'I was offended’: CMS virtual learning chat bombarded with racial slur

'I was offended’: CMS virtual learning chat bombarded with racial slur

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Someone posted a racial slur -- dozens of times -- in a local school’s remote learning chat.

Unfortunately, this is part of a disturbing trend nationwide called “Zoom-bombing.” People posting disturbing, inappropriate and disruptive messages to chats being used for virtual learning.

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Some staff members at a local boys and girls club alerted Channel 9 to a recent incident involving a class in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School district.

Cherine Williams was helping with virtual learning when she said a student alerted her to what was popping up in their classroom Zoom chat. It was the “N-word” -- typed over and over again.

“I was surprised, I was offended, and I was distraught,” she said. “It’s not okay.”

Williams said she tried to talk it through with the Carmel Middle School student she was working with before reaching out to the school.

“This isn’t right, this isn’t supposed to happen, this isn’t fair to you and your other classmates,” she said to the student.

Unfortunately, she told Channel 9 it happened again about a week later.

A representative for CMS confirmed the school is aware of the incident and is investigating. They said people have been entering the Zoom classes under other student or staff names, and teachers let them in. That’s when the comments happened.

Now, all comment features have been turned off by teachers at the school.

“What happened shouldn’t happen, it can’t happen again,” said Williams.

Here’s a statement the district shared when we asked about the incident:

CMS is not able to confirm individual student information or disciplinary action according to FERPA and Board policy.

CMS has an expectation that all students will be actively engaged in the educational process of remote learning without distraction. Appropriate behavior in accordance with the CMS Student Code of Conduct, as would be required in classrooms, is part of that expectation. The district would encourage parents and caregivers to maintain those same expectations at home during remote learning. Students who are not adhering to appropriate behavior will be addressed by the school and appropriate disciplinary action will be issued.

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