The Escambia County School District has officially responded to the huge public records request made of our district. A Polk County Man, Joel E Chandler, is requesting The public records regarding the health insurance policy of the Escambia County School District and the name, addresses, gender, age, title, and telephone number of all employees and dependents covered by the policy. I have issues with this request which I have discussed at length in previous entries to this blog. The main issue I have, aside from the potential HIPAA violation (s) that would result from release of this information, is that Joel E Chandler wants the name and addresses of dependents, which will include my three children. What will he do with this information? Who is this Joel Chandler?
I've been forwarded a court document I'm told is attributible to Mr. Chandler, which I have posted:
I'm not trying to demonize this individual, but I believe this issue raises valid points that need to be addressed by our legislators in Tallahassee. Should anyone off the street be able to waltz into a local school district and request detailed information on minor dependents? What about conflicting State vs Federal law--The informal AGO opinion did not address applicability of HIPAA to self insuring districts like Escambia.
The information on our dependent children needs to be private and off limits to public records requests, in my opinion.
Many districts are complying with this request, no questions asked. See the following articles from Gainseville and Alachua:
Our attorney has wisely pointed out that there may be potential Federal laws which could prevent Escambia County from providing this information. The district's response, crafted by Donna Sessions Waters, is here:
Big city papers from around the state are abuzz with this story. Pensacola media?---silent on this story.
I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.