06 December 2006

a brave new school district

I live a few blocks from a high school. The cacophony of their Friday football games and Saturday swim meets disrupts the peace and quiet of my weekend. My dog can't stand the noise either. Well, now I have another reason to dislike Irvine high schools:

A plan to scan the fingerprints of 2,200 Irvine high school students to ease lunch lines was scrapped this week after angry parents argued it would violate teens' privacy rights. A spokesman for the Irvine Unified School District said district administrators had been unaware of University High School's proposal and had halted its implementation.

"This is not something we will be using at our schools," said Ian Hanigan, district spokesman. "It's safe to say that this pilot [program] was marched out probably a little too quickly, without the study and evaluation needed to do something like this."

But of course they had good intentions!

"We wanted to speed up the process and make the theft [aspect] minimal," he said. "This was an idea that is already being used in other parts of the country."...

University High School had planned to start scanning students' fingerprints Monday. Students' index fingers would be mapped by a biometric scanner, which would create a grid of the unique lines, curls and swishes. These points would be converted into a series of numbers, which would be used to identify students when they bought their lunches.

Turning students into cattle all in the name of efficiency and progress. Gotta love bureaucracy.

University High School has produced such alums as Will Ferrel and Rage Against the Machine members Zach de la Rocha and Tim Commerford. That explains the root of Mr. De La Rocha's anarchic fury.

This sort of funny business is typical in Irvine. In 1992, students in an 8th grade English class received redacted copies of Fahrenheit 451. "Dangerous" or "offensive" words were blacked out of the text. Irvine USD is not a stranger to irony -- censoring a book about the dangers of censorship is pure genius!


I guess you could say this is the "Original Pime". I stopped blogging here regularly in May 2008 (if you don't count the B-Sides diversion - yes it gets confusing) when I joined the Tumblr revolution. Going forward bravely into 2009, this site will serve to house any large image work I produce.

Peace out.


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