CPS Confidential Special Ed Student Records Found in Lakeview Alley

By Kalyn Belsha in News on May 31, 2009 4:15PM

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Photo by The New No. 2
Yesterday hundreds of records of special education students at Lake View High School dating back two decades were found in a Lakeview alley. Those records included confidential and sealed records instructed to be opened “only by the psychologist.”

Lakeview resident Art Kuesel found the boxes of documents stuffed into a Dumpster behind his home early Saturday morning. He realized immediately they were from a school, he said. The words “Sped records” and “Lakeview” were clearly scrawled on the outside of the boxes.

Upon review of the records, Kuesel discovered these were private documents, which had been entrusted to counselors and psychologists. The files were labeled by name and included photos, home addresses, Social Security numbers, SAT scores and the results of psychological tests, he said. There were enough boxes to fill three separate garbage bins.

The Chicago Police Department took custody of the documents yesterday afternoon and plans to take inventory of the records. “Then there will be an internal investigation inside Chicago Public Schools concerning how the documents got here,” a CPD rep said.
WGN reports a signature from Lake View High’s former case director of 10 years was on many of the records. The case director responded: “Those records are highly confidential and as far as I’m aware should be kept sealed indefinitely.” According to the school, these records are supposed to be locked for seven years at Lake View High and then taken to a CPS storage facility at West 31st Street and South Kedzie Avenue.

Kuesel asks the question on everyone’s mind: “How many more Dumpsters are filled with these records?” [Chicago Breaking News, WGN]