Don't let the PA (parents association) become your local VA (veterans administration) data disaster. Laptops get stolen regularly and we all know that equipment can leave the school building. Plus, donated computers most probably have their original data still accessible -- even after a format.
Using disk encryption is a great way to make sure that sensitive computer data will not be readable to anyone else. Truecrypt is one of those open source programs that does a good job of making an inherently complex job simple for the user. It also has many features, including the ability to take the program with you on a flash device. This allows you to carry your data on a secured flash device and to run the program that makes it work.
Many of the new privacy laws, such as those in California, state that one must report any loss of data to the people whose data might have been compromised. But, if the database was encrypted, this embarrassing notice does not have to take place. Given that Truecrypt is a free program, there aren't any good reasons not to use it for sensitive data.
TrueCrypt - Free Open-Source On-The-Fly Disk Encryption Software for Windows XP/2000 and Linux: "TrueCrypt is free open-source disk encryption software for Windows and Linux. Categories: data encryption, security software, privacy."