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Sixth grader expelled after Zoom provided possibly inaccurate IP address (ajc.com)
317 points by WarOnPrivacy 70 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 229 comments

> but four other students who did not appear to be Zoom bombers were also listed as having Malachi’s public IP address, an impossibility since they were not in the same house

Could be Zoom messing up their logs, but could also be NAT from the provider.

A few years ago, me and my sister noticed we had the same IPv4 address, despite not living in the same household. We had different IPv6, though. It seems to be becoming more and more prevalent due to IPv4 exhaustion.

This is possible. Many users can be sharing the same IPv4 using CG-NAT. I have found that when using mobile internet, every site that uses IP bans has already banned me for a previous users actions.

It’s incredibly irresponsible to take action against someone based on their IP address alone.

From an IT operator perspective, IPv4 bans are essentially the only recourse available for many — if not most — abuse/attack scenarios. They're unfair and unjust, but this is the price we pay of making tracing identities inaccessible to online abuse enforcement.

If you have an idea on how abusive actors behind CG-NAT can be identified and blocked without blocking the entire CG-NAT, and that idea is not morally unacceptable to the hacker community (as captchas, fingerprinting, and IP bans are), then you can make a billion dollars on that idea.

But it's been twenty years now that we've needed that idea, and I'm not holding my breath. Tech continues to insist that anonymity is more important than accountability. Our users pay the price of our insistence to this day.

> If you have an idea on how abusive actors behind CG-NAT can be identified and blocked without blocking the entire CG-NAT, and that idea is not morally unacceptable

I don't think a general solution would be required in this instance.

In this case, as I understand it, the abusive actors did the following:

1) tried to join with an abusive name

2) impersonated a student login and yelled abusive things in chat

It seems that (1) could be solved by blocking connections from any user name that is not on a whitelist of approved student names and nicknames, and (2) is most likely an issue of someone else accessing the student's login credentials, so it could potentially be mitigated by multifactor authentication.

If I understand the article correctly they didn't even have evidence his credentials were used. All they had was a shared IP address. Given that his teachers testified in his favor I have to wonder if there was some specific grudge against the kid. Alternatively they were incompetent about the IP thing from the beginning and as soon as they realized they might be wrong went into full cover-up & deny everything mode.

Keep in mind that this article was written by a reporter who was unable to talk to the district, and got all their information from a lawyer representing the kid who was suspended. The district itself is prohibited from releasing any information about the case by privacy laws, no matter what the family says or how accurate it is. The same evidence was presented to the school board in an appeal hearing, and they (granted, probably not technical people) did not find it convincing. That doesn't mean the family's lawyer is wrong, but it is worth keeping in mind as you evaluate this. We don't have the whole story here.

It's extremely likely that nobody wants to rock the boat and give an injured party evidence to be used against their employer. Their employer would almost certainly prefer to wrongly punish a student if it has a fraction of a chance at getting them out of a lawsuit.

It's also likely that there isn't a single person in a leadership position with the entire school board who is even slightly technically competent.

Next we already have precedent that IP addresses don't uniquely identify people for the purposes of law. It is incredibly likely that such an action wouldn't pass the sniff test if the IP addresses given were entirely correct.

Lastly even if he actually did try to log in with "i will murder u all of u" no reasonable person would consider this an actual threat without talking with the student. Kids are stupid, and kids say stupid things. Time and again schools fail to address the real problem children before things blow up and then use their persistent failures to justify overreaction to the detriment of students.

Precisely! Even if he did it, for which there's no proof and plenty of counter-evidence, he doesn't deserve to not get an education.

Wow, if only you all saw what regularly occurs in inner-city public schools.

Suspensions like these are common, especially among black boys. I saw all sorts of overly punitive nonsense, not to mention that we had to queue up for an xray + metal detector every day we went to school. Really, really felt like you weren't treated with a shred of dignity.

God, I'm sick of that comment. Far too many institutional wrongdoers hide behind "privacy laws".

If the school board knew that it had incriminating information, it could ask the family to waive its privacy rights, and then if that didn't happen, explain that, without violating any law.

The school admits to punishing this kid based primarily on his IP address. We all know this is utterly worthless. The technical details make it even clearer that this is unreliable.

Also, the teachers uniformly spoke of the kid as quiet, respectful, and studious. This should be worth far more than an IP address. It's not, because administrators consider the opinions of their own teachers to have no value.

AND, let me be blunt here!, even if the kid did do it, which I think highly unlikely, this is NOT an excuse to deprive him of an education!


For whatever reason, many people have this fetish for authority, even when that authority through their own words shows their unreliability.

I also think a lot of people respond positively to stories about cruelty and punishment.

I strongly suspect it was an ignorant IT person coupled with an administration determined to blame somebody. He just had the misfortune to be the first student that came up when looking for someone with that IP.

Instead of a permanent IPv4 ban consider issuing a temporary one just long enough to dissuade the aggressor from continuing their behavior. This would be just as effective, and is far less likely to impact others down the road.

Almost every time I start a new job I find a list of "blacklisted IPs" in the firewall and no one seems to know from whence they came, they've just always been there. It's a perfectly reasonable short term solution in some situations where there are few options, but like, expire them after some period of time, don't leave random IPs blocked for years.

Well, at my previous job, the company was blackholing and others in the subnet because that was the previous LAN. Thankfully, I have done an audit and removed this nonsense.

that's insane. i block IPs for 10 minutes to start. not a big fan of the abuse IP databases either after I leased a server that was blacklisted before I even got it.

I agree, timers are generally a sound approach. I would personally go with 36 hours to wait out the typical human attention span.

Short term IP blocks can be fine but to take real world action like the OP post based on a very weak data source is irresponsible.

> If you have an idea on how abusive actors behind CG-NAT can be identified and blocked without blocking the entire CG-NAT

Working with the carrier? Depending on the kind of abuse, it could very well be against the ISP's ToS, and the ISP hopefully doesn't want its users blocked wholesale just because of a few bad actors dragging down the reputation of its IP blocks.

Is the carrier willing to work with any website who is abused by their customer? Is their barrier to accountability the demand for a civil or criminal lawsuit? Can sites with mouth legal presence in the same country as the provider seek accountability? Must sites have vast monetary resources sufficient to survive the provider’s attempt to protect their customer from being held accountable under the banner of privacy? How can the provider defend themselves against abusive and falsified requests for identification? Is there an agreement that can be reached to protect identities while still stopping ongoing willful abuse by anonymous customers?

I appreciate the theory that you’re sketching, and I think it certainly has potential. But we already have the theoretical capability you describe today, and have had it for decades, and yet online abuse continues unchecked — so you’ll have to talk more about how and why your recommendation improves on what we have today.

Oh, I agree that the carrier isn't going to work with just any website.

But companies like Zoom (as would be relevant in this scenario) might hold more sway, especially if the looming threat is "deal with this on your end, or we will, with the blunt instrument that is IP banning". (Now, whether Zoom would engage in an IP ban just for abuse affecting a single school is a different story. But I imagine they must have some motivation to deal with zoombombing. Right??)

The school itself might not have the resources to engage in a legal battle, but they could certainly get law enforcement involved, especially if the abuse enters, say, hate crime territory, as it seems like it may have in this case.

(Granted, the privacy concerns that you raise are an entire issue in themselves, and I don't have any answers there.)

To be clear -- this isn't a novel proposal, per se, unless talking to other people is novel :) But, it's just a suggestion that while circumventing CG-NAT is technologically infeasible from the outside, technical solutions are not the only option.

And if it's not possible from the outside, well, there's one entity who's positioned to further trace the abusive users...

Law enforcement has not demonstrated a willingness to spend its resources on these concerns, and frequently will disregard threats of bodily harm and murder. Expecting them to respond to requests from a web forum, my go-to litmus test for solution viability, is laughable in the United States and I suspect most of the rest of the world as well.

The entity delivering service to the abusive customer is profiting from that delivery. Terminating service to that customer hurts their bottom line. They have strong incentives to not only refuse all requests for help, but to resist even the most serious of requests, in order to protect their bottom line.

I’m sorry to rain on your parade - it’s nothing personal! I wish I could be more supportive! - but there is overwhelming evidence that every entity that is positioned to help will do whatever it takes to avoid helping.

If this remains unsolved, we’re going to end up losing anonymity on the Internet. Several online food delivery systems in the US already permanently block Cloudflare’s VPN product by IP, using Cloudflare’s own CDN protection tools! Because it turns out that effective anonymity for all comers protects abusers from accountability.

That’s why this is a billion-dollar problem.

No offense taken!

I do wish that the market would work as intended such that failures in handling abuse (e.g. frivolous accusations as we're plausibly seeing here) would lead to organizations moving away from Zoom to competitors, whether it's Teams or Meet or BlueJeans or whatever else. But unfortunately the friction of changing platforms is high, between sunk cost of contracts, needing to vet / compare multiple new systems, training on the use of new software, etc.

Meanwhile, the existing solution mostly just works 99% of the time.

(All this said -- even if CG-NAT is to blame for multiple students showing up with the same IP address, that should be tangential to the actual identification of abuse. Either there's a process failure (students aren't required to sign in), or Zoom's not logging or looking at the right things (e.g. display name changes).)

> I do wish that the market would work as intended

(Intended?! By whom?!)

In this case, the market is working exactly as markets are supposed to. Effectively dealing with abuse is expensive, and has no profit potential whatsoever.

The market will therefore penalize companies that spend money on dealing with abuse, and reward companies that do not. Economically, companies that manage to sweep abuse under the rug for the minimum possible cost will naturally dominate, and companies that spend the considerable investments needed to do a good job on it will eventually go to the wall.

If "market working as intended" has any meaning, maximizing profits is certainly it. It's very economically logical for a provider to not cater to the 1% or so abuse victims, who are expensive to handle, offer little revenue, and might stay with you anyway out of a lack of other places to go. It might be unfair, lack compassion, and be cruel to prioritize abusers over the abused, but none of these terms have any meaning by the metric of "markets"

By "markets working as intended", I mean "if one provider of a service has a critical flaw that's specific to that provider, and that flaw is a dealbreaker for some customers, then they ought to be able to vote with their wallets to switch to otherwise equivalent providers that don't have that flaw.

But I see your point that the markets are working logically from the perspective of there being insufficient incentive for companies (well, Zoom at least) to invest in dealing with this issue. Negative press only goes so far, and it doesn't matter much when it's the dominant player in the market by far (in part due to design choices that facilitated these flaws -- minimized friction in the interest of accessibility also minimizes friction for malicious action).

> Several online food delivery systems in the US already permanently block Cloudflare’s VPN product by IP, using Cloudflare’s own CDN protection tools!

If they use Cloudflare, then that block is dumb. Sites behind Cloudflare are able to see the real IP of a WARP user. Non-Cloudflare sites will see Cloudflare's IP.

WARP isn't a traditional VPN service[0]:

> "From a technical perspective, WARP is a VPN. But it is designed for a very different audience than a traditional VPN. WARP is not designed to allow you to access geo-restricted content when you’re traveling. It will not hide your IP address from the websites you visit."

[0] https://blog.cloudflare.com/announcing-warp-plus/

Yes, I agree that the block is dumb. No, knowing that technically it’s useless made no difference whatsoever in getting them to lift it. There is no financial incentive for them to improve their block to be more capable or granular. They would rather not have customers who use a VPN, because to them a higher percentage of those customers are abusive. What case might you recommend to convince them otherwise?

> But we already have the theoretical capability you describe today, and have had it for decades, and yet online abuse continues unchecked

There is absolutely no mystery as to why. The for-profit corporations that provide these services have absolutely no interest in preventing online abuse, because doing so is expensive and there's no way to make money out of it.

[the provider blah blah]

As a human being, I really don't give a tuppenny damn about "the providers" anymore. This has been a problem for decades, and for decades we've had nothing but whining excuses from "the providers" while they continue to do nothing.

"The providers" should have been investing in anti-abuse technologies and systems starting in the previous century. They haven't done anything.

Draconian measures are needed. If "the providers" have to scramble, maybe even take losses for a few quarters, it's too damn bad for them.

Having them be logged in?

There's contexts where that doesn't work. A zoom call isn't one of them.

Certificate based authentication would work in combination with a username and password. The private key could be stored on the school issued device.

I'm not sure why anonymity would play any role in terms of connecting to an online class.

I thought the same thing as you, but many students use their personal devices. I can't imagine the pain of trying to get all the students to set that up correctly, and the security implications of managing certificate stores is not something I would want to hand over to a lowest-bidder contractor for a school district. I don't really love that Microsoft/Linux distros manage them as is (although I'm admittedly too lazy to manage them manually).

Whois abuse reporting is the solution that is already in place and comes to mind. If you NAT segments of your network and mask your userbase from the greater internet, you inherit some responsibility for their actions, same with smtp spam as any other service.

But many carriers simply ignore or don’t respond, much less investigate. To the point that people regularly take to other means to establish backend contact with larger carriers like Comcast, resorting to list serves like nanog.

Ultimately it’s on the carriers to doll out the money to support it. But they could easily implement strike policies like DMCA reports have for many. Against both customers engaging in malicious activity snd reporters abusing the system or making spurious reports that waste resources.

However that would mean carriers like comcast would need to stop their efforts to completely frustrate communication with other NOC's etc.

It seems we need something that is difficult/expensive to create, but which does not permit anybody to trace the owner.

We either need something provided by the government that is unique to each recipient and services tuple (so it can't be used to trace anything), but will be the same each time, and so can be banned.

Else we need something like a proof of work, but that would either have to so expensive to create that we would have to reuse it across all the end points.

I guess we could also mandate ipv6, but then blocking the addresses wouldn't be very useful.

Finally I guess we could mandate that all IPs be treated equally and then companies that can't handle that would have to close down.

Here’s the one billion dollar idea: per person authentication instead of one code per room.

A case could be made that sharing an IP address is like sharing a cell phone number, only that you don't get to make the decision directly. By choosing a provider that has not enough IP addresses to hand out/ hasn't implemented IPv6 and using a site that doesn't use IPv6 either, you make the decision indirectly. (Else you would most likely end up communicating with it over IPv6.) You can also use a VPN to somewhere with a static IPv4 for a few dollars a month.

I know, the reality is most of the world is just stuck with IPv4 in some capacity. It is probably good that using IPv4 starts to hurt else we will never migrate. Btw. HackerNews is stuck with IPv4 only in 2021 still...

> It is probably good that using IPv4 starts to hurt else we will never migrate.

Not sure what you meant by this comment. The kid whose life is ruined won’t know what this is. The people who care about ipv4 vs v6 is unlikely to act based on this incident.

I was replaying to a different anecdote. The kid is another casualty of us engineers and managers not doing our job in migrating to IPv6 in the last ~20 years or so. The world IPv6 launch was actually 10 years ago, there was plenty time to migrate.

The kid might actually do quite ok as I have suggested in other comments. Really depends on the family and its personality.

Ok, thanks for the clarification

What we really should do though is help make clear to the non-tech world what part of what they see in TV is real and fake science

IP address is like the hair analysis of 70s / 80s


> The kid is another casualty of us engineers and managers not doing our job in migrating to IPv6 in the last ~20 years or so.

Absolutely wrong.

The kid is a victim of an incompetent and unfair school system.

> The kid might actually do quite ok as I have suggested in other comments.

He might well recover from this serious loss, yes. Will his mother, who was stricken when this happened, recover her health?

A cruel injustice is not acceptable just because the victim "might actually do quite OK".

You are completely right of course. Even if the victim was ok and doing quite alright, the injustice doesn't disappear. I tried to suggest, the punishment of 3 months of no school might be perceived as pseudo-punishment (or maybe even a liberation?) under such circumstance as a nearly abusive school administration.

Of course, we will never see the full picture. I can imagine, having a kid at home puts more stress on the parents that otherwise might rely on the school for something approaching day care/ basically "storage" for human beings. I find just the thought of something like this distasteful but that might be the reality in many families.

The punishment was too extreme. That’s a separate issue from whether using matching IP address is sufficient for enforcement (I believe it is). And let’s be real, cheaters rarely fess. Almost every gamer banned for cheating cries out at the unfairness of it all and denies ever cheating. Given that, it’s important to have a good appeal process and to make sure the punishment is appropriate considering the level of evidence. A full expulsion based solely on a matching IP address is excessive. But a 3 day suspension probably would be fine.

Starlink uses CG NAT for IPv4 and just recently started dishing out IPv6 addresses.

Probably didn't want to go the AWS route of just buying a pile of IPv4 space from established organizations.

This is DS-Lite (Dual Stack). Entire regions of ISP users may share a single IPv4 address. There are some IPv4-only websites I visit that show a CloudFlare captcha on every single visit (for 30 mins), presumably because they see a huge number of requests from this one NAT IP.

Interesting! I was not familiar with the term DS-Lite!


The ISP should be able to tell you which customer was using a particular port at a particular time. It's required for abuse moderation and forwarding DMCA notices, so I'm 99% sure they can do this if you bring a subpoena. Source: I worked on part of a system for this at an ISP.

Something that blew my mind recently; a teenage child of a friend of ours stayed with us recently and used our wifi to torrent some pron.. How do I know this? I got a letter in the mail telling me to pay <some amount of euros, over 1000> or deal with a whole legal shitshow.. And ok, I paid it.. I didn't tell the parents, but I'm now thinking.. How do these people have the ability to match a date time, ip to my identity without my permission? I did intend to pwn the legal firm and find out but I'm too busy, heh.

edit: the guest wifi now goes via a vpn...

Not to rub it in, but for anyone else seeing this (and definitely not legal advice or on behalf of my employer etc) that letter was probably just forwarded to you by the ISP. The sender doesn't know who you are or where you live, and while they could find out if they got a subpoena, they're just bulk-mailing these out.

On top of that, the main company that was bringing actual lawsuits was shut down by a court years ago for fraud. https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/03/prenda-laws-john...

Uhm... what? You're paying 1000 euros and not telling his parents? I get that maybe you don't want to get the kid in trouble, but that's a LOT of money. I wouldn't even pay $100 if my guests did that.

Yeah well, it was a total shakedown, fighting it would have cost more. I spoke to the lad, explained it, and how to cover his tracks better, and he's gonna saw a whole load of wood for me over the summer.. It worked out.. His parents aren't the type to really understand it, and I'm not the kinda guy to release that on him (and them) -- he's still the wunderkind... ;)

edit: I also probably get paid too much.. :/

Interestingly though, it gave me a lot of ideas... I mean, lets say you crack the wifi password of someone, whose wife pays the 'internet' bill... You torrent 'teenage sluts 9' or whatever and you are guaranteed a 'result'...

All it really did was inspire me to work out how this process works, and I will find that out once I'm free from some various work requirements as it seems a terrifying amount of power has been transferred without our knowledge heh...

Some random dickheads turned my ip into my identity and I want to know how, I don't care much about the bill...

wait... you actually PAID the fine???

If you do nothing they almost never come after you.

You missed the worst part:

> ... said Scott Moulton, a Woodstock-based forensics expert hired by the attorney working on Malachi’s case.

This forensics "expert" should know this.

There is a linked follow up article that is a bit clearer:

> Moulton, who owns Forensic Strategy Services in Woodstock, also said the Zoom bombers’ local IP addresses, which pinpoint the device being used, did not match the configuration of Malachi’s router. > > Lotito said he did not think the Gwinnett County Board of Education considered Moulton’s report.

It sounds like their expert did know, and explicitly pointed it out, but the findings were apparently ignored.

That doesn't seem to say anything about NAT from the provider. That to me is saying the Zoom desktop client recorded some info about the perpetrator's computer and Malachi's computer, and they don't match.

Why? Who are these people accountable to? This has real world consequences to this child, is it as simple as they're fucking bastards or what?

> Who are these people accountable to?

I mean, this is exactly why we have civil litigation. I suppose the fly in the ointment is that it’s going to be hard to find anyone individually responsible, so it’s likely that the taxpayer would end up footing the bill.

> Who are these people accountable to?

In every place in the US I'm aware of, the school board ultimately oversees administrators, and the school board is made of elected officials.

> is it as simple as they're fucking bastards or what?

The most charitable explanation is that they're in way over their heads technologically and concerned that incompetence will cost them their jobs if they try to do nothing. But I'm having difficulty finding a charitable explanation that respects the harm being wrong here can do to the 6th grader.

> Why? Who are these people accountable to? This has real world consequences to this child, is it as simple as they're fucking bastards or what?

It's possible; personally I think they're just massively uncomfortable saying to parents "anyone on the internet has access to your children via online classes, they're using it to broadcast objectionable content to your children, and we don't have an idea of how to solve it". It's possible they're just ignorant. It's also possible that they're awful people and are using him as a scapegoat because "a classmate said horrible things" probably worries parents a lot less than "some random stranger is breaking into online classrooms and saying horrible things". It also lets them imply that suspending him will make the Zoom bombing stop.

>Who are these people accountable to?

In this situation, hopefully they'll be accountable to the civil court if/when they award damages and legal fee compensation to the victim.

Where does it say he doesn't? We have no idea what the logs say or how obviously wrong they may or may not appear.


>Teachers also said Malachi’s camera was on and he did not appear to be doing anything unusual

So he was supposedly doing this while on camera and in class? This case seems so absurd.

We are hearing the side of the case solely from Malachi’s lawyer, it would be wise not to jump to conclusions. We don’t know much about the case.

While I agree the case is obviously absurd, I'm a bit confused what sort of evidence you think the webcam would give. In the hypothetical scenario where he did what he's accused of, and did it while on webcam, what would the webcam show? Probably just him looking at his screen, with maybe some typing noises? That wouldn't be evidence of anything, neither innocence nor guilt.

One of the things he’s accused of of shouting racial slurs

Malichi (the accused) reported hearing somebody yelling racial slurs. But the school's allegations are about him joining the channel with abusive screen-names. One of his teachers says that it wasn't Malichi's voice yelling the slurs.

Malichi and an independent teacher both corroborated that there was someone shouting racial slurs, so by taking this side that actually the school is only going after the abusive screen names, are you saying that there were two separate people Zoom bombing this class, Malichi and someone else?

The school clearly knows they can't go after him for the racial slurs because he was on camera that whole time, so they chose not to focus on that. But it doesn't mean it didn't happen.

> While I agree the case is obviously absurd, I'm a bit confused what sort of evidence you think the webcam would give. In the hypothetical scenario where he did what he's accused of, and did it while on webcam, what would the webcam show? Probably just him looking at his screen, with maybe some typing noises? That wouldn't be evidence of anything, neither innocence nor guilt.

It wouldn’t be strong evidence either way, OTOH, typing is probably fairly limited usually in Zoom classes and usually associated with other in-band indicators (like chat messages in the class); it's pretty likely that the feed of a student on cam and described as doing nothing unusual would have pretty strong evidence that they weren’t doing what he was accused of, even though if he was guilty and on cam you’d expect only weak confirming evidence.

> It wouldn’t be strong evidence either way, OTOH, typing is probably fairly limited usually in Zoom classes

I think you're wrong about that. I can think of about a thousand reasons a kid might be typing instead of paying attention to the class. This hypothetical evidence is too weak to damn the kid, and the only reason it would even be considered at all is because all of the other evidence is weak as well. The whole thing is a farce.

??? Here, the kid's lack-of-obviously-doing-anything-else is being used to provide (weak) evidence to exculpate the kid, not to damn him.

The only thing it would show is that he was either at his computer when it happened, or wasn't at his computer. Either is so weak it's worthless.

I think you massively overestimate how well 11 year olds are at avoiding visual "tells" of what they're doing when on an educational videoconference.

The kid not appearing to do anything else, not having light from opening new windows flashing on his face, etc, would make me far less likely to think it was him.

Source: Have been teaching remote middle schoolers this entire year, and it's been pretty easy to spot a pretty big fraction of those kids that are opening other windows, playing Fortnite, etc.

That was my first thought.

I wonder what software reported the IP address? If it's the Zoom client then it's obviously meaningless because it's guaranteed to be in a private IP address range (if it's IPv4). If it's the Zoom server and CGN is being used by the student's ISP, then it's equally meaningless because while that will be a public IP address, it could be shared by 100 households.

I'm also assuming the "experts" didn't make the bone-headed mistake of failing to verify the IP address was in a public range, but I've seen dumber errors.

This is very common in the US. If IP address is what they're basing the expulsion on they probably shouldn't be left in charge of people's kids.

Wireless carriers use proxies and cgnat.

Had a colleague who discovered some of the edge case failures with an app he was building.

Either way, Zoom messed up. But of course the school did too.

False accusation for children especially if the accusation goes totally against their values can have profound negative consequences.

When I was in grade school(early 2000, India), I went out to take a photo-copy(xerox) of a study material in a shop nearby school. After I returned to the class, I was called to the headmistress office; The shopkeeper was there and I was falsely accused of stealing his mobile phone. HM defended me for my good character and that was the end of it.

All my life I have been taught to return things which I find to the rightful owner by my parents. When I was even younger I have returned expensive things to the school authorities like Timex data-link watch when I didn't have a watch.

Couple of days later I learnt from another student that someone notorious for stealing things in our school was the one who stole that phone. I didn't do anything about it.

I had nightmares of that incident when I was a child. Mental health/Counseling was not a thing in India(Still isn't for most). I had been ruminating on 'Why me, I'm not a thief' for a long time.

In my late 20s I found that thief on Facebook, He was a DJ in an European country. My friend request was accepted, My goal was to ask him about the incident, May be if he accepted his wrong-doing I could have some closure. I didn't ask him.

I'm 34 now, My philosophy towards life have changed and so is my understanding of science. I think the reason shop keeper accused me was just because of cognitive bias. I'm a dwarf with visible limb deformities. I think the shop keeper accused me, because he remembered just me in a shop where there could be two dozen people anytime.

Now I'm overtly conscious of my environment and cognitive biases of people who see me due to my disability.

If you have read till now, Thank you for your time.

I wish you peace and well-being.

Thank you. It's scary to think that incompetence of a large software developer can put children through lot more trouble than I faced. I hope U.S. judiciary system can provide faster closure to this child.

Huge mistake to refer to this as a "Zoom bombing". That kind of language is unnecessarily incendiary. This is a boy using bad words. He should be scolded, get detention, forced to do chores of some kind (at my school misbehaving students had to clean the cafeteria). Suspending or effectively expelling this boy is an egregious overstep - unless there's something that the article is leaving out.

After reading the article I’m not sure I have the same takeaway that this child did anything?

Even if he did do what he was accused of (he likely didn't), the punishment is bizarrely overdone.

It's unfortunate that "bombing" is part of this, but it is a reference to photobombing, which is a cute/funny prank, not a violent offense.

And a suspension really won't work to improve his choices.

How long do we reach a point until the police finally recognize an IP address is not a person?

Don't think the police were involved here? Regardless the [bad] police will never care and the good ones are likely mostly ignorant.

It's the judges and DAs that need to learn.

Even more so now with more carriers doing CGNAT (and this number will go up as IPv4 gets more and more expensive.)

There isn't a DA involved because it isn't a criminal matter and there isn't a judge involved (yet) because there isn't a law suit (yet). It's the local school board who needs to learn but I suspect they care more about saving face than this little boy's education or even their own. Here's hoping their appeal to the state board of education goes well.

School SROs are sworn police officers.

Good lord..


(Non-American perspective.)

> How long do we reach a point until [people] finally recognize an IP address is not a person?

"But I've seen it on CSI! Everybody knows that that's how this hacker stuff works."

Well that, plus we hired an expert who said "possibly", so we've got em!

While that's not relevant in this case, the ISP can correlate an IP address and datetime to an account, which can definitely narrow down the suspects from millions/billions to a single household.

> The Zoom bombers’ public IP addresses matched Malachi’s — but four other students who did not appear to be Zoom bombers were also listed as having Malachi’s public IP address, an impossibility since they were not in the same house, said Scott Moulton, a Woodstock-based forensics expert hired by the attorney working on Malachi’s case.

So in other words, 5 students plus the zoom bomber had the same "public IP address" (probably due to NATing) in this list, and they picked him as the culprit. What did they do, roll a dice?

I'm going to guess he was the first one to show up and they quit looking at that point.

Thanks! I couldn't read the article because I'm in Europe.

For non-Europeans wondering: https://imgur.com/a/H9cU2EZ

How is a suspension that long even vaguely appropriate? At some point the school is just abandoning the kid and their future.

If the kid did it there needs to be a punishment, but surely education is a key part of what needs to happen?

Sounds like a big school district with administration that is a bunch of assholes. Making disciplinary referrals to a police officer is gross.

My sister had a classmate who ended up with a felony conviction for counterfeiting money, using a low-end HP OfficeJet and glueing two sides together as a joke. It was absurd, to the point the sentencing judge made his displeasure known.

There is a system and it will be used. It is important for everyone reading this that either takes part or directs their own little systems to ask the question, what is the ramifications of this being abused? This can relate to cyber security, social fabric, and school systems. We all don't have to play along and it's important for everyone to stand up for what is right.

(Says the misfit who befriended their SRO[school resource officer])


My beef is the chickenshit school people who escalate things out of laziness or malice. Heck, the teacher’s doubts made it into the article.

> It was absurd, to the point the sentencing judge made his displeasure known.

The judge is free to dismiss the charge, if he thinks it's absurd. How did she end up with a conviction?

If it's a crime, it's a crime. Judges have to choose the sentence they give from within the bounds of the law.

They can't willy-nilly decide not to sentence someone - they merely can hand out the minimum possible sentence (which may be no sentence at all) after finding the defendant guilty.

If the law is stupid and assholes are abusing it, there's little a judge can do[1] - unless they happen to be a constitutional court and can declare laws unconstitutional.

You'd need someone with the power to pardon or commute, which are powers generally only held by high ranking members of the executive.

[1] This depends on the country, but in some places judges are given greater freedom to interpret the 'intent' of the law as opposed to going by the letter. Sure, the kid technically made fake money, even if it was really shitty, but it clearly wasn't the intent of the law to criminalize what that kid did.

That is not true at all. Judges definitely do have the individual power to dismiss charges against someone; I have personally seen it done.

> Judges definitely do have the individual power to dismiss charges against someone; I have personally seen it done.

I did not say they didn't.

They may do so - may meaning they are allowed to - if it is obvious that there was no crime or there is insufficient evidence or there was a procedural error etc. (rules for this can vary greatly).

In this case that does not apply at all though.

Don't you think if the judge could just dismiss the charge they would have done so? Do you honestly believe you've got a better handle on the legalities of this than the person whose job this is?

> Do you honestly believe you've got a better handle on the legalities of this than the person whose job this is?

The legalities are pretty clear; the judge is able to dismiss the case. I don't believe I know that more than the judge does; he also knew that he was legally able to dismiss the case.

Whether he exercises that power is a political question, not a legal question. But to this point:

> They may do so - may meaning they are allowed to - if it is obvious that there was no crime or there is insufficient evidence or there was a procedural error etc. (rules for this can vary greatly).

None of those is necessary. In the case I witnessed, the reasoning was quite obviously "the defendant is too young for this to make any sense", and the official statement was "the case is dismissed in the interest of justice".

> "the case is dismissed in the interest of justice"

In the US that is possible in only about 12-15 jurisdictions, depending on who's counting. Some explicitly spell out in which cases a judge may do so, others leave that power broadly undefined.

I wonder why, having seen that done once, you seem so insistent to extrapolate that judges everywhere and always must have that power.

Your proof that the judge had no discretion in the stated case is the fact that they didn't. This seems like a poor argument. Until relatively recently some places have allowed judges to be elected or appointed idiots who weren't even required to have a high school diploma let alone an education in law.

Compare the Tennessee judge who ordered that a child's name, Messiah, be changed, on the stated grounds that "Messiah is a title and it's a title that has only been earned by one person and that one person is Jesus Christ."


That's not the school(district)'s problem. It's the law and justice system's problem. That should be fixed instead of just hoping that nobody ever reports kids for joke counterfeiting. What if a classmate had called them instead of the school?

I think the police should deal with violence in school. Kids get assaulted at school in ways that would get the offender locked up if it happened in the street. School is somehow a law-free zone for a lot of offences.

Police are already a big presence in many schools in the US already.

It's likely connected to school shootings. A student making threats results in long-term suspension or expulsion as well as criminal charges for the protection of other students (a suspended student who shows up at school can be arrested for trespassing without any other suspicious behavior).

The lack of criminal charges in this case suggests the evidence isn't strong enough to support them, and it seems to me that similar standards should be applied to a long-term suspension or expulsion.

Well, not going to such a school might be more beneficial in the right family setting than going.

Also, if you think that 3 months out of 12 or so years of schooling will "abandon the kid and their future" than we should probably add years you have to go to school to minimise the effect of aggregated absence because of e.g. illness. Of course, 3 months of missed school are probably below any kind of measurability and natural and familiar influences are going to have a much higher bearing.

The kid is also probably not going to stay in a vacuum even when at home, it is definitely going to learn something on its own too. Maybe not something that will get it a better grade but most likely something rather useful in the real life.

> we should probably add years you have to go to school to minimise the effect of aggregated absence because of e.g. illness.

How many sick days did you take as a kid? I'm pretty sure I didn't get close to 3 months in aggregate until I was out for a full month at once with mono in college. Missing three months all at once is very unusual and disruptive.

Anyway, the problem here is not the actual lost learning - we know that actual academic education is spotty at best in American schools. The problem is that relatively small disturbances to the happy-path of social and bureaucratic progression as a kid can have outsize effects because of path dependence, and he's now tagged as A Problem Child forever. He will never, ever get the benefit of the doubt. He'll likely have subtle social difficulties because kids will look at him funny. To the extent that school is meant as a gentle introduction to how to deal with other people in the "real" world, his is pretty well fucked.

I was out of school for a 3-month period at 10 for an extended family holiday, and a 2-month period at 16 for illness. It honestly wasn't that disruptive - at 10 I probably learnt more on the road than in school, being tutored directly by my parents, and at 16 I had all my textbooks plus extreme boredom as motivation.

The authorized absence rate seems to be just above 3 %: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-sta... which amount to ~ 3 days of absence per term/ ~ 6 days per year. 6 * 12 = 72, which is quite a bit more than three months in aggregate (it is more like 3,5 months). This is in the UK but it is probably reasonably similar elsewhere.

Maybe it will "be a problem child" forever. Maybe it will actually learn to be more assertive thanks to that and either end up in jail or as a high performing employee or founder. Nobody knows and it really depends. The happy-path of social and bureaucratic progression as a kid could be to develop some thick skin early. The school in the general case is a very harsh introduction to the real world. More often than not, kids are mean to each other. Either you develop some elbows or you are generally loved or you like most kids somehow make it through.

Either way, it could be, the parents of that kid would or will move to a different city altogether and socially start from scratch.

12 years worth of absence in one go sounds like a lot.

Well, 12 years worth of _authorized_ absence (so maybe like 3,5 months in total) _on average_. I know of people, who maybe had a few days of absence in total over the 12 years of schooling. I know of people, who missed more than a year in total and they are doing very, very well in general professionally even when their health isn't so great.

I think you’re grossly underestimating the psychological impact of being labeled a bad kid and missing out on 3 months of social interaction in school. Also when he comes back he will also carry the stigma of being a problem child.

I think you are grossly underestimating the psychological impact of for whatever reason being labeled such and such and being at school. There are schools that are mostly a happy place, I know a few. The general case however is you spend ~12 years somewhere you would rather avoid if you could.

So what is the child doing for 3 months while being suspended that’s better than being at school? It’s not like school punishment having an impact on your life isn’t well documented.

“School to prison pipeline” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/School-to-prison_pipeline

Even the kid and his family in the article says he liked the school

“ Malachi said he liked Couch Middle School before his suspension. Science class was his favorite because he liked the teacher, whom he is accused of bombarding with racial slurs, and he liked the quiz games they played in class.”

And they also mention the struggles of this event

“ His 21-year-old aunt has been home schooling him while juggling a full course load at Kennesaw State University.

“It’s really hard for him to go through this and to be associated with such horrible words,” said Malachi’s grandmother, Gillian Gardener-Valbrun. “That is a stain.”

Malachi said he would feel uncomfortable returning to Couch, where his friends and classmates know what he is accused of.“

Why would you assume to know better than the kid and his family on the impact of this?

Interested to see your evidence countering this.

But we don't know, how the situation would unfold, if he was at school after the incident, do we?

I hope, this kid will like science after this whole thing is over still. It really seems, he was wrongly accused (as in the movie The Fugitive with Harrison Ford) and it is nice the family is trying to give him support.

In general, today's kids might work on their projects while at home. I have a colleague, who was sick at home for a long time and he basically learned to program the computer during that time. He has written a game, learned recursion and other concepts on his own and much more. He almost certainly wouldn't have learned the same at school. He programs professionally now, has a PhD. in math and worked at Google. It really depends on the family, the child and the school of course (in case of absence for whatever reason, this has less influence).

Yes we don’t know something that hasn’t happened but I imagine the kid and his family have a better idea on it than you. And if your only data point is a colleague who was sick while working that doesn’t really bolster your argument :)

Of course there are problems but personally, when I was at school, I didn't quite understand suspensions. You mean I don't have to go to school? That's fantastic! I wish I was naughty enough to get suspended! School is hell for a lot of kids.

This type of event reminds me why it's unbelievably dangerous to have the decision making of someone's life at the hands of people who don't understand tech is prone to errors. "The computer is never wrong" is a pretty scary statement knowing that code behind the scenes still isn't flawless and can break.

> Malachi was suspended through the end of the school year, exactly three months.

In what world is a 3 month suspension appropriate at all? At that point you're basically expelling the student.

This sounds like they're purposely setting this kid up for failure with this "suspension"; I don't see how it's possible for them to pass the grade given they were suspended for 30% of it. This punishment is effectively "You fail the grade for something that is unrelated to your performance" (with extremely shoddy evidence at that).

Even if this student was guilty of 'zoom bombing', why is "failing the entire grade" a reasonable punishment?

Schools that do that sort of thing are the fucking worst.

I'll go ahead and admit that I got bullied a lot at my first high school, for being a combination of gullable/fat/dorky as well as, for most of my time there, the only person of my skin color.

My last day 'in' the school, I had my head slammed against a locker multiple times by a Starter of the Women's basketball team, and was later threatened with being shot by the Football QB.

For retorting that "They'd pull the bullets out of you" to said QB (Mind you, I had all but recieved a concussion 2 hours prior) My family was first told that I was given an 'at home' suspension till the end of the semester. They told my parents that I could come back in-school next semester.

However, it was not until the *end* of that first semester that they finally said 'actually, you'd have to stay home the rest of the year'.

By that time, almost every school in the district was 2-4 weeks into their classes. There was no way I could get in.

The second half of my Junior Year of High school, I instead had to take night classes with people who were either trying to get their GED, or were simply there because of some form of court order to get their GED (i.e. they weren't trying.)

The ultimate irony of all of this, that first high school, I was a 'D+' student practically. The school I went to for my senior year, I actually wound up getting a B average for that year.

Yeah. Some schools institutionally set people up for failure. In my case, it was because there was a HUGE scandal that erupted a year or two after I left; many of those Student athletes were having their tuition paid by third parties, more or less so that they could play for that school.

You mention tuition, was it a private school?

Yeah. A Religious Private School.

How is this relevant? If it's a private school or public school, parents/schools are trying to juke the system to get the Ws on the scoreboards. If it's a private school or public, bullying is a thing. Someone being abused and then they are the ones to get the punishment when defending themselves by striking back is a complete bassackwards way of handling any problem like this.

It's possible that people who haven't spent time in private schools have the romantic notion that they're privileged havens where everything is easy.

It's also possible they were fishing for a connection to 'cover-up' corruption in a Religious institution. In which case they'd be right.

it's terrifying

Why not name them?

Because the school has been gone for somewhere around 15 years, and the administrators involved are all retired or passed away.

Sometimes, you have to let go of anger over a situation... but still remember it as a compass of empathy.

I don't have the solution. When do forgive and when do we take action so no one else is hurt like we were? Both are emphatic and compassionate but the latter makes one feel as an aggressor instead of a defender like one truly is. It's confusing.

> At that point you're basically expelling the student.

Worse than expelled. An expelled student can pick back up at another school far more easily than a student who remains enrolled, who would now have to waste time stepping through the voluntary transfer request process.

Not that it would make a substantial difference in this case. Gwinnett County Public Schools covers an immense area. An expelled student is likely to end up in another GCPS school for lack of access to any other public schooling options. Long term "suspension" may be the only way to effectively expel a student from the district, if that was someone's goal.

Another fun punishment that far outweighed the crime, my Algebra teacher assigned me lunch detention in 7th grade for every day I didn't do my homework. I made it a grudge match, and ended up serving 181 total days of lunch detention that year. I barely passed, and on the last day of class he told me to never come back to his classroom. It was a helpful reminder at a young age that old people can be equally as petty (if not moreso) than young people.

I was similar to you. Picked grudge matches I felt and to a degree still feel were justified. It’s only really as I’ve seen my friends and some partners become teachers I’ve realized that it’s mostly (not in every case) one sided. The really harsh truth is they barely think about it. Even if it’s a regular thing. Just a git commit.

My sixth grade teacher decided that I would be sent outside of all her classes (all of them except music and PE) if I missed any homework I had failed to do from the start of the course. She didn’t even notified the principal, which asked for an explanation when he found me wandering on the soccer field the 5th day this occurred and then notified my parents. After a series of homework related problems where even the principal had to intervene on my behalf, I was able to pass grade, only for the same teacher who had been teaching the same grade for more than 10 years to pursue a change of grade. Afterwards, since the principal on which was in charge of the following grade was more sympathetic to her case, I was spelled of said school because I missed 5 homeworks in 2 months. Afterwards I heard the teacher came back to her old position.

To this date, I still don’t understand what the hell was going on on her mind, yeah, I was irresponsible, I was defiant, as there was some formalisms which I found absurd. But I was a quiet child, who payed attention to class and wanted to be left on his own and was able to ace any test because I did like learning. I didn’t even had friends so it’s not like I interrupted her class with any chatter. I guess the lesson is that some people are petty?

Since it was a grudge - have you ever thought of ever calling them up as an adult and telling them a piece of your mind? They're likely the same kind of adult as they were back then. Maybe being told how their actions were stupid could bring them down a peg?

I feel like there was plenty of pettiness on both sides here.

Yes, except one was a 7th grader.

As far as school punishments go this one seems a relatively benign and actually almost reasonable? You chose not to do the homework, so the teacher assigned you a mandatory time during which you could complete the homework without being distracted during lunch.

From the details you provided,my understanding is you could've just completed it during lunch detention and that would've been the end of it, that seems pretty fair to me. You were aware of the consequences of not doing your homework and chose to continuously not do your assignments either at home or during the lunch period.

Because teachers have rotating lunch duties because it's often against their contract to make them work more than x lunches per week/month, while the child can be arbitrarily put in punishment for more than that.

Just because he was aware of the punishment doesn't make the punishment appropriate. At some point the issue should be escalated or a compromise reached. Allowing to it go on for the majority of the school year is the teacher being unable to control the situation so taking it out on the student to the students detriment instead of benefit.

> You chose not to do the homework ...

Bull. Schools only have authority over you while you're on their grounds.

Once school time is over, they can want whatever they like. Just like anybody.

They have no authority to actually do anything about it though, nor should they. Homework is just them trying to waste people's time.

While I agree with the broader point, this is grade A BS and I think you know it.

Anyone who's ever spent time in a classroom viewing the experience with an objective eye knows that teachers can't be reasonably expected to teach everything they need to within the constraints given to them. As a result, they assign homework (reading, projects, busywork) over the course of the semester to ensure that the knowledge they're asked to pass on actually sinks in to the minds of the students.

Good teachers make good homework. Bad teachers make bad homework, but not necessarily because they're trying to waste their students' time.

Most homework during K-12 was time wasting busywork I doubt it was much different for anyone else. I think the broader point was that only a child has a grudge match with a child. The penalty for not doing homework is a zero on that portion of the class. Let them hurt their own grade if they insist. The math teacher was a childish incompetent unfit for his position.

Again, that's bull. There is no need for homework.

Maybe in exceptional circumstances to achieve a specific once-off outcome, but not in _any_ way as a routine thing.

Please, stop encouraging people to waste kids time. :(

The problem is he got detention for not doing an assignment which he could do at home. I don't understand how American schools can detain children like that.

My high school had a maximum of ten days for a suspension but ten absences during a semester was an automatic failure so there would no longer be any reason for the student to come to school. It was a sneaky way of expelling a student without actually going through the process of expelling them officially.

Ten days coming from the dicta in the Goss v. Lopez ruling to avoid greater constitutional scrutiny. If ten days led to an automatic failure, however, I doubt it would be considered minimal under that ruling anymore.

My local school district never “expels” anyone. They “suspend” then for two years (max).

Apparently its because of a state law that defines “expulsion” and “suspension” in specific ways.

“Expulsion” means the district has completely absolved itself of any educational responsibility to the student.

“Suspension” means a students access to school facilities had been restricts or removed.

In practice, formal expulsions are archaic. No one has been formally expelled for decades: including the student who raped multiple classmates in the stairwell.

It’s a language thing, not a real thing.

How does expulsion play out with the school's finances?

It’s very, very expensive. The state constitution guarantees a right to an education. While it’s possible to deny someone that right based on poor behavior (like many other rights), it’s a big deal.

If you mean does an expelled student mean reduced funding … I don’t know. Maybe nobody knows. It hasn’t happened in decades.

When a student is suspended there’s usually some provision made for their education: individual learning.

The district is still doing something for them.

With expulsion, it’s as though the student is a non resident for purposes of registration. I don’t know if that applies to funding.

I suspect there was bureaucratic and personal digging in once the district and its technical staff were challenged.

You know that Family Guy meme with the skin tones?

Welcome to America, where we use political correctness to put people of color in their place. We’re only a couple decades removed from that kid getting a beating by the cops, so things are improving. So three months suspension is getting off light. Our schools don’t have solitary confinement yet but I’m sure we’ll get there someday.

Sure, we could try treating the student as a person, but that just makes it harder for society to exact the retribution it so deeply desires.

> Our schools don’t have solitary confinement yet

"The spaces have gentle names: The reflection room. The cool-down room. The calming room. The quiet room.

But shut inside them, in public schools across the state, children as young as 5 wail for their parents, scream in anger and beg to be let out."


Stuff like this is so infuriating to read. I work in a preschool and there is absolutely a way to have kids take a short break away from others without literally torturing them.

Its genuinely hard to read stories like that and think about the kind of teachers that exist in some areas. And its clearly systemic in a lot of situations.

> and beg to be let out.

If the school doesn't forget they're there. It's happened at least twice in Washington, where parents have wondered why their child wasn't on the bus, only to learn that not only had the school put them in such a room, they'd then managed to _forget_ the student was in there.


You’re begging the question: does any of this actually prevent the “toxic masculinity” you’re referring to?

The article quite clearly says no. Moreover, “toxic masculinity” is a political dog-whistle, not a legitimate psychological concept.

EDIT: ffs don't flag the parent poster. He's misinformed and possibly ideologically driven (though I've seen far worse), but enough with the censorship bubble, already ...

> “toxic masculinity” is a political dog-whistle, not a legitimate psychological concept.

This is misleading at best. Toxic masculinity has been written about in great detail and at great length in academia (in gender/women's studies literature) for going on 30 years.

> Toxic masculinity has been written about in great detail and at great length

Generating literature about a postulation doesn't make it true.

How would you ever controvert a bad practice like icepick lobotomies, or a false belief like Aristotelian gravity, if the simple existence or popular acceptance of an idea were considered to be its proof?

All-right, I'll bite.

What words would you prefer people use to describe a particular kind of behaviour, common to, but not exclusive to young men that is in generous parts mysoginistic, often homophobic and violent?

Bit of a loaded question, isn't it?

It's a response to a bit of a loaded statement. What does the parent poster even mean that a descriptive term isn't 'true'?

That the behaviour it describes doesn't exist? That would be a truly remarkable claim.

That the term is inapplicable to that behaviour? On what grounds? Is there a term they'd prefer we use?

That the behaviour exists, but we shouldn't slap a label on it? That's almost certainly personal opinion, which is not very interesting.

If the OP would have instead said that particular claims about toxic masculinity are false, that would be an entirely different conversation. But that's not what they did.

>in gender/women's studies literature

I rest my case. It is not a legitimate psychological concept.

But probably also not a mere dog whistle. Psycological "concept" and "dog whistle" are not the only two things an idea could be.

That's fair. 'Dog whistle' is a bit inexact, but it's not completely off the mark either, I think.

> there a chance that it's worth it?

Little to none as there is no evidence of theraputic value.

Indeed, it seems clearly harmful and would qualify as child abuse if it were sone by the parents rather than the school district.

The use of this technique on children with Autism is particularly reprehensible.

This is just time out. Any parent of a high-maintenance 5-year-old will know that some kids act out, assault their peers, have tantrums and scream and yell. Other kids don’t deserve to be subjected to that.

Edit: To be clear, I’m responding to the quote here. I’m not condoning locking small children in bare rooms alone for hours on end.

Because a 3 ft by 3 ft by 7 ft upright locking coffin is a PERFECT place for timeout.

Because that’s clearly what I was saying, right?

It does appear to be what you are saying. The linked article is discussing how common it is For schools to lock young children in tiny rooms by themselves.

One room in the article is described as 3x3x7 and another is even smaller at 5 sq feet. These are literally the rooms we are discussing and that you are defending using for timeouts.

Edit: It appears from your edit that you simply may have not read the article and thus did not realize what you were endorsing.

I added the edit about 2 minutes after I made the original post.

It's literally exactly what you said...?

Before clicking the article I already guessed the student was black.

“How US schools punish Black kids”https://www.vox.com/videos/21507661/school-discipline-race-b...

Schools do in fact have solitary confinement rooms.


> Our schools don’t have solitary confinement

they sure did when I was a pupil, a zillion years ago. It was called "in-school detention"

'Isolation' in the UK, which doesn't beat about the bush much does it. I don't really see anything wrong with it.

(I'd say a 'detention' is broader, anything from a few minutes at the end of the lesson to isolation, passing break time, lunch, and after-school along the way.)

"The entire United Nations, including the US, passed “Mandela Rules” prohibiting solitary beyond 15 days for any person, because it otherwise would amount to torture."

Pretty sure school isolation isn't 15 days.

shocked the US didn't veto this

This doesn't seem to be a problem of race as far as I can tell but a kind of bureaucratic Kafkaesque face saving nightmare.

in the event a white kid was even the suspected perpetrator of this, it's exceptionally unlikely he would be given a 90 day suspension on completely bunk evidence

The kid is being accused of rape and mass murder threats, which seems like something the school should take seriously (although it does appear there may be serious issues with the evidence). They don't want him back there, but expulsion itself is strongly discouraged due to the "school-to-prison pipeline", so schools do weird things like this instead.

Something's weird with that. Gwinnett County schools are out for the summer starting late next week. Most of the "three months" will be when school isn't in session, unless he was planning to attend summer school.

Yeah I'm confused by how this played out.

I'm familiar with my local public schools policies, outside violence / other crimes they don't even have the ability to hand out that long of a punishment by rule.

No idea what that school is up to...

Moulton said the school district’s technology employee who investigated should have been able to tell that many of the IP addresses in the Zoom report were wrong.

I don’t think the education sector is going to attract many high caliber IT people. The school shouldn’t have had this rest on the shoulders of a low wattage tech.

Archive copy: https://archive.is/OiQir


I was not surprised to discover that a student kicked out of a USA public school based on clearly ridiculous accusations happens to be black.

> The Zoom bombers’ local IP addresses, which identify the exact device being used

Why would Zoom even be logging the local (private) IP address?


Atlanta. News. Now.

Our apologies, unfortunately our website is currently unavailable in most European countries due to GDPR rules.

Well, the 4 Internets...


"Malachi’s family said they want to clear his name and expunge the incident from his record,"

I understand the need/want to get rid of bullshit like this from one's record. However, it's now all over the internet and the internet does not forget. Will this expungement include every news article that clearly uses his name and details of the accusations? Will that also include any articles detailing the final results if he is cleared (if news actually covers that part)?

It's pretty cheap to send letters to news sites legal departments after a victory in court over the district, demanding an amendment to the story or removal of the child's name. Most sane newspapers would not risk a defamation suit over it.

Assuming dynamic ip addresses are fixed and not shared (was he on an open wifi? Did he have subilings sharing wifi) Seems silly

> The Zoom bombers’ local IP addresses, which identify the exact device being used, did not match Malachi’s

And his device cant be multihomed? He cant have two devices?

> Nor did the local IP addresses match any of the possible sequences available under the configuration of the router in Malachi’s house, Moulton said. There were no other routers or devices in the house that could have used those local IP addresses, Moulton said.

> It is possible to change a router’s configuration, but Malachi did not know how and the process would have kicked all his devices off the internet for 10 minutes each time, according to the appeal.

Or you know, setting up another NAT layer on the computer, or any other of many other configs. I mean fair, that's a bit much for an 11 year old, but still lots of theoretically possible explanations


They're blaming zoom as innacurate, but it seems like both sides are making assumptions about ip addresses that might just not be true.

The entire thing is utterly rediculous.

There is also the possibility of CG-NAT being involved. Thousands of customers sharing a single IPv4 address...

> > The Zoom bombers’ local IP addresses, which identify the exact device being used, did not match Malachi’s

> And his device cant be multihomed? He cant have two devices?

He could. But the only evidence of his guilt is the IP address.

Right. The evidence for his guilt is BS, but the counter-evidence is kind attacking a weird part of the evidence.

We still doin this EU block thing? Wonder what GDPR rules they're not compliant with


Maybe they just don't want to spend money on figuring out whether they're compliant or not? It's not like they'd be making much money from serving Atlanta news to Europeans.

It amazes me that there's people on HN who play fast and loose with their data to defend a company that clearly doesn't care about the safety of it

It's easy to be GDPR compliant. It just is. You do have to respect your users though, I can see why many companies had trouble with it

It amazes me that there are people on HN that don't want to acknowledge that complying with regulation costs money even if you're doing everything right. Just to simply figure out what the regulation says will cost a fair amount in lawyers. If a company can't justify this cost because Europeans don't make them money, then why would they do it?!

>It's easy to be GDPR compliant.

And that's why companies spent millions on just paying lawyers to figure out what it said, right?

>But when it comes to the cost of maintaining GDPR compliance, it found that 88% spend more than $1 million and 40% spend more than $10 million.


If European customers don't make them this money back then there is no point in doing it. It sucks for us, Europeans, but the EU decided for us that we shouldn't have easy access to the whole internet.

I also said if you respect your users. They pay millions to continue the status quo as best they can, not to adapt to the new rules. The millions were to cover the marketing dept's desire to continue cramming Hotjar and all that other creepy guff into the page.

Why do it? Because Americans and other non-EU citizens deserve privacy too mate

For starters using the range ban dodge, as if an EU data subject can’t conceivably use a VPN to circumvent it.

I'm curious the tech backend that corroborated these details for the site/district staff to make a decision.

This is yet another reason why CGNAT (Carrier grade NAT) is cancer on the internet and needs to die.

the article keeps saying "LOCAL ip address" and "reconfigure his router" so it appears they might be talking about addresses.

They mentioned local and public IPs. Five students, including the one suspended, shared their public IPs with the zoom bombers. The client also reports its local IP and none of the zoom bombers had local IPs that matched the student's.

Yeah I'm assuming his computer was in 192.168.x.x and the local ip was 10.x.x.x.

Sounds like a story well suited for gofundme.

Please stop posting georestricted links. I don't even live in the EU and all I see is an "Unavailable... GDPR" banner.

> Our apologies, unfortunately our website is currently unavailable in most European countries due to GDPR rules.

A recap?

"Our apologies, unfortunately our website is currently unavailable in most European countries due to GDPR rules." ..... Yeah...

> The Gwinnett County Board of Education on Thursday rejected his appeal of the suspension.

The institutional doubling down like this never ceases to amaze.



Well they do. If they didn't care and weren't planning to comply with EU rulings, they wouldn't have put a block in place to avoid processing data of EU citizens.

(Also, 90% of complying with GDPR is just ethics -- tell if you sell data to third parties, ask consent if you want to do nonessential processing, etc. -- and 10% is adding boilerplate text like reiterating your rights. But that's a bit of a separate discussion, I just feel like most people are not aware of this when starting these discussions and it might be good to know when talking about the topic.)

GDPR didn't really work out that way, everybody still tries to collect and sell as much data as possible, only with more clicks. But that's besides the point.

To be honest I also don't see the point of the EU blocks, as you say. I assumed it was mostly just lazyness and unwillingness to deal with the issue at all.

Evidently they don't, since I live in the EU and I was able to bypass their retarded IP-block in one click.

>Our apologies, unfortunately our website is currently unavailable in most European countries due to GDPR rules.

I love it, thanks for your apologies.

Yet another reason why government services in the US are a bad idea. They are ruled by local arbitrarily-capricious lunatics.

Universal health care will be the same disaster. Fight it tooth and nail. Protect your healthcare. Maybe you win the case where your son is denied an online advice nurse because he “yelled racial slurs” but it’s too late; maybe he’s terribly sick now, maybe he’s dead. You can sue them but you can’t bring him back.

Just like this kid’s grade is gone. He fails this one. And you can sue but he’s not going to get it back. The learning is gone.

Constantly beware those who arrogate to themselves great power over you.

As opposed to private services? Have you ever had a medical bill that your insurance provider tried to deny coverage for?

Sure, but I know private schools are better about this so now you’re adding the horror of normal medical care in the US to this public services horror.

Twice the horror is hardly an appealing idea.

>Sure, but I know private schools are better about this

In my experience, private schools are much more likely to expel someone than public schools. At my private school they tried to work out who was writing prank reviews of the school online and threatened that they had requested the users IP from the review service. I'm guessing they failed when the IP was just the schools shared address.

Yeah, but I can go somewhere else, rather than be blackballed by the single system.

> Sure, but I know private schools are better about this

[citation needed]

Legally, private schools arr less constrained, because due process rights don’t apply.

Didn’t you just argue universal healthcare would be worse? I can’t imagine billing being worse than it already is.

And why would private schools be better in this regard?

> Maybe you win the case where your son is denied an online advice nurse because he “yelled racial slurs”

American corporations are notorious for engaging in thought policing. In your current system you’ll get fired and lose your health insurance for cracking your knuckles the wrong way.

This is an American problem, not a public vs. private problem.

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