Stop the World I wanna get off.
How can this happen is society?
Merseyside schoolchildren are being fingerprinted
Aug 16 2006
By Jessica Shaughnessy Daily Post Staff
SCHOOLCHILDREN across Merseyside are being fingerprinted in the classroom, it was claimed last night.
Five schools in Liverpool, Knowsley, St Helens and Warrington are said to be among hundreds in the country to use a new biometric system.
The Government says the method is mainly used for accessing school libraries, but critics last night described it as a "big brother system".
Campaigners are demanding the system be banned after reports of children being fingerprinted without parental consent.
The leavethemchildren alone.com website lists 200 schools where the system is in use, including St Anne's Church of England Primary School in Old Swan and Archbishop Beck Roman Catholic Secondary School in Walton.
It says fingerprints are also being taken at Bowring Comprehensive School in Huyton, Sutton High Sports College in St Helens and Great Sankey County High School in Warrington.
Dr John ******* for the North West, said he fears children's prints are being taken without their parents' knowledge.
He added: "Almost 30 schools in the North West are known to have fingerprinted their pupils.
"I want to know why it is being done, how widespread it is and whether it is being carried out at the behest of the local education authority.
"Most important of all, I want to know if schools are seeking the consent of parents before carrying out such actions.
"We really have reached a pitiful level in this country when we are fingerprinting children at primary schools and keeping their parents in the dark".
The listed Merseyside schools were unavailable for comment last night as they had closed for the summer holidays.
Though the two Liverpool schools are run by the Catholic Church and the Church of England, a spokesman for Liverpool City Council said fingerprinting was "not something the authority would encourage".
Executive member for education Cllr Paul Clein said the system was "frightening".
He continued: "If the system was proposed for Liverpool council schools, I would not support it.
"It's unnecessary. "Fingerprinting children will give them the impression they are under suspicion, as they so often are these days. They are increasingly treated as potential criminals.
"This country already has the biggest DNA database. There is already enough information about people without this." BTW They can lift your DNA from anything you touch
A spokeswoman for the Department for Education and Schools said: "It's mainly an issue for local authorities.
A lot of people are doing it to access libraries, others are using it for canteens and registration purposes.
"It's up to the individual schools what they use it for.
"Also they have responsibility for informing parents and getting consent, unless they consider a child mature enough to decide for themselves."
Earlier this year, the Home Office began fingerprinting five-year-old asylum seekers at centres in Liverpool and Croydon.
The initiative began following concerns that children were being registered by several families in order to claim more benefits.