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Berkeley County Schools Close Following Network Outage, Safety Concerns

Musselman High School in Berkeley County, W.Va.
Musselman High School in Berkeley County, W.Va.
Cecelia Mason/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Students in Berkeley County stayed home from school Monday following a “security incident” Friday involving a network outage that limited IT operations.

The county school district is currently trying to restore access to the network, working with both cybersecurity professionals and local law enforcement to find the cause of the incident. The county is also investigating if any personal data from students was compromised.

“Answering this question is a key objective of our investigation,” County Superintendent Ronald Stephens said in a public statement. “If it is determined that there was unauthorized access to sensitive personal information, we will notify individuals in accordance with applicable laws.”

Stephens said the county would also provide resources to families to help protect against potential information misuse, if such a problem arises. Berkeley County Schools services 19,722 students, according to its Facebook page.

An emailed statement from Berkeley County Schools Communications Director Elaine Bobo to West Virginia Public Broadcasting said they will provide an update once the investigation is complete and the network is back online. 

“We want our students and the community to know that we place a high value on maintaining the integrity and security of the data we hold in our systems, and we are working diligently to restore operations and furthering our investigation of the incident,” Bobo said. “We will provide an additional update once the restoration process and our investigation are complete.”

A follow-up release Monday afternoon announced schools would reopen Tuesday while the investigation continues.