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Bay District Schools investigating rogue email

Tuesday, school leaders addressed an email they say had derogatory and inappropriate language...
Tuesday, school leaders addressed an email they say had derogatory and inappropriate language in it.(WJHG/WECP)
Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 3:30 PM CDT
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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Bay District Schools is investigating a rogue email Tuesday. According to district school officials, a variety of different employees and students received the email.

School officials also stated that the email appears to have been generated by someone other than the named sender.

“We believe this is an isolated incident but are investigating fully,” Jim Scantlin, the Executive Director of Management Information Services for BDS, said. “We have no evidence that this is anything but an isolated rogue email but we are definitely taking this seriously and will complete our investigation before determining any appropriate next steps.”

Scantlin said the email, which contained repeated racist and discriminatory language, was deleted from the entire system and all employees were notified.

According to Scantlin, so far the investigation reveals that no district data has been breached and their system is as secure as possible.

“We are diligently monitoring both our systems and our security on a 24-7 basis and we see nothing out of the ordinary other than this email,” he said. “Students, parents, and employees can rest assured that BDS has implemented a multi-layered security system to protect their data and to guard against the sort of hacks that are currently occurring across the country and throughout the world. There is nothing in this investigation to suggest that our system has been hacked at that level or that our data is in danger.”

Superintendent Bill Husfelt said that the district has a zero-tolerance policy for hate speech and that the school district will be working with law enforcement once the perpetrator of the email is identified and the internal investigation has concluded.

“My heart breaks for anyone who was hurt reading this email this morning and for anyone falsely implicated,” he said. “We know the sentiments expressed in the email do not reflect the values of our school system or our community and I sincerely hope the actual sender is identified quickly. I sincerely apologize to anyone who received this email. I want everyone to know that we are doing all we can to determine the identity of the sender and to take steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”

BDS says they will provide an update once the investigation has concluded. They ask anyone with information regarding the investigation is encouraged to contact Scantlin at 850-767-4238.

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