ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - An Albuquerque Public Schools principal apologized to parents Monday after accidentally sending an email containing confidential student information.
Volcano Vista High School's top administrator told parents she was sorry for the error.
"It was a huge mistake," said Monica Armenta, head of APS communications.
The mistake came late Saturday when Valerie Atencio sent an email to the parents of 176 students letting them know the schedule for their child's retake of the end of course exams.
According to APS, those 176 students had previously failed the exams. Students must pass the three tests in order to graduate.
"She inadvertently and unknowingly forwarded three additional pages that in fact identified the students by name and courses that they needed to retake," Armenta said.
Atencio had meant to send just one attachment which only identified students by their school issued ID number.
Instead, she sent four attachments, three of which identified the students by their names and whether they were in special education classes. Special needs for certain students, such as needing to have the test read aloud, were also included.
"If we were the parents, we completely understand why they're unhappy, why they're angry, why they're upset. They have every right to be," said Armenta.
Atencio notified her bosses of the mistake right away and sent an apology email to the students' parents.
"The unfortunate part is it can't be un-done and we understand the sensitivity. This was confidential information," Armenta said.
APS said it is not likely Atencio will be disciplined because while the email was a violation of the Family Educational Rights Privacy Act, it was not intentional.
The district said it will review its policies and procedures to see if there is anything that can be done to prevent something like this from happening again.
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