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Hawthorne schools install palm scanners in lunch lines

Cafeteria workers prepare lunches for school children.
Cafeteria workers prepare lunches for school children.
Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

Hawthorne Middle and Ramona Elementary schools in the Hawthorne School District are turning to palm scanners to speed up the lunch line.  The device takes a photo of the vein pattern below the skin. When student places their palms on a digital reader, a photo of the student and other pertinent information are displayed.

The devices are currently used by eighth-graders and Hawthorne Middle and fifth-graders at Ramona on a trial basis. School officials say they want to make sure every student has access to meals and this technology makes that possible, but concerned parents worry about how the data would be used.

Are palm scanners a safe and effective way to speed up the lunch line? Are they necessary? How could they be used in the future?