Texas school children sent home with DNA kits

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ASPartOfMe
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20 Oct 2022, 8:23 am

Texas schools send parents DNA kits to identify their kids’ bodies in emergencies

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The state of Texas is sending public school students home with DNA kits designed to help their parents identify their children "in case of an emergency."

In 2021, the Texas state legislature passed Senate Bill No. 2158, a law requiring the Texas Education Agency to "provide identification kits to school districts and open-enrollment charter schools for distribution to the parent or legal custodian of certain students."

The Texas public school system will provide ink-free fingerprint and DNA identification cards to all K-6 students who are eligible. Parents are not mandated to use the kits.

The three-fold pamphlets allow caregivers to store their children’s DNA and fingerprints at home, which could then be turned over to law enforcement agencies in the event of an “emergency.” According to the legislation mandating the kits be provided to qualifying Texas families, the fingerprint and DNA verification kits were intended to “help locate and return a missing or trafficked child.”

In the wake of the second deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history and the botched police response that left 19 students and two teachers dead, Texas parents are apprehensive about the kits and the message some are saying it sends to Texas families.

Many of the children gunned down inside Robb Elementary were not easily identifiable as a result of their catastrophic injuries. Some close family members provided DNA swabs in order to positively identify the children's remains.

Tracy Walder, a former CIA and FBI agent and current college professor who taught high school history for 16 years, said she was "devastated" when she heard her second grade daughter would be sent home with a kit.

Now we’re giving parents DNA kits so that when their child is killed with the same weapon of war I had when I was in Afghanistan, parents can use them to identify them?”

"You have to understand, I'm a former law enforcement officer," Walder, who has lived in Texas for 14 years, told TODAY Parents. "I worry every single day when I send my kid to school. Now we're giving parents DNA kits so that when their child is killed with the same weapon of war I had when I was in Afghanistan, parents can use them to identify them?"

Walder said she has tried to "find the right words" for how she feels, but she doesn't think she can "because sometimes it's beyond comprehension."

"This sends two messages: The first is that the government is not going to do anything to solve the problem. This is their way of telling us that," Walder said. "The second is that us parents are now forced to have conversations with our kids that they may not be emotionally ready for. My daughter is 7. What do I tell her?"

Brett Cross, whose 10-year-old son Uziyah Garcia was killed in the Robb Elementary School shooting, shared his frustration over the kits on social media.

“Yeah! Awesome! Let’s identify kids after they’ve been murdered instead of fixing issues that could ultimately prevent them from being murdered,” Cross posted on Twitter.

Some parents say they feel uncomfortable sending their children’s DNA to anyone for privacy reasons. And after the tragedy in Uvalde, the kits are making many moms and dads feel even more anxious about sending their children to school.


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CarlM
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20 Oct 2022, 4:11 pm

If I didn't know otherwise, I would've thought this story was from The Onion 8O.


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r00tb33r
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20 Oct 2022, 4:13 pm

I expect a spike in divorce filings in their near future. :lol:


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cyberdad
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20 Oct 2022, 10:31 pm

Well at least it's functional albeit gruesome



IsabellaLinton
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20 Oct 2022, 10:37 pm

I don't think there's anything wrong with this.
They're just kits for collection.
They don't need to be sent in for analysis.

All parents should have DNA samples for their children.
It's better to be safe than sorry in the event of a kidnapping.
It's not about mass shootings or bombings.

This might sound weird but I kept my kids' baby teeth.
I got them on Tooth Fairy nights.
They're labelled and put away for this reason.
I have snippings from their first haircuts.
I also have their fingerprints.

I think it was especially important for my adopted son.
He wouldn't match my DNA.

I've never sent anything for analysis, but I have it anyway.

There are wide-scale programs here to fingerprint toddlers.
I don't think they do this in the states.
It's good that they are providing it free of charge for all.



Sweetleaf
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21 Oct 2022, 12:06 am

IsabellaLinton wrote:
I don't think there's anything wrong with this.
They're just kits for collection.
They don't need to be sent in for analysis.

All parents should have DNA samples for their children.
It's better to be safe than sorry in the event of a kidnapping.
It's not about mass shootings or bombings.

This might sound weird but I kept my kids' baby teeth.
I got them on Tooth Fairy nights.
They're labelled and put away for this reason.
I have snippings from their first haircuts.
I also have their fingerprints.

I think it was especially important for my adopted son.
He wouldn't match my DNA.

I've never sent anything for analysis, but I have it anyway.

There are wide-scale programs here to fingerprint toddlers.
I don't think they do this in the states.
It's good that they are providing it free of charge for all.


I mean I recall being sent home with such things as dna/finger print kits before, and I grew up in the 90's...so not sure this is even a new thing.


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IsabellaLinton
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21 Oct 2022, 12:21 am

Exactly. ^

My kids were born in the 90s as well.



naturalplastic
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21 Oct 2022, 1:07 pm

Just force the kids to wear dog tags like the GIs wore in World War Two. :)



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22 Oct 2022, 6:54 am

Why don't the parents take DNA tests instead? It's been easy for a very long time to know who a child is via their parents unless they're adopted of course.

The whole thing seems a bit weird and unnecessary. Seems like a DNA harvesting attempt that'll be passed on to the legal authorities to add to their database.



KitLily
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22 Oct 2022, 7:02 am

This sounds horrendous. Like telling kids 'you're going to die at school one day.' What sort of dystopia is America now?

Having said that, I have my daughter's cute baby teeth for sentimental reasons. It never occurred to me that DNA would be in them...


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