Arizona students exposed to explicit video on first day of virtual classroom

Arizona students exposed to explicit video on first day of virtual classroom
Students at an Arizona charter school saw an inappropriate video during an online session Wednesday. (Wokandapix/Pixabay)

SURPRISE, Ariz. — This was a disturbing way to open a new school year.

Arizona middle school students participating in a virtual classroom on the first day of school were exposed to a sexually explicit video Wednesday, school officials said.

Parents of the students at Legacy Traditional School said there were roughly 60 children participating in their cyber-class when the video displayed onto their screens, KNXV reported.

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Tahnee Conner told the television station that her 12-year-old son called her about an hour into his school session with the charter school, which was being broadcast on Google Meet.

“He said, ‘Mommy, something weird is going on.’ So I walked over to the computer and all the little faces were popped up there and they all had this puzzled, well horrified, look on their face,” Conner told KNXV. “And the teacher, bless her heart, was trying the best she could. Like every time it popped up. She kept taking it off. But she couldn’t block the guy.”

Several parents confirmed to KTVK that their children were also exposed to the video during their online session, which had to be closed down.

A school spokesperson told KNXV that a student created a fake email address and tricked the teacher into allowing him into the session. The room was not password protected and did not have any sharing or content restrictions, the television station reported.

“During class today, it was brought to our attention that an individual shared an inappropriate video during a live teacher session,” Legacy Principal Josh Leon wrote in a letter to parents. “We take this situation seriously as the safety of our students and staff members is our highest priority.”

“Just because they weren’t physically harmed doesn’t mean they weren’t harmed,” Conner told KNXV. “That isn’t an image my son has ever seen before.”

Could such a breach be prevented? Some cybersecurity experts think so.

“Something as simple as putting a password protection on that meeting could help prevent that,” Tom Tardy, a retired Phoenix police officer who runs Ginger Sec, told KNXV.

“I don’t want to fault the school but it is kind of their fault for not thinking ahead. They’ve had all summer to do it,” Conner told the television station.