BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Birmingham City Schools employees removed files containing, health information, social security numbers and other personal information, from Banks Middle School in South Eastlake.
The school was closed in 2007. The property has become a political football in campaigns for a seat on the Birmingham City Council.
Two residents went inside to see what kind of condition the building was in after a city council hopeful announced he wanted to “take a sledge hammer” to the building.
Upon entering the building on June 19th, Hobbs found files scattered throughout what used to be a counselors office. He didn’t have a flash light at the time, so he went back on June 20th, this time with Richard Rutledge and his video camera.
The pair found student health files, and other information including social security numbers.
Rutledge released a box of the most sensitive material to school system officials this morning during their inspection. Rutledge decided to secure the files in his car out of fear that after news reports revealed the building was accessible, someone would go inside to take the records.
Hobbs, a Banks Alumnus, says the discovery of the records inside the school has raised a question among other alums.
“If this situation exists here at banks where sensitive information has been left behind as these schools have been closed, what’s the situation of other school properties that have been shut down throughout the city?” said Hobbs.
In an interview on June 22nd, Birmingham City School Board member Virginia Volker said there are procedures in place to secure sensitive information when schools are closed, but she doesn’t know how files were left inside Banks Middle.
According to Birmingham City Schools spokesperson, Michaelle Chapman, contents of one file cabinet were removed from the building. The records will be taken to a secure storage location.
— Tiffany Westry (@TiffanyWestry) June 24, 2013