January 13, 2021

PPS Responds to Friday’s Zoom Bombing; Perpetrators “Will Be Held Accountable”

By Donald Gilpin

In response to the January 8, “Zoom bombing” of an online sixth grade meeting at Princeton Unified Middle School (PUMS), Princeton Public School (PPS) officials are working with the PPS technology office, the Princeton Police Department, and Mercer County law enforcement to identify any unauthorized participants in the meeting.

The Zoom bombers, thought to be people from outside the district, according to PUMS Principal Jason Burr’s January 8 email to parents, used a racial slur and posted lewd drawings.

“This was an unacceptable intrusion into the students’ learning and exposed them wrongly to hateful language and images,” Interim Superintendent Barry Galasso wrote in an email to parents and staff on Tuesday, January 12.  “Ironically, the lesson that was disrupted concerned the need for empathy and kindness in the context of community citizenship.”

Galasso noted that officials have since learned that the link to the PUMS Zoom meeting was published externally via Twitter. The PPS staff, Galasso added, is being instructed on how to avoid outside interruptions in the future. 

“We are taking the appropriate steps to safeguard our Zoom meetings to reduce the possibility of outsiders gaining entry,” Burr wrote.

“We apologize to our students and their families for last week’s breach of our community standards,” Galasso said. “Be assured that persons responsible and identified will be held accountable.”