Lakeville Schools: Release of student information to candidate was policy, not a mistake

Some parents in the Lakeville Area School District are upset over what they’re calling a breach of trust. 

But the district says it was only following school policy when it released the personal information of students to a political candidate who requested it.

"I was absolutely shocked," Kami Sanders told FOX 9. "I was really shocked at it."

School board candidate Brian Thompson was behind the pen, mailing a hand-written card to the home of every Lakeville senior to congratulate them on their senior year. However, some are questioning why the school district provided Thompson with the names and addresses of students, calling it an invasion of privacy and a safety concern that leaves families vulnerable.

On Wednesday the district could not say how many students included in the data release were minors, but made clear this was not a mistake; it’s school board policy. A 2013 school board policy made the district’s student directory public information.

"I followed the standard Lakeville request process," Thompson told FOX 9. "I wrote 885 of them, so my hands are a little bit tired."

"These are minors, their information should be protected and I just feel like a policy that’s been in place for eight to nine years should be revisited," district parent Mani Sayes said.

Meanwhile, Katie Gross’ senior daughter received a letter, but Gross doesn’t see anything wrong in that: "it wasn’t inappropriate in anyway," Gross said

Sanders remains steadfast that the personal information of children should not be available to the public.

"I’ve contacted the district, I’ve contacted the superintendent, I’ve contacted the school board, I’ve contacted the director of student services," she said. "They can share name, address, birthday, weight, height, grades."

Parents are able to opt out of the directory by filling out a form, and the district says it will review the 2013 policy during this school year.