Students should participate in CHIP program

Published 5:11 pm Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tuesday, second graders at Elcan-King Elementary School participated in the Georgia Child Identification Program (CHIP). CHIP is a program that visits local schools and meets with as many children as possible, documenting their identification information, such as fingerprints, names and addresses, as well as a DNA sample.

Parents then receive a CD with all this information, which they can give to law enforcement officials in case of an emergency. Certainly, no parent ever wants to hear that their child has been abducted or has gone missing, but thanks to the CHIP program law enforcement officials can now quickly get a detailed description of a missing child, and share that information with the National Amber Alert System.

This program is made possible through the support of the Freemasons of Georgia, including the local Orion Lodge No. 8. However, a child can only participate if his or her parent gives permission.
We understand that any parent is hesitant to let someone have such detailed information, but CHIP officials are required to delete the information from their databases, after the CDs are made for the parents. The only people who will ever see that information again are the police who break the seal on the CD wrapper when the data is needed in an emergency situation.

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We encourage all parents to allow their second graders to participate in this important program. The CHIP program will be at John Johnson Elementary School on Sept. 4, and visit other elementary schools in the coming months. Parents will receive a letter prior to the CHIP visit, detailing the program and asking for their permission for their children’s participation.

We hope that every parent signs that form.