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Technology is wonderful until it isn't.

The Clarinda Community School District Board of Directors found that out Thursday, May 21, when a special meeting of the board being shared over the computer program Zoom was hacked – when someone provided adult-themed material for others on Zoom to view.

Those in attendance included school officials, members of the press and other individuals signed in under various screen names.

However, when the meeting started, the Zoom platform was hacked forcing officials at the central office to remove the Zoom conference and continue the meeting offline. The district then provided a statement explaining the audio of the meeting will be recorded and posted on the district’s website.

The school district started streaming its meetings over Zoom March 25 due to meeting restrictions related to the potential spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sharing the meetings over Zoom is intended to allow members of the public to see and listen to board discussions since no more than 10 people are allowed to gather for a single event, according to Iowa’s emergency strategy during the pandemic.

An estimated 15 people logged in to attend the special meeting Thursday by Zoom.

            Hacked Zoom meetings have occurred across the country since various entities have used the computer program instead of meeting in person to prevent any spread of COVID-19.

            Ann Ashford, who was a candidate for a Nebraska seat in the U.S. House, had a Zoom meeting with constituents hacked in late March.

            A San Francisco, California, church has filed a lawsuit against Zoom after a Bible study was hacked. An attempt to resume the study was also hacked. The church claims Zoom’s security measures are not strong enough which creates harassment from the suspects against those using Zoom.

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