Some Seattle-area Catholic schools have closed or modified their schedules for Friday so staff members can address the ongoing issues related to the Seattle Archdiocese database breach that made potentially thousands of people vulnerable to identity theft.
O’Dea High School will close Friday to provide adequate time for staff members to complete the necessary steps to address the possibility of tax-refund fraud, Principal Jim Walker wrote in a notice on the school’s website.
Bellarmine Preparatory School in Tacoma will also be closed Friday, although it is unclear whether the closure is related to the breach.
Bishop Blanchett High School will dismiss school at 12:35 p.m., with students attending all classes but for shorter times. The building will remain open as normal until 5 p.m.
Other schools may post closures and schedule changes. Members and students should check with each school’s individual websites for additional information.
The archdiocese has hired a forensic-security firm to help it investigate the breach, which has resulted in employees and volunteers being targeted by a national tax-fraud scheme, the archdiocese said Tuesday.
The victims include employees or volunteers from at least three Seattle-area parishes and the chancery offices, according to the archdiocese. Spokesman Greg Magnoni declined to name the three parishes.
Because church officials are unsure how many people may be affected, the archdiocese is advising that all employees and volunteers call the Internal Revenue Service Identify Protection Specialized Unit at 1-800-908-4490, ext. 245, as soon as possible to determine whether their tax identity has been compromised.