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Parents of Palm Beach County student-athletes raise privacy concerns

Families can turn in paperwork both online or in-person, school district says
Palm Beach County School District logo
Posted at 3:05 PM, Aug 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-12 15:47:13-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Parents of athletes in Palm Beach County public schools now have another way to turn in their paperwork after many were worried about their child's privacy.

The School District of Palm Beach County is using a digital platform called Aktivate to collect the necessary forms for middle and high school students to participate in sports.

Some parents spoke out at an Aug. 17 school board meeting, concerned about some privacy terms and statements on the company's website.

"We want a system of accepting forms without relinquishing the right of data and ownership, especially of our own children," a parent told board members. "As a parent, I want you to stand with me and prevent our children and their information from becoming a corporate product."

The leaders of Aktivate also attended the school board meeting and said they comply with all student privacy laws.

Still, the district is now allowing parents to fill out the forms on paper if they are not comfortable doing it online.

A call went out to parents on Aug. 19, explaining the situation and telling them that "confidentially concerning student information is a priority of the School District."

Here is the verbatim of the entire call:

"Parents and Guardians,

This is the School District of Palm Beach County calling with an update regarding the 'Student Athlete Online Registration System' - called Aktivate.

Effective immediately, the District is offering a SECOND option for submitting information regarding your student.

Families of middle and high school student-athletes who are required to submit an athletic packet, may do so either on PAPER and turn the form in to their athletic director as they have in the past - OR register digitally through the Aktivate website.

Please know that confidentiality concerning student information is a priority of the School District.

Thank you for your participation in our sports programs and good luck to your student athlete!"

The School District of Palm Beach County sent the following statement to WPTV on Monday:

"The District is offering parents a second option for the submission of athletic packets as a means of accommodating those families who feel more comfortable using our prior manual submission process, which was a paper submission."

For more information about the School District of Palm Beach County's athletics department, along with important resources for students and parents/guardians, click here.