CRCSD Employee: District still dealing with effects from “Security Breach”

Published: Jul. 21, 2022 at 8:17 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - A bus driver for the Cedar Rapids Community School District told our KCRG-TV9 i9 Investigative Team the district’s computers and servers are still not working after the district closed due to a “cyber security incident” more than two weeks ago.

Christine Huston, who said she drives school buses for 13 years, gave us a letter from the district calling the incident a “security breach”. According to the Iowa Attorney General’s Office, state law defines a security breach as any unauthorized acquisition of personal information.

If 500 people are affected by the breach, the Attorney General’s website said the entity must notify its office within five business days after notifying those affected. A spokesperson said its office hasn’t received any notification from the district.

Nicole Kooiker, who is the district’s deputy superintendent, said in an email a letter is scheduled for postal mail drop Friday to all district employees. The district has refused to answer any questions about the security breach for more than two weeks.

Huston said she began receiving text messages from random numbers trying to get her to buy miracle pills. She said she’s concerned her data was leaked.

“What if they have my social security card, number or something,” Huston asked. “They definitely have my name, they have my phone number. So what else could they have?”

Erin Davis, who has three kids in the school district, said she’s concerned about how the district can start school when teacher assignments haven’t been released yet. She said parents deserve to know if their child’s data was stolen.

“That’s my kids, the district has to do with my children and their well-being,” Davis said. “And parents have the right to know what’s going on in our district at all times.”

She said the lack of communication from the school district has been a consistent issue since the pandemic began.

Huston said she’s also frustrated about not getting paid after not being able to work during the shutdown. She said it’s unfair to those who depend on the district for money to pay bills.

“It may be pennies to the people upstairs,” Huston said. But, it’s a car payment, it’s a house payment, it’s food for a week.”

Deputy Superintendent Nicole Kooiker said in an email the district won’t pay for any supplemental work that had been scheduled yet did not occur, which is the same process it has always used to pay employees.

Huston said she is disappointed with the district’s description as supplemental since she believes driving a school bus is essential.

”Like I love my job and I love the district, but I feel like sometimes the district doesn’t love us back,” she said. “And I’m not the only one who feels like this. A lot of us bus drivers just are frustrated of why are we getting the runaround? Why can’t you just pay us?”

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