Hacking

This week, students were exposed to hate speech and lewd material in two suburban Chicago school districts after hackers apparently infiltrated the websites of both districts, school officials said.

Police investigated Wednesday’s incidents targeting Maine Township High School District 207 and Niles Township High School District 219, both of which the Pioneer Press suburban newspaper group reported, have ethnically and racially varied student populations.

District 219, which has two schools in Skokie, said in a statement to parents that emails were sent through a district email account Wednesday night to all district students containing “lewd, racist, anti-Semitic and patently offensive content.”

The district said its IT team is working with the Skokie Police Department to investigate the incident, prompting school officials to cancel the first-period remote learning classes on Thursday and temporarily suspend access to district email accounts for students.

In its statement, the district said As a district, we condemn these actions and messages.”

District 207, which has two schools in Park Ridge and one in Des Plaines, told parents in its statement that “hate speech, hate pictures and other inappropriate images” were posted Wednesday night by an unknown hacker to each of its three school websites and district homepage.

Executive Officer Tom Gadomski of the Park Ridge Police Department confirmed that the department is investigating the incident, but declined further comment.

“We are committed to investigating this matter and to prosecuting the perpetrators to the fullest extent of the law if they are discovered,” District 207 said in its statement.