A Bangor High School student displayed inappropriate content including nudity during a remote lesson on Monday morning.
The student displayed the inappropriate content for about six minutes, mostly during the time the teacher was checking students in using an attendance feature on the videoconferencing program Zoom, said Principal Paul Butler.
The student who displayed the nudity was likely posing as a member of the class, and had possibly gotten into the class after receiving a link to the class from another student, Butler wrote in an email to parents of the students in the class.
“The teacher had taken all the necessary preventative steps in setting up the session and responded appropriately when alerted to the content by other students in the class — who are to be credited for doing so,” Butler wrote.
This was the first incident of Zoom-bombing — the unwanted disruption of video calls — that Bangor students have experienced during remote lessons this semester, said Assistant Superintendent Kathy Harris-Smedberg.
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Zoom-bombing has happened all over the world since use of the video conferencing app skyrocketed during the pandemic. Often, trolls have disrupted meetings and classes with pornography or racial slurs. A Zoom meeting of the Bath City Council in April, for example, ended abruptly after it was disrupted by pornographic images and profane language.
Over the summer, the Bangor School Department made all Zoom classes password-protected. Once students enter the password, they end up in a virtual waiting room before the teacher admits them into the class. For students to enter a virtual classroom, their names have to be on the roster for that class.
“The number of incidents dropped dramatically after we had multiple safety measures put in place,” Harris-Smedberg said. “Obviously, we want to make sure that all students are safe and that these types of things don’t occur at all.”
At this point, students can log into Zoom classes using their personal email addresses. The school department is encouraging staff to use their school email addresses to log into classes, she said.