Fulton Science Academy Parents Cry Foul Over Privacy
Student names were listed on an audit report that some parents say violate privacy laws.
Parents of children who attended Fulton Science Academy Middle School are crying foul over the Fulton School System's release of student names in an audit report about the school.
At least one parent has reportedly sent a complaint to the U.S. Department of Education, asking for an investigation into alleged violations of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
Also Ava Chun, whose son attended the school, sent an email to state legislators and media outlets saying the school system and its superintendent broke privacy laws.
"Informing you that Fulton County Superintendent Dr. Avossa and Fulton County School board members broke the privacy law in specifically mentioning student names in its FAULTY UNTRUE audit report," she wrote.
She provided a link to a WSB-TV article online that listed other parents' concerns. It also contains an aplogy from a school system representative and a promise to examine the school system's online public records request system.
The audit report was posted online in the materials for the June 5 School Board workshop meeting, under Superintendent's Report. Patch contacted the school system about the complaint, telling a spokesperson that student names were listed on the published report. The report was taken down and replaced with no notice. When those same parents again complained to Patch that even the new version still contained student names, the school system again was contacted. Now a third version is online–and was replaced on Patch's pages–that had even more names blacked out.
"I request GA legislator and government leaders to see and understand how Fulton County School superintendfent and board falsely manipulates facts and blatantly VIOLATES the law and to do what it can to remedy this," Chun asked in her email to many state senators and representatives.
The school system performed an audit of the school after rejecting its charter renewal application. The audit investigation intensified when an $18.9 million bond issue was downgraded a second time by a ratings agency. This audit added specific complaints against the school's board of governor's and its fiscal management. The student names were listed in reports on three international trips taken by students, parents and chaperones.
The school also lost its bid for a state charter, which was rejected citing the same grounds as the Fulton County School Board's rejection of its charter renewal. Now Fulton Science Academy Middle School is going private, and expending from a middle school to admit students from Pre-K through eighth grade.