Zoom Raids at RHS: Can They Be Stopped?

It seems like every day there’s a new story about a school’s Zoom meeting being raided, or “bombed” as some people like to call it. For anyone who may be out of the loop:

Zoom raids/bombings are when someone joins a Zoom call with the intention to disrupt what’s going on.

The concept of raiding a voice or video call has been a thing before Zoom even existed. Ever since voice and video calls were created, people have found ways to disrupt calls. People used to, and in some cases still do, disrupt calls over platforms such as Skype, TeamSpeak, and Discord. While the platforms have changed over time, the methods people use to disrupt these calls hasn’t. Over all of these platforms, the intention of raiders was to be as obnoxious as possible to annoy everyone in the call. There are many ways people have raided Zoom calls in the past, but unfortunately the trend at RHS appears to be students cursing into their mic, using racial slurs, and drawing on the screen to annoy the presenter. This is not just an issue at Revere High, either. This has been a trend at schools around the country all year. The only motive for this seems to be immaturity, because a very small minority of people are doing Zoom raids and an even smaller minority find these raids to be funny. On the bright side of things, the majority of people not finding these raids to be funny show that the majority of RHS students are being mature about this situation. While you can’t always speak for everyone, it’s apparent that only a small amount of students are immature enough to find this funny, while the rest are just trying to make the most out of this situation. It’s good to remember that a very small minority of people are trying to ruin opportunities for everyone else. If you’re annoyed by the raids, most other people are too. We’re all in the same boat when events like this happen.

Over the past few months, there have been a number of Zoom raids involving RHS students. These Zoom raids, to some, don’t seem like a big deal, but they’ve had consequences already for the school, as shown by the recent Diversity Organization event. In a public announcement made by Ms. Currie, “THE DIVERSITY ORG has decided to cancel events moving forward at Revere High School. We had planned some incredible opportunities for internships and mentoring. Ernst & Young one of the top accounting firms in the world, had offered to partner with Revere High School along with The Diversity Org project.”

People simply trying to find opportunities for themselves last week during the Diversity Org. event were robbed of the chance by people who thought it would be funny to spam racial slurs at an African American host. Because of these people, the organization presenting to students will no longer come back, and justifiably so. They were intending to help students learn how to work with massive companies, and even go as far as to help students reach out to those massive companies. Not only did they rob their fellow students out of opportunities, they robbed future students out of these opportunities as well. After robbing RHS students out of these opportunities, they were quickly caught. Although the Zoom presentation was hosted by The Diversity Org. rather than the school, Dr. Rockwood mentioned over email, “A few students were identified and they have been contacted by the RHS admin.” The students who did the raid didn’t get away with it. One of the things the school has been good at is identifying who’s been doing the raids and punishing them for it.

Zoom raiding is a huge issue and will continue to be a huge issue as long as we’re doing classes online. Over time, the school has taken steps to limit these Zoom raids. Most classes will not allow you to join if you don’t have your full name listed. This has proven to be very effective, as there haven’t been many Zoom raids involving individual classes since the first week of school. On top of this, the school appears to be doing a good job at catching the people who raid RHS Zoom calls.

It’s important to remember that Zoom raids are a new thing that nearly all schools are currently dealing with. All schools can do at this point is try their best to teach their teachers methods on stopping these raids and regaining control over their calls. There’s reason to believe that this story will develop further as time goes on, but hopefully the school is able to find more ways to prevent these raids from continuing in the future.