‘No longer safe in their classroom:’ NHCS remote-learning session hacked, sexualized profanity used – Port City Daily

A parent claimed that at least two virtual-learning sessions have been hacked by abusive users. (Port City Daily photo / File)

WILMINGTON This week, a New Hanover County parent claimed at least two incidents of hacking where cyberbullies may have gained access to remote-learning sessions, harassing students and using abusive, sexualized profanity towards them.

Asked about these concerns, the New Hanover County School district did not address the specific incident but did state it was continuously monitoring and enhancing internet security to protect students, families, and staff. NHCS said that incidents rising to the level of threats, malicious intent, pornography, illegal, and or criminal activities would be investigated by school principals, and criminal violations would be reported to law enforcement.

In a different response, sent to parents, NHCS stated it had been made aware of students engaging in conduct using social media that may be considered cyber-bullying. NHCS encourages parents and students to review NHCS bullying, harassment, and discrimination policies.

However, the concerns expressed by the parent indicate it may not have been a student or, at least, not the student assigned to the remote-learning account that was doing the cyberbullying.

The two incidents both apparently involved unknown users gaining access to Zoom meetings in order to make inappropriate comments and harass students.

On Thursday, a parents message (which appears, in part, below), about the incidents, circulated on social media. The parent was highly complimentary of the district, citing very positive experiences at two elementary schools. The recent incidents, however, left the parent concerned.

The parent wrote that she no longer felt her children were safe in their virtual classroom after it was apparently hacked. The parents concerns seem to indicate that a male user was communicating with other students using an ID assigned to a female student.

My daughter, while attending her science Zoom class, was hacked and although it was her Google Classroom ID it was a male who was making inappropriate comments via the audio function of Zoom as well as the written chat section, she wrote.

The parent said the family was notified of the hacking by a teacher. Then the family had a difficult conversation with child, trying to answer questions about what hacking is, how much access a hacker could have to someones private life could they, for example, watch a student through a laptop camera outside of class time? and, perhaps most difficult to answer, why would someone do this?

The parents noted that for some of her worries we had answers but for some we didnt.

The parent also included evidence of another incident in the screenshot pictured below. Note, the parent redacted the student names, while Port City Daily has redacted the profanity.

NHCS issued the following statement in response to inquiries from Port City Daily:

NHCS is continuously monitoring and enhancing internet security to protect students, families, and staff against cyberbullying, internet hacking, and other online security threats. The school district prohibits student access to social media platforms through the district network and instructs teachers to use waiting rooms and additional identification measures to ensure only appropriate students are present in online classrooms.If the online actions reach the level of threats, malicious intent, pornography, illegal, and or criminal activities, an investigation of the Zoom/Google meet meeting is initiated by the school principal.Violations are being aggressively investigated and will be reported to law enforcement.

Guidance for participating in online classrooms, including password protection, link sharing, screensharing, supervision, what to do if inappropriate behavior occurs, and more, is available on the district website atwww.nhcs.net. Cyberbullying policies, reporting procedures, and support resources are being shared through the NHCS website, social media, and Connect 5 calls/emails to families. Student Support Services and school counselors are available to provide social emotional support and guidance.

NHCS also sent the following statement to parents:

This week, NHCS was made aware of students engaging in conduct using social media that may be considered cyber-bullying. NHCS strives to foster an environment that is welcoming to all students and prohibits all forms of bullying (including cyberbullying), harassment, and discrimination by its students.

NHCS has shared all of the reports, complaints, and evidence of cyberbullying with law enforcement in order to address the matter under North Carolina criminal law. NHCS will continue to share any additional information with law enforcement.

In addition to North Carolina criminal law, NHCS prohibits bullying (including cyberbullying), harassment, and discrimination by its students in NHCS policies. Bullying (including cyberbullying), harassment, and discrimination may include conduct such as: spreading secrets or rumors; sending threatening messages; sending sexual material of others without permission; making derogatory comments about others; etc.

NHCS encourages parents and students to review NHCS bullying, harassment, and discrimination policies. NHCS policies that prohibit bullying (including cyberbullying), harassment, and discrimination include:

More:
'No longer safe in their classroom:' NHCS remote-learning session hacked, sexualized profanity used - Port City Daily

Related Post

Comments are closed.