Online school brings trouble for history teacher

AP World History teacher, John Prothro.

Photo by Perry High

AP World History teacher, John Prothro. “Given structure, a caring environment and motivation,” Prothro says, “all students can succeed.

One of the many issues facing residents of Perry has been the online trend known as “Zoombombing” or “Zoom raiding.” Here, we will be discussing this phenomenon and one history teacher’s experience with this new viral trend.

What is Zoombombing?

“Zoombombing” refers to when an individual joins an online meeting intending to disrupt the class by sharing or saying something that is considered obscene, sexual, hateful, or offensive.

This new online trend started around mid-March after many schools closed their doors and started using the online video calling website “Zoom” to finish the 2019-2020 school year.

Shortly after the implementation of this program, students and other users online found out that if someone posted a meeting code on a public platform, anyone could join these virtual classrooms. History teacher, John Prothro, posted one of these meeting codes to his public CUSD page, allowing his meeting to be accessible to anyone.

Mr. Prothro’s experience

On the first day of the 2020-2021 school year, Prothro created a google classroom meeting for his AP World History class. Soon after the meeting started, a user joined the meeting with the intent to disrupt the class. This user was an anonymous individual and not a CUSD student. Soon after joining, this user proceeded to call Prothro racial slurs.

When asked whether this event had affected how he views teaching as a whole, Prothro stated, “No, I’ve been teaching too long.”

He went on to say he was more concerned about how this event had affected the others on the meeting that day: “I am very protective of my students.”

Soon after, administration received word of the event. “They [CUSD] did all they could,” Prothro remarks, “information was sent to the Gilbert Police Department.”

With the new online schooling environment, events such as these have been frequent. There are many social media groups dedicated to sending meeting codes and disrupting classes. Corporations like Zoom have been working on alleviating issues present on platforms used to host virtual meetings.

During these unprecedented times, school staff nationwide have faced many challenges. Despite their troubles, they are working hard to create a secure learning environment for their students and staff.