FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP, N.J. — An entire school district in one New Jersey town was forced to close Monday after officials say there was a cybersecurity incident.
The move left parents in Freehold Township scrambling to find child care.
Parents still don’t know when schools will reopen.
Eisenhower Middle School was unusually quiet for a first day of a new school week. The parking lot and classrooms were empty.
It was a similar scene a few miles away at Barkalow Middle School.
In fact, all eight K-8 schools in the school district were closed Monday.
Parents got a robocall and an email Sunday night saying that school would be closed due to technical difficulties related to a cybersecurity event. No other information was released.
Students told CBS New York they were making the most of the unexpected day off.
“Happy, because I get to skip school on a Monday,” a fifth grader named Ellie said.
“Um, we got our nails done and we went to Panera for lunch,” fifth grader Giuliana added.
For parents, however, their kids’ day off came with little notice.
“So luckily I was off today and had some plans with the kids, but I do have some empathy for people who have to make arrangements today,” Samantha Schellato said.
“I work from home, as always. Just a little surprised today. I have kids with me today. So just give her something to do on the computer. She’s playing around with the iPad and talking to her friends,” Rob Fisch added.
While there are few details released about this case, schools are frequently targeted in cyberattacks, including in New Jersey and New York. It’s one of the fastest-growing crimes in the nation.
Parents in Freehold are now worried that their kids information could be compromised.
“I just hope nothing else got out, nothing about the kids’ information, our information, because they do have all our information,” Fisch said.
Parents were told that the school district is working with outside Information technology experts to try and resolve the issue.
Parents have not been told yet whether school would reopen on Tuesday. Freehold High School, which is part of a separate school district, was not impacted.