durham school board

An Ontario school board just spilled hundreds of staff members' vaccination status

News that the Durham District School Board inadvertently sent an email with the names of about 800 unvaccinated or undisclosed employees shocked staff members.

The names were released in a spreadsheet attached to a routine email about rapid testing in an attachment, according to DurhamRegion.com.

The spreadsheet listed the names of about 800 unvaccinated or those with undisclosed vaccination status. The Durham District School Board has about 10,000 employees in total, and the email was sent to about 400 people.

Staff whose names appear on the list are calling the situation a "shocking" breach of medical privacy, according to DurhamRegion.com.

The school board has apologized and said they are working to make sure a similar incident doesn't happen again and reviewing policies when handling sensitive information.

Once the board saw the error, it took immediate action to recall the email, according to CP24.

"We have discussed this incident to ensure there is a clear understanding of the critical importance of verifying that emails do not contain attachments of this nature and of the need to protect this type of information," a statement from the board reads.

"We are providing additional training for all staff involved with secure documents. In addition, the DDSB is reviewing its practices related to the handling of sensitive information, including the consideration of additional security measures for spreadsheets and/or documents of this nature."

People are divided on the privacy breach — some suggest that if the unvaccinated are so outspoken at protests, why should they care about an email?

Some suggested the information should be public, and parents want to know if their child's teacher is not vaccinated.

"That's terrible… haha not! Good on the person hitting the sent button a real hero. Thank you on behalf of all the vaccinated trying to protect our families," wrote one person.

Many people don’t believe the email attachment was sent accidentally.

"I have a hard time believing this was a accident," one person tweeted.

Still, others suggest there could be legal action coming.

"My crystal ball says some lawyers are getting new luxury cars in the near future," one person wrote.

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