Virus disrupts internet, phone lines at Columbus County Schools

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COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Phone lines and internet access are down at all Columbus County Schools, after a ‘potent virus’ rendered the district’s network unusable.

According to a news release from the NC Department of Public Instruction, Columbus County Schools became aware of the cyber disturbance on Wednesday morning.

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The school district uses the network for many things, including phones and internet.

The news release said student and staff data and other personal information were not compromised.

District staff are working diligently to repair the damage and are receiving outside support and assistance to expedite rebuilding and securing the network.



There is not an exact timeline on when the work will be finished.

School phone systems are currently offline, but calls are being routed to cell phones.

Parents can call school numbers in the event of an emergency, but the school district asks  that calls not be made unless necessary.

School staff maintain the ability to communicate through cell phones or through the mass messaging system.

The school district says teaching and learning will continue. Superintendent Deanne Meadows says this will not impact learning for the majority of classrooms.

“Technology is just a tool or a resource to help kids learn, but the teacher is really, ultimately what’s most important in that classroom,” she said. “So in the majority of our classrooms, they’ll still get excellent instruction. They’ll be able to grow and progress in their academics.”

Meadows says their first priority is getting the phone lines back up and running. After that, she says they will work to get the internet restored for students taking online classes.