8News Investigates: Schools Release Students' Personal Info - ABC 8NEWS - WRIC | Richmond, Virginia News & Weather

8News Investigates: Schools Release Students' Personal Info

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CHESTERFIELD, VA—Parents of children at Hopkins Road and Salem Church Road Elementary Schools say their kids came home with sensitive data belonging to other students and they now want to know who has access to their kid's private data.

An 8News investigation found 130 students at the two schools brought home information forms filled with personal identifying details such as social security numbers and birth dates, even birth certificate numbers, and the sensitive data didn't even belong to the very young children entrusted with carrying them home.

"That kind of made it worse that I opened up my kids backpack and found some other kids Social Security Number and birth certificate number," says concerned parent Kasey Tross. "I had to wonder where was my daughter's information and who had it and what would they do with it?"

The identity document shuffle, has parents fearing their kids could be the victim of identity theft

"I have a son whose 7 years old whose info is exposed to strangers," says parent Shari Rees. "Somebody else could be using my son's information. I don't know who got it what they're doing with it or anything."

With parents asking how could this happen? 8News went the school district looking for answers.

Chesterfield Schools Spokesman Shawn Smith says teachers in six different classes did not realize the forms were child specific and just randomly handed them out for the kids to take home

"We're very concerned that occurred and we've been apologizing directly to those families," Smith says. "It should not have happened. We obviously apologize to the families and continue to do so."

But concerned parents say an apology just doesn't cut it.

"I'm sorry and it was a mistake is fine but there really needs to be something else that can be done to protect my kids because this should not have happened," says Tross.

The school district is asking parents who received another child's information to return the form to the school. But parents want the schools to take steps ensure their kid's identities are not being exploited.

"As a school they failed and they need to step up and do something to protect him," says Rees.

If you're worried that your child's identity could be stolen, go to the Federal Trade Commission website to check out warning signs, see their credit report, and even find out how you can prevent it from happening.

 

Copyright 2013 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond

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