ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. – Some parents in the Francis Howell School District are left deciding between allowing their child’s personal information to be shared or keeping their child out of the yearbook.
According to the district, it started with a social media post on Monday, which soon sparked a conversation about what information Francis Howell should be sharing about the students.
Chief communication officer Jennifer Jolls says the district sent a letter home to parents as a result. The letter says things like a student’s name, grade, and building name, as well as personal phone numbers, email addresses, and mailing addresses, were shared after a Sunshine request was submitted by a third party.
Parents say that the release was never sent, and they were caught off guard.
Jolls says over two dozen parents reached out to the district on Tuesday with their concerns. The district has an opt-out program through the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). As of right now, only 20 students out of thousands have completed the refusal disclosure.
The board says student information is subject to the state’s Sunshine Laws, leaving holes in safeguarding information.
Board member Adam Bertrand wrote in a statement that he’s currently reviewing laws that make situations like this more difficult, hoping to work with state legislation to update the Sunshine Law to exclude information on minor children.