Cincinnati Public Schools accidentally release busing info for thousands of kids

CPS sends out student bus data on accident

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Cincinnati Public Schools say they accidentally released the names, addresses and bus schedule information for thousands of students.

CPS admits they made an error when they inadvertently sent out an email Friday that contained those details for 7,000 kids.

Abby is one of the parents who received that email. She told FOX19 NOW her daughter is a rape victim and she’s concerned the predators’ parents will now know where they live.

“I was so upset at the fact that these kids information reached my email. And not only my email, some of these kids information was sent out to over 600 people,” Abby said.

Abby sent FOX19 NOW a copy of the email that contained the information for a student that was not her child.

In it was the student’s name, school, pick up time, pick up location, route and drop off time.

“The information was only the students first and last name where they are picked up and the time they are picked up," CPS Chief Communications and Engagement Officer Lauren Worley said.

Abby says this information could be dangerous in the hands of a stranger,

“And we have no idea if these people are registered sexual offenders or not. That gives them the opportunity to be able to go up to that bus stop, call the child out by name, and even the school that the child goes to. They could snatch these children up in a heartbeat and nobody would even know that they were gone,” Abby said.

CPS say in their haste to get parents the information they needed, they sent a little too much.

They sent FOX19 NOW this statement:

“CPS sent out emails today to our 7,000 yellow bus riders to remind them about bus stops and pick up times. In the process, some families received bus information for other students. We are investigating how that error occurred. We regret the error and are working to make sure all student information is safe.”

CPS is asking those who received the errant emails to delete them.

“I want to hear more than an explanation and an apology. I mean, I want to know how they are going to fix this. Despite everyone doing the right thing in erasing it and deleting it. What if there is that monster out there that doesn’t want to delete it from their email. And they want to go ahead and say oh, I got kids. I got a hundred victims right here. Oh, let me pick and choose which one I want to deal with today,” Abby said.

CPS says its IT team is working on the situation.

“The good news is the only people who received that email were other parents in the district. It wasn’t a hack, it wasn’t a breech. There is no one outside CPS bus users who received that information," Worley said.

Friday morning, CPS sent an updated statement that reads:

"On Thursday, CPS sent e-mails to parents of 7,000 yellow bus riders reminding them to access their child’s bus pick-up and drop-off information prior to the first day of school on Monday. An error occurred that resulted in some families erroneously receiving multiple e-mails meant for individual parents that included other students’ bus route information.

Parents alerted us to the problem right away and our IT team was able to stop generating additional e-mails.

After investigating, CPS concluded that the error is a result of a bug in the program used to generate the e-mails. Our IT team created a patch to fix the bug, and we believe the problem is resolved.

We regret the error. The safety of our students, including the safety of their personal information, is really important to us, and we are confident this error was not the result of a data breach or hack that would compromise any student sensitive data.

CPS is working to make sure all student information is secure. We will provide updates to the impacted families as soon as we can.

Parents can look up bus stop and pick-up times by using the PowerSchool app or calling their child’s school."

— Chief Communications and Engagement Officer for Cincinnati Public Schools Lauren Worley

If you still have any questions or want to report that you’ve received any of these emails CPS officials say to contact them at 513-363-0076.

Copyright 2019 WXIX. All rights reserved.