LUBBOCK, Texas — The DNA testing kits some Texas school districts are distributing were originally intended to help find missing children, State Senator Donna Campbell, M.D clarified Tuesday.
“It has come to my attention that there is some confusion regarding the intent of the Child I.D. Kits currently being disseminated at schools,” said State Senator Campbell, Republican from New Braunfels. “The Child I.D. Kits for Safe Recovery Act was passed back in 2021 to provide aid in the reunification of missing and trafficked children. My hope is that these kits provide peace of mind to parents.”
Some parents have voiced concerns the kits are in response to the school shooting in Uvalde, in which some victims had to be identified with DNA samples.
The legislation providing these kits predates the Robb Elementary shooting and passed the Texas House on May 25, 2021, which is National Missing Children’s Day.
The legislature’s original bill analysis indicates the bill is intended to codify an effort dating back to 2006, in which the Texas Association of School Administrators began to distribute DNA testing kits to all K-6 students from kindergarten through the sixth grade.
The bill directs the Texas Education Agency to provide “inkless, in-home fingerprint and DNA identification kits” to all public-school districts and open-enrollment charter schools. Districts are to provide these kits to parents by request.
Parents are not required to use the kits, nor are they supposed to return them to the district. The kits are intended to be kept with parents in case their child goes missing.
A spokesperson for Lubbock ISD said they were unaware of the plans for DNA kits and have not heard any concerns from parents.
State Sen. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) said he was unaware of any developments relating to the legislation and has not heard any questions or concerns.