School districts across Texas are beginning to distribute DNA kits to families of public elementary school-aged children. In 2021, Texas signed Senate Bill No. 2158 into law, establishing the Child Identification Program. The law requires the Texas Education Agency to supply DNA kits to parents of public elementary school students to help identify their children in cases of emergencies. Parents can voluntarily request these kits for both their elementary-aged and older children and then submit them to law enforcement officials in hopes of locating a missing or trafficked child.
The timing of these kits is a stark reminder to some, coming just months after the deadly shooting in Uvalde that tragically killed 19 school children and two teachers. However, many school officials and detectives urge that their uses go far beyond this worst-case scenario.