Parents question new lunch fingerprint system

Published: Nov. 23, 2018 at 9:37 PM CST
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Gretna parents are questioning a new lunch program that involves their elementary school children using fingerprints to pay for lunch.

The Westside School Public School District has used the program for the last two years, and it's been successful.

One father said he understands technology is advancing, but he just doesn't feel comfortable with this system.

"I just don't believe that at this age that kids need to be involved in biometrics," Justin Osterfoss said.

He received an email from Gretna Public Schools earlier this week discussing their new identification program to pay for hot lunches.

Osterfoss believes parents should be able to decide whether or not they want their child's fingerprint used.

The email states they aren't going to store the fingerprints, but they have to have some sort of recognition of this and who it's identifying," he said. "I understand with the world changes and the world's moving on with more technology, but as of right now I don't feel comfortable with the biometrics."

The father is concerned with his child's identity being out in the public, and also believes the new equipment takes away from his son learning.

"You need to be able to learn and do your own responsibilities, whether that's memorizing a lunch code, whether that's to hold on to my lunch card, not let anyone take it," Osterfoss said.

He was so upset by the automatic enrollment that he took to Facebook to find out if other parents felt the same way.

It turns out that Gretna already has the same program implement at one of their high schools and two middle schools.

"We have found that the process speeds up the lunch line or prevents the occasional issues of students entering the wrong lunch number," the district said in a statement to 6 News.

Osterfoss said he just wants an option to opt out of the program. He is still waiting to hear back from the district.

For now, he said he would be more comfortable with his son using cash.