There's a hard-fought lawsuit underway about whether California schools failed in their duty to provide special ed to students, and as a part of that, the court has ordered disclosure of the school records of every California so the plaintiffs can analyze them.
Regardless of the merits of the suit and the precautions the court has ordered in the handling of the data, this is a potentially massive breach of student privacy, and if the worst should happen and that data should spill online, it would be a disaster of epic proportions for young people in California. The dump will include kids' SSNs, medical and mental health information, and disciplinary records.
If you the parent of a student who has attended a California school since 2008, or if you're over 18 and were a California student after 2008, you can ask to have your records withheld from the dump by mailing a simple, one-page objection to the court, before April 1.
The plaintiffs allege the California Department of Education has violated the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”), among other related laws, by failing to monitor, investigate, provide services to, and enforce the rights of children with disabilities consistent with its obligations under the law, and have requested access to these records in order to prove their case. The Defendant denies these allegations.
The request is for the personal information of children, including children with disabilities, children who requested an assessment or who were assessed for special education eligibility, and children who are attending, or who have attended, a California school at any time since January 1, 2008. This includes name, Social Security number, home address, behavior and discipline information, special education assessments/evaluations, records pertaining to health, mental health and medical information and other demographic information.
Alert for California Parents of School-Age Children [Identity Theft Resource Center]
(Image: The old filing cabinets. All gone now, Mcfarlandmo, CC-BY)