A number of school districts in California as well as the University of Southern California are reporting a spike in online sexual harassment and discriminatory behavior as they transition to stay-at-home learning via digital platforms and video conferencing.
Porn Attacks and Online Sexual Harassment in Conejo Valley High School
When Jordan Scott, a student board trustee at the Westlake High School in Thousand Oaks, Conejo Valley joined the first online public meeting of her school district via Zoom video conferencing, she was shocked to see porn images taking over the center screen.
Several unrecognized users had crashed into the public online gathering, who began harassing the participants with sexual as well as racist remarks. School board members were also subjected to threats and sexual harassment. One of the harassers said that if they could hack into their online meeting, they even had the capability to discover their home addresses.
Scott, who is a senior and AP-Honors student at the school, said that she was uncomfortable watching porn knowing that her male counterparts were watching it too, and she even heard sexual harassment being directed at the females in the group.
Teachers Worried about Sexual Harassment on Digital Platforms
A number of grade school teachers are already reluctant about teaching their youngest students on digital platforms. Recently, the teachers in at least one public school in Los Angeles stopped using the approved Zoom video conferencing platform because of security issues.
Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has said that although it is encouraging teachers as well as students to utilize distance learning through online resources, it’s vital to train teachers as well as families about taking the appropriate security precautions against such incidents.
University Administrators Work to Implement Security Protocols
Top administrators at USC recently apologized to the school community following “vile and racist” remarks used by some people at the virtual lectures conducted by the university.
USC President Carol L. Folt wrote in a university-wide letter that the administration was deeply saddened that the students as well as the faculty have had to experience despicable acts of sexual harassment and discrimination during remote learning programs.
New memos issued by information security officers at USC and UC Berkeley to students and teachers now warn about “Zoom bombing” and describe measures they can take to protect themselves, such as turning off public settings and controlling their screen sharing.
Even Company Employees are Becoming Victims
Zoom and various other video conferencing platforms are not only being used in the current Covid-19 or Wuhan virus crisis by school districts and universities, but also by business organizations to conduct their meetings virtually. Even company employees are getting subjected to vulgar screen-shares and hateful photos during online events and meetings.
Chipotle recently tried to host a Zoom public event with a popular musician, but was forced to shut it down when an individual began broadcasting pornography to the hundreds of people who had logged in.
Speak to a Knowledgeable California Sexual Harassment Attorney
If you have been a victim of online sexual harassment in California, get ready to speak up and fight for your legal rights. Makarem & Associates has some of the most competent online sexual harassment attorneys in California who will provide you the right advice and support. Call us at310-312-0299 or email at [email protected].