Police in Baton Rouge, La. have arrested a 17-year-old girl in connection with an identity theft at an area high school.
During a routine traffic stop, officers found the young woman to be in possession of several sheets of paper listing the names, dates of birth and the Social Security numbers of 159 people, all students at the school. The young woman is a former student at the school, and is believed to have obtained the printout from the school. She is accused of using the information to file fraudulent income tax returns.
The young woman was arrested with two other young people, and the trio was found in possession of Walmart gift card, which police said were obtained for credit by returning stolen merchandise.
The U.S. Department of Education has released a Notice of Proposed Rule Making under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, which will help provide for the increased safety of students’ personal information. Generally speaking, schools must have written permission from a parent or eligible student to release any information from a student’s educational records.
Schools can disclose, without consent, directory information like name, address, telephone number, date of birth, place of birth, honors and awards and dates of attendance. But schools must notify parents or guardians about the disclosure, and parents or guardians can request that the information be withheld.
Check with your child’s school to find out what is being done to protect your child’s personal and educational information.