‘Zoom bombing’: Racist messages sabotage Mason black student club’s meeting

An area Black high school group’s recent online meeting was sabotaged by racist messages, said school officials.

Mason High Schools’ Black Student Union, was conducting an online Zoom meeting on Friday when their group broadcast was infiltrated by outside computer hackers who posted “profanity, gory video images, and the N-word,” said Mason school officials.

The “Zoom bombing,” said school officials appeared to have originated outside the region and the country, coming from multiple sources.

“Following the incident, we immediately began an investigation into what appeared to be a coordinated attack from at least three intruders,” wrote Tracey Carson, spokeswoman for Mason Schools, which is the largest district in Warren County.

“Working with the Southwest Ohio Computer Association, we scoured the meeting log files and cross-checked other resource log files. The IP addresses of unknown participants - likely the Zoombombers — were from other parts of the country, and included several international addresses,” said Carson.

“Black Student Union leaders ended the session quickly and shared a new link with participants.”

“Hate speech and images will not be tolerated as they are attacks on the core beliefs of our (school district),” she said.

“Our heart breaks that an important forum intended as a safe space for members of our Black community to share their experiences was compromised. Moving forward, all school-sponsored virtual events will require an online registration in order to try to prevent something like this from happening in the future.”

Mason, like other schools locally and across the nation, are holding a wide-variety of school-based events and forums to commemorate Black History Month.

Students who witnessed the online meeting sabotage were offered counseling services by school officials.

“Acts of racism, sexism, ableism, classism, homophobia, religious intolerance, and other forms of harassment hurt our (school district) and have no place in our schools,” Carson said.

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