WESTPORT — Superintendent of Schools Gary Reese and Police Chief Keith A. Pelletier report that the Westport Police Department has opened an investigation after a person made an obscene gesture during a school-hosted Zoom meeting with children and families present Wednesday night.
School officials were hosting a Westport School Committee meeting via the Zoom video conferencing platform. The meeting included over 200 participants, including parents, school officials, elected officials and some students.
At approximately 6:40 p.m., an individual was recognized to speak, and when they video was turned on they were making sexually graphic gestures and comments directed at a school committee member. The individual was removed from the meeting immediately.
The Westport Police Department and FBI were notified, and criminal investigations have been launched.
An initial review indicates that proper protocols were followed for hosting a Zoom meeting, however Superintendent Reese and the district’s technology staff will be reviewing these protocols and will reconsider whether the Zoom platform has enough safeguards to host future school committee meetings safely.
Zoombombing incidents have become prevalent in recent months around the world as more people have been utilizing Zoom and other video conferencing programs to host meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The district will be offering counseling and assistance to any meeting attendee who wishes to further discuss the incident.