Home > Uncategorized > Millions for Facial Recognition Technology: Not a Dime for Care-Giving Staff

Millions for Facial Recognition Technology: Not a Dime for Care-Giving Staff

May 25, 2018

One of Diane Ravitch’s posts yesterday described the Lockport NY School District’s latest effort to ensure the safety of children in their schools: their decision to install facial recognition software.  The press release from the US-China Investment News offered this breathless assessment of the district’s acquisition:

“Lockport will be the first school district in the world with this technology deployed,” said Tony Olivo, an Orchard Park security consultant who helped develop the system.

The software is used by “Scotland Yard, Interpol, the Paris police and the French Ministry of Defense,” Olivo said. “There are a lot of facial recognition systems out there. There is nothing in the world that can do what this technology does.”

The cost of this new safety investment?

Lockport will spend $1.4 million of the state’s money on the Aegis system, from SN Technologies of Ganonoque, Ont., in all 10 district buildings this summer. It’s part of a $2.75 million security system that includes 300 digital video cameras.

As noted in an earlier post, the result of our current thinking is that we are raising a generation of students who are comfortable with the government monitoring them 24/7, working in an environment where they are monitored by armed guards, and being protected from those who might pose a threat based on government screening for mental health.

But creating this “safe” environment is presumably worth it because when they are old enough, these same schoolchildren will be able to acquire any weapons they wish to purchase— that is, unless they “pose a threat”.

And here’s the conundrum: if a school superintendent, school board member, or state politician argued AGAINST “safety measures” like any of the above they would be out of a job or out of office because of their failure to “do something” to stop the violence. As I think most readers believe, the “something” that is needed is to provide more “soft services” in schools: more classroom teachers; more social workers; more counselors… but if one seeks these kinds of initiatives in response to gun violence one is deemed to be soft in the head…

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