TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Email Embarrasses 119 Failing Students

Email Embarrasses 119 Failing Students

Lisa Minter (
Sat, 18 Jun 2005 13:18:52 -0500

More than 100 students who failed their classes at the University of
Kansas last semester found out who shared their misfortune. The
school's Office of Student Financial Aid sent an e-mail to 119
students Monday notifying them that they were in jeopardy of having
their aid revoked.

But the names of the students were included on the e-mail address list
-- meaning everyone who got the e-mail could see the names of all the
other recipients.

"It was a completely inadvertent, unintentional mistake," university
spokesman Todd Cohen said Thursday. "It was our error, our mistake and
we deeply regret it."

Nancy George, a student on the list, said the mistake was tantamount
to releasing the grades of students without their permission, which
the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act prohibits.

"Nobody should have known that I failed a class or that I even had a
student loan," said George, who says she failed because her daughter
had developed pneumonia.

Cohen said the university is contacting students to apologize. She
also said the incident had been reported to the Department of
Education so it could determine if there was a violation of the
federal law.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press.

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