You can’t access Ashley Madison from computers in L.A. schools
It’s unclear whether the roughly 100 Los Angeles Unified School District email accounts found in the Ashley Madison breach prove that teachers, administrators and other district employees have been up to tawdry after-school activities.
It’s also impossible to know what will happen to them next.
What’s certain, though, is that district employees didn’t use school computers to access the dating website geared toward cheating on spouses, the district says.
“Ashley Madison is blocked,” said David Holmquist, LAUSD’s general counsel. “When you work here you can’t access many different places. They [IT] verified that it was blocked.”
On Tuesday, LA School Report wrote that it had found nearly 100 LAUSD email addresses among the outed potential cheaters. A Los Angeles Times look at the leak found 105 mentions of LAUSD-associated email addresses, though that search did not account for potential duplicates.
The Los Angeles Unified School District’s Office of the Inspector General is investigating whether the teachers whose district emails appear on the Ashley Madison database violated district policy.
LAUSD’s director of communications, Shannon Haber, said Wednesday that her office had not heard any concerns from district parents. “The Office of the Inspector General is looking into it, but I can’t tell you much more,” she said. “We’ve been getting calls from reporters but not one parent, at least not in this office.”
This week, Holmquist sent an email to all district employees reminding them of the district’s policies. “With the recent disclosure that a small number of LAUSD email addresses were used to access the Ashley Madison website, I wanted to remind all employees of the District’s Acceptable Use Policy which prohibits such use,” he wrote. “Failure to comply with the policy may result in disciplinary action being taken. You can find the policy at the following link.”
When asked whether L.A. Unified had verified the identity of the email addresses, he said he did not know, because the investigation is in the IG’s hands. But he did say that teachers and administrators were unlikely to be on Ashley Madison while at school.
“This is not something people would have been able to use their district laptops, equipment, and Wi-Fi for,” Holmquist said. “You would not be able to access anything.”
It’s possible, he added, that LAUSD employees could have logged onto the site through their personal phones while at work, but, he said, “it’s likely that they did it on their own time at home or wherever, not at work.”
You can reach Joy Resmovits on Twitter @Joy_Resmovits and by email at Joy.Resmovits@LATimes.com.
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