Chatham student voices concerns about utilizing Zoom as an educational tool

by Joshua Arnone

Pittsboro, NC – Joshua Arnone submitted the public comment below that was read aloud during the Chatham County school board meeting on April 20:

Video conferencing user (photo by photo by Jan Vasek)

Hey there, Board of Education,

As a student taking classes by the tools provided (Zoom), I’ve actually done
some research on the topic and have discovered that Zoom has been illegally selling data to Facebook ( -apppersonal-data-selling-facebook-lawsuit-alleges/) and also that most servers are based in China, where the services have been slowed dramatically and causes problems for learning.

On multiple occasions, my teachers have been “lagging out” (unable to speak properly due to connection issues) and have been unable to learn the material easily. My teachers are also having problems with using the tool properly, which can cause several inconveniences, such as forgetting to record a meeting so students won’t be able to catch up. My fellow students also have never heard of this, but learning it was generally easy enough, however, this could’ve all been solved with a much more safe and trusted alternative that most faculty and students know as “Discord”, “Skype”, or “Google Hangouts”. All three are very popular in other districts, however Zoom was unrecognized.

What was your reasoning for using such an unknown, unstable and overall unsafe (most of all, as most “raids” can easily be done by guessing the pin)?