Error exposes private info on thousands of South Wash. Co. students

Updated 12 p.m. | Posted 11:40 a.m.

Leaders of the South Washington County Schools apologized Thursday for a massive, accidental release of private student information sent out in an email attachment Wednesday from the district's transportation department.

The attachment contains names, grades, identification numbers, email addresses, mailing addresses, phone numbers, bus routes, pick up and drop off times, pick up and drop off locations, and schools of attendance for some 9,000 students.

"Some of the information is classified as private educational data and should not have been sent to the parents of other students in the district," Superintendent Keith Jacobus told parents in a letter.

He described it as an employee error.

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The district said the email was sent to the parents of most of the district's students. An investigating into what happened and how to prevent it in the future is underway, Jacobus added.

He asked those who received the email to delete the attachment and not forward it.

Parent Dan Gaede said he found out about the release on a community Facebook page.

"I went back to the emails, and down at the very end of the email there was a link. I had missed it before because it was right down at the bottom, but you clicked on it and then all this data for all these kids was just right there," said Gaede, who has two kids in the district and found his family's information in the released data.

"It gave them everything: the stop, the route, the name, the nickname of the bus and the time," Gaede said. "If there's a predator or anything like that, that's like golden for them, I would think."