Answers, as Well As Data, Missing

Ohio County residents who pay for public education and trust administrators to act in the best interests of children may never get answers regarding allegations someone “wiped” computers at the school system’s central office.

At least, those answers will not be coming from the Ohio County Board of Education, as a result of its action on Monday.

When new Superintendent Kimberly Miller and her administrative team began work on July 1, they discovered data had been erased from some computers at the central office. The devices’  hard drives had been “wiped” virtually clean.

Obviously, that made life — and running the school system — more difficult for Miller and others newly installed in administrative posts.

School board members agreed last year to have the matter investigated. What legal counsel employed for the purpose found was discussed at Monday’s board meeting — during a 30-minute “executive session” closed to the public and press.

After emerging from behind closed doors, board members voted unanimously to follow the attorney’s advice, which they said was to drop the investigation. Instead, they will develop policies regarding use of computer equipment and establish a data backup system.

“What transpired with the transition (to Miller and her team), we would agree, was not in the best interest of the school district. It was not professional,” commented board President Zach Abraham.

That is putting it mildly.

Various comments made by school officials have implied strongly that at least some of the “wiping” was done with nefarious intent. Yet no one will be held responsible.

Neither we nor the public know exactly what the attorney who looked into the matter found. Perhaps he advised board members  it would be difficult to hold any individual responsible for what happened. If so, board members should make that known.

Or perhaps the lawyer  reported the data loss was not serious and little, if any, evidence of ill intent was discovered. If so, that, too, should be made known by the board.

Whatever the attorney’s conclusions, the public is left with the impression something improper occurred in the school system — and the only reaction will be to try to keep it from happening again. Board members should not expect many Ohio Countians to be satisfied with that.