6th graders “Zoom bombed” in Princeton, racial slur used

On Friday, 6th graders at the Princeton Unified Middle School were participating in a Zoom meeting together when they were “Zoom bombed” by people who shared lewd drawings and used the N-word.

Princeton Unified Middle School Principal Jason Burr told parents and staff in an email that some students and families wrote to him to say they were distressed about the incident. “We couldn’t agree more. Our planned message today was one of empathy and kindness,” Burr wrote. “To have a successful 2021, we must work together collaboratively and successfully and to ‘citizen.’ Ironically, today’s interruption provided key evidence that we still have a long way to climb. I am horrified that our students witnessed this incident of racism.”

Burr said officials are taking steps to prevent Zoom bombings from happening again, including working with the technology department to identify people who were part of the incident and taking steps to safeguard Zoom meetings and reduce the possibility of outsiders gaining access to the meetings. Sixth graders will also be receiving lessons from Common Sense Media on how to respond to incidents that violate “digital citizenship.”

“It is crucial that we continue to work together in partnership to establish strong principles of digital citizenship and safe on-line behavior,” Burr wrote. “We will also forward some additional resources to families so that we are all working from the same blueprint to achieve this mission.”