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The Lebanon School Board meets monthly, at the district office, 485 S. Fifth St., unless otherwise noted.

David Patton, Democrat-Herald File

LEBANON — Members of the Lebanon School Board say they will emphasize the confidentiality of personnel records to district staff and the board following information that a board member received improper access.

During board comments at Thursday's meeting, board member Russ McUne said he had received information that a board member had been looking at personnel records.

McUne did not say whose records were accessed, how many or for what purpose, saying in a later email to the Democrat-Herald that there's no way of knowing because his understanding was the board member was in the file room unaccompanied. "More than once, but we don't know how many times total," he wrote.

Board policy states an employee’s personnel records are confidential and not subject to public disclosure. They can be made available to the board only as a whole, while in session, "as provided by law." 

McUne said he would not comment on how he knew of the allegation but said action needs to be taken to make sure it doesn't happen again.

"That cannot happen," McUne said. "I find that amazingly disturbing."

McUne did not name the member but commented in the meeting that the member was not present to defend himself. Board member Mike Martin was the sole member absent Thursday.

Reached by phone for a brief interview Friday, Martin said he was aware of Thursday's discussion but would not comment on it.

Superintendent Rob Hess said he would take care of notifying anyone whose records may have been improperly accessed.

Board Chairman Tom Oliver agreed Thursday with McUne the policy is clear and needs to be clearly communicated. 

Oliver said following the meeting it was his understanding a staff member gave the board member access to the personnel files and a separate staff member reported it. 

"We've instructed staff on what the procedure is," he said.

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