Irish School Fingerprints Pupils

Irish Examiner
05.09.2009
By Jimmy Woulfe

School fingerprints pupils to monitor absenteeism

STUDENTS were fingerprinted yesterday as a Limerick secondary school introduced its own database in a hi-tech bid to monitor absenteeism.

The principal of Salesian College at Copsewood, Pallaskenry, however, emphasised that the school did not have an absenteeism problem.

The college informed parents in a newsletter during the summer of the fingerprinting but the Data Protection Commission said each parent and student must give signed consent.

Meanwhile, students attending school yesterday had their fingerprints taken. The index finger and thumb of either hand were entered into a school data base, matched with names and individual identity numbers.

On arrival each morning and after lunch, students will place a finger on one of two scanners which will identify them and speedily mark them present.

Mr O’Neill said: “A lot of schools have a swipe card system”

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