US parents offered fingerprinting ‘service’

One American father says that his children’s elementary school is asking parent volunteers to be fingerprinted. What’s interesting about the school’s letter is that fingerprinting is presented as an innocuous service: ‘the Office of Human Resources will provide fingerprinting services…from 9am to 2pm…. [W]e ask that you plan to attend this event. Many of you chaperone field trips, work in classrooms and support the school in other essential ways. We hope this opportunity will facilitate your continued support’.

Likewise, Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks are often presented as an ‘opportunity’ for which you are ‘eligible’. This soft language suggests that such controlling bureaucratic procedures have become relatively acceptable, and are subject to little scrutiny. Far from being draconian, CRB checks and fingerprinting are apparently merely a ‘service’ offered to ‘facilitate’ responsible citizens.

Here’s to turning the tables of the debate in 2007!