‘Unknown user’ sending inappropriate emails to students across Minnesota

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(ABC 6 News) – Area school officials have sent emails to parents and guardians on Thursday informing them of an “inappropriate email situation.”

According to an email to Rochester Public Schools parents, RPS leadership was made aware of an inappropriate email that was circulating to RPS students from what the school claimed to be an ‘unknown user.’

RPS says the emails have not contained any visually offensive items such as pictures or videos, but have included sexual statements and/or user names.

RPS says they are working with the schools information technology (IT) department to block the emails, and are asking parents to speak with their student(s) to see if they received it, and to delete the email and block the sender.

“That would have been inappropriate if the students or the younger people get exposed to that kind of thing,” Abdullah Asif, a parent of three in the Rochester Public School system, said. “There should be some guard.”

Austin Superintendent Joey Page also sent a letter to staff and families saying:

“We have learned that a link to an inappropriate message was being shared via the Messages feature within Seesaw. The Seesaw platform itself was not compromised, however, specific individual user accounts were used to send this inappropriate message.

The incident was led by an outside actor (meaning that the inappropriate message was not created by the sender of the message or by the school). It occurred as a result of a coordinated external attempt to guess user account passwords associated with this group of user accounts.”

The announcement also noted that the Seesaw team has taken several immediate actions to contain and address this issue. Messages was turned OFF for all users while the issue was investigated. 

ABC 6 News reached out the The Minnesota Department of Education, who said they are aware of the situation and released this statement.

The Minnesota Department of Education is aware of it, it is not limited to schools in Minnesota and not all Seesaw users in all Minnesota were impacted.”