A day after she was accused of breaking the law, state schools superintendent candidate Joy Hofmeister fired back at incumbent Janet Barresi on Thursday with allegations of her own.
Hofmeister accused Barresi of violating the federal privacy laws of students — including those with special needs — by releasing confidential information. She is calling for a federal investigation.
“We believed the proper authorities would pursue action earlier, but we have yet to see action, therefore we will be moving forward,” Hofmeister said in a statement.
Hofmeister accused Barresi of “multiple privacy breaches” and said they were part of the reason she resigned from the state Board of Education to run against her.
“Janet Barresi has repeatedly violated the privacy of Oklahoma schoolchildren. She has posted their private academic records and personal information on the state Department of Education website,” Hofmeister said. “There are multiple state and federal laws prohibiting this sort of behavior.”
Was privacy violated?
Hofmeister also accused Barresi of violating the privacy of special education students by identifying them and sharing their names and addresses with her re-election campaign.
Barresi campaign manager Robyn Matthews said the allegations are “yet another example of Joy Hofmeister trying to use taxpayer resources for her own campaign advancement.”
Mathews added that she wasn’t surprised Hofmeister was making “wild allegations” given that she has been identified as the subject of an inquiry by Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater.