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Katy ISD Statement Regarding Automated Call on 2010 Bond Referendum

Katy Texas News
Posted October 29, 2010

On Wednesday evening, an automated call was placed to residents of Katy ISD regarding the 2010 bond election. This call was initiated and coordinated by the Team Katy PAC. Katy ISD was not involved in the coordination of the call, nor was any district resource used in the making of this call.

We have heard from several parents who are concerned that the calls not only went to their home numbers, but also to cell phone and work numbers that were only given to the district as secondary contact numbers. We immediately began looking into the situation and discovered the following: On April 28, 2010, a Public Information Request was submitted asking for “phone numbers only of parents, staff and volunteers of Katy ISD who currently reside within the boundaries of Katy ISD.” The requestor also asked that the numbers be sorted by zip code.

The district responded to the request in accordance with the Public Information Act, and provided the requestor with parent phone numbers sorted by zip code; no other information, such as parent or student names, was given.

Because the Public Information Act does not provide an exception for the district to withhold secondary numbers, such as cell phone or work numbers, and considers this information public, the district is obligated under law to release these numbers as well. In addition, the district, by law, is not permitted to ask a requestor why they are asking for the information, or what they intend to do with it.

Although the release of cell phone and work numbers was done in accordance with the Public Information Act, we understand, and share the concerns of parents regarding their privacy and the issuance of phone numbers they consider private.

We are currently exploring any steps we may be able to take to allow parents to keep their secondary phone numbers from being released as a result of a public information request.

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience or concern this may have caused. We take very seriously the management and safeguarding of student and parent information. We will continue to look for ways to keep information private that parents want kept private.

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