UPDATE (Dec. 20, 10 a.m.): The following is from John Torre, spokesman for FCPS:
Under federal law (The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act or FERPA), schools generally must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student's education record. We have notified Fairfax City PD. As the message to parents indicates, we are prepared to take further action if Fairfax Underground does not voluntarily take down the document that was posted.
Torre adds that FCPS is working to find out how this leak occurred as quickly as possible.
Fairfax City school officials and staff know about the leak and are working with FCPS and City of Fairfax Police to resolve this issue, Carolyn Dorsey, spokeswoman for City of Fairfax Schools said.
Superintendent Jack Dale sent the following message to FHS parents Wednesday evening:
On December 19, Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) learned of a posting to the blog Fairfax Underground on December 18 that contained confidential information of students enrolled at Fairfax High School in June 2012. Specifically, this information contained student names, student identification numbers, final exam grades, 4th quarter grades, and final grades for the 2011-12 school year, grouped by course. Home addresses, social security numbers, and other personally identifiable information were NOT included.
Although FCPS does not yet know who provided this information to Fairfax Underground, or how the individual(s) obtained confidential student grade information, it is conducting a full investigation into the matter and has notified law enforcement authorities. It also has demanded that Fairfax Underground remove the student information, and will take further action if that organization does not comply. Violations of student privacy will not be tolerated and those who are responsible for this breach will be held accountable.
While student information was included in this blog posting, we have no reason to believe that this incident poses any threat to your student and do not believe you need to take any action. However, if you wish to share any concerns or ask any questions, please email or call the Department of Communications and Community Outreach at email@example.com or 571-423-1200. We are aware that a post in the blog thread is cited to a Dave Goldfarb. Please know that Fairfax High School Principal David Goldfarb has not posted any comments on this blog.
The Fairfax Underground thread titled "Leaked! Fairfax High School Report Cards from 2011-2012 School Year for Every Student! 2,166 page PDF file" was posted at 6:11 p.m. Tuesday by a user known as Fairfax Leaks. As the title suggests, the thread attachment contains a PDF and later a text document revealing the final grades for last school year's FHS students.
Fairfax Underground is an online forum where anyone can share information and react to issues regarding the Northern Virginia region. Many users post anonymously.
This thread hints at a previous thread with the same information, though a quick search shows nothing of the kind exists at the moment.
Check Patch for more information as it becomes available.
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