A parent from Leeds forwarded both myself and Leave Them Kids Alone details of how their 11 year old son's new school dealt with her concerns over a biometric lunch system, installed over the summer break.
The vendors of the lunch system treated the children without respect, the schools evaded questions, she got told by the bio-company "It is the law, it was passed in parliament in June this year. If you don't believe me, I can prove it" (what?!) and some courageous pupils refused on human rights grounds - good for them!
The email in full is on the LTKA [link temporarily removed] site, but here are some parts of the email that, quite frankly, makes my blood boil in the way the children were treated - but yet an admirable response in their stanse:
(parent) ...I had a telephone conversation with a very bright young girl who also attends this school. She refused to have her fingerprints taken, as did her friend. (Their human rights decision - she said) They have also heard of a few others who have refused too. They didn't agree with the way that the system had been sneaked into school and with no parental consent form. They were very scared, yet refused to cooperate. They were then threatened with the isolation unit, no school trips and wouldn't be allowed to enter into the school without the prints.
But.... my point is, they still refused! The girl said that many of her friends were very scared, they didn't like it and didn't want to have it done, yet they were still bullied into it (........ including her younger brother)
She said that they rounded up the kids like sheep for the slaughter, doing all the youngest first. The teenagers who are in their final year of school are going to be fingerprinted tomorrow. (14/09/2007) She also mentioned that apart from the science teachers, all the other teachers were completely in the dark about what was going on.
Courageous kids eh? bless em :-)
And this cashless system is supposed to 'prevent 'bullying eh?... the schools implementation of this scheme, in itself, raises some very serious questions!