by Mark Parham
In 2008, Louisiana Legislators passed HB 715 legislation becoming the 11th state that rejected compliance with the Federal governments Real Act of 2005 which would affect every citizen in many aspects of our daily lives. Including traveling by plane, opening any type bank account, collecting Social Security payments, and taking advantage of nearly any government service. This would mean our driver’s license or ID card would need to be reissued so as to meet the federal standards set by the act. The bottom line, the REAL ID Act of 2005 would mean establishing what amounts to a national identity card. The legislation offered by Rep. Brett Geymann (Lake Charles) definitely exemplified states rights under the 10th Amendment. Quoting Rep. Geymann after the vote:
” This vote on HB 715 sends a big signal to our colleagues in the senate that this is a serious issue that must be addressed immediately,” said the bill’s sponsor Rep. Brett Geymann (R-Lake Charles). “The House passage of this legislation is a first step in showing the rest of the country that the implementation and overall structure of the Real ID Act of 2005 has to be re-examined on a federal level,” Geymann said.
Today, the first day of a new school year, the Calcasieu Parish School system in Southwest Louisiana, at one of its Elementary schools is implementing a program called a “Palm Vein Scanner” in a so-called effort to better account for meals charged to children. What was so wrong with the old system? Many questions come to mind such as “parents don’t hear about this till day one of school?” Who got the contract for this and what are the future plans for others schools in the parish or in the state for that matter? What’s next, are we going to start counting the usage of toilet paper also? Here is the letter that went home with students from Moss Bluff Elementary today.
Parents have two days to return a letter opting out of the program and apparently from reading this letter, the child must be alive and breathing with blood flow to the hand to activate the scanner. Thank God for that.
Parents, I ask you, is this only the beginning of who knows what our school system is willing to do without input from the public? I urge you to call your School Board Member and demand answers and attend the next school board meeting and demand to be heard on this issue. Is this another example of education reform? Unless we take control of our school systems and let our SB Members know what we expect of them, then we have failed our own children. We rejected Real ID for the very real threat that it would have on our lives. Do we now have to act to protect our children from the threat of our own school board?
Is this next?
8-14-12 UPDATE The following is from the minutes of the Calcasieu Parish School meeting dated 02-08-11
STUDENT BIOMETRIC INFORMATION
Act 498 defines biometric information and restricts the usage collected from a student to be used for the purpose of identification or fraud prevention.
NEW POLICY FILE: JGFHA
Cf: JAA, JR
STUDENT BIOMETRIC INFORMATION
The Calcasieu Parish School Board shall authorize the utilization of biometric information in the identification of students, as well as to enhance student safety and security and protect against instances of fraud throughout the school district. Biometric information shall mean the noninvasive electronic measurement of any physical characteristics that are attributable to a single person, including fingerprint characteristics, eye characteristics, hand characteristics, vocal characteristics, facial characteristics, and any other physical characteristics used for the purpose of electronically identifying that person with a high degree of certainty.
” Prior to the collection of any student biometric information, expressed written permission from the student’s parent or legal guardian, or the student if eighteen (18) or older, shall be obtained and kept on file in the principal’s office at the school the student attends.”
A student’s biometric information shall be treated as any other student record in terms of access and confidentiality, and shall not be disclosed to a third party without the written consent of the student’s parent or legal guardian, or the student if eighteen (18) or older, unless the disclosure is required by court order.
In addition, the School Board shall delegate to the Superintendent the development, implementation, and maintenance of adequate regulations and procedural standards to protect student biometric information held and/or used in accordance with the policy. Such regulations and procedures shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
1. The secure storage, transmission, and protection of all biometric information from unauthorized alteration, disclosure, or destruction.
2. Restriction of access to student biometric information and processing to appropriate and authorized personnel.
3. Proper encryption of student biometric information.
4. Compliance of any collection of student biometric information with all applicable state and federal law and requirements, including the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
The use of student biometric information shall be discontinued after (1) the student graduates or withdraws from school, or (2) the School Board receives a written request to discontinue the use of biometric information from the from the student’s parents or legal guardian or the student if eighteen (18) or older. All biometric information collected from a student shall be destroyed within thirty (30) days after use of such information is discontinued.
The failure to provide written consent for the collection of biometric information of students shall not be the basis for refusal or denial of any services otherwise available to the student.
New policy: November, 2010
Ref: 20 USC 1232(g-i) (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act); 42 USC 1301 et seq. (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996); 42 USC 12101 et seq. (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990); La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §17:100.8. Read minutes here.
The letter sent home requested parents to respond within two days if they choose to opt out.
Not exactly what the new policy stated: ” Prior to the collection of any student biometric information, expressed written permission from the student’s parent or legal guardian, or the student if eighteen (18) or older, shall be obtained and kept on file in the principal’s office at the school the student attends.”