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Some teachers refusing to use fingerprint system to confirm attendance at school

Kevin Jones, Principal of Mona High School, Linton Weir, Principal of Old Harbour High, and attorney at law Andre Sheckleford, all speaking Monday on Beyond the Headlines

 

There's unease among teachers who are being asked to submit their fingerprints as part of the process of  confirming their attendance at school.

Mona High in St. Andrew is one of the schools where the system has been introduced.

The principal, Kevin Jones, has acknowledged however that not all teachers are complying.

He explained on RJR’s Beyond the Headlines, on Monday, that the user’s record is not stored as a fingerprint, instead what is stored is a pixelated image, “so if the machine were to be hacked and you get that image, all you’re going to get is a pixelated photo, and we outlined all of that to the teachers.”

Accordingly, he said, of the more than 140 teachers on staff at the school, only eight remain unconvinced and have asked for more information before agreeing to comply.

Mr. Jones said the system was introduced at the start of the school year to combat dishonesty among some teachers who were falsifying their attendance records.

He said the school had been expecting all teachers to comply and the decision by the eight teachers not to cooperate will be discussed by the board, but he added that he does not intend to take any action against the teachers who have not been using the scanner.

Old Harbour High

Another school has had to put off  implementing its fingerprinting system because of concerns raised by some teachers.

Linton Weir, Principal of  Old Harbour High, explained that the plan to introduce fingerprint scans has been three years in the making, but that the teachers have raised concern about possible breaches of  their rights.

As a result, he said the school has not removed the manual register, in response to some teachers' demand that the school "not trample on their rights".

Within their rights

Commenting on the teachers' concerns, attorney at law Andre Sheckleford declared that the teachers were within their rights not to comply with the requirement to provide their fingerprints to schools.

Chief among these rights, he said, was the right to privacy under the country's Constitution, "and it's one of the broadest right to privacy you'll find anywhere in the world."

As a result, he said, "the idea that a fingerprint is collected and stored, and used in a certain way, is already  automatically an interference with the right to privacy, which would have to be justified." 

 



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