BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. - Questions about the release of parent e-mail addresses have emerged in Bloomfield Hills after two school board candidates used addresses obtained through the Freedom of Information Act to send campaign messages, according to the Detroit Free Press.

After consulting attorneys, the Bloomfield Hills school district twice released electronic copies of parental e-mail address lists under separate FOIA requests in 2007, the Free Press reported. One of the recipients later shared the list with candidates Pradeep Mehra and John Steven Roach, both retired Ford executives who are on the Nov. 4 ballot, the article said. The candidates  then sent campaign messages to about 12,000 people, the Free Press reported.

While federal law prohibits giving out the majority of student information, the question of parent e-mail addresses has never been tested by Michigan courts, Tom White, executive director of the Michigan School Business Officials, told the Free Press.

Dave Snyder, a 45-year-old business development director and Bloomfield Hills parent, told the Free Press he is "not happy that anyone can use our public school provider as a way to promote their own interest."

SOURCE:
The Detroit Free Press, "Schools' use of parents' e-mail addresses causes concern," Oct. 27, 2008

FURTHER READING:
Michigan Education Report, "The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act," Sept. 13, 2000

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