Old files with sensitive information removed from closed school - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Old files with sensitive information removed from closed school

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BIRMINGHAM - AL -

Unsecured personal records are now out of an abandoned Birmingham school. Birmingham City School employees removed boxes filled with student records containing addresses and social security numbers from Banks Middle School.

Several alumni came out to watch because they are concerned some sensitive documents could still be left unsecured in that abandoned school and even others.

Some banks high school alumni share much in common. Not only did they graduate from the same school, some are also identity theft victims.

"It cost me a lot of paperwork, a lot of time, a lot of money to prove that wasn't me," said Teresa Gurley, a Banks High School alumnus and identity theft victim.

Now, Gurley's afraid school records left behind in the old Banks High and Middle School guidance councilor office could make her a target again. That's why she wanted to personally see the documents removed.

"I do worry there might be stuff in there. They're making a show and getting rid of some of the stuff and there might still be stuff in there," said Gurley.

Last week, another alumnus, Brad Hobbs and City Council District Two candidate Richard Rutledge trespassed through the open gate and unlocked doors to check on the school. They found old records containing students' addresses and even social security numbers.

Rutledge, another identity theft victim, removed a box of documents. He says it was to ensure it got to the Birmingham Board of Education safely.

Hobbs believes all the documents would fit into the four secured boxes removed from the school Monday. But he and others still have concerns about other closed schools left in the same condition.

"That pretty much affects anyone who was a student at a Birmingham public school. Everyone's at a potential risk until that question is answered," he said.

"That makes me angry. People we have trusted with our records and let us down like that is very disturbing," said Gurley.

Birmingham City Schools has not commented on where the documents were taken or if documents in other closed schools were safely removed.

As for the alumnus and city council candidate trespassing to prove their point, they say they're willing to deal with the consequences.

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