A data breach in the Abingdon-Avon school district has put an employee on leave and stirred suspicions around Superintendent Chad Willis.
Last night a special board meeting was held in which over 150 community members attended, so many the location had to be moved to Hedding Grade School’s cafeteria.
Earlier Wednesday the district announced it had hired a consulting firm to investigate changes that were being made to the student information management system which included unauthorized changes to student GPA’s.
According to a statement read by the district’s teacher’s union representative Missy Roberts, Willis was first informed about a possible breach in October of 2014. January of 2015 high school teachers reported grades being changed and again in March of 2015 Willis was made aware of changes being made in the grading system.
“Why wait such a long time to investigate when this could have been resolved earlier,” Roberts said. “As a union, we try to work collaboratively with the board and it’s agents. We have requested meetings with the board and were met with significant amounts of resistance.”
276’s Director of Technology Mark Rogers has now been placed on administrative leave, according to various sources.
Rogers is a 19-year employee of the district and a former member of the then Abingdon School Board.
Last night after 276’s board retired to a five hour plus closed session they came out to around 30 community members still waiting near midnight.
Board President David Serven merely said the board had not yet finished its investigation and Superintendent Willis declined to comment.
Before board members went into closed session they heard public comments.
Past and current teacher’s union presidents, district parents and a district nurse rose to cast board members and Willis with everything from lacking transparency to being “bullies” and “divisive.”
Jen Rosen is a parent who is concerned about what she hears from district employees about Willis creating a hostile work environment.
“What I hear from them, they are leaving, they don’t want to work here, there is already teachers that have left, there is more that are going to leave,” Rosen said. “It’s just sad for our district.”
WGIL will continue to provide updates on this story as it develops.