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.
“The introduction of biometric technology in Angus schools is of great interest and concern to me,” added the mum. “Article 8 of the Human Rights Act states that we all have the right to privacy.
“It appears to me that Angus Council does not recognise that there are important ethical issues surrounding the collection of DNA and biometric data from children attending school.
“Providing people living in Angus with information about the introduction biometric technology and listening to their views would surely have been possible.
“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.”
Photo by Flickr user micahb37.