© Chris Port, 2010
Marty was curious about all the illegal hidden CCTV cameras and microphonesMore
Government guidelines 'recommend' the introduction of biometric systems in schools. Systems are bought and paid for at substantial expense. After the money has already been spent, it is then 'realized' that consultation should have taken place. Staff are then invited to register any concerns that they may have in writing to the governors via the Headteacher. Assuming that the letters are indeed forwarded on to the governors, you are not entitled to read the minutes of the debate. No response to any of your specific questions is given and the system is immediately introduced. Perhaps we could imagine some truthful responses...
Re: Proposed Biometric Hand Scanning of Staff
I would be grateful if the Governors would provide me with clarification and consider my concerns about the proposed biometric system on the following grounds:
- Will biometric scanning and registration be voluntary or compulsory? (Voluntary, because we can't legally make it compulsory. Your employers might see your legal rights as being 'unhelpful' though).
- If voluntary, will there be any negative consequence if I choose not to participate? (On the record, no of course not. Off the record, we'll get you...).
- If compulsory, what legal precedent is being cited to enforce compliance? (None... yet...).
- There is a ‘slippery slope’ argument that compulsory biometric scanning and registration is the start of something more sinister (e.g. constant CCTV surveillance of lessons, electronic tagging of staff and students, etc.). Declarations of lack of intent are not the same as safeguards since intentions may change and precedents grease the wheels. If compulsory, and staff refuse to comply on the grounds that compulsory submission to biometric scanning and registration, against their will, erodes both their civil liberties and their professional integrity, what sanctions may be applied? (Don't you trust us? We are deeply... irritated).
- I hope that the governors see a difference between effective monitoring and distrustful surveillance of staff. I think that this measure gets the balance wrong. It further undermines the professionalism, integrity and moral authority of teachers and thus contributes to our problems rather than solving them. (We see no difference).
Thank you for your consideration in this matter.
(Sign own death warrant here)