SUNBURY, Ohio (WCMH) — The superintendent of Big Walnut School District said it is changing how parents protect their students’ information after the district received two requests for the names and addresses of the district’s students.

Superintendent Ryan McLane, in a letter sent to district parents, said the new form allowing parents to decide when and where their children’s information is shared was released Monday.

The new opt-out/opt-in form will “give families a tiered approach on who they want their information released to, if they want it released at all,” McLane wrote in the letter.

McLane said that once news of two requests for the student roster went public, many requests were made by parents to keep their students’ information out of the directory. In doing so, the district also had to remove student information from the yearbook, graduation, and athletic program printed materials and honor roll press releases.

“While I do not believe that was the intent of most people, it was their only option under the ‘all or none’ practice that was in place,” he wrote.

Under the new policy, parents will be allowed to update how and when their student’s information is released, even if they chose the opt-out option.  

McLane announced during a school board meeting last Thursday that an anonymous request was made for the district’s student roster, which contains the names and addresses of all the district’s students. Subsequently, a second request, this time by someone who provided their name, was made for the same information. Both requests were later withdrawn, McLane said in the letter Monday.

Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, school directory information may be disclosed to a third party without parental consent.

The Consent for Records Release form can be found by clicking here.