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TUSD Crisis: What’s Going On?

TUSD+Crisis%3A+Whats+Going+On%3F

Lia Ghirardi, Editor-In-Chief

On Monday, January 30th, TUSD was hit with one of their worst nightmares…a data breach. An unknown source took over TUSD’s data and WiFi and sent out a ransom message to each printer in every TUSD school. Having no internet inside of the classroom has caused major disruption to students’ ability to learn, and teachers’ ability to teach. What does this mean for TUSD? How does this affect teachers, students, and staff?

Senior Jasline Gomez expressed major concern when hearing what had happened. “When I first heard any kind of word about what was going on, I didn’t believe it one bit. I was hearing a bunch of different stories about what happened and I wasn’t 100% sure what to believe. I didn’t think it was that big of a deal until I couldn’t access anything. I have not been able to get into StudentVue, Clever, Canvas, and any other TUSD monitored program. It is very stressful not being able to complete work at school. I work a job after school and it is hard to find time to do work at home that I should be completing at school.”

Crystal Ghirardi is a TUSD parent and is beyond frustrated with the situation. “It is unclear to me what is going on and what even happened in the first place. I feel very left in the dark and as a parent that is concerning. What worries me the most is knowing that all of my own and my kids’ personal information could be in the hands of total strangers. As a parent, there have been numerous times where I have had to fill out forms online with personal information that does not need to be in the hands of a foreign source. It is also frustrating that I do not have access to see my students grades and their attendance records. I hope that this situation gets resolved quickly and parents are more informed on what is going on.”

Sahuaro staff has been heavily impacted by this situation. Assistant Principal Mr. Lundstrom says, “The real challenge has not been not having Synergy. We are in the process of trying to set up a master schedule for next year and get kids registered and now we have to kind of wait before we can do that…” Mrs. Andy in the attendance office has had to deal with parent concerns over the situation. “…it has just made this all very difficult. We have to use new ways and old ways to try and find things…not having a schedule makes it very difficult to find students when parents are trying to find them or we need to get them out of a class…it is difficult.” Our guidance counselors have struggled a great amount with this situation as well. Mrs. Bradley says, “The TUSD internet crash has affected my job in many ways…I am not able to access schedules or documents, or Synergy where I upload all of my work…but, we are doing our best…”

TUSD released this statement regarding the crisis.

“Protecting the security and privacy of personal information is of the utmost importance to Tucson Unified School District.

Early Monday morning we experienced a data security incident, which impacted some of our systems. Upon learning of the issue, we immediately commenced an investigation and began working with national external cybersecurity experts who regularly analyze these types of incidents. The forensic investigation is in its early stages and is ongoing. We appreciate the patience of our community as we take essential steps to secure our network and ensure confidential information remains safe.

TUSD schools are fully functioning and students have access to the tools they need to continue their learning and stay on track. We greatly appreciate our staff working with us to develop alternative learning plans and using hotspots, as needed until the systems are fully restored.

Tucson Unified School District is taking this matter very seriously and continues to take significant measures to protect the information that we maintain. We apologize for the inconvenience; we will provide updates as the investigation and restoration process continues. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work to get all systems back to normal.”

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About the Writer
Photo of Lia Ghirardi
Lia Ghirardi, Editor-In-Chief

Lia Ghirardi is a senior here at Sahuaro. This is her third year at The Paper Cut and her second year as Editor-In-Chief. In Lia's free time she likes...

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TUSD Crisis: What’s Going On?