SUNBURY, Ohio — Big Walnut Local Schools in Delaware County released more information Monday about the withdrawal of a records request that sought directory information for every student in the district.
According to Superintendent Ryan McLane, the anonymous request was withdrawn by the requester. Later, a second request was made for the same information, this time from a named person who does not live in the district.
McLane said the second request was modified, then withdrawn.
The district has created an additional opt-in/out form, which will give a tiered approach to the release of directory information. This could allow parents to opt out of mass releases of information while preserving the ability of the district to publish a yearbook, sports rosters, or other routine items.
The following was posted Monday afternoon on the district’s Facebook page:
Dear Big Walnut Families,
As was discussed at our Board meeting on Thursday and in my email to you on Friday, our district received an anonymous records request for our student directory information. Since my last communication with you, I have learned that a second request was made for the same information, this time from a named individual who does not reside in our district. The anonymous records request was withdrawn. The second records request was modified and then later withdrawn as well. I wasn’t able to confirm that information to be entirely accurate until this morning.
We did not release any student directory information to either party who made the request, and currently we do not have any outstanding requests for the student directory information.
As you can imagine, many people have contacted our offices to opt their child out of the student directory information. In doing so, it prevents us from having your child in the yearbook, graduation and athletic program printed materials, and honor roll press releases. While I do not believe that was the intent of most people, it was their only option under the “all or none” practice that was in place.
We will be releasing an updated opt-out/opt-in form today, along with a copy of the annual notice. This will give families a tiered approach on who they want their information released to, if they want it released at all. If you initially opted out, because that was your only option at the time, you may update your intentions by completing the new form. We are trying to make sure we have provided options that truly reflect the wishes of the families in our district.
Board of Education President Doug Crowl told DelawareO Friday that the initial anonymous request had been withdrawn.
“I’m so glad to hear the anonymous request for student information has been withdrawn,” said State Rep. Beth Lear. “As legislators, we still need to take a deeper look at the law and see if there are any changes we need to make to ensure students are protected in the future.”
Lear represents the Sunbury area and was contacted by school officials while they worked to determine what to do about the anonymous request.