Software error in redacted document reveals hundreds of student names on COVID-19 contact tracing list

Software error in redacted document reveals hundreds of student names on COVID-19 contact tracing list
Chesterfield County Public Schools (Source: Chesterfield County Public Schools)

CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WWBT) - Chesterfield’s superintendent says a software error led to the names of more than 570 students being exposed to the public.

In a letter to families, Chesterfield County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Merv Daugherty says the defect was in a redacted document with the names of about 575 students and 400 staff COVID-positive students and staff members listed in a contact tracing spreadsheet required for the Virginia Department of Health.

A citizen who received the document notified the district.

“Other redacted public records provided in compliance with Virginia Freedom of Information Act, the state’s open records law, are being reviewed. We are in the process of reaching out to the U.S. Department of Education’s Student Privacy Policy Office for additional guidance. We will be in contact with affected families as appropriate,” the letter said.

The district apologized for the error and says it is working on how to protect redacted personal information going forward.

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