Livingston County Schools teachers, staff fear identity theft
LIVINGSTON COUNTY, KY – Many teachers, bus drivers, custodians, and other school staff in Livingston County fear their identities may have been stolen.
Superintendent Victor Zimmerman apologized Monday night for unknowingly posting payroll information with social security numbers on the Livingston County school district’s website. The breach was part of an attachment for a school board agenda from January.
Zimmerman explained that payroll for staff is a public record. He said personal information is typically redacted from the attached portion of the online agenda. The particular payroll document, which was posted in January but was from December, was a special payroll and contained personal information.
Robert Schmitt was one of the teachers who voiced frustration and concern during public comments at Monday night’s meeting. Schmitt has experienced identity theft before, and he said it can be a nightmare. “This is a very serious issue, serious to the point individuals will lose jobs over this out in the public community,” he said.
Schmitt considers Zimmerman, as well as the school board, responsible. “I would not hesitate to accept the resignations of each and every one of you,” he told the board. “I feel you need to take personal responsibility, each and every one of you.”
He asked if Kentucky State Police had been notified of the data breach, but never got a straight answer. “I think the investigating needs to proceed faster, deeper, and involve outside agencies immediately,” Schmitt told the board.
Zimmerman attempted to reassure the crowd of employees, telling them the Kentucky Department of Education’s Chief Information Security Officer is aware of the breach and is making recommendations for how to provide additional identity protection.
One woman said: “What would happen to me or any instructor in this room that had breached a student’s information? What would happen? We would be fired.”
The overwhelming tone of the meeting was confusion and fear about what’s next.
“What are y’all going to do about it?” another employee asked. “Who is going to pay for my lawyer fees, and my gas money to go to the state police, and all these people that I have to call? My time and everything, when this was not my decision and not my fault it happened.”
Board members told the crowd they had just learned of the breach on Friday, the same time teachers and staff did. Monday night was their first time meeting together. They told the group they would talk about it and come up with solutions.
Local 6 will continue to follow this issue, and we will bring you their proposed solutions when they are announced.