How much personal information about students is too much? One Pennsylvania school’s method to track lunches crosses the line into creepy.
A Pennsylvania school district is scanning students’ thumbprints, tracking all of their lunch purchases, and turning the data over to the federal government. The Hazleton Area School District recently announced it would be providing free meals to all students, regardless of need.
The move comes after the federal government began incentivizing school districts to provide more meals to more students…“We will at least break even, if not come out ahead because of federal reimbursement,” according to district superintendent Craig Butler.
The conclusion comes after the Hazleton district purchased biometric software to track students who receive free or reduced-cost lunches. The student’s thumbprint was scanned each time he or she received a meal.
“This data provided by the biometrics was made available to the district and federal government for tracking purposes,” the paper reports.
Why does the federal government need finger print information on students and their cafeteria habits? It’s an unnecessary invasion of privacy, and students should at least be able to opt out of the program.