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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Two former Miami-Dade school students claim the Miami-Dade County School Board was reckless and negligent for publishing students’ private information on the Miami-Dade County Public Schools (MDCPS) website.
The students said a simple internet search of their names brings up all sorts of private info.
Information such as social security number, developmental scale score, whether they passed or failed the FCAT, achievement levels and other test scores.
“A lot of times I couldn’t sleep good. I was really nervous,” one student said. “My mom was telling me it’s such a big deal.”
Their attorneys claim information from 522 other student from American Senior High School had been public since 2013 and there may be more.
“Capacity to steal someone’s identification with their name and social security number is very great and it happens all the time in the United States. That’s one issue. My clients are constantly checking their bank statements and their credit report,” said Stephanie Langer, the students’ attorney.
MDCPS Chief Communications Officer Daisy Gonzalez-Diego said “this was an isolated incident, and at this time, this post cannot be authenticated. Therefore, a forensic review is being conducted to determine its origin.”
The students and their attorney pulled up the website, showing CBS4’s Silva Harapetian the information that is still available to the public.
“Some of us want to work on companies that assess people’s competence through different sources and they look up your name. Your test scores are not satisfactory, that just ruins your chances of getting hired,” one student said.
The Miami-Dade County School Board issued a statement, which read, in part:
“Miami-Dade County Public Schools takes seriously any action that breaches student privacy and confidentiality. Every reasonable method is employed to protect student records. As soon as this incident was brought to our attention, the web page was immediately taken down.”
Since the lawsuit was filed Tuesday afternoon, the webpage was finally taken down.
The students want an overhaul of the district’s policies on how students’ private information is stored and used.
They’ve also filed a formal complaint under with the U.S. Department of Education’s Family Police Compliance Office that’s designed to protect the privacy of students’ education records.