An Illinois eighth-grader is under investigation after he allegedly mooned students during a Zoom session and spouted an “ugly racial slur.”
“We are currently investigating this matter, and have already contacted the child’s family and school, as well as local law enforcement. We are working with our technology department to ensure that there are additional safeguards in place to prevent this from happening again,” District 86 wrote in a recent email to parents.
The incident happened on Tuesday during several online classes for Hinsdale Central and Hinsdale South high schools, but did not involve a student at either school.
Fox 32 reports:
The district says it has identified the student as an eighth grader attending a school that feeds into the high school district who got the Zoom password from a freshman. …
A district spokesperson says part of the problem is they’re not yet able to use all of the Zoom security features, because the recent decision to switch to e-learning means not all students have been authenticated with Zoom.
Police are also investigating social media reports of a second Zoom bombing involving the district, but so far that has not been substantiated.
The “Zoom bombing” at Hinsdale schools is part of a broader trend nationally involving online vigilantes interrupting classes, school and local government meetings, and other important virtual sessions. In many cases, the “Zoom bomb” involves racist rhetoric and pornography.
In Illinois, the situation appears to have been an adolescent prank, and e-learning expert Jessica Downs Huebner it’s becoming more of a problem with the flood of students studying online amid the pandemic.
“Our kids simply aren’t trained to learn online,” Huebner, of The Pupil Pod, told the news site. “They don’t know how to interact with their computer. They don’t know what’s appropriate. And a lot of them are not being supervised when they are interacting with these virtual learning opportunities.”
“I think it’s very frustrating that something like that would happen in our school district,” a local woman told Fox 32.
And it’s not just the students.
In San Jose, California, a teacher in the East Side Union High School District was suspended after he appeared topless during an online class on Friday, The Mercury News reports.
Parent Elizabeth Alvia told the news site her daughter was disturbed when her teacher was without a shirt on the second day of her freshman math class at Silver Creek High School. It was also a violation of the dress code the teacher outlined days earlier, she alleged.
“She started feeling uncomfortable,” Avila told the News. “She couldn’t concentrate on the topic because all she was seeing was this old man on camera in her bedroom.”
District officials would not identify the teacher, but said he’s now on administrative leaving pending an investigation.
“I will say that the behavior is unacceptable, unprofessional and violates several district policies,” Superintendent Chris Funk told the news site.
“This situation is under investigation,” he said. “In situations like this, an employee is immediately placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.”