CLEVELAND, Ga. — The White County Board of Education devoted much of its time during Tuesday’s meeting to a discussion of the ransomware attack that impacted the school system server two weeks ago and sportsmanship.
The cyber attack was not as devastating as the one that was launched against the city of Atlanta.
School Superintendent Dr. Jeff Wilson said four files containing 11 employee social security numbers were accessed but nothing was downloaded. “I encourage everyone to freeze their credit,” Wilson said. “Its worth the $3 it costs to protect yourself.”
The school system’s total financial loss was the $5,000 deductible paid to the insurance company. Wilson said new procedures are being put into place to protect against future attacks.
The sportsmanship discussion centered on fan behavior. Wilson said there had been several incidents of poor sportsmanship at White County High School games this year, mainly involving parents.
“We are definitely going to start pushing our parents hard,” he said. “We want to be a model for our kids. We all get upset when a kid gets a technical foul on the court while that same kid’s parents may be up in the stands screaming and hollering.”
Wilson said there had been some incidents where fans verbally abused coaches as well. “We’re not going to put up with them being ugly to our coaches either. This season, we’ve had some parents chew on them pretty hard, and we’re not going to have that anymore,” the superintendent explained.
Wilson said the school system has new sportsmanship guidelines that fans will be required to follow. The guidelines will be discussed during weekly meetings with athletes and parents and will be posted publicly at different sports venues.
Several pay-as-you-go items were also discussed and are expected to be voted on at Thursday’s school board meeting, including extra surveillance cameras for schools ($20,000), a viewing station ($3,000), global positioning system (GPS) for buses ($18,154) and a tarp for the White County High School baseball field ($6,000).