An Orwellian moment in Florida, will it spread to other states? Is this the future of education? Recently, three schools in Florida allowed iris scans of students without parents’ permission.
Michelle Malkin has the details:
Davis told me that “it is a mistake on our part” that a notification letter to parents did not go out on May 17. He blamed a secretary who had a “medical emergency.” Instead of verifying that parents received the letter and ensuring that any families who wanted to opt out had a chance to so, the schools allowed officials from Stanley Convergent Security Solutions to take iris scans of an unknown number of students as part of a “pilot” security program for students who take the bus to the three above-named schools.
Davis told me those unauthorized scans took place on May 22 and May 23 last week, right before the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Schools were notified that Stanley was coming. But not parents.
In addition, the district had planned to conduct a pilot scan program with another security company, Blinkspot. Students who ride seventeen school buses were planned to be a part of the scanning regime.
Davis says all of the data has been destroyed.
So has the trust parents have in these negligent educrats violating family privacy in the name of “safety.”
Isn’t it odd the scans were taken near the end of the school year? Why conduct a pilot program in May? What other pilot programs are flying under the radar? I encourage you to read Malkin’s full post, she includes the comments from the parent who blew this whistle. Apparently, the pilot program was shut down. Was the data really destroyed? Parents must remain vigilant across the country, our children’s privacy is at stake. Don’t think this will be limited to Polk County, Florida. Hop over to Stanley Convergent Security Solutions EyeLock video, the creepy music is fitting…apparently, the use of this technology is expected to be widespread soon. There are multiple companies working on this technology. Just to be fair, the BlinkSpot video (along with creepy music) can be viewed here. Are we conditioning our children that constant monitoring is ok? Must everything be sold by using scare tactics? Who will be the first child to dispose of chewing gum by defending privacy rights and cover up the special binoculars?
A South Dakota company called BlinkSpot, for example, is marketing an iris-recognition system that makes sure students get on the correct school bus and are dropped off at the right stop. Once students scan in, their parents receive an email that lets them know their children’s exact location.
Do parents really want this? If so, get it in writing, send home the permission slip. Do taxpayers want to pay for this technology? Will it improve classroom results? Oh and are teachers safe from Big Brother? Or students going off campus for lunch?
Murad says Iris ID Systems is hearing from districts that are interested in using iris-recognition on time clocks to track teacher overtime. And Bolling says he’s talked to an official in a New Jersey district who wants to use the technology for students signing in and out of their open-campus lunch period.
Parents, we must speak up and not allow this to come to NC. Parental consent must be a requirement for iris scans or any data gathering. Back to Malkin, and the key point highlighted by the parent in FL.
It seems like they are mostly focused on this program, like the program was the problem. It’s not, it’s the invasion of my family’s Constitutional right to privacy that is the problem, as well as the school allowing a private company access to my child without my consent or permission. This is stolen information, and we cannot retrieve it.
This is of a piece with the threat that the federalized Common Core student databases pose to students and families. See my reporting on that here.