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St. Landry Parish Schools Experience Cyber Attack

“I actually use a lot of technology in my classroom and then we’re in the middle of a lesson and everything just shuts down,” said Lawtell teacher Jordan Victorian.

That’s what St. Landry Parish School teachers, staff and administrators experienced early Wednesday.

After the districts technology department discovered a possible cyber attack on district servers, district administrators say all personnel acted quickly.

“Once we determined there were no was a possible threat, we informed all employees at the district office as well as our schools to shut down their computers as well as to disengage their networks at each of the locations so that we can prevent as much damage as possible,” said St. Landry Parish Schools Superintendent Patrick Jenkins.

Cyber security experts say this trend is becoming all too familiar.

“It’s becoming so easy to happen because the thieves , well, we’ll call them thieves , they are foreign state actors that are doing this, and are making money because they are getting bitcoins, they are not traceable,” said Chris Rader of Rader Solutions.

St. Landry Parish Schools are working closely with the State Department of Education to assess any damages related to the incident.

Jenkins says while the investigation is ongoing, there is some data that has been protected.

“We do have several of our systems that are on hosts sites,” said Jenkins. “Such as financial data, our student data, the J-campus, our webpage and things of that nature so they’re on alternate sites so it will not affect them in any form of fashion.”

Rader says being prepared and educated about cyber crime is important for schools and businesses alike.

“We have got to continually educate the teachers, the students, the administration , staff anybody who touches a computer what to click or not click,”
said Rader.

In the meantime Jenkins says school will go on without the use of technology.

“Teaching and learning will still continue to happen but we’re just gonna have to do it in a different form and fashion, “said Jenkins. “We have professional teachers , they’re doing an excellent job so I have full confidence in them providing quality education for our students.”