Missouri officials planned to thank Post-Dispatch for finding data vulnerability before threatening newspaper, emails show
Mike Parson in August 2020. - Chris Kohley/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/TNS

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Before blaming the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education was preparing to thank the newspaper for discovering a significant data vulnerability, according to records obtained by the Post-Dispatch through a Sunshine Law request. In an Oct. 12 email to officials in Gov. Mike Parson’s office, Mallory McGowin, spokeswoman for DESE, sent proposed statements for a press release announcing the data vulnerability the newspaper uncovered. “We are grateful to the member of the media who brought this to the state’s attention,” said a p...