Schools' Stolen Laptop Contains Personal Info

June 11, 2008

By Chris Tatum

A laptop computer containing personal employee information disappeared over the weekend from the office of Dickson County's top school official.

The computer belongs to the new director of schools and was loaded with the name and Social Security number of every school employee from the 2006-2007 school year, a total of 850.

"It came up missing over the weekend, sometime between Friday until Monday," said Dickson County school superintendent Johnny Chandler.

Chandler became the district's school superintendent last week and said that the laptop was on this desk when the office closed Friday evening.

Police have launched an investigation, but found no signs of a break-in and haven't ruled out someone within the building being the cause of the theft.

Chandler admits that a cleaning crew, several staff and students for a retirement party came into the building over the weekend. He has warned all school employees to keep a close eye on their credit reports.

"We sent letters to everyone that was on that database in '06 and '07," said Chandler.

Chandler assures school employees that he'll make sure this never happens again.

"All of our laptop computers will not be allowed to have any personal information concerning any employee or student," said Chandler.

He said the laptop is double password protected. Chandler said he plans to upgrade the security system at the school board building.

In the meantime, workers will lock up any equipment that contains sensitive information when they're not using it.

Dickson police said they are notifying local pawn shops to be on the lookout for the stolen laptop.

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