GRPS website error said schools were closed

The Grand Rapids Public Schools website got hacked and reported classes were canceled Feb. 28, 2014. But a school spokesman told 24 Hour News 8 that schools are open. (photo courtesy

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) –A technical error on the Grand Rapids Public Schools website Friday morning caused quite the confusion.

24 Hour News 8 received phone calls from some parents inquiring about the district’s open/closed status after seeing this message on the district’s website —


24 Hour News 8 talked to GRPS spokesperson John Helmholdt, around 6:40 a.m., who said the website got hacked. He said no official closing notifications were released, and that classes are in session Friday.

The district’s website was unavailable for quite some time as officials corrected the situation.

Then around 10 a.m., Helmholdt released a statement —

“Early this morning, an erroneous message was displayed on the GRPS website displaying that the district was closed today. Initial reports were that the site may have been hacked, but after further investigation, it has been determined that there was a technical error. A previous school closing message was accidentally selected for “reoccurence” which is an option under the website content management system. The district takes full responsibility and apologizes for the confusion.”

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