Students Personal Info. Found In Dumpster

POSTED: Friday, April 3, 2009 - 5:16pm

UPDATED: Thursday, February 25, 2010 - 11:32am

Parents of some Brownsville High School Students are outraged after News Center 23 found their children's personal information, un-shredded at a dumpster.
News Center 23's Kenny Lopez has this Exclusive story...
Last night, a concerned parent called News Center 23 after finding personal information of high school students in a dumpster, so we went dumpster diving.
"It definitely demonstrates that there's personal info. on it."
"I was first alarmed when you called with info of my son's birthday, address, I wondered, where you had gotten this info."
You ask, where we got this info...Well, News Center 23 dug thru a dumpster, behind BISD's Central Administration Building, near Sam's Stadium and found at least 50 Hanna High School students personal info, listing their birthdates, addresses, parent's names and phone numbers.
So we started calling the numbers, and every parent we talked to is upset.
"I'm always very fearful when someone comes up with my son's or daughter's info, they could use it in the wrong way."
This mother, didn't want to show her face on camera, but says, BISD employees need to be more careful.
"Working with records of 50-thousand students, i'm sure there's some sort of technology that can destroy it efficiently."
Parents are upset that BISD ripped their kids information instead of shredding it.
"This is unacceptable, I have a big shredder myself, I shred all my monthly bills, because I'm afraid of identity theft."
Parents of one of the students we found on the list, Richard and Robin Arreola say with identity theft running rampant, the School District should not be lazy when dealing with personal information.
"It looks like it was just ripped by hand."
Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources for Brownsville's Independent School District, Susan Fox says they always try to take student and parent confidentiality, seriously.
"Certainly this is a concern for us, any kind of breach of confidentiality, and we intend to investigate it, to determine how it occurred, who might've done it, and which department it might've come from."
Fox says, there's a great possibility, they will find out who did this.
Still, these parents say, it's garbage, that this happened in the first place.
"It's a lot of information that shouldn't just be in the dumpster."
BISD spokespeople say, they have a records management department, which is responsible for destroying all records.
Each school is not allowed to do it on their own.
BISD wants to make clear that the information we found was ripped, so someone tried to destroy it, but proper shredding procedures were not followed.
BISD employees have already gone through the dumpster,and have made sure sure that all the student's information is gone.

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