Let’s get the week started off right:

Moss Bluff Elementary School in Louisiana is looking to streamline lunch payments by implementing a palm vein scanner program, but some parents aren’t pleased.

A letter to parents this week informed them of the new scanner that will allow the school’s nearly 1,000 students to move through the lunch line faster and with fewer payment mistakes — an issue that had arisen in the past, KPLC-TV reports.

While the letter notes that parents can opt their children out of the program, parent Mamie Sonnier told KPLC-TV that she was angry and disappointed by the program, as the scanner violates her beliefs. She contends that if the scanners actually make it to the school cafeteria, she’ll be transferring her kids to another school.

“As a Christian, I’ve read the Bible, you know go to church and stuff,” Sonnier said. “I know where it’s going to end up coming to, the mark of the beast. I’m not going to let my kids have that.”

I don’t know anything about these palm vein scanners, but I’m certain that’s a poor reason for being against them.

In other education news, here’s one for the “Can they really do that?” category:

Kaitlin Nootbaar, a straight-A Oklahoma high school student, is being denied her diploma because she used the word “hell” in her graduation speech as valedictorian, and she and her parents are furious.

In delivering her address during the Prague High School graduation ceremony in May, the teen alluded to instances where people would ask her what she wanted to do with her life as graduation approached, to which she said, “How the hell do I know? I’ve changed my mind so many times,” her father David Nootbaar told KFOR.

The statement received laughter and applause from her fellow graduates, her father said. But when Kaitlin went to collect her diploma this week, school officials said they won’t release the certificate until she writes an apology for using the word.


  1. #1 eric
    August 20, 2012

    I’d be fairly suspicious of such a scanner, but that’s because I’m unfamiliar with it. A quick googling, it appears the Japanese have been using it for a while. So, probably okay for something as ‘low regret’ as school lunch identification. A system problem will result in a kid not getting lunch one day, or someone being mischarged, and then it comes to light.

    Re: the diploma thing. Maryland HSs made similar threats many eons ago (when I was in school..). In those cases the threats turned out to be somewhat toothless. What they mean is: you will be denied the physical paper. The state electronic records and your transcript will list you as graduated regrardless.

    So, the denial might be very disappointing to a new graduate because they can’t show off their diploma, but it doesn’t impact their future. (All assuming the OK threat was similar to the MD threats from my past.)

  2. #2 JimR.
    August 20, 2012

    I’ve never heard of palm vein ID. I did find a link at: http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2008/08/18/vein-scan-identity.html
    about it. Looks like GMAT is using it. Fujitsu claims it is so easy to spoof a fingerprint, but not palm veins. Who knows?

    I feel sorry for Kaitlin Nootbar fighting a regressive school administration.

  3. #3 Blaine
    August 20, 2012

    Not quite sure why ‘hell’ is offensive anymore or why it ever was. I suppose it came from the belief in the power of curses as in ‘go to hell’. Anymore, it’s like saying fanny pack around a Brit. Some get offended because fanny means pussy to them. They prefer bum bag.
    I wonder what they would have thought if she would have said she was thinking of doing something ‘Shagadelic’?

  4. #4 Sara
    August 20, 2012

    I’ve known this girl for a few years, and I can tell you this is a complete injustice. I encourage all who feel the same to send a letter of complaint to Prague Schools at 3504 NBU Prague, Oklahoma 74864, or if your feeling bold, their number is 405-567-2281. Please show your support, because no one should be denied the right to a diploma they’ve worked 12 years to earn.

  5. #5 MNb
    August 20, 2012

    Is this for real or is this a parody?
    I mean, from my Dutch perspective (and no, I am nót saying that we Europeans are so smart; we aren’t) this sets a new standard for nuttery.
    Certainly I can imagine a few arguments against that scanner program and I even can imagine a reprimand for Kaitlin Nootbaar (sounds Dutch btw), but thís?
    So again, seriously?

  6. #6 Lenoxus
    August 20, 2012

    Biometrics in general are a mistake, as compared to the other two categories of secure authentication: “something you know” (like a password) and “something you have” (like a key or a magnetic stripe card). A few of the flaws:
    • Things like fingerprints and retina patterns are necessarily the same for a given person from one system to another, so crack one and you’ve cracked them all
    • They can’t be ciphered to arbitrary levels of time/difficulty (we’re stuck with what the good Lord made, nothing simpler or harder)
    • Any machine reading them has to have a fudge factor because we’re not made out of pixels; it’s therefore difficult to simultaneously minimize false positives and false negatives
    • If a hacker manages to steal your biometric info (and yes, the machines can be fooled with fake body parts), then what are you going to do, get new hands or eyeballs?

    Though as eric mentions, system problems aren’t too serious when the stakes are a day’s lunch.

    Anyway, wouldn’t the “mark of the beast” be something added to a person’s body, like a microchip? Otherwise, the worried parents are implying that the Beast created their children’s palm-veins!

  7. #7 Kevin sanders
    August 20, 2012

    Well, The Left behind series was based on the book of Revelation – things yet to come. Some of which have already happened and are happening before our very eyes.

    I too will resist any form of mark in my right hand or forehead. Of course punishment for nor worshipping the beast if getting your head chopped off (sounds Islamic to me – the mahdi?). Then again Christ promised that whoever would lose his life for the sake of Christ will get great rewards in heaven. So, death is by far, not the worst thing an enemy can do to you. There are worse things than death.

  8. #8 Tree
    August 20, 2012

    How is it that the people who are for photo ID to keep the ‘colored folk’ down are freaked out by a palm scanner? Just sayin’

  9. #9 Kurt
    August 20, 2012

    I’ve heard that hand-print reading devices are horrible for transferring germs from one person to another. It makes me shudder thinking of all those kids pressing their palms on the same reader, and then immediately afterwards eating lunch. It’s the microscopic beasties you need to worry about, not the great big (imaginary) one!

  10. #10 Jockaira
    August 21, 2012

    Kurt has an excellent comment. If there is a greatly enhanced probability of passing along germs using this equipment, then that should be sufficient reason not to use it among a population with still-developing immune systems and still-developing patterns of personal hygiene.

  11. #11 Xuuths
    August 21, 2012

    Perhaps the student should note that “Give ’em Hell Harry” was the popular rallying cry in the U.S. — and ask why they hate America?

    Unless the school has a specific written rule against profanity during commencement addresses, and no faculty member reviewed/approved the speech, and there are no examples of any previous speaker being similarly punished for profanity during commencement addresses (they would have to do a lot of research for that one), then … I hope we can get message here.

    If the student is 18 years old, not a minor, the rules may be in her favor for free speech claims. (I am absolutely certain if she had praised jesus, they would not have punished her.)

  12. #12 Kevin sanders
    August 21, 2012


    “colored folk” as you so put it do not need photo ID. They are easily recognized. Just saying…

    You have to have a photo ID to DRIVE.
    You have to a photo ID to get into work ( in most places)
    You have to have a photo ID to apply for a mortgage.
    You have to have a photo ID to purchase certain items.

    So, if your so called “colored folks” drive, go to work, or purchase beer, cigarettes, condoms, apply for welfare, Social security, buy a house, buy a car, rent a car, rent a hotel, etc THEY ALREADY HAVE TO HAVE A PHOTO ID!

    Idiot. I do not know of anyone except children who DO NOT have a photo ID.

    And how exactly are we keeping your “colored folks” down?They get most of the benefits that you and I work and pay taxes for. Everytime they have a child they get paid more and pay less taxes. It’s almost as if the government is paying them to reproduce. That is not keeping soemone down.

  13. #13 Wow
    August 21, 2012

    Well done, Kevin.

    You’ve managed to make it really clear that you carried on both sides of that conversation with no involvement of external reality other than the name of the person you wanted to lambast.

  14. #14 Kevin sanders
    August 22, 2012

    “Well done, Kevin.”

    Thanks! Glad you agree with me.

  15. #15 dean
    August 30, 2012

    Except kevin, it is all too often the case that the types of id you mention DO NOT allow a person to vote: a special type of id is required. In Wisconsin the governor decided they should be available in dmv offices, but vetoed any public advertising, or signs within those buildings, and employees are instructed to offer them only when asked: they are not allowed to bring up the subject on their own.

    other states allow those ids for gun purchase but not for voting identification.

    the word idiot in your post should be self-referential, not aimed at others.

  16. #16 Wow
    August 30, 2012

    Kevin does it again 22nd.

    I guess when you’re that closed minded, the universe never gets a word in.

    He has a little mental burka that only lets in the bits of the universe that fit through that tiny little slit that his religion has required he fit.

  17. #17 Kevin Sanders
    September 5, 2012

    I could same thing about you WOW. Your religion of global warming and the altar you have built to charles darwin and to “science” keeps you from seeing the real world.

  18. #18 Wow
    September 6, 2012

    There’s no religion of global warming. For the same reason there’s no religion of televisions. It exists, therefore it’s real.

    But because it is illustrative of market failure, the venal insist it is false.

  19. #19 Kevin Sanders
    September 6, 2012

    If you woship it, it becomes a religion. If you dedicate yourself to an issue to the point where you become obsessed with it, then it becomes an idol of worship. Left wingers are worshipping the earth. There is no such thing as an atheist. Every human worships something. Some just choose to worship the creator of the universe while other choose to worship inanimate object that the Creator created.

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