McAllen man says blog's release of school salary info hurt his family

Jon de la Cruz has five family members who all work for the McAllen Independent School District. He says their names and salaries should have never appeared on a blog from the McAllen Monitor.

The McAllen-based newspaper released the names, titles and salaries of teachers, janitors, counselors and anyone else who works for McAllen ISD, as well as PSJA ISD, Mission CISD, La Joya ISD and Edcouch-Elsa ISD.

Although the information was obtained through public information requests, the blog entry provoked widespread outrage by school district employees who felt their privacy had been invdaded.

"My complaint is with ~The Monitor TM and how they chose to use this raw data, to publish it in the local community, so friends and neighbors and colleagues could know what everyone is earning," De la Cruz said.

The McAllen man said he was appalled by the newspaper's decision to release the lists online.

"We don't like to share our salaries with other people; we feel it's none of their business," De la Cruz said. "It's a reflection on our status in life, it's a reflection on how people regard us."

He believes the names could have been left out and the reporters point would have gotten across just the same.

"Couldn't the information have been disseminated to the public in a responsible way," De la Cruz asked.

Many people told Action 4 News on Facebook that this affects morale at the schools, because now everyone knows how much more or less they make than people they work with.

"They would be looking at people in a certain way, someone whose been there four years is getting paid more than someone whose been there for 25 years, De la Cruz said.

Action 4 News contacted The Monitor about the concerns, telling the reporter who released the information that people wanted to know why the names were released with the salary.

The reporter said he'd get back to us on how The Monitor would handle the situation, but hours later, no call back or email.

Instead they released a public apology to their readers and stated that they "prematurely posted the salary information.

They have since removed the on-line blog entry with the school district employee salary information.

But Jon said the damage is done.