This is a safeguarding alert following multiple reports of a new surge in ‘lesson bombing’ during remote learning classes at schools.
We have been alerted to a recent trend in ‘online lesson bombing’ from police forces, members of Our Safer Schools Community, and news reports. In one area there have been 15 recent incidents of ‘lesson bombing’.
So what exactly is ‘lesson bombing’?
‘Lesson bombing’ involves online intruders being given access into remote learning environments. The trend is being used as a way for pupils to prank classes, disrupt lessons and be rude to teachers. It can include sharing inappropriate content and using abusive or threatening language towards educators.
We’ve been alerted to two different instances where this may happen.
Pupils may intentionally share their school login details with an external person, allowing them to freely gain access.
Pupils may share the ‘invite’ to the class to an external person, who then must be allowed into the virtual classroom by the teacher.
We’re concerned that pranks may, in some cases, go too far – including the sharing of inappropriate material which has happened in the past.
What are the risks?
While young people may be attracted to the joke or thrill of having something eventful happen during an online lesson, there are a few risks that require their attention.
Sharing passwords or emails with strangers may result in serious data breaches orhacking of multiple accounts that use these passwords or email addresses – such as social media accounts.
After sharing passwords, they may be locked out of their account and personal or sensitive information may be stolen, destroyed and misused.
In some cases this information could be misused to coerce, bribe or exploit the behaviour of the person who shared the information.
They may put other students at risk of harm where there are communications with them in their school or personal email account – their information could also be compromised.
What can you do to protect the children in your care?
We’re reminding parents to check with your children about the dangers of sharing information online and the risks involved.
Parents and carers should communicate that children and young people are responsible for their behaviour online as they would be offline.
All schools should revisit ground rules and expectations of students who are remote learning.
Teachers should pay attention to cases where a student appears to login twice, this appears to be an indication of another person using their details.
We’re also urging those using online video conference platforms to use our ABCs of online video conferencing to make sure their lessons are safe and secure from uninvited participants with unknown intentions.