Friends of Lowell Foundation Offers to Show the SF Board of Education How to Disable 'Share Screen' on Zoom
Failure to follow basic security rules in a virtual meeting embarrasses Board, again
SAN FRANCISCO, November 15, 2021 (Newswire.com) - On Nov. 3, during a San Francisco Board of Education meeting about equity at Lowell High School, anonymous persons interrupted the online public meeting and posted video that "used racial slurs" and "displayed pornographic images," causing the Board to terminate the meeting, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
The Friends of Lowell Foundation condemns these offensive images and words unreservedly. However, the Foundation demands that the San Francisco Board of Education take basic measures to ensure that such attacks are not repeated, and to find the individuals responsible for the Nov. 3 incident.
The Chronicle article describes the incident as "hacking" without attributing this description. In fact, the meeting was not hacked. The deeply offensive words and images were created by parties who had logged into the meeting as participants. The meeting did not feature basic security measures for the 40 attendees, possibly including children. Simple host controls can prevent participants from speaking and sharing images on Zoom.
This is the second time the Board of Education has failed to launch an equity committee, which was created in the same February 9 resolution that ended academic merit-based admissions at Lowell and resulted in the Friends of Lowell Foundation's lawsuit against the Board. The first failure resulted from inadequate public notice of the meeting or the meeting's purpose.
The Nov. 3 anonymous posting of racial slurs and pornography resembles a January incident that targeted Lowell students, an incident that the Board used as a pretext to remove the academic admissions policy that benefits these Lowell students. The parties responsible for the January incident were never identified.
"Just when we thought the Board could not exhibit less competence, they have once again proven that they can reach new depths," said Friends of Lowell Vice President Lee Cheng. "Even worse, we see the Board apparently surprised by something that has happened before and easily could have been prevented."
"These Board members have been on Zoom almost every day for 20 months, and have condemned the similar attack against Lowell students, without doing anything to protect attendees and the public," Cheng said. "A typical 10-year-old can figure out how to secure a Zoom meeting so participants cannot speak or share their screen unless allowed to do so by the meeting host. If any of the Board members would like, I'll happily show them how to make meeting participants safe from offense and harm with two mouse clicks."
ABOUT THE FRIENDS OF LOWELL FOUNDATION
The Friends of Lowell Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization formed in 2021 to make academic merit-based public education available to as many children in San Francisco as possible. More information and donation opportunities can be found at www.friendsoflowell.org and www.facebook.com/friendsoflowell.
Source: Friends of Lowell Foundation