May 202011
 May 20, 2011  Posted by  Breaches, Youth & Schools

Seth Roy reports:

Newark police are investigating a report filed this week that alleges leaders of the new Eagle Wings Academy took student information from Excel Academy to contact school districts.

On May 9, Marlene Jacob — former Excel director and current Eagle Wings director — sent letters to districts that contract with Excel about her new school, which is aiming to serve a similar type of student.

When Licking Valley Superintendent Dave Hile saw that letter and the accompanying sample contracts, the district immediately contacted Excel.

“The thing that concerned (special education director Jan Clayton) was it had our students’ names on it and their Social Security numbers,” Hile said. “We just didn’t believe that they should have had that information.”

Excel sent a letter to the 33 districts it contracts with Wednesday, stating Eagle Wings Academy is not affiliated with Excel.

“Any student information included in the Eagle Wings Academy mailing was not obtained with permission from Excel Academy,” interim director Amber Thorne-Hamilton wrote in the letter. “This breach of confidentiality is concerning.”


Although this will understandably strike some as a FERPA issue/breach, it sounds like the police are investigating it is a possible insider data theft/data breach. It will be interesting to see what charges, if any, are ever filed.

Headline corrected to reflect Ohio, not New Jersey. Thanks to the reader who pointed out my error.

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