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Hacker made threats, showed pornographic images to elementary students online

“To do this to the youngest of the students we’re educating, it’s deplorable."
Sussex Wayne.PNG
Posted at 5:42 PM, Jan 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-25 18:09:50-05

SUSSEX COUNTY, Va. -- An alleged hacker made threats and displayed pornographic images in several of Sussex County Elementary School’s virtual classrooms, according to officials.

Sussex County Sheriff Ernest Giles said the incident happened on January 19. Students between the ages of four and five were affected.

“To do this to the youngest of the students we’re educating, it’s deplorable,” said Dr. Arthur Jarrett, Sussex County Public Schools Superintendent.

Deputies say the alleged hacker’s threats were directed towards the students and the teachers in the virtual classroom.

Jarrett credits a teacher for shutting down the situation.

"Teacher did a great job in following our protocols, you shut the session down, that's first," he said.

Sierra Brady is a concerned parent of two elementary school students in the system.

“It's not okay. I mean I know that kids hear inappropriate stuff, you know, probably at home, but I don't think it's okay for somebody to, you know, go into the classroom, you know, try and show these kids bad stuff," said Brady.

Jarrett says one of the ways Sussex County Public Schools has made their virtual classrooms safer after the incident is by changing the way students and teachers log in.

“What we're doing differently now is, students will log into a certain point, then the teacher will start to allow students in,” said Jarrett. “The teacher will bring students into the classroom, and anybody not a student, she won't actually bring into the classroom."

"I don't want my grandchildren to have that same, to be exposed to that at such a young age. Now they have to ask questions and they lose their innocence," said Sussex County Commonwealth’s Attorney Vincent Robertson.

Jarrett has a message to the alleged hacker.

“We're going to find you and we're going to deal with you,” said Jarrett.

“We take this serious and we'll see them in court,” Robertson added.

School officials will meet Wednesday to discuss more ways they can add security to their systems.