Calif. High School Students 'Exposed to Porn' During Several 'Very Uncomfortable' Zoombombs

High school students in Brentwood of California's San Francisco Bay Area, who are being taught remotely online amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, are facing a "very uncomfortable, very frustrating time," a school official noted, following several incidents of classes being "Zoombombed."

"Zoombombing" sees internet hackers crash into online courses held via the Zoom online meeting platform with various forms of disruptions including profanity, hate speech and pornography.

A student from Heritage High School in Brentwood, Tatiana Torres, told California's KRON-TV: "There was this first person there were saying the n word repeatedly and like I hate Black and brown people and another kid started doing it and kind of saying like some bad words and then the n word, too."

Teacher Connie Torres told KRON-TV: "Some of them [students] were exposed to pornography in other classes."

Teachers and students within Brentwood's Liberty Union High School District were reported to have been disrupted by what's been described to be abhorrent racist, misogynistic, sexually demeaning and repellent behavior, according to the school district's superintendent, Eric Volta.

"First couple of the days, it was light and then the last three days of the first week it happened a lot," Volta told KRON-TV. "One teacher caught 30 kids in the waiting room that didn't belong in his class."

The district has implemented stricter security settings to identify students in each class and has not reported any additional incidents since imposing the changes, KRON-TV reported.

"We are obviously in a very uncomfortable, very frustrating time but when it's all said and done the learning curves that have occurred over the last month will carry us on for a long time going forward," Volta noted.

Brentwood schools join several others that have been Zoombombed in recent months, including in the Greater Cincinnati area, which has reported at least three incidents in school settings since July, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

The area recorded two incidents at Wyoming City Schools, while the other was reported at Miami University, which saw online courses being hacked with displays of nudity, profanity and discriminatory images, school officials confirmed.

Wyoming City Schools and Miami University were reported to be working with law enforcement to identify the offenders.

The Pullman School District in Washington also recently reported Zoombombing incidents to the Pullman Police Department, Washington's KXLY radio station reported.

One of the incidents was reported to have involved an inappropriate video being displayed for a few seconds, while inappropriate comments were made on other occasions.

The school district's superintendent, Bob Maxwell, said: "In each of these attempts, the teacher immediately ended the session and contacted administrators."

Investigators were reported to have seen a rise in Zoombombing incidents since the spring, as more schools began moving their courses online, a spokesperson for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) told the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Back in late May, the FBI reportedly received over 240 reports of Zoom bombing incidents, including ones that involved videos featuring child sexual abuse material.

A spokesperson for Zoom noted the company takes meeting disruptions "extremely seriously," the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

"We have been deeply upset to hear about these types of incidents, and Zoom strongly condemns such behavior," the company said in a statement.

"We have recently enabled meeting passwords and virtual waiting rooms by default for users enrolled in our K-12 program, and also updated the default screen share settings to ensure teachers are the only ones who can share content in class," the statement added.

Online teaching New York University April 2020
A professor from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts conducts a remote learning class for students on April 9 from her apartment in New York City. Schools in several states, including California, have reported being "Zoombombed" during their online courses in recent months. Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images