by Platinum Member on Oct. 8, 2012 at 1:41 PM

 I do not have an issue with the use of the scanners.

I DO have an issue with the ammount of money being spent on the scanners.  It seems wasteful.  Which od course many of the schools and government offices are.

by Ruby Member on Oct. 8, 2012 at 1:45 PM
With regards to the price tag, if you follow the link and read other stories, they say the program pays for itself with the accurate accounting. Schools absorb millions of dollars in unpaid lunch fees.

My son's school did a fingerprint scan. I have no problems with this.
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