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On line class

The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) has launched investigations into several recent reports from the Ministry of Education, of teachers being verbally abused and disrespected during their online classes.

On Thursday Guardian Media reported that teachers have discovered groups advertising their willingness to disrupt online classes for free once they are given the login credentials to enter and that students have been taking advantage of the offers.

The recent trend is known as “Zoom bombing” or “Zoom raiding.”

One of the groups that was uncovered was Zoom Raid on Instagram.

“The group stated: “We raid online Zoom and Google Meet classes. DM (direct message) us your class links.”

“Within two minutes 15 people will join and disturb your class,” it stated.

The TTPS stated that according to reports, instances of abuse have been reported by Secondary School teachers to the Cyber and Social Media Unit (CSMU) of the TTPS since the commencement of online teaching this week.

“The TTPS is advising that such conduct should cease immediately and it will be working with both internal and external stakeholders in investigating and prosecuting such behaviour,” the release stated.

“Online classes should be safe spaces for both teachers and students alike. Teachers are therefore urged to take all available measures to protect themselves and their students during their online sessions,” it stated.

The TTPS recommended teachers recording their online sessions to identify disruptive and abusive behaviour and muting or removing abusive persons from the online teaching platform.

Additionally, teachers should accurately register students for each class, the TTPS stated.

The TTPS said it stands ready to assist the Education Ministry in ensuring that the ongoing “cyber-school term” is safe and secure for all teachers, students and parents.

Contacted by Guardian Media on Thursday president of the Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) Antonia De Freitas confirmed that the issues have been raised with the union.

“De Freitas said the matter is a “very serious one” and is “very disconcerting.”