Do Not Open These Emails

Kai Li Howard, Staff reporter


On Saturday November 28th, several graphic videos, photos, and messages were sent to the students of Seminole County via email. These emails consisted of racist, derogatory messages as well as explicit videos that contained gore. Multiple high schools were spammed through their school emails and some unfortunately were sent to middle schoolers.

If one comes across these emails it is advised to not open them and delete them immediately. The Seminole County Sheriff’s Office and Microsoft are investigating the situation and believe a spam bot was responsible for the mass amounts of emails which in total was more than eight million sent. In addition to the original emails, several students from the county replied to these messages creating more emails sent to everyone in the county. This caused even more frustration as the deleted emails kept popping back up. Students waiting on significant emails were at loss as the messages kept flooding in, leaving the important mail left in the dust. Thankfully, the county has blocked the external email traffic and were working on disabling the forward feature so students cannot reply. 

Alex Nanda of Winter Springs High School expressed his concern by explaining how odd it was to send those specific emails to regular high school students. “I saw the gore and it was really traumatizing seeing people being harmed,” he stated. The hate speech was taken as an offense as he tried to ignore the emails. However, the spam would not stop as he explained, “I was frustrated because I was trying to do homework as I was being notified of constant emails.” 

Over at Oviedo High School, Kaylin Falkner experienced the same issues. She voiced her opinion about the hate speech, “When I read them I was in shock…as a person who has friends that were a part of different groups being spoken negatively towards, I was scared for them.” Falkner was not entirely sure why someone would do such a thing, as there is no benefit from sending those messages and only ends in people being upset and disturbed.

Likewise, Asia Johnson who attends Winter Springs High School had a different exposure to the emails. She heard of the news beforehand and deleted them straight away, but even hearing the news still disheartened her. “The people sure got a big laugh out of such a sick joke and they are straight up disrespectful for that,” she said with annoyance. 

The county and Microsoft are working to improve their system and set precautions so this incident does not occur in any form again. The safety of the students is their number one priority and they will not stop until all is well. 

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