Zoom bombs

Zoom classrooms are being interrupted with graphic images, videos, and foul language by random individuals who don't belong to the class.

Zoom+bombs

Freepik

By Shaan Bhatia

With a spike in covid-19 cases across Los Angeles County, students find themselves starting yet another semester online. Upon students returning to Van Nuys High School on Aug. 18 via Zoom, multiple classes have fallen victim to “Zoom-bombing,” where unknown individuals crash a class.

These groups of individuals join meetings with generic usernames and post disturbing images and videos with their cameras off.

A sixth-period class was bombarded with images of the Klu Klux Klan, a white supremacy group. Pornography and other inappropriate images were also reported. Shortly after the meeting restarted, a video of an older white male pleasuring himself on camera was shown.

When these incidents were reported by faculty and students to the school’s administration, they took immediate action.

“We are currently working with LAPD to bring a case against the persons who have offended and hurt our students and teachers,” according to Principal Yolanda Gardea. “Posting pornography on the internet is a federal offense and students that break the law will be punished to the fullest extent of the law.”

The school has taken extra precautions to prevent these situations from reoccurring. Students are no longer allowed to log in to their Zoom classes with their email and must log in using their LAUSD email. 

Teachers were also instructed to only admit students to their classrooms that are authenticated via LAUSD. Also, teachers are required to post any links to non-LAUSD websites to Schoology.

“If leave the meeting immediately so you do not have to hear or see anything unacceptable,” said Principal Gardea.

Furthermore, students must take certain precautions as well. They should not share their email address or password with anyone nor share any Zoom links with students outside of a particular class.

Principal Gardea also issued a formal warning to students reminding them that “we can trace the IP addresses and will find any individuals who cause disruptions such as this in classes” and “if students have any information about who the offenders are, please let an administrator know.”