Pupils shared “inappropriate” pictures on Snapchat and were “groomed” on school iPads

The Telegraph is reporting that pupils at an Essex secondary school shared “inappropriate” photographs on Snapchat and were groomed by paedophiles during lessons on school iPads…

One underage girl watched footage of a man performing a sex act via Skype during a lesson on the tablet computer given to all students.

An inappropriate picture was also found on two pupils’ Snapchat accounts at Honywood Community Science School in Coggeshall, Essex.

Simon Mason, the school’s head, wrote to parents expressing his concern and said that the iPads, which were handed out to all 1,200 pupils, would be upgraded in a bid to prevent further security beaches.

He said one “learner” ignored guidance about befriending strangers online and had been “coerced into sending inappropriate images to someone whose only rationale for ‘meeting’ the learner on line was to exploit them”.

“We will act vigorously in the weeks and months ahead to support this young person and help them to learn from their mistakes,” he wrote…

Mr Mason said he was “extremely concerned” that a Skype conversation had been able to take place during school lessons, despite a block placed on the app.

He said a “new protocol regarding upgrading devices” had been introduced to try to prevent a repeat of the breach.

Essex Police said three offences had been reported and that officers from the force’s Online Investigation Team would be talking to staff and pupils to establish if further incidents had occurred…

 

It’s not entirely clear to me what has happened here, or where the fault lies, but another sign of the potential perils of technology in education and the need for adequate security and training. Any feedback? Please share in the comments or via Twitter…

 

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