A district-wide email hack occurred Wednesday, Nov. 11, in which a series of inappropriate emails were sent to students.
The first email was sent at 7:27 p.m., by the hacker, under Niles West teacher Jasminka Jukic’s account, and contained vulgar language, along with disturbing, sexually explicit images.
“When I saw the first email, I was really confused, since the stuff being said didn’t sound anything like something a teacher would send out. After I saw the picture, I knew for sure it was a hack,” sophomore Adis Spahija said.
The rest of the emails seemed to follow a similar pattern, and contained images of scatological nature, homophobic and racist slurs, and anti-Semitic statements.
It is currently unknown exactly how many emails were sent, since the school began to temporarily shut down students’ Gmail accounts shortly after, but students have reported receiving 4-7 separate emails.
“I was astonished. I can’t believe someone would send an email with such horrific and racist content,” senior Rabia Chaudhry said
Although students were the only ones who received the emails, they weren’t the only ones shocked by the situation.
“As a parent, it’s not only shocking, but also upsetting to see this type of material being sent out to our children. I’m glad the administration is working on it,” parent Greg Natonson said. Natonson has two children who attend Niles West.
The school has not yet released an official update on the investigation, but district officials are working with local authorities.
“As a district, we condemn these actions and messages. We are working with our Information Technology Team and the Skokie Police Department in this investigation,” D219 Superintendent Steven Isoye said in an email.
Due to the investigation, student Gmail accounts were closed, and an emergency meeting was called for faculty and staff. As a result, students were exempt from attendance for their early bird and first period classes Thursday morning. Classes resumed at 11:00 a.m., though student email remained unavailable.
The school also provided resources for students who may have found the incident particularly traumatizing, as well as Zoom sessions with guidance counselors.
“We recognize how upsetting and traumatizing this was for our school community. We are sorry for any harm this incident has caused. Our Student Services teams will be working directly with our students on Thursday to help them process their reactions,” Dr. Isoye wrote.