Oct 19, 2022 - World

Texas students to get DNA kits to help identify bodies in emergencies

A memorial outside of Robb Elementary School for the 21 lives taken by a gunman in Uvalde, Texas, is seen Sept. 6, 2022. Photo: Pedro Salazar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Texas public school students are being sent home with DNA kits, collections from which would help identify their bodies in emergency situations, per NBC.

Driving the news: All K-6 students who are eligible will be provided with a kit that can record an ink-free fingerprint and a physical description, along with a saliva sample on a DNA identification card, but parents will not be mandated to use them.

  • Parents or guardians will be able to keep their child's DNA and fingerprint information at home, and can later hand it over to law enforcement agencies in emergency situations if needed.

By the numbers: Some 3.8 million students in Texas will bring home a kit, ABC's local station reports.

Context: The state passed a law last year requiring the Texas Education Agency "provide identification kits to school districts and open-enrollment charter schools for distribution to the parent or legal custodian of certain students."

Between the lines: But the distribution of the kits comes just months after the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting left 19 children and two adults dead last spring.

  • Many of the bodies of children who were shot inside Robb Elementary School were not easily identifiable due to their catastrophic injuries, per NBC.
  • In some instances, family members had to provide DNA swabs in order to identify the remains.
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