Dec 152010
 December 15, 2010  Posted by  Surveillance, Youth & Schools

Karina Vailes reports:

The Rapides Parish School Board has rejected a policy that could have asked students to be fingerprinted and undergo in-depth physiological tests based on a new state policy.

The item on the biometric information, which is commonly used to identify individuals in groups under surveillance, was deleted from the School Board agenda at its recent meeting.


Superintendent Gary Jones said the policy stems from law enforcement agencies urging districts to have such information for emergency situations, such as the 1999 Columbine High School shooting.


Looking at the state education department’s web site, I found reference to SB262 which was signed by the governor. The bill contains a number of privacy and security provisions, including requiring parental consent, encryption of data, secure storage, nondisclosure except under court order, and destruction of data within 30 days following discontinuation of use (e.g., graduation, transfer from school, or request of parent or child if the latter is 18 or older). As suggested by the Rapides School Board meeting, while districts are required to have policies about how they will do certain things, it doesn’t seem to actually require them to collect biometric information.

Would that all school districts show the wisdom of the Rapides School Board and their legal counsel and not go down this slippery slope.

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