Surrey school district accidentally emails out student information

Surrey school district accidentally emails out student information

SURREY — The Surrey school district is apologizing to parents and students after the personal information of about 250 students was mistakenly sent out as part of a school’s online newsletter.

According to district spokesman Doug Strachan, a staff member at a Surrey school was sending out a letter to parents from the superintendent Monday afternoon when they inadvertently attached the wrong document.

While he was unable to say what the email contained, Strachan did say, “The attachment contained what would be considered private information under the privacy act of about 250 students. It was not financial or medical in nature and beyond that that’s all I can say out of respect for the privacy.”

Strachan was also unable to say which school was affected, but Global BC has reported that it was Clayton Heights Secondary and that the information was related to student marks.

As a result, the district’s privacy officer was notified of the incident who the informed the province’s privacy commissioner.

“A letter was prepared and sent to the parents of those 250 students explaining what happened and the nature of the information that was distributed and where it was distributed,” said Strachan. “The district privacy officer, although not required to, notified the office of the information and privacy commission and informed the commissioner of the incident and is consulting with the privacy commissioner in addressing to see if there are any other steps we can take.”

Strachan said he’s heard of a few parents contacting the district about the incident, and noted that so far everyone has seemed pretty good about it.

“The ones I’m aware of the parents have been quite understanding, it appears to be a human error and they were understanding of that,” he said.

Asked if there would be any disciplinary action resulting from the incident, Strachan said it would be unlikely.

“The main concern at this point is just confirming how this was able to take place and taking measures to avoid that sort of error from ever happening again,” he said. “As far as any discipline, that’s doubtful.  The person who sent it out by accident feels extremely bad about it and it was clearly an inadvertent action.”