The following letter was distributed to HVRSD families today:
Dear TMS and CHS Families,
We are writing to you jointly to alert you to several recent events that have occurred at both TMS and CHS, and to elicit your help as we try to address these concerns and prevent future incidents.
In the past few weeks, several online Zoom sessions have been interrupted by individuals using offensive racial epithets and using vulgar and foul language directed at both teachers and students. Our preliminary investigation of the technology indicates that these occurrences are coming from within our school population. We have found that in some instances, our students are sharing their links to class Zoom sessions with one another, allowing students who are not enrolled in the classes to log in, often using the name of another student when behaving offensively. Although we are working closely with our technology department to identify the individuals involved, students are using personal devices like phones or ipads that are difficult to trace.
This behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. These actions are in direct contradiction to our district’s equity policy, and violate several aspects of our student code of conduct. Additionally, we have dedicated and professional staff members who are committed to providing an excellent education to the students of Hopewell Valley. These disruptions are not only personally offensive, but they also impact our teachers’ ability to deliver a high level of instruction to all students. Disciplinary action will be taken against any student who violates our code of conduct and our acceptable use policy for technology.
We will continue to instruct our students about digital citizenship, and monitor their use of district issued devices, as discussed in our presentation on HVRSD Technology Security presented in December of 2019 and in our introduction to Securly. However, we need your assistance to help prevent inappropriate behavior occurring on students’ personal devices. We would appreciate any additional support you are able to provide; please consider discussing these incidents with your child, and remind them of the long-term importance of maintaining a positive digital footprint.
We will continue to address these situations as they arise and investigate them to the fullest of our ability. Please take a few minutes to review the resources we have provided and speak to your child about the impact of these disruptions. We are planning a virtual parent workshop to help you continue to navigate technology in the virtual world; details will be shared in the near future.
Thank you for your continued support,
Patricia Riley Principal, CHS
Nicole Gianfredi, Principal, TMS