Chicago Public Schools

CPS Students on Receiving End of Profanities From Remote Classroom Intruder

Alanna Quillen / NBC 5 News

Chicago Public Schools' students in a seventh grade remote learning session were on the receiving end of profanities from an unwelcome guest this week.

The intruder, who managed to join an active eLearning session, hurled insults at Mariono Azuela Elementary students and their teacher and appeared to make a threat.

Rebecca Moreno said her son recorded video of the intruder interrupting the virtual classroom.

“I advised my son that when that happens again, just leave the class. Log off when that’s happening,” Moreno said.

CPS said it has learned of a small number of disruptive incidents not believed to be hacking, in which it is believed users gained access to virtual classrooms through meeting links that were improperly shared.

In a statement, CPS said the district “has provided school staff with guidelines on how to prevent disruptions and is working with Google to expand functionality to allow for additional controls during class.”

Cyber security consultant Rich Wistocki of said he is receiving calls about similar incidents across the country every week.

“When schools are giving these devices to kids, they have to make sure that they’re not only secured and they usually are at school, but when the kids are home the schools need to invest in the software to make them safe,” Wistocki said.

Wistocki said the disruptions could amount to crimes, including computer tampering and harassment through electronic communication.

“If the kid can take their device and record what’s happening, that’s great evidence,” Wistocki said. “Tell their parents and their parents can report it back to their school so there’s a record and evidence that this had occurred and what was said.”

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