Updated: Thursday, 23 Sep 2010, 9:57 PM CDT
Published : Thursday, 23 Sep 2010, 9:57 PM CDT
AUSTIN (KXAN) - An Austin ISD teacher resigned September 13 after district officials discovered she posted pictures and private information about her first grade students on an online blog.
Katie Lowery, the 2010 Teacher of the Year at Pillow Elementary School in North Austin, removed the blog posting after she was confronted by district officials.
One parent, who did not want to be identified, told Austin News that Lowery identified his son as having Asbergers Syndrome, a form of autism. Others who saw the blog said Lowery made derogatory comments about some students and their parents.
In a statement to Austin News, AISD calls Lowery's actions, "a clear violation of the federal student privacy rights statute and a matter that the District takes very seriously."
Parents of all 18 students involved were called in to read what Lowery wrote about their individual children.
According to the AISD police report in this case, the Pillow Elementary School principal received an anonymous tip about the blog and brought it to the attention of AISD police on September 10, a Friday. On September 13, the investigating officer contacted Lowery, who admitted she had written the blog and posted photos and descriptions of the children.
Lowery said she is usually careful about releasing information about students but admitted she was careless in this case. She told investigators the blog was a way for her family to keep up with what she was doing in the classroom.
The officer told Lowery to remove all references to the children, which she did immediately. The blog was accessible by the public.
Lowery had been employed with the district since 2005. Attempts to reach her at her Leander home were unsuccessful Thursday.
AISD police said Thursday charges will not be filed, despite violations of the Federal Education Rights Privacy Act.