WMS Community Bulletin

Zoom Incidents 9-25-20

If you are on a computer, open this in a new page. Then to translate this newsletter, click on the link to the right.

If you are on a phone, touch the person in the black circle to get the translate button.

________________

Se você estiver em um computador, abra uma nova página. Em seguida, para traduzir esta newsletter, clique no link à direita. Se você estiver em um telefone, toque na pessoa no círculo preto para obter o botão de tradução.

(Portuguese)

___________________

Si está en una computadora, abra esto en una nueva página. Luego, para traducir este boletín, haga clic en el enlace a la derecha. Si está en un teléfono, toque a la persona en el círculo negro para obtener el botón de traducción.

(Spanish)

___________________

إذا كنت تستخدم جهاز كمبيوتر ، فافتح هذا في صفحة جديدة. بعد ذلك ، لترجمة هذه النشرة الإخبارية ، انقر فوق الارتباط الموجود على اليمين.

إذا كنت تستخدم الهاتف ، فالمس الشخص الموجود في الدائرة السوداء للحصول على زر الترجمة. (Arabic)

____________________

Եթե համակարգիչ եք, բացեք սա նոր էջում: Ապա, այս տեղեկագիրը թարգմանելու համար կտտացրեք աջ հղմանը: Եթե հեռախոսով եք, դիպչեք սև շրջանի անձին ՝ թարգմանության կոճակը ստանալու համար: (Armenian)

____________________________

Если вы работаете на компьютере, откройте это на новой странице. Затем, чтобы перевести этот информационный бюллетень, щелкните ссылку справа. Если вы разговариваете по телефону, коснитесь человека в черном кружке, чтобы получить кнопку перевода. (Russian)

________________________________

Bilgisayar kullanıyorsanız, bunu yeni bir sayfada açın. Ardından, bu bülteni çevirmek için sağdaki bağlantıya tıklayın. Telefonda iseniz, çevir düğmesini almak için siyah daire içindeki kişiye dokunun. (Turkish)

Dear WMS Families,


Overall, it has been a wonderful first week here at Watertown Middle School! Teachers and students have been so happy to meet and get to know each other, and it has been tremendous for everyone to see their friends from last year as well. We all have been getting accustomed to our new schedules and learning our way around Zoom as the vehicle for navigating from class to class. We look forward to diving into the curriculum in full force next week!


That being said, I am disappointed that I have to share this news with you. Today and earlier this week there were disruptive and concerning Zoom incidents in classes. In one class, someone entered the room using a false name (an n-word slur) and was quickly removed from the Zoom meeting. In another instance, someone entered the Zoom meeting using the name of one of the students from the class and typed racist remarks in the chat. They were removed instantly as well. Later in the meeting, they were able to re-enter using another student’s name, and drew inappropriate images on the shared screen and yelled profanity before being kicked out once more.


We are working closely with the Watertown Information Technology Services and Watertown Police Department to determine who is responsible for these despicable actions. Should it be a student from our school, consequences will be severe, as the actions violate the guidelines in our handbook and our WMS principles overall.


It is impossible for me to convey how disheartening and appalling we all find these acts to be. The WMS Community does not and will not tolerate harassment or racist abuse at all, in-person or remote on Zoom. We strive daily to create an environment that is supportive and all-inclusive for all of our students, faculty, staff, and families. We will not accept these acts of hatred, and we will continue to work together as a community to combat them.


Moving forward, as WHS has, we have taken the following steps to improve our Zoom classroom security:

  • Zoom Links will be removed from Weekly Learning Plans and will be stored in a student's Google Classroom that requires a passcode.

  • District-wide, students will no longer be able to change their names in Zoom. They will enter the room with the name that is the same as their WPS email.

  • Entry to a classroom may be delayed as teachers closely monitor the waiting room.

  • Users are not permitted into a Zoom unless they are signed into their Watertown Public School email account. We will be training students and families on this process over the next few days.


Martin Luther King, Jr. stated that, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” We will not be silent about these events, and we will take every step to ensure they are not repeated. It is our hope that you will discuss these incidents and other incidents of intolerance and hate with your child(ren). In speaking with other middle school administrators, they have found these conversations necessary and powerful, yet potentially difficult. Here are a few sentence starters for you:


  • Why do you think these actions occur?

  • What can you do personally if you see or hear comments that make others feel excluded, hurt, or hated?

  • Do you have a trusted adult at WMS to report incidents to when you see or hear unacceptable behavior?


We will discuss these issues with students as well during our Community Meeting times. In addition, if your child (or you) needs any emotional support as a result of these incidents, please reach out to their guidance counselor. Middle School is a community based on Kingian principles, and we will work together as strong anti-racist citizens of the community. I thank you for your partnership in this endeavor. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.


Best,


Donna Martin, Principal