August 20, 2014

Elyria
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State rep gives students revealing presentation


Nude pic on flash drive stuns seniors, Barrett

NORWALK — Seniors in government class at Norwalk High School might have thought they were in anatomy class Tuesday when a topless photo popped up during a PowerPoint presentation.

State Rep. Matt Barrett, D-Amherst, was speaking to a class when he plugged a flash drive, a portable memory storage device, into the teacher’s computer. A dialogue box and a topless photo popped up on screen, he said.

“I was shocked,” he said. “I didn’t know where it was coming from — if it was coming from the flash drive or what.”

Barrett said he immediately closed the computer, apologized to the students and continued with his presentation on the legislative process, sans computer.

“There was just a handful of students that noticed it. It was up for less than three seconds,” Barrett said.

After the class, Barrett, the teacher, the principal, the district’s technology director and Superintendent Wayne Babcanec met to discuss the incident. They found an entire directory of inappropriate photos on the flash drive, which Barrett received from a legislative liaison from the state library.

They called the Norwalk Police Department and the Ohio Highway Patrol to look into it as well.

“I thought, ‘I have nothing to hide here. Bring everyone in and let’s figure it out,’ ” Barrett said.

Barrett said he never has added photos of any kind to the flash drive.

The Highway Patrol, which is in charge of the investigation, confiscated both the teacher’s computer and Barrett’s computer, as well as the flash drive.

“There is no specific individual we’re looking at. At this time, we’re trying to figure out what is on the jump drive and how it got there,” said Lt. Tony Bradshaw of the Ohio Highway Patrol.

Babcanec said the incident will likely bring about some changes within the district.

“It was an unfortunate incident, and I believe it was unintended,” Babcanec said. “I think we’re just going to have to be more careful in the future. Our staff members will have to inspect what is shown to our students."

Barrett represents the 58th District, which encompasses all of Huron County and parts of Lorain and Seneca counties.