Greenville County (S.C.) district says 4,000 laptops have not been returned

Aug. 3, 2020
Thousands of Chromebooks were distributed to students when the virus shut down classrooms; the district says it may report the missing machines to police.

The Greenville County (S.C.) district says it is missing nearly 4,000 laptops issued last school year to students.

The Charleston Post and Courier reports that the Chromebooks are worth a combined $1.19 million—each machine costs $301,

The district says it plans to turn the matter over to police.

“We will report whatever information is necessary to recover our devices,” Greenville County Schools spokesman Tim Waller says. “That may include the names of parents/guardians.”

Waller says the district’s IT department has been trying to recover the missing machines since June. Initially 4,992 machines were missing; recovery efforts turned up another 800. Families reported that an additional 208 were lost or stolen.

With nearly 4,000 machines still unaccounted for, the district will have to submit an insurance claim. The only way the claim will be honored, Waller said, is if the machines have been reported as lost or stolen to local law enforcement.

Parents and guardians of children who failed to give their laptops back at the end of the school year have been contacted five or six times by phone, email and with visits to their homes.

Greenville County Schools issued a district-wide phone message and email blast to parents last week asking that any machines be returned.

“We are making repeated attempts to contact families,” the message says, “but pretty soon we will have no choice but to notify law enforcement and report the missing devices as stolen so we can begin the replacement process. If your child has a school district issued Chromebook and has not received special permission to keep that device over the summer, please contact your school and return the device as soon as possible."

In the 2019-20 school year, the Greenville County district maintained 58,429 Chromebooks for students in grades three through 12. That number will jump to 77,754 in the coming school year as the district prepares to issue Chromebooks to every student in the district.

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy, senior editor, has written for AS&U on a wide range of educational issues since 1999.

Sponsored Recommendations