- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 24, 2015

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - The Tunica County School District is alerting parents and other community members after students’ personal information was posted on the school district’s website.

Superintendent Steve Chandler said some of the thousands of pages of documents contained confidential information. He said the information was taken down when alerted by the state. He said the documents were posted online for about five to six days.

Chandler said the information was posted in response to an audit done by the state during the spring semester.

The federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects the privacy of students’ education records. The U.S. Department of Education monitors the law.

The information was posted in response to an audit done by MDE during the spring semester. The audit found the district didn’t comply with all accreditation standards and accountability requirements, including misspent federal funds and issues with special education services among other findings.

The Clarion-Ledger reports (https://on.thec-l.com/1HdGQ1U) the information included social security numbers, medical and discipline data, Detention/Suspension Roster Summaries, Mississippi Student Information System numbers, disability status and more.

The state Department of Education said it became aware of the information on the site through complaints from parents.

Chandler said the school district has contacted several U.S. credit-reporting agencies about the incident and says it also plans to offer identity-monitoring services to parents and students who wish to use them.

The Department of Education said in its letter to the superintendent it has notified the Attorney General’s Office, the U.S. Department of Education and the Office of Civil Rights.

The U.S. Department of Education’s Family Policy Compliance Office, which administers FERPA, said it reviews the evidence after receiving a complaint about an alleged violation. If it finds there is a violation after an investigation, corrective actions such as training of school officials are assigned so that the district is in compliance, officials said.

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Information from: The Clarion-Ledger, https://www.clarionledger.com


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