Eight Million Offensive Spam Emails Sent to Middle School, High School Students in Florida

A school district in Florida is investigating after millions of spam emails containing offensive and inappropriate content were sent to middle and high school students.

Seminole County Public Schools has warned students and parents not to open the suspicious emails—which could contain malware—and to delete them immediately.

Officials said all students at every high school, as well as some middle schools, received the emails. In total, more than eight million emails were sent.

"The emails are coming from both Gmail and Protonmail email accounts," the school district said in a message to parents.

"Our information services department and local law enforcement have been alerted and are working diligently to remedy the situation. In the meantime, please let your students know if they've received any of these emails to delete them immediately."

Among some of the offensive messages in the mails include mentioning one containing a racist slur and mentioning a school employee in a sexually explicit way and one with a photo of George Floyd and a caption that read "Black Lives Don't Matter."

The district said it has blocked external email traffic to the student accounts and is working towards disabling the reply all feature so they are not accidentally forwarded. Officials said it could take around two days to delete all the emails from the systems.

"It's very concerning as a parent and I don't appreciate it," Betty Jackson, whose daughter Riley Jackson goes to Hagerty High School, told Click Orlando.

The student said she received around 986 emails as a result of the spamming.

"People are getting emails from people they don't know and it's kind of scary in a weird kind of way," Riley Jackson said.

"You need to find out what's going on and you need to stop it," Betty Jackson added.

Seminole County Public Schools has been contacted for further comment.

Elsewhere, the district recently reminded parents not to send their children back to school after the holiday period if they are displaying symptoms of COVID-19, as the state struggles to cope with the rising number of confirmed cases.

"As classes resume tomorrow, we ask that if you or your child isn't feeling well or if you were exposed to anyone that has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, please do not report to school or work and self-quarantine out of an abundance of caution," the district wrote on Facebook.

"The same must be practiced if someone in your household has tested positive for COVID-19, OR has symptoms and are awaiting the results of a test. We appreciate your adhering to these guidelines to help keep our schools and community safe."

florida
(File photo) A mask sits on a notebook in a dorm room belonging to Kyalynn Moore-Wilson as students begin classes amid the coronavirus pandemic on the first day of the fall 2020 semester at the University of New Mexico on August 17, 2020 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Seminole County Public Schools officials said they investigating millions of inappropriate emails were sent to students in Florida. Sam Wasson/Getty