Dear Depew School Community,
On August 19, during the public session of our Reopening Forum on Google Hangout Meet, we unfortunately had some malicious actors disrupt our meeting.
Immediate action was taken to remove the malicious actors from the meeting and the issue was reported to the FBI, the Village of Depew Police Department and Google. We apologize for the inappropriate nature of the images shared and are working to avoid this situation for future virtual events open to the public.
We would like to assure the Depew School Community that we are addressing this with local law enforcement and Google. We would also like to reassure parents that this isolated incident occurred in a public Google Hangout Session and strict security measures are in place for any private Google Hangout sessions between students and their teachers.
When a non-Depew employee or student tries to enter any secured Depew Schools Google Hangout, they must be allowed access by the host of the meeting. Wednesday’s meeting was open to the public and anyone with a real name was allowed into the open meeting.
In fact, we had two employees moderating the meeting when ten people with "real" names joined the forum at the same time. When the messages and inappropriate content appeared, we paused the meeting and removed the malicious actors. Within five minutes we were able to safely resume our Reopening Forum.
When teachers use secured Google Hangouts to interact with students, students are using their @depewschools.org email accounts, which are always monitored. Teachers have been instructed to deny any outside requests to join these meetings, which will prevent any “Hangout Bombing.”
We would like to thank all of the parents and school community who attended the Reopening Forums and submitted questions. We are looking forward to a safe start to the school year.
Jeffrey Rabey, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools