Expatica news

Fingerprint recognition in high schools

05 February 2007

After 2 Brussels schools installed fingerprint scanners on their premises, it is now the turn of the Marie-José school in Liege to get equipped despite mounting criticism, notably from privacy protection associations.

The Commission for the Protection of Privacy complained that none of the schools consulted them before installing fingerprint recognition systems.

Furthermore, the spokeswoman of the commission, Martine Lartigue, criticises what she perceives to be ‘disproportionate’ reactions to the violent incidents that made the headlines in the past weeks.

The Ligue des Familles, an organisation representing the families of pupils, sees this measure as a desperate attempt to control and punish truancy. And, even if the organisation realises that many chronic absentees are often involved in violent interactions during school hours, it still deplores this excessive measure.

Philippe Schwarzenberger, the president of the FAPEO, a federation representing a number of parents’ associations, said he was “frightened” by this type of measure and “feared that it might become a sales argument luring parents to sign their children up” to schools equipped with fingerprint recognition systems.

Philippe Schwarzenberger added that schools are the “place where we build tomorrow’s society” and asked if it wouldn’t be to the advantage of everyone to try and create more involvement between pupils and education professionals. 

[Copyright Expatica]

Subject: Belgian news