Staff takes extra precautions to prevent Zoom bombings

Letia Juarez, Staff Writer

With the switch to online school being a challenge for both teachers and students, teachers are now facing a new issue: Zoom bombers. 

Zoom bombing is when someone outside of the class joins the Zoom meeting and does one of any activities to interfere with class.  At West, Zoom bombers have cussed out the teacher, drawn on the shared screens, or pretended to be a student. 

Recently, math teacher Mr. Brandon Torrez experienced getting Zoom bombed. The first time, it was a kid pretending to be a student saying he didn’t understand the class work. According to Torrez, this was harmless.  He said, “It was good sideshow entertainment and it was a good laugh for both me and my students during a pretty stressful time with finals coming up.”

However, the question arose for Torrez, “how are these people getting my Zoom link?”

The next day, Torrez experienced a Zoom bomb for the second time, but this experience wasn’t so pleasant. The Zoom bomber began cursing Torrez out and drawing inappropriate images on the shared board.  “Rather than getting upset and ending the class, I told this kid stuff back to get him mad…part of being a teacher, you just gotta deal with it and go with the flow and find your own answers,” Torrez said

Torrez found out that random people were accessing his Zoom link because it had been linked to social media.  Torrez decided he would change his Zoom settings to having to allow and accept his students in the Zoom one by one and only allow his students to change their names when he needs their group number next to them. 

Several other students have experienced their teachers being Zoom bombed by people who say very offensive, inappropriate things to their teacher. Senior Rosemary Mena, was on her class Zoom call when someone started cursing her teacher out. Rosemary said, “I felt bad because she wouldn’t stop apologizing [after the teacher got the bomber out of the ZOOM] and it’s not her fault.” 

Actions have already taken place by principal Mr. Jeff Cranson to put a stop to the Zoom bombing. He said in an email that there were new settings being put in place and only those with a District 6 email address could join Zoom meetings hosted by teachers.