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Thousands of school employees have their personal information posted to Facebook

Posted at 7:31 PM, Feb 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-16 19:31:22-05

LEE COUNTY — Thousands of Lee County Schools employees just had their personal information posted to Facebook.

The Excel spreadsheet included names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, and salaries for more than 11,000 employees.

We first learned about the documents when a husband of a teacher called us Tuesday morning.

"If you’re mad at somebody at your school, you don’t like the cafeteria worker at your school, now you can know their address, their home phone number. You can harass or otherwise harm this person. It’s scary," said the husband of the teacher.

The man who posted the records was Randy Scott. He returned our call and said the records were requested for research. He said he posted them publicly so people could see what their peers were earning.

"There are teachers and employees who are looking at the wages of their peers and saying wow, they make that?” said Scott.

Scott said, he didn’t intend to include that much personal information, but it’s what the District provided.

"I don’t sit there and redact or remove things from what they send me, because that’s their job," said Scott.

The School District told us Scott was not the person who made the original public records request, it was just passed on to him. Scott said, it didn’t cost anything to get, and it’s information that’s available to anyone who wants it.

"This might be a learning time for public employees to realize how much of their livelihood is available to the taxpayer," said Scott.

Scott did finally take down the records when he learned police officers and their family members were identified in the documents, and the release of the information could make them targets. The document was online for a total of about two days.

On Tuesday evening, Superintendent Greg Adkins sent the following email to District employees, saying he was sending a cease and desist order to the owner of the Facebook page where the document was posted:

"Good evening.

I wanted to reach out to all employees regarding the posting of information on a public social media page.

I want you to know that I completely understand your concerns and fears regarding this post. I am alarmed and disheartened that someone would take this information, which is public record under Florida law, and misuse it by posting it in a public forum.

While we realize the post has been taken down, we still feel the need to act, and are sending a Cease and Desist letter to the owner of the page to ensure that all posts have been removed.

The employees of this District do not deserve to be treated this way; instead, you deserve to be treated with respect and kindness.