September 10, 2020
Dear Bloomfield Hills Schools Families,
We have had a wonderful first few days back to school and I have enjoyed watching teachers and students reconnect digitally. Unfortunately, these digital connections have opened the door to some unwanted class participants. I am confident that by now you’ve heard of “Zoom Bombing” that has plagued classrooms and meetings across the country. Bloomfield Hills Schools has, sadly, not been immune to this.
In one particular instance this afternoon, at the beginning of one of our protected non-public Zoom class sessions, vulgar language including racist hate speech was used by an uninvited individual in the chat. The teacher immediately discontinued the meeting in light of this uninvited, non BHS guest. What happened in this virtual classroom is deplorable and we denounce it. A full investigation is underway and we are working quickly to ensure those harmed by the hate speech receive the support they need. This is a breach of our community health and safety, and we are all harmed when incidents of hate occur. Hate has no place in our school community.
Fortunately, by Monday morning, we anticipate all students will be able to authenticate into Zoom with their district Google account. This added safety measure should keep our digital classrooms safer. However, we know safety does not begin and end with technology measures - it lies in the classroom participants. For that reason, we would like to share some critical digital safety tips with you:
- Please remind your child that they need to enter all classrooms with their full name (First Name, Last Name). Teachers will reference the “waiting room” list in the virtual classroom with their class roster and will not allow anyone to enter the classroom that is not listed on their roster. If a student has a strong preference for a nickname rather than the name on record in our Student Information System, we encourage them to speak directly with their teacher to see if it would be acceptable to change their name to their name of choice. Teachers and students will make a plan together to allow for nicknames or other name preferences.
- Do not share digital classroom links, codes, or passwords outside of your household or individuals supporting your child in their remote/virtual learning. Please do not post links, codes or passwords to social media or other social platforms.
In Bloomfield Hills Schools, we teach students to engage in respectful dialogue, taking into consideration the perspectives of others. We model this behavior for them and discuss the impact of our actions and words. Words, and resulting actions, can impact the safe environment that is created through our community.
We are committed to developing a culture of caring and respect. Though we are currently maintaining a safe distance from one another, we are still here to lend support to you and your child. If your child needs to speak with someone, please connect with an adult in Bloomfield Hills Schools that your child feels comfortable speaking with.
Thank you for your support of Bloomfield Hills Schools.
Pat Watson, Superintendent
How to Change Display Name in Zoom
The Zoom profile allows you to update user information, including your name. Follow the instructions provided on the Zoom Help Center website to ensure your child's Zoom display name matches their legal name.