Pineywoods superintendent works to prevent students from being victims of identity theft

Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The Texas Department of Agriculture released information that sensitive data may have been compromised for more than 30 Texas school districts, four of which are right here in Deep East Texas.

The four schools affected are Big Sandy-Dallardsville, Central, Pineywoods Community Academy, and Etoile.

In spite of this, Superintendent Ken Vaughn is making sure students at Pineywoods Community Academy don't become victims of identity theft.

"What I chose to do was go ahead and put this on our site and let there be a link to where they want to go," Vaughn said. "They can go on Texas Department of Agriculture immediately. Then they can see their concerns."

The TDA partners with schools in Texas like Pineywoods to oversee schools' nutrition programs.

"We actually get some funding, and we share some resources on who might need a meal or who might need some help as far as their lunches and their breakfast," Vaughn said.

Vaughn said he's done everything he could on the district level to keep students' identity safe

"We work with Region 5 and Region 7 over at our education center and they help us with providing security for our data," Vaughn said.

At this time, the TDA states no identity thefts have happened, but activating a fraud alert would be the safest thing to do

"It's a precaution and that's really what I want to emphasize for anyone that is concerned here," said Mark Loeffler, the TDA director of communications. "This is a precautionary situation to let them know this existed."
Even though no child has experienced identity theft yet, Loeffler said he wants parents to take precautions.

"They should try to reach out to the major cred bureaus and talk to fraud alert about any information they may feel have been compromised," Loeffler said.

Loeffler said their department oversees school breakfast and lunch programs, which is how the information was accessed through their computers.

There has not yet been evidence that the compromised information has been misused.

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