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SPS Statement on New Charges for Former Superintendent Rod Thompson & Information for Parents

JUNE 27, 2018 UPDATE

 

On Monday, June 25, 2018, former superintendent Rod Thompson was arrested and charged with four new charges. The charges stem from unauthorized access and alteration of a school district Google Drive account after termination of his employment.

 

We want to remind our parents/guardians and community that Shakopee Public Schools adheres to all data privacy laws and protocols as required by the government. We take the sharing and storage of your student’s information seriously. We are actively exploring options to increase our ability to analyze staff use of Google Drive and improve the security of our processes. 

 

We also want to answer some questions we’ve received since the arrest of the former superintendent:

 

How could something like this happen?

 

Occasionally staff collaborate with individuals outside of our district and want to share documents.  Sharing and collaboration is an integral part of education and using the system Google Drive. A great majority of our Google Drive use is for sharing of things like curriculum, lesson plans, and school work - not student data. We expect our staff to be professional and ethical when sharing. Unfortunately, in this case, the sharing was not.

 

Was my child’s private data involved in a “breach”?

 

A file that was accessed with student names included some additional demographic data about each student, but not information that could be used to steal identities. Students that will be attending Shakopee High School next year were on that list.

 

How will the district prevent this from happening again with a former employee?

 

The district will move forward with the following:

 

  • Remind staff of their ethical responsibilities when it comes to sharing of district data.  The reality is that the great majority of our Google Drive use is for sharing of things like curriculum, lesson plans, and school work - not student data.

 

  • Ask staff to review sharing settings on their documents and remove anyone (whether they are an internal or external user) who does not need access to the document for some legitimate reason.

 

  • Thoroughly investigate any staff who are dismissed from district employment to note whether they might have personal accounts that could potentially have files shared to them.

 

JUNE 25, 2018 UPDATE

 

The Shakopee Police Department announced today (June 25, 2018) that former Shakopee Schools Superintendent Rod Thompson turned himself in on four new charges. The charges stem from unauthorized access and alteration of a school district Google Drive account after termination of his employment.

 

“We appreciate the hard work of the Shakopee Police Department on this matter and thank them for their efforts,” said Gary Anger, Interim Superintendent of Shakopee Schools. “We will continue to work alongside the Shakopee PD on behalf of our students, staff and community.”

 

The district terminated Thompson’s contract on June 30, 2017

 

Click here to read the press release from the Shakopee Police Department