Florida parents are right to be outraged at the outrageous privacy violations that took place late last week in at least 3 Polk County, Florida schools.
I just got off the phone with Rob Davis, senior director of support services for the district, who confirmed to me what Florida education activists blew the whistle on here: Students were indeed subjected to iris scans without their parents’ permission.
The schools involved:
Daniel Jenkins Academy – high school
Bephune Academy – elementary school
Davenport School of the Arts – middle school.
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....
How soviet of them.