Rep. Barrett bares all on his computer, then apologizes

NORWALK Seniors in government class at Norwalk High School might have thought they were in anatomy c
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010



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

State Rep. Matt Barrett, D-Amherst, was speaking to a class of seniors when he plugged a flash drive into the teacher's computer.

A dialogue box and a topless woman's 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, minus the 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.

They called the Norwalk Police Department and the Ohio State 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.

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, Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Barrett said he received the flash drive from a legislative liaison from the state library.

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

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."