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An Australian high school has stopped fingerprinting its children, on receiving a caning from the country’s press.

Ku-ring-gai High, in Sydney’s prosperous North Shore, is accused of bullying its charges into scanning their fingerprints for an attendance monitoring system it is trialing.

Under New South Wales rules, parents must be told in advance if their children are to be fingerprinted. Also, schools must not ID children whose parents object by way of a letter of exemption.

But Ku-ring-gai interpreted the rules liberally: one parent told The Australian that his daughter “could not leave an exam room until she provided her fingerprint".

Another claimed her two children were “intimidated” into getting their fingerprints scanned despite presenting exemption letters.

Ku-ring-gai High may have breached procedural and privacy guidelines, education officials say. But the school could return to fingerprinting, when it gets its house in order, according to local news reports. ®

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