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Good News, Arizona Teachers: No DNA Database for You

February 20, 2019

When I began seeing ads for the likes of “23 and Me,” I thought, “Here we go. Massive DNA data collection. Where to next on this DNA data train?”

Well. I can’t say that I expected Arizona teachers to have to face the possibility of mandatory DNA collection as a job requirement.

From the February 19, 2019, Arizona Republic:

Arizona could soon be one of the first states to maintain a massive statewide DNA database.

And if the proposed legislation passes, many people — from parent school volunteers and teachers to real estate agents and foster parents — will have no choice but to give up their DNA.

Under Senate Bill 1475, which Sen. David Livingston, R-Peoria, introduced, DNA must be collected from anyone who has to be fingerprinted by the state for a job, to volunteer in certain positions or for a myriad of other reasons.

The bill would even authorize the medical examiner’s office in each county to take DNA from any bodies that come into their possession.

As one might imagine, public outcry against a massive DNA database was swift– and effective. From the February 20, 2019, Arizona Republic:

A controversial bill that would have created a massive statewide database of DNA from a myriad of professionals, volunteers and even dead people has been scaled back.

Sen. David Livingston, R-Peoria, the bill sponsor, has introduced an amendment to Senate Bill 1475 that would require DNA only from professionals who care for patients with intellectual disabilities in an intermediate care facility.

The changes, which were quietly done Tuesday afternoon amid public outcry following a story by The Arizona Republic, slashed the original text of Senate Bill 1475 significantly.  …

The reduced bill seems to focus more on addressing the recent incident at Hacienda HealthCare in which an incapacitated patient of the intermediate level care facility was raped and impregnated. Police were able to tie the alleged crime to nurse Nathan Sutherland using DNA after the woman unexpectedly gave birth in December.

So, Arizona teachers, it seems that your DNA continues to be your private property.

Fingerprinting? Okay. I understand that one.

My DNA? To be a classroom teacher? Now you’ve gone too far.

Let’s hear it for the power of swift public backlash.

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Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of two other books: A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education and Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?. You should buy these books. They’re great. No, really.

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4 Comments
  1. LisaM permalink

    I don’t know if you know this, but 23 and Me is a company owned by a Russian oligarch who is friendly with Putin.

  2. Derek permalink

    Value of information, from birth certificates, to school scores connection to biometrics, to dna and medical records, will continue because many believe it gives them an edge in their business. Whether its data mining with cookies on your phone or computer or real time data from your smart meter about daily usage, someone somewhere is banking on all this information to give them an edge on competition or in the big gamble of life. Must be great to be able to pay someone else to research and worry about your bottom line for you? I bet it’s a lot like politicians being so far their districts, they have a poor sense of reality. Good intentions or greed? Maybe both? Ahhh change!!

  3. Bonnie Hickman permalink

    Thanks for posting this info.

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