Facial Recognition Moves Into a New Front: Schools

from NYTs

Jim Shultz tried everything he could think of to stop facial recognition technology from entering the public schools in Lockport, a small city 20 miles east of Niagara Falls. He posted about the issue in a Facebook group called Lockportians. He wrote an Op-Ed in The New York Times. He filed a petition with the superintendent of the district, where his daughter is in high school.

But a few weeks ago, he lost. The Lockport City School District turned on the technology to monitor who’s on the property at its eight schools, becoming the first known public school district in New York to adopt facial recognition, and one of the first in the nation.

The district, said Mr. Shultz, 62, “turned our kids into lab rats in a high-tech experiment in privacy invasion.”

The decision underscores how facial recognition is spreading across the country and being deployed in new ways in the United States, as public officials turn to the technology in the name of public safety.

More here.

Posted in Business, Education, Privacy, Technology and tagged , , , .


  1. I have never heard of facial recognition being used in schools before. I have mixed feelings on this topic, as there are many benefits and faults to the system. I think it would be beneficial to have some sort of camera recognition in place that can help protect students. With the amount of school shootings over the past decade, it is easy to see why officials would want some extra security in place. This system would be great for identifying people who could be considered dangerous, and can stop them before any harm is done.
    At the same time, I understand that this technology is far from perfect, and may have a reverse effect. This article talks about the accuracy rate as well as racial bias. While they do not talk about the exact system that Lockport is using, the racial bias can be dangerous. If the machine is wrongly identifying students of color, it may lead to an official reacting too quickly and potentially harming a student or an innocent individual. In order for this facial recognition to be more effective, more testing needs to be done so that it can be accurate.
    As for privacy, it does not bother me that young children would be exposed to this technology. I think that with the way technology is always changing, and smartphones now using similar recognition features, young kids have already been introduced to this. If I had a young child who was in school, I would support new security features that would protect them in school.

  2. It was very interesting to read about facial recognition being used in public schools. I for one am not for the use of such technology due to privacy issues that the article talked about. I do not think this form of technology is beneficial to modern day security, especially to a school. In the article, it writes, “Proponents call it a crucial crime-fighting tool, to help prevent mass shootings and stop sexual predators.” To me this kind of security does no justice. Single point of entry and metal detectors are methods to what I feel would work and benefit in the long run. While I credit the creativity that the school wants to go, I don’t know if this would ever work the way they visioned.
    Also I should mention the dangers of said security. One thing that the article touched upon was racial bias and expanded on how that can be dangerous. I am glad that they added this point, that they, “found that most commercial facial recognition systems exhibited bias, falsely identifying African-American and Asian faces 10 to 100 times more than Caucasian faces. Another federal study found a higher rate of mistaken matches among children.” The danger of misidentifying a student or child is risky in the sense that if any student was putting others in harm’s way, they would be after the wrong student and/or outsider. I feel that it is too risky at this point, even when admitting that the system is heavily flawed based on the statistics provided. More testing should be required before making this an official security check.
    This system seems to have too many risks to be able to fully function correctly without some danger being included in it. I also do not think children should be exposed to the amount of technology they are already receiving, and knowing that their information will be out can make it more dangerous for them.

  3. This article was one of the interesting ones that I had read. I never heard about facial recognition being used in schools before. However, I am still not sure in it will benefit the school or it will have a lot of faults in the system. Overall the idea is beneficial to protect the students from the school shooting the happened over the past years. They have mentioned in the article that they “found that most commercial facial recognition systems exhibited bias, falsely identifying African-American and Asian faces 10 to 100 times more than Caucasian faces. Another federal study found a higher rate of mistaken matches among children.” So as much as this facial recognition system will be beneficial but it also could harm students by misidentifying a student. If the system misidentifying a student, it could put a student in a risk situation or putting other students in a harmful way. Besides, students mentioned that the school did not give them a lot of information about the system or where are the cameras located around the school.
    In my opinion that the idea is good, but they must work on it more to protect the student from any misidentifying. Especially that the system seems to have many risks to be able to fully work correctly without any mistakes. I liked the idea that Ms. McDonald talked about how they could “take smaller steps like upgrading entrances and exits, hiring school resource officers, and investing in counselors and social workers.” If the district took small steps as she mentioned that will help students to understand facial recognition more. Also, it will help the district to make some updates on the system so it will not misidentify students.

  4. This is the first time I am hearing of the uses of facial recognition in school systems, and have to say, I am completely opposed to this idea. The safety concerns and privacy issues far outweigh the possible benefits of implementing these technologies. After reading the article and analyzing the information which was presented, I can’t help but think of all the problems which this software will cause. The first issue that I see with the implementation of this software is the ability for this information to be easily hacked into. Schools do not have the budgets to develop and maintain high levels of cybersecurity. This means that the servers with this software will be vulnerable to being hacked. If these systems are hacked into they can be used to track students throughout the school, and also to see when the students enter, exit, and are in mass groups. Just as easily as this technology can be used to identify people who are not supposed to be there, it can also allow the same people access to the target, and track certain individuals.
    The proposed software also has the effect of making our school systems more like prisons than places where we send our children to learn. Schools are supposed to be a place where children can grow and learn how to become productive members of our society. Integrating a system such as this one will quickly change our schools for the worse. This system will keep tabs on students while they are on school property, around the clock. Administrators will be able to target students of their choosing and keep tabs on the students throughout the day. This presents very serious privacy concerns for these students. Instead of focusing on improving the education system and the underlying issues that cause them to be targeted, we are putting students under constant surveillance.
    We as a society must take a step back and realize the effects and problems that policies like this can cause. Privacy issues with technologies like these are real, and they are a reason that you don’t see more widespread uses of these types of technologies. This country was built off the ideas of freedom, not the surveillance of its citizens.

  5. Some individuals mentioned in the article speak about how the surveillance cameras and facial recognition are an invasion of their children’s privacy. And while I do agree to an extent that it is a little “big brother-esque”, the intentions are pure. If this was posed as an idea 30 years ago, I would disagree entirely. However, times have changed, with the increase in the number of shootings across the country – I think that this is a slightly better alternative than to having schools with a multitude of armed guards. The data would all be stored on a server and could be relayed to any authority figure in the case of an emergency situation.

    Honestly, there is a question of whether or not what happens to the data if the servers are hacked or there is a breach of sorts. To that, I don’t know if I can really form an opinion on – because it ultimately depends on what is stored along with the faces and the names. That would be no different than an individual looking up another on Facebook. My one problem with how the District handled this system is not being transparent with the students (at least, the students who are old enough to understand the purpose of the system). I believe the students have a right to know the basic understandings of the facial recognition system, and ultimately, that it is 100% there for their safety.

  6. Having facial recognition in schools does have its ups and downs since this can potentially become a helpful tool to prevent issues such as mass shooting that have been much more frequent than in the last few years. I am not 100% sold on this idea of having facial recognition technology because even though this might sound like a great idea, technology is not perfect and it can be faulty a lot of the times which will cause even more issues to this problem such as misidentification on a student. Parents of the school can also be concerned with this issue because their kids will lack privacy in their school since this idea sounds like they are being watched at all times which can make both the parent and student feel uncomfortable.
    I agree in section of the article where Ms. Wallace stated that, “School districts could, for instance, take smaller steps like upgrading entrances and exits, hiring school resource officers, and investing in counselors and social workers”. Having smaller steps like this can be more effective in this case rather than spending all that money on facial recognition technology which can be faulty and create more issues. This idea of adding artificial intelligence to schools right now might not be something that most of the schools are on board with because not all schools will be able to afford this type of technology so this will be only available to schools who have the money to put this in but as of right now, this concept doesn’t seem very appealing to me because of the fact that there are a lot more negatives than positives when adding this into school districts.

  7. It’s happening; public schools in upstate New York are adopting a facial recognition system for security. Just to put that into context really quick, that means schools within the United States public education system are going to have access to the facial identity of students; that means the US government is going to have access to the facial identity of its citizens. Now its one thing for a private company such as Apple to have access to that kind of information, because they have that information through a consensual legal agreement. It is an entirely different argument when a United States department of government demands it from its citizens without that same written consent. This is both utopian and criminal. Technology has advanced so quickly and so drastically that Congress has not been able to draft up laws fast enough, and as a result the government is able to get away with basically whatever it wants in terms of technology. Think about how quickly the FCC came up with an established set of rules after television was invented, and how strict those ruled are. The internet meanwhile was invented nearly thirty years ago and it’s still a lawless free for all! I make the same argument for President Trump’s usage of Twitter; if politicians and Congress don’t like it so much and claim it is so unpresidential, then stop playing with your thumbs and make laws! But I digress.
    The issue of facial recognition and public education is an important one. The author of this article writes, “Subjecting 5-year-olds to this technology will not make anyone safer, and we can’t allow invasive surveillance to become the norm in our public spaces,” said Stefanie Coyle, deputy director of the Education Policy Center for the New York Civil Liberties Union. “Reminding people of their greatest fears is a disappointing tactic, meant to distract from the fact that this product is discriminatory, unethical and not secure.” As a matter of fact, the federal government released a study that found “most facial recognition systems exhibited bias, falsely identifying African-American and Asian faces 10 to 100 times more than Caucasian faces.” Not only that but the faces of children can be easily mistaken, proving this technology isn’t even accurate. So let’s be honest here, the only thing facial recognition technology is good for, is for the government to have an easier was of controlling and manipulating its citizens. George Orwell would be proud how accurately he predicted the future. This isn’t the year 2020, it’s the year “1984.”

  8. I believe the topic that was talked about in, Facial Recognition Moves into New Fronts: Schools, relevant and interesting. It discusses how facial recognition is beginning to be used for many different things, such as safety and security, and “the decision [to use the technology] underscores how facial recognition is spreading across the country and being deployed in new ways in the United States, as public officials turn to the technology in the name of public safety.” The Lockport City School District adopted this technology, in their schools, as a way to see who is on school-grounds and be able to detect is unwanted visitors are on the premises. There are two sides on the adoption of facial recognition at schools. 1. It is a good for the safety of the children or young adults at the school and could prevent possible break ins or shootings. Robert LiPuma, director of technology for the Lockport City School District, states that the school shooting that occurred in Florida could have been prevented with the use of the facial recognition technology; “you had an expelled student that would have been put into the system, because they were not supposed to be on school grounds. They snuck in through an open door. The minute they snuck in, the system would have identified that person.” 2. It should not be implemented in schools because it is not secure, it’s racially bias, and not accurate. An opponent of facial recognition technology, Jim Schultz, states “hopefully, other districts around the country will learn from Lockport’s dumb mistakes,” he said. “A decision to bring facial recognition and artificial intelligence into our schools ought to be the subject of a serious conversation.
    After reading and thinking about this article, I remain undecided if the technology should be implemented into schools because I see both sides of the argument. I believe it is great for public safety and may facilitate the prevention of dangerous situations. However, I agree with Stefanie Coyle when she states, “subjecting 5-year-olds to this technology will not make anyone safer, and we can’t allow invasive surveillance to become the norm in our public spaces. Reminding people of their greatest fears is a disappointing tactic, meant to distract from the fact that this product is discriminatory, unethical and not secure.” I think that the information in the system could possibly get leaked or hacked, releasing personal information of young kids or taking a person of the list. I also believe that if this system was implemented it should not be a “‘persons of interest’ list made by school administrators.” If a list was made by school administrators, the system will not stop someone that is not on the list. The system should be changed where it is a general list of all “persons of interest” from the entire country. Also, the system should not be immediately implemented. It should be tested multiple times to ensure 100% accuracy and fix errors found by the federal; “commercial facial recognition systems exhibited bias, falsely identifying African-American and Asian faces 10 to 100 times more than Caucasian faces. Another federal study found a higher rate of mistaken matches among children.” This is one of the newer adoptions of the technology and I believe that it should be completely accurate before it spreads to other school districts.

  9. I would just like to say that this piece piqued my interest from the moment I read the title. As I read through the blog I could not help but mentally outweigh the advantages and disadvantages of facial recognition technology entering the public school systems. In my opinion, the advantages heavily outweigh the disadvantages. In this short response, I would like to discuss said one overarching advantage and explain why, in my opinion, this technology should be welcomed in all institutions.

    Initially, the first major advantage of the system would be the ability to identify individuals on the “persons of interest list” that the institutions would create based on a number of criteria. The criteria that categorize individuals into the “persons of interest list” are whether or not there are “sex offenders in the area, people prohibited from seeing students by restraining orders, former employees who are barred from visiting the schools and others deemed “credible threats” by law enforcement.” Having facial recognition software that can successfully identify these threats and alert proper authorities will significantly mitigate the risk of kidnapping, sexual assaults, as well as mass school shootings.

    Moreover, although one would think public or private schools would be the last place these devastating events would occur I would like to point out that times are changing. The first school shooting took place on “April 20, 1999,” … “at Columbine High School in Colorado,” and has been deemed by many to have “become a blueprint for future shooters.” Since then, as a country, we have experienced over 40 mass school shooting incidents that have claimed countless innocent lives. Times are changing and though local and federal authorities have devised and developed disaster planning procedures to combat these issues it is not enough to prevent the event from taking place. I believe that prevention is just as important as response and this is what the public and authorities must focus on moving forward. According to this blog, “if the technology had been in place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., the deadly 2018 attack there may never have happened.” This is the definition of prevention and this is what we need to focus on. To do so we must embrace this foreign technology being proactive to get ahead of these disasters thwarting them before they claim any more innocent lives.

    Overall, if implementing this technology could mitigate the risk of kidnapping, sexual assaults, as well as mass school shootings I am all for it.

    Here are the links to two articles I used:



  10. Facial recognition technology is very cutting edge and only recently practical technology, but it poses a very big threat to privacy in general, as well as public safety and security. It’s recent introduction into schools again raises the same concerns about privacy people have always had with this type of technology. There is an argument that we should not want facial recognition technology to become the norm and to exist within spaces such as school, as it is such a risk to privacy. The arguments go both ways, since the technology could be used effectively to identify dangerous individuals or people of interest but can also be used maliciously to access information on students. Some were also worried about the racial bias that has been seen with the technology and is worried about that entering schools as well. The continuation of many racial and social biases should be avoided at all costs, and if facial recognition technology may promote that than maybe it should not be allowed in schools. Not to mention facial recognition’s notorious unreliability, which lends it to commonly misidentify most specifically women and people of color.
    Not only are the social issues disturbing citizens, but so are the implications of this technology when it comes to keeping surveillance on students. Parents worry about the potential to track student movements and interactions at will, and even though officials promise they have no intention of using it this way, the capacity of the technology is usually what dictates the boundaries. The worry that this could make this technology commonplace is what is scaring most people, since this technology, if implemented everywhere, could be very easy to abuse and invade the privacy of citizens.
    With major pushes to combat the growing mass shooting problem in the United States, it’s no surprise some schools would take this approach in attempt to up security without raising the ‘armed staff’ debate, which itself is raveled with the gun control controversy. It does, however, beg the question if it would even make schools safer after implementing this technology. Gun can be recognized but not if hidden, and suspects would need to be in the system already for the program to be able to identify them. This makes it difficult or the system to detect first time offenders, which can account for a large number of shooters. Because of this controversy, it is unseen if more schools will follow and adapt this technology in their security measures.

  11. Facial recognition has been a growing all across the United States and we can see it implemented in many areas of our life. Between new technologies that can recognize your face in public, to you iPhone FaceID feature that allows you to unlock your phone with ease by just looking at the front facing camera. Many cities, like San Francisco and Somerville, Mass have banned facial recognition technologies, but with over 600 law enforcement agencies using a technology called Clearview AI, which helps them with preventing and solving crimes. Airports and other public venues such as Madison Square Garden in Manhattan are picking up this new groundbreaking technology as well. Clearly there is controversy about this topic and with it being implemented in schools, it is bound to cause controversy. We can see this in the recent article where Jim Shultz, who had a daughter in a school in Lockport, NY, tried to stop this new technology from entering his daughters’ school. He had filed a petition with the superintendent of the district, unfortunately losing and therefore the Lockport City School District installed this technology to monitor its eight schools. This became the first New York public school district to adopt facial recognition and one of the first in the nation. I think that if more school districts adopted this technology it will continue to bring controversy over the topic, but I feel that this technology might be a benefit to society if used correctly. Within seconds of someone walking into a building such as a school, the database can identify a person and determine whether they are a threat or not. This drastically can decrease the damage done in events such as school shootings, by decreasing the time between when the threat enters the building to when police are notified. I also believe that many people when looking at this technology, they view it only from the perspective of privacy invasion. At first they cannot see what the benefits will be, but I feel overtime facial recognition will continue to expand to other areas of the country and world.

  12. I think there’s a question we as Americans must ask ourselves; how much of our privacy are we willing to give up to have a greater sense of security. Especially when it comes to children in schools where school shootings have taken so many lives. Facial recognition technology could have a huge impact by preventing these types of tragedies from happening. However, many have concerns over the privacy issues that arise with this new technology. People are already hesitant to trust the government with the information they have on citizens; facial recognition would essentially give the government access to everything. Technology like this has already been abused by the government, specifically the police and other enforcement agencies. These concerns pose a valid position that the government would not utilize this technology appropriately; however, there are even more pressing concerns about the safety of Americans throughout the country. On average, there is school shooting every 77 days in the United States. I believe that if facial recognition systems were implemented, these shootings would be much rarer. I agree, giving this information to the government is an unfortunate proposition, but I strongly believe that it would make individuals much safer, especially in schools. This technology would be able to identify foreign presences on campuses and identify of these presences are a threat to the safety of students and faculty. With so much violence in schools and so little being done at the federal level to deal with the crisis, it only makes sense to adopt this technology. In terms of privacy, I believe the sacrifice is worth the increase’s security. It is more important to keep the lives of these children safe than to share their limited information. I think that if the government were to try and implement this technology in workplaces and other areas where the information of certain individuals is sensitive it becomes a different issue. But in terms of stopping school shootings, I think that we as Americans are left with very few options in protecting the youth. The only way to combat the problem is to implement facial recognition into school security systems.

  13. It is interesting to think that just a decade ago no one would even have thought about bringing facial recognition systems into schools. What would people have said about the topic if it was proposed back then, would people have called the proponents of such a system as crazy or would they have come out in support of these systems. I believe that most people would have been against these systems, but after a decade of such stories as parkland, people have become more interested in using facial recognition to prevent such tragedies. Even though these systems have started to enter schools, it doesn’t mean that they are the right tools for the job.
    Facial recognition systems can help us prevent school shootings, but what do we give up in exchange? One of the things that would be lost with the transition to facial recognition systems is privacy. Children already grow up in a world were their privacy is being violated by social media corporations, now some of them will have to deal with their actions at school being monitored. This doesn’t seem to be a great trade, especially when the alternative solution to facial recognition is improving the entrances to the schools, a solution that doesn’t require for students to be monitored.
    Another issue with facial recognition is that it can led to problem students being on a database. The problem with students being on a database is that they may be judged by their peers and those in authority positions to be dangerous or criminals, which will lead to them being discriminated against. The problem students might see that their teachers are more cautious when around them, or that they might find themselves suspended from school more often. This could push these students to peruse harmful futures for themselves, such as crime.
    One of the biggest issues proposed by the facial recognition systems is their accuracy. According to the article the blog post is taken from, most commercial facial recognition systems have a racial bias, falsely identifying African Americans and Asian more than White Americans. It is unacceptable to allow these systems to be used in the US school system, for it could potentially damage the reputations of ethnic minority school students by falsely identifying them as a person of interest. Facial recognition technology can prove to be one of the most useful advancements in stopping school shooting in the future, but as it currently stands this technology has the capability to harm many of the students that it is supposed to protect. Schools should be banned from using facial recognition technology for the time be, so that it can be further developed before it is unleashed in the schools.

  14. I think having facial recognition in a place like a school is an absolute terrible idea. In terms of money, this is a disaster for the taxpayers. They amount of money they are going to be spending on these systems are outrages. This is then bundled with the fact that these things have to be upgraded every so often and people having to run them makes this a complete money pit idea. Besides money, this is an invasion of privacy of the young children like outlined by the man covered in the article. These children are now able to be watch around the clock each day closer than ever before. This leaves the door open for it to be hacked into once the technology starts to go out of date and the kids to be in even more danger than when they started. As much as the town is trying to make it seem like it is an effort to save the kids, it is not. This is only another way for the government to have more control over the people. With facial recognition in schools, and now expanding everywhere, unless you are living under a rock in the middle of the Amazon Rain Forest you are going to be seen or identified. Anytime you hear that something is “for the kids” it is a ploy to get emotional voters to vote in something that is limiting their rights. A great example is when Hitler was able to successful disarm most of the people in Germany through campaigning it for the kids. I also like how this article mentioned that it is in effort to stop school shooters and kids that are expelled from coming in. An expelled five year old is not a security threat to the school if he feels like sneaking in. I doubt he will go long before getting caught and we don’t need over a million dollars worth of equipment to stop that. Furthermore, mentioning mass shootings is another way of pulling on strings of people that are to vote this in. Almost all mass shootings in schools have been done by mentally ill people that were not supposed to have them in the first place, and is the system by which we permit people to use them that needs to be adjusted to fix this problem, not surveilling the school. This mass shootings were also in “gun free zones” most of the time which is ironic because it doesn’t happen in places where they know they are going to be fired back at. All this facial recognition thing is one more way for government to limit rights of the people to be truly free by having big brother looking over them.

  15. This article by Jim Shultz shows that school districts like the Lockport City School District are going too far to “protect” their students by using facial recognition. Every-time I hear the word facial recognition, I automatically think of government or private companies spying on private citizens. In countries like China, facial recognition technology is common and located on every street corner. However, the Lockport City School district using facial recognition technology in eight schools is an obvious privacy invasion. The students in this district are just normal kids trying to receive and education, not a bunch of criminals trying to destroy the world.

    In the article Shultz explains his opinion on the district decision to use facial recognition technology, “turned our kids into lab rats in a high-tech experiment in privacy invasion.” Shultz is correct when he describes this as a privacy invasion. There is no need for school districts to use facial recognition. The American Bar Association describes what facial recognition is used for, “ facial recognition technology creates a “template” of the target’s facial image and compares the template to photographs of preexisting images of a face(s) (known). The known photographs are found in a variety of places, including driver’s license databases, government identification records, mugshots, or social media accounts, such as Facebook”. There is absolutely no reason why a school district would need this kind of information on students. Students especially in elementary and middle school do not have driver licenses, mugshots or social media accounts. The Lockport City School district is clearly using this technology for an alternative reason that is not public knowledge.

    If I was a parent and my child attended this school district, I would be outraged by the district’s decision to use facial recognition technology. My first step would be to gather parents and inform them of this outrageous violation of privacy invasion being committed on these innocent students. The second step would be to demand an answer why this is being implemented in these schools during the local board meeting. The last step, I would take was to look for any legal routes to prevent this from occurring.

    Overall, this article was scary and shows how technology is not just impacting our everyday lives but now how kids are being taught in schools. I hope the Lockport City School district stops using facial recognition and no further school districts implement this dangerous technology.

  16. Sad but true, the only thing I could think of when reading this article was not the protection of the kids or how the system is meant to be used, but of Big Brother, the evil overseer in the book “1984” by George Orwell. The totalitarian government symbol that terrorizes the privacy of every known being. Some may think this is a far stretch, but these things have to start from somewhere. The privacy of the children in these schools is greatly intruded on, and the cameras can easily be twisted into things that scare and terrorize the school experiences for the children. For example, it all starts with using the cameras for protection from outside threats. The board sees that they can then use it to protect the children from bullying, and then from skipping class or being on their phone and talking in groups. Then from tracking where they are all the time from classroom to classroom. From there it will instill in them that someone is always watching. And what happens when this monitoring system leaves the school because “it works so well” and then it’s watching everyone. It is a giant slippery slope and for these children when looking at the big picture can be extremely scary and make them uncomfortable.
    Now taking a step back and looking at the intentions of using these cameras, I think that with the right use, it can be very helpful. But why do we need 300 camera inside the school, when the intruder or threat is coming from the outside. If you detect them from the outside, then the students have a little more privacy and ability to do their own thing inside. The part that makes my head tilt the most is the fact that this was not a decision discussed with the parents nor students. It was only up to the heads of the government and the school district. Most of the kids do not know what the software is and the benefits or threats of it being in place. Without this, fear can really be instilled in these kids and their privacy is out the window. All in all, good intentions, but a hard task to keep from infringing on the privacy of the students.

  17. Facial recognition is expanding into many aspects of life, but into the school system was something I personally did not see coming. It is honestly a really interesting concept to think about, and I can see both how it can be an advantage and a disadvantage. I would say that I am more leaning towards the supportive side, but there is also a part of me that is apprehensive and only time can tell if it is a good or bad thing. Since this is such a newly introduced idea, I am sure that there will be things that have to be worked out like any other new system, but in the end, it could potentially be a widely used feature.
    Obviously, the most significant benefit that would be associated with implementing facial recognition into schools is the safety of the students. With the rise of school shootings, something needs to be done and I think that this system could really help with this through alerts when there is someone at the school who should not be there. Especially since it can scan for guns, this could prevent a catastrophic event from occurring or limit the amount of lives lost since authorities would be notified quicker.
    However, I also think that this kind of a system would be very costly, an invasion of privacy, and take a while to perfect. I believe that there are some significant risks associated with facial recognition that should be taken into consideration before following through with installing it. The main problem to me is that the privacy of kids is completely taken away with this sort of a thing and they would not even have a choice. Another problematic concern is that it has flaws, and sometimes people are misidentified which is a significant drawback that takes away the credibility and reliability of it.
    But I do think that over time like anything else in life, the bugs could be fixed, and it could potentially save lives, but it would also take a long time to do so and there would be many trial runs before it is corrected. While I agree that it takes away privacy, the pros outweigh the cons. Overall, I would say that it is worth a try and it is better to be safe than sorry especially when it comes to life or death.

  18. I found this article to be very interesting. It brings up a very controversial topic of facial recognition technology, which has been around for a short period of time. It’s interesting to see the argument that arises from this technology that may be placed in many school systems. Facial recognition is used in the latest phones, as one can use “Face ID” in order to unlock their phone. Although this has changed and revolutionized life for the better, many will argue the benefits that come with using this technology will do more harm than good. In an Forbes article, the author claims that “One of the major advantages of facial recognition technology is safety and security. Law enforcement agencies use the technology to uncover criminals or to find missing children or seniors” (Marr). The whole purpose of having facial recognition for a security system is to detect faces and alert security of people who should not be in the building. As the article points out, this type of system has a tendency to exhibit bias and misidentify a face of color. The argument in this case is whether this bias can be overlooked for the bigger picture of keeping children safe. Some things that happen in this country can be seen as an invasion of privacy, but are overlooked when it comes to the matter of safety. The first thing that came to mind when I read the issues that arose from this issue is the Patriot Act. The fact that the US government overlooked privacy for the sole purpose of keeping the citizens safe sounds similar in this case of facial recognition.
    In this case, I think one has to look at this system with an open mind. Times are very different and, frankly, hostile in the learning community. Since 2009, over 177 schools have experienced a school shooting, a number that is hard to grasp. In today’s generations, bulletproof backpacks are advertised and parents really feel a need to purchase them to protect their children in worst case scenarios. When it comes to the youth of America, many feel that better measures need to be taken to protect them in school, a place of learning. One does not hope to worry about their child in a school, so facial recognition could help reduce this figure. Although there is a chance to misidentify a person, this type of advancements can keep children safe. The system can detect guns, which can help warn classrooms and students faster to lower the amount of casualties that can occur from a shooter. One needs to weigh what is more important to them: privacy or safety. If the lives of children can be improved with this system, one needs to incorporate this into society and work out the issues that can happen later. Overall, I found this article to bring the topic of facial recognition to light and make one consider what matters most: safety or privacy.



  19. Facial Recognition in a school system to me is just weird to even think about. To me, there is no reason to have that type of technology in a school. It is kind of scary to think that technology is getting used in places that are not necessary. This also makes me think about the article that I read not too long about facial recognition being banned from certain states. I understand why they banned it but I think it goes beyond just facial recognition. There are bigger issues that are occurring. One thing is these facial recognition systems are not being explained at all about how it is being used. It sounds like there is some racial discrimination that is occurring. When the school input the system they should have explained the students and parents how it was going to be used. I understand that the schools are trying to help prevent school shootings but I don’t think that is going to help. Technology like this just makes me think about things happening when the government takes over everything. Technology is already so put into our school systems as it is beneficial to our kids most of the time but bring unnecessary things like facial recognition into the school is not doing anything for the students. The students sounded like they were even weirded out about the new system is in their school. I think with our smartphones, our social media, and the internet we are so immersed in different ways that our privacy is being compromised. Now that our children are involved people are finally realizing how bad things are getting. We have to worry about who can hack these systems and spy on all our children. They will get accessed to so much information about the children with just a click of a button. We have the option when we sign up for things on apps if we want to give our privacy up but when these systems are in our schools the government is no longer giving us the option. They are not giving us the decision to decide if we don’t want to give that information up. The government has that much control scare me. I want kids to be safe but I don’t think by implementing this it will stop an active shooter. If it does stops an active shooter I just think criminals will get smarter just like technology is getting smarter to figure out ways to do whatever is they are trying to do.

  20. I have talked about the issues of facial recognition and privacy in the technology age before, and here I am again doing the same. There is no greater threat to our privacy currently than constant surveillance and now, facial recognition technology. In theory, this could be a good thing. As the article states, the Majory Stoneman Douglas shooting COULD have been prevented if facial recognition recognized the expelled student and authorities quickly responded to apprehend them, but I find it highly unlikely that anyone had any chance of stopping the shooter before they got deadly rounds off. The benefits of facial recognition in a school are marginal at best. There are concerns of profiling and privacy leaks that have surrounded the technology since its inception. This is warranted as well. In the Lockport schools, they put in measure to prevent the spread of personal information of students. However, the issue of profiling remains. This is my biggest problem with the implementation of facial recognition in schools. Lockport students of color are already disproportionately disciplined by administrators. This technology will possibly make these stats worse. I think that the drawbacks definitely outweigh the positives in this case because, as stated, the benefits are marginal, if existent at all. As for privacy there is no way to guarantee privacy in the modern age. Nearly all information is available in some way, either by hack, leak, or some other way. I do not feel safe with anyone with facial recognition data on me, let alone one of the pioneers in the industry. The students of Lockport are not as concerned though, as some call it “cool”. This is the issue with the technology as a whole. No one is thinking about the total affects of the technology. I think facial recognition is cool and all, but the idea of MORE of my data floating around is unnerving. As I have said before I hope this does not come back to haunt me at any point.

  21. After reading this article and the comments on the blog site, it seems like most people are concerned about the invasion of privacy in the use of facial recognition. I do not necessarily agree with those statements. The government already has access to information about you, like social security number, bank account information, address, etc. And they know what you look like, based on your license and passports. The government having the ability to use facial recognition does not give them any new information about you, it just helps them recognize who you are. Additionally if you are not committing any crimes then the likelihood of this interfering with your life in any way is very slim. I could think of more pros for it than cons. For example using this technology to recognize someone on the no fly list and stopping them from boarding a plane can prevent future terrorist attacks. In regards to this article and the use of facial recognition in schools, I don’t really see the point. In recent years schools have been becoming more secure. A stranger getting into a highschool has become harder and harder. And the only benefit I see to facial recognition in schools would be to quickly identify people who did not belong there. But the reality is most school shootings are caused by students. The article mentions the parkville shootings, and how the facial recognition could have recognized the shooter immediately. But merely recognizing the student does not necessarily mean it would have increased response time or reduced the amount of casualties. The article also talks about the use of this technology to stop against sexual predators coming near the schools. This I can understand how that could be effective. But I am not sure if the investment of that technology would be worth it. Increasing awareness of sexual predators, and not talking to strangers, as well as school faculty being aware of any suspicious people on campus, could be just as effective.

  22. I think new technologies like facial recognition are a great thing. I use it myself to unlock my phone and it helps keep my phone protected from prying eyes by recognizing my face solely and accurately. The reasons laid out in the article for wanting to place this system in effect within the school district are valid. However, I am opposed to utilizing this technology on a wide scale in schools with children because their privacy could be in jeopardy. Now I don’t believe that their privacy could be jeopardized by school officials per se, but by the company the school hires to perform the facial recognition software.
    Who really understands what information the company keeps on the people being tracked and monitored via facial recognition? Hacker’s can potentially find holes in a company’s security and thus have access to children’s data like pictures of what they look like, ultimately leaving them exposed. I believe the potential risks outweigh the rewards and that other steps can be taken to prevent tragic situations at the current moment. A few steps that could be taken can be as simple as ensuring doors to the school are always locked and having more security in the building at all times. I think more thought should go into enacting policies such as these and perhaps parents should have a larger say in what ways their children are monitored. Hopefully continued discussion can shed light on new ideas that will appeal to both school administrators and parents alike.

  23. Despite the relatively negative attitude this article shows towards facial recognition software being used in schools, I believe that the technology is very beneficial. It is obvious how the New York Times feels about facial recognition software but upon further analysis, the technology will provide more benefits than disadvantages. Facial recognition software will seriously reduce the amount of school shootings, especially because the technology can detect firearms before the suspect even enters the school. I can understand the argument that is made by those that oppose the use of facial recognition software, as the technology will most definitely encroach on the privacy of students, but the amount of privacy that children in the 21st century have is already very slim due to pieces of legislation such as the Patriot Act. In this day and age, especially due to the amount of school shootings that unfortunately occur, the safety of our students is more important than their complete privacy. Additionally, the argument made that the technology is racist is borderline idiotic. The technology does not have the capability to be prejudice towards certain people, it can only detect those that propose a threat. If African American students happen to propose more of a threat than Caucasian students or vise versa, then so be it. Whoever is posing a threat to students, regardless of race. If students have nothing to hide, then what is their to be afraid of? Strict measures must be taken to protect the lives of our students. I do agree with the point made that students who are put on the watch list because they have been suspended from school are more likely to be put on the radar of the criminal justice system. I believe this is unethical as a student can be suspended for a plethora of reasons, the majority of which are not against the law. These students should not be unfairly targeted by police for something stupid they did in high school. The technology should be edited so that these students are not put on the police radar.

  24. I happen to totally agree with Mr. Schultz regarding Biometric artificial intelligence (facial recognition) in our schools. The technology is quite impressive however, I don’t think its place is in our schools. A much better alternative maybe surrounding the school. Depending on your geographic area should determine the surrounding areas of which you should consider installing facial recognition technology. Excuse me for being a little political however I feel that the Board of Education could have spent the finances allotted to them a lot wiser than they did on internal prevention/security. Our children are our best creations, and we should take all lengths to protect them. However, we as a society are not doing so by allowing this technology in our schools. The situation is being manipulated by stating it is for the safety of the children. Not only do I agree that it is unethical, I feel that we are allowing the infringement of the rights of our children. It is unconstitutional. The children are too young to decipher that for themselves, as a parent it is our responsibility to protect them until they are old enough to make cognitive decision themselves. I was always under the impression the main purpose of our children attending school is to receive an education that helps an individual throughout every phase of his or her life. Everyday that a student attends school she can learn something new that can change her life or the life of someone else.
    According to John Dewey’s theory which states” the general purpose of school is to transfer knowledge and prepare young people to participate in America’s democratic society”

  25. I have never heard of facial recognitions being used by schools but I can honestly see a lot of pros with it. As the article stated, this can help prevent mass shootings and sexual predators and the safety of the students should be prioritized. I think this can also benefit a lot of colleges in the United States and help keep the students that stay in the dorms safe. Mr. Shultz claims that “this experiment turned students into lab rats” and I can say I disagree with that statement. It’s not like students were being injected with something and then seeing if the facial recognition can scan them. They simply want to scan the students face so they can be permitted into the premises, which in the end can benefit their safety. As long as the majority of the parents agree then I don’t see why it would be a big issue. They are now trying to prevent students that were expelled into re-entering the school to fool around, avoid mass shootings, and prevent sexual predators from entering. This should be seen as a good thing in my opinion. A reason why I believe that colleges should also have this facial recognition is because students tend to loose their ID’s a lot, and I know because I am one of them. People tend to pick them up and some people aren’t nice enough to return them. They can easily use those ID’s to get into any dorm building they choose. I do believe that facial recognitions in school can be an effective measure to help keep students safe.

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