Jan 042011
 
 January 4, 2011  Non-U.S., Surveillance, Youth & Schools

Angus Council’s use of biometric systems continues to provoke a backlash, with one parent revealing the council asked to collect DNA samples from her child.

Alliance councillor and education convener Peter Nield last week said there had been no opt-outs by parents unhappy about their children being fingerprinted for the library books and school meals systems.

But the councillor’s claim sparked an angry reaction from parents.

Many families contacted The Courier to insist they had indeed opted out, and a Kirriemuir dad said the programme was tantamount to “brainwashing”.

Now, another local mum has revealed her opposition to the systems being used in Angus.

“In 2001, my child arrived home from an Angus primary school with a package of letters concerning ‘research’ that the council had sanctioned to take place within their schools,” said the mum, adding that the proposals included DNA sample collections.

“Naturally I was concerned and had a number of questions about the ethics of this practice. I wrote to Angus Council’s then director of education, Jim Anderson, about my concerns and his response did not allay those concerns.

[…]

“For ethical reasons I did not give consent for my child’s DNA to be collected; it was entirely inappropriate for that approach to have been made through a primary school by Angus Council.”

Read more in the Courier.

The story does not indicate when in 2001 this reportedly occurred, but I’d be curious to know whether it was after 9/11 here and why, if this started as early as 2001, it is first coming to light now.  Did all other parents of Angus primary schoolchildren consent or did the Council and school abandon the “research” request? And what has been done with DNA samples that were collected, if any were?  Hopefully the Courier will continue to pursue this story and expose more of what has gone on.

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