Florida School District Holds Off on Finger Scans

SANFORD, Fla. – After parents complained about the use of fingerprint scanners to speed up cafeteria lunch lines, two Seminole County schools have indefinitely delayed installation of the scanners.

Parents complained that the use of the finger scanners would violate their children’s privacy and make them susceptible to identity theft.

Ideally, the fingerprint scanners would prevent students from holding up the lunch line when punching in a personal identification number used to help students retrieve their lunch money account. District officials insist that the fingerprint scanner does not store the complete print. Instead, it alters the appearance of the print into a sequence of points, as if someone were looking at the Big Dipper. Those points are then saved, and every time a students swipes his/her finger, the print is then matched.

After the school board voted on the new policy, a letter was to be sent out to parents explaining it. This would provide parents the opportunity to choose whether or not they wanted their child to participate. However, a letter informing parents of the decision was not sent out.

Scanners are already in use at Pine Crest Elementary, and officials said lunch lines are easier to manage with the new system. But critics of the scanner are worried about how the digital records of the fingerprints will be used – or in some cases, abused.

Eventually, the district would like to use the scanners to record classroom attendance to monitor who enters the football field and who enters a bus.

Parents will be able to voice their concerns at the Nov. 20 school board meeting.

If you appreciated this article and want to receive more valuable industry content like this, click here to sign up for our FREE digital newsletters!

Leading in Turbulent Times: Effective Campus Public Safety Leadership for the 21st Century

This new webcast will discuss how campus public safety leaders can effectively incorporate Clery Act, Title IX, customer service, “helicopter” parents, emergency notification, town-gown relationships, brand management, Greek Life, student recruitment, faculty, and more into their roles and develop the necessary skills to successfully lead their departments. Register today to attend this free webcast!

Get Our Newsletters
Campus Safety Conference promo