A virtual college fair for sophomores at a Lower Merion high school was interrupted Friday by a hacker who posted racist and pornographic images and video on the screen, district officials said.

About 300 students from Harriton High were attending via Zoom the remote fair when the incident occurred, said district spokesperson Amy Buckman. It was not immediately known how long the images appeared on the screen before a counselor was alerted, she said.

“It’s certainly not anything anyone should see, especially children,” Buckman said. “It’s a little horrifying.”

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The district has notified law enforcement and launched an investigation, and promised appropriate discipline for those responsible, she said. It also issued an apology to students who may have been offended by the images.

According to Buckman, a preliminary investigation has determined that the images may have been posted from an IP address based abroad. One student reported hearing comments in a foreign language, she said.

The details of the event weren’t immediately available, but the college fair was set up by guidance counselors, and the Zoom gathering may have lacked the usual security measures, Buckman said. When staff members became aware of the images being shown, the event was ended, she said.

Like many districts in the region, Lower Merion is preparing to shift to all-remote learning for its high school students because of the pandemic. School systems around the country have been targeted by Zoom bomb attacks.

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