The political action director of the local NEA (FHEA) and a founding member of a Democrat aligned PAC have obtained your students’ and primary guardians’ contact information from FHSD using an open records “sunshine” request. Francis Howell Families is opposed to student / parent personal information being released by FHSD for political purposes. In addition, this information can be dangerous in the hands of child traffickers or identity thieves, who are currently free to request it.
We ask the local NEA (FHEA) and the SCCFPS PAC to delete all student data and not use it for political purposes and for neither organization to share student data with anyone. We call on the district to update their policies and controls on student directory information. We also encourage state legislators to look at state law to improve protection of minor students’ data.
Make your voice heard! See information below on what you can do.
- The PAC (St. Charles County Families for Public Schools) claims that they need the info to invite parents to register to vote.
- The local NEA (FHEA) released a statement doubling down on their request and saying they will use the data for political purposes. From their political director’s sunshine request email (which was obtained by Sunshine request):
“as I gear up the efforts to fight the good fight for this next BOE election cycle – I was wondering if I could sunshine request any email including all directory information about students including phone number by building (not alphabetical)”
- The Federal “Family Education Rights and Privacy Act” (FERPA) allows districts to define directory information which can be released. Currently, FHSD defines this information as:
Student’s name, student’s address, student’s phone number(s), parent(s)/guardian(s) e-mail, grade level, grade point average, dates of attendance, grade level, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, degrees and awards received, grade point average, most recent previous school attended, and photographs.
- Currently FHSD only allows parents to opt-out of everything to everyone – which means their students will not be in the yearbook, used by district recognized sports teams and clubs, or used by colleges. FERPA allows parents to specify which pieces of directory information are shared [34 CFR § 99.37(a)]. FHSD’s FERPA opt-out request is “all or nothing”.
Here’s what you can do:
- Attend a FHSD School board meeting and voice your concerns –
See here for schedule and more information.
- Share Feedback with FHSD administration using their contact form
- Contact your legislators here
- Sign up to receive important emails from us on this and other topics at FHSD, or Contact Us here
- Consider making a donation to help us elect more great school board members.