MEDWAY — Chief Allen Tingley and Superintendent Armand Pires report that the Medway Police Department is investigating after a person displayed an obscene video during a school-hosted Zoom meeting with children and families Wednesday night, April 29.
School officials were hosting a Zoom video conference for their 5th grade orientation that included over 150 participants, including parents, children, teachers, principals and other school officials.
At approximately 8:05 p.m., the meeting was coming to an end, when a person took control of the video display and played an obscene video. The video was played for approximately 15-20 seconds and there were about 150 people still in the meeting.
School officials closed the meeting as quickly as possible and immediately notified police.
The matter remains under active investigation by the Medway Police Department.
In a review of the incident by school officials, it is believed that certain protocols were not followed prior to the start of the meeting, which allowed the potential for an outside party to access the meeting and take control of the video function.
It is believed that the meeting was infiltrated by an unwanted party that played the obscene video as part of an act called “Zoombombing.” Zoombombing incidents have become prevalent in recent weeks and months as more people have been utilizing Zoom and other video conferencing programs to host meetings during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“We want to sincerely apologize to each and every person that was on the video meeting and say that this was indeed user-error on our part,” Superintendent Pires said. “We will not be hosting any further video meetings this week as we review our policies and procedures and look into other video conferencing programs that we may be able to utilize for student and teacher interaction.”
The district will be offering counseling and assistance to any students or families that wish to further discuss the incident.
Chief Tingley said, “Zoombombing is an act where an unwanted person enters into a Zoom meeting and displays obscene, racist or hateful speech, images and videos to unsuspecting participants. A crime was committed here and this is something we are taking very seriously as we look to identify the person who did this.”