Some Kootenay Lake school district parents are flustered by a recent flurry of letters that ended up in students’ mailboxes about a data breach at the Ministry of Education.
“I wasn’t aware these letters had been sent out until it was brought to my attention by district parent advisory council chair Sheri Walsh,” superintendent Jeff Jones told the Star. “When I saw students were receiving letters, I contacted the ministry to ask what’s happening.”
The letter pertains to a lost hard drive containing student data that has yet to be found. When Jones asked why he wasn’t informed the letters were en route, or why they were addressed to underage students rather than their parents, he didn’t receive “much of an answer.”
Walsh feels it’s inappropriate that her daughter received the letter, and said students may not be able to understand the implications. Jones seconded the sentiment.
“Had we known these letters were being sent out, superintendents across the province could’ve been supportive around the communication. As it is, I didn’t receive a report from the ministry and did not know this was happening.”
When contacted by the Star, the ministry said it doesn’t have contact info for parents and used the addresses provided by students for their transcripts.
“The ministry has mailed the letters out of an abundance of caution, because the missing drive has not been located,” the ministry wrote. “It’s important to note there’s no evidence that information on the drive has been accessed or misused in any way.”