Excelsior Springs High School is the latest to mandate that students hand over their fingerprints in order to plan their own lessons on a daily basis. It intends for students to continue with core lessons, but they’ll be given free time in the day to visit resource rooms staffed by teachers to help them with homework or projects.
John Newell, the principal at Excelsior Springs said:
“The world has changed what our graduates need. We’re not expecting to hear a quiet room with a lot of kids silently completing worksheets, we are looking for collaboration, we are looking for innovation, we are looking for projects. A student will come in here, their index finger will go on the pad.”
The school had considered using student IDs but decided against those plans because the students might trade them with each other. Instead, it opted for fingerprints which obviously can't be traded so easily.
Newell claimed that the school cannot access the fingerprints when parents raised their initial privacy concerns at an open house on Tuesday. One parent still seemed to be quite doubtful about the system even after being reassured by officials. He said:
“It’s just one of those new-age things. It’s going to come sooner or later, I’d rather it be later, but what can we do?”
Aside from the obvious concerns surrounding the fingerprinting mechanism, the parents seemed supportive of students setting their own goals and finding their own paths.
Schools all over the world have been implementing fingerprinting systems for at least a decade but each time proposals crop up it raises questions such as “Are these necessary for schools?” and “Is it moral to force these systems on students even if they’re not fully aware of the consequences of sharing biometric data?”
What do readers think? Is this a step too far?