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Fingerprints Used to ID Students

A growing number of school districts exploring biometric technology -- technology that scans the measurements and styles of a fingerprint, stores the print as a number and can be used to identify students when they get their medication in the nurse's office or go to a school dance.

by News Staff / February 26, 2008
South Washington County Schools in Cottage Grove, Minnesota, is joining a growing number of school districts exploring biometric technology -- technology that scans the measurements and styles of a fingerprint, stores the print as a number and can be used to identify students when they get their medication in the nurse's office or go to a school dance.


School board members also discussed using the equipment in cafeterias across the district. The fingerprint technology could help speed up lunch lines, especially at elementary schools, where students tend to forget their personal identification numbers, officials said. It could also prevent identity theft, especially at high schools where some students will steal their peers' ID numbers.

The Academy of Holy Angels in Richfield has been using a similar finger-image scanning system in its lunch line for three years. Mark Melhorn, assistant principal at the academy, said the school decided to make a move to biometrics because it didn't like the idea of students carrying money to pay for lunch.

"It has really been foolproof for us," Melhorn said. "We've really had no problems. And it does speed up the service lines quite a bit."

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