The Regional School Unit 13 board rejected a proposal Thursday night, Sept. 2 to urge parents to refuse to submit their children’s Social Security numbers as requested by the state.

The board voted 7-5 against the proposal put forth by board member Tess Kilgour of Rockland.

The Maine Department of Education has said it will use the numbers to track students after they leave school to see how they succeed.

The Maine Legislature approved a law that requires schools to ask parents if they will submit students’ Social Security numbers. RSU 13 sent out notices to parents on the first day of school notifying them of the request for the numbers but also informing them that they can say no.

Board member Steven Dyer of Rockland voiced concern over the security of such information and the possibility of identity theft occurring.

Board member Jamie Doubleday of Thomaston urged defeat of the proposal, saying that parents already know they have the option to say no.

Dale Douglass, the executive director of the Maine School Management Association, was at the Sept. 2 meeting to make a presentation on the rights and responsibilities of boards. In response to a question from Wilson about the state law, Douglass noted that both the school board association and the superintendents association had urged defeat of the law when it was being considered by the Legislature.

Voting to support the proposal to urge parents not to submit the Social Security numbers of their children were board members Dyer, Kilgour, Josiah Wilson of St. George, Arvilla Collins of Thomaston, and Patricia Moran Wotton of Rockland.

Voting against the proposal were board members Doubleday, James Kalloch of Rockland and Brian Messing of Rockland, Sally Carleton of Owls Head, George Emery of St. George, Loren Andrews of Cushing, and Chairwoman Ruth Anne Hohfeld of South Thomaston.

The board unanimously agreed to ask the Legislature to repeal the law.

School name debate

The board also rejected a proposal by Wilson to disband the School Naming Committee and instead keep Georges Valley High School and the Buccaneers for GVHS and Rockland District High School and the Tigers for the name of RDHS.

The high schools will be combined starting in September 2011 with the eighth and ninth grades to be at GVHS and 10th, 11th and 12th grades at RDHS. The board created the naming committee to come up with suggestions for a new name, mascot and colors for the combined high school.

No other board member supported Wilson’s proposal.

Messing said he was concerned about the cost of switching school names and asked for a figure on what it may cost.

Kilgour said $75,000 is a conservative estimate.

Messing said that this money could be better used for hiring teachers rather than for changing school uniforms and other costs associated with the name change.