Texas sending families DNA kits to help identify their children in case they're slain in school shooting

'It's like wiping your ass before you take a shit,' said Brett Cross, whose son Uziyah Garcia died at Robb Elementary School.

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click to enlarge Authorities were only able to identify the body of Maite Rodriguez, 10, who died at Robb Elementary School because of the green Converse shoes she was wearing. - Courtesy Photo / Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center
Courtesy Photo / Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center
Authorities were only able to identify the body of Maite Rodriguez, 10, who died at Robb Elementary School because of the green Converse shoes she was wearing.
Texas is sending nearly 4 million DNA test kits to the parents of public school children so law enforcement can identify bodies in case of a mass shooting, Houston TV station ABC 13 reports.

The rollout, criticized by the families of victims of the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde and San Antonio Congressman Joaquin Castro, originated with legislation passed by the Texas Legislature in 2021.

Senate Bill No. 2158, passed after the mass shooting at Santa Fe High School, requires the Texas Education Agency to "provide identification kits to school districts and open-enrollment charter schools for the distribution to the parent or legal custodian of certain students."

The DNA kits aim to avoid situations similar to that of Ana Rodriguez, whose 10-year-old daughter, Maite Rodriguez, was killed in Uvalde. Her daughter's body, ripped apart by the gunman's bullets, was identified solely through her green Converse sneakers with a heart drawn on the left toe, NBC DFW previously reported.

Many on social media have criticized the distribution of the kids for obvious reasons.
"It's like wiping your ass before you take a shit," Brett Cross, whose son Uziyah Garcia died at Robb Elementary School, wrote on Twitter. "Let's identify kids after they've been murdered instead of fixing issues that could ultimately prevent them from being murdered."

San Antonio Congressman Joaquin Castro, a Democrat, also criticized the state's new policy on Twitter.
"Texas Governor Greg Abbott won't do anything to stop school shootings so instead we're getting DNA kits to make it easier to identify our kids before the next mass shooting here," Castro wrote.

Abbott has been criticized for failing to call a special legislative session in the months after the shooting in Uvalde to address gun reform and school safety. He's also refused to entertain the idea of raising the age to buy an assault-style rifle in Texas.

Abbott, Republican, is up for reelection on Nov. 8.

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