As the school transitioned to virtual learning through Zoom, the number of ‘Zoom bombings’ has increased, in which anonymous individuals take students’ names and interrupt online class sessions.
Upper School dean Jennifer Cardillo said she was surprised when her Lifelab class was recently ‘Zoom bombed.’
“The incident was startling in the moment and really disappointing,” Cardillo said.”Because I have been doing short check-in meetings will all of my sophomores this month, I had to process the [‘Zoom bombings’] with several of my students.”
Cardillo said individuals outside of the school community came into the meeting with their cameras off, unmuted themselves, said obscene things and typed profanities in the chat. She said she quickly ended and restarted the meeting, but when the class returned, so did the Zoom bombers. This happened a total of three times before she ultimately ended the meeting.
Similar incidents followed
Sophia Rascoff ’23 said she was taken aback by the fact that people would interrupt classes during the coronavirus pandemic, which is an already difficult and stressful situation.
“While there were no real repercussions for our class, it was mostly just shocking to me, ” Rascoff said. “It’s surprising to me that people would want to do something like that.”
A similar incident occurred in history teacher Lilas Lane’s The World and Europe II class, when someone with their camera off began to type profanities into the chat. Similarly, English teacher Adam Levine’s English II class was interrupted when someone joined and made a loud disturbance. There have been other ‘Zoom bombing’ incidents this year, but teachers said none of them have been too damaging to students’ learning.
IT department strengthens Zoom security
The IT department has begun to implement preventative measures, such as enabling waiting rooms and requiring students to sign in with the school domain in order to keep these incidents from occurring in the future .
“It’s going to be much more difficult for somebody to come in, even from within the system, ” Lane said.
Lane said these incidents allowed teachers to recognize the importance of flexibility when dealing with interruptions, so they can continue to utilize the Zoom platform to the best of their abilities .