Hackers Post Racial Messages on High School Website

By Jill Kasparie, Reporter

computer keyboard


By Jill Kasparie

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Cedar Rapids Community School District leaders rushed to take down inappropriate racial content on the Washington High School website.

The district said the main news page and a few other club activity pages were compromised. Hackers posted messages with racial jokes and slurs.

“We are devastated because that's not something that we tolerate in the school district,” Cedar Rapids Community Schools Technology Director Lori Bruzek said.

Sometime over the last few days the district said someone put racial content on the Washington High School website. One post invited site visitors to a “KKK Klan Appreciation Day” on Christmas Eve. It was followed by several racial jokes.

As for who hacked the site …

"We have no idea at this point,” Bruzek said.

Bruzek said because of the harsh content, the district is working with authorities to investigate. They're also trying to piece together how it happened to prevent the problem in the future.

"They investigate how somebody could have gotten in to the website and see if they can close a permission problem or a security patch or something like that and try to correct it as soon as they can figure out how they got in,” Bruzek said.

Some students at Washington High School said they didn't see the hacker's messages. A few, however, saw posts about it elsewhere online. They were shocked to see the actual content.

"It's hurtful and actually very racist,” said Washington Student Kayla Acord.

The students agreed hacking a website is going too far for a joke that isn't funny.

"I’m African American and I don’t really put up for people who are racist and stuff, and I’m concerned for other people’s safety,” Washington Student Ronald Arenas said.

"Most of my family is black and it, like, hurt me, and it's racist. I don't think people should do that,” said Washington Student Brian Kiefer.

The district said it has been a long time since someone has hacked a district website.
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