In a move designed to protect the personal data of students and staff, the Marion School District will no longer allow personal devices to connect to the district’s wireless internet services, effective Friday, December 9.
The shift comes in response to a wave of cyber attacks on school districts and other public offices across the state. Earlier this week, the Little Rock School District was forced to pay hackers a $250,000 ransom to prevent the release of sensitive data stolen from the district’s computer system.
Under its new procedures, Marion staff will still be able to utilize the district’s internet services on work computers, and students will still have wifi access on school-issued devices. Anyone using personal devices, such as cell phones and tablets, will have to rely on their own cellular data for internet access.
“We’re making this move out of an abundance of caution, and on the advice of experts,” said Hugh Inman, the district’s deputy superintendent. “We know this might cause some inconvenience for individuals who were accustomed to using the district’s wifi, but it is imperative for us to ensure we are protecting the privacy of our students, and of our staff.”
Inman said the change will remain in place until further notice.
“We have a great IT team in place, who is constantly working to stay on the cutting-edge when it comes to protecting our district’s computer system, including student data,” Inman said. “The safety of our students and staff is always our top priority, and we are committed to doing everything we can to stay vigilant and keep everyone protected.”
The Marion School District is an innovative and growing district committed to helping every student find their unique path to success in school and in life. With more than 150 years of experience serving families in Crittenden County, the district offers a high school, a junior high, and three award-winning magnet schools. For enrollment information, including information on school choice, visit https://www.msd3.org/ or call 870-739-5100.