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Rochester Public Schools warns parents against inappropriate emails

The notice to families did not indicate how many students received the email.

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Rochester Public Schools
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ROCHESTER — Rochester Public Schools has notified families about "inappropriate emails" sent to students.

The school district sent out two notifications about the emails, which included statements that were "sexual in nature." Some students received emails that included "inappropriate images."

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"Our IT department is working to stop these emails from being circulated. We have blocked emails coming from the domain used by the sender(s) and are working fervently to purge emails from student accounts as they are received," the statement said in part. "At this time, we have made the decision to shut down student access to email to prevent further inappropriate messages from being sent or received."

The statement from the school district said the incident likely was related to the use of a new software system called Speak UP. The software is meant "to provide a way for students to reach out with concerns about the well-being of fellow students or school safety."

The district said it believes the student email addresses "were inadvertently visible to anyone who had access to Speak Up for a period of time."

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"We have no indication that RPS security systems have been hacked or otherwise breached or that student information other than school email addresses has been disclosed to any unauthorized person or persons," RPS said in the statement.

The notice to families did not indicate how many students received the email. The Post Bulletin has reached out to RPS for more information.

Jordan Shearer covers K-12 education for the Post Bulletin. A Rochester native, he graduated from Bemidji State University in 2013 before heading out to write for a small newsroom in the boonies of western Nebraska. Bringing things full circle, he returned to Rochester in 2020 just shy of a decade after leaving. Readers can reach Jordan at 507-285-7710 or jshearer@postbulletin.com.
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