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LCS website hacked during spring break

Posted at 7:58 PM, Mar 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-16 19:58:52-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — One of the last things parents might want their children to experience was the first and most noticeable thing on the Leon County Schools homepage this morning: hate speech highlighted in an orange banner for all who logged in to see.

The post, with comments too offensive to repeat, has been taken down from the Leon County schools website. It included racist and discriminatory language that district leaders says is vile and disgusting.

"As soon as we got that identified and were notified of the just disgusting remarks that were posted on our website, we moved to just take the entire website down," said Chris Petley, Leon County Schools spokesperson.

The LCS Information Technology department is now in constant communication with representatives from website management company Blackboard who tell us the unauthorized activity came from a district-managed account. In a statement to ABC 27 a company spokesperson they say in a written statement, quote,

"There is no indication that the WCM product was compromised and we have no reports of any other WCM client experiencing similar issues at this time. We are working closely with the district and local law enforcement on further investigation into this issue."

As for impacts greater than the hate message posted on the schools website, the district says no parent, student or employee information was compromised in the hack.

"Nothing is stored on that system," said Petley. "It's completely just webpages and websites. There's no information that would lead back to individuals other than user name and sign in for the folks that manage the web design."

Now they're asking for patience as employees who would have otherwise been enjoying spring break off are working to make sure no other damage can be done.

LCS is also working with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to determine exactly how the hack happened.