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Student uses a biometrics fingerprint scanner in the lunchroom at Elyria Highschool in Ohio, 2009 CREDIT: The Chronicle-Telegram

School Unveils Biometric Fingerprint Program to “Monitor Student Diets”

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Officials at Redhill School in Stourbridge, England, have unveiled their plan to have student fingerprints taken so the school can “monitor their diets.”

Students will be required to press their fingers against a high-tech analyzer that will convert their prints into biometric data that will be used to identify each child’s account at the 1,200-student school.

The controversial technology is being brought in as part of a plan to implement a cashless system throughout the school, says England’s Express and Star.

The system will be utilized in the lunchroom to help cut wait times and will also tell students what food options their peers are eating.

School principal Stephen Dunster stated in a letter to parents last month:

“We are aiming to have a cashless system throughout the school. The catering system is better for parents because they don’t have to provide children with lunch money every morning. We don’t hold fingerprints on file. This is about using technology to benefit our pupils and parents… From our perspective it is far more efficient as it reduces waiting times. We will also be able to monitor what children are buying to make sure they are eating a healthy diet.”

The lunch fingerprint program with start in November, but parents can opt out of having their children’s prints taken.

Similar programs have already been implemented in the United States.

In 2009, Ohio’s Elyria High School piloted a program that used student fingerprints to access lunch accounts.

In 2013, the Puyallup School District in Washington State announced plans to install technology that “would allow students to pay for their lunch with a wave of a hand” in all 32 schools in the district.

The district eventually shelved the program however, after fierce push back from parents.