Education

Fayetteville principal has email impersonated, inappropriate messages sent to faculty, students​

Posted August 24, 2020 6:25 p.m. EDT
Updated August 25, 2020 7:11 a.m. EDT

— The principal of Jack Britt High School in Fayetteville had his email address cloned, and inappropriate messages were sent out to the school community appearing to be from him.

Principal Scott Pope says those messages were sent out Friday night, and they had the potential to reach about 2,000 faculty members, staff and students, but the school system's technology department worked over the weekend to get rid of them.

While many schools struggled to get their online learning platforms off the ground, Pope had to deal with someone who impersonated him and sent out racist and inappropriate messages to his students and staff.

Pope described the messages as “a couple of different things using profanity and stuff. Things that we don't appreciate being done here at the school, especially with us trying to learn remotely right now. We're trying to get everybody online and make sure everybody has a computer.”

Brion Brunson, a sophomore at Jack Britt High, received one of the emails and says just about everyone he knows at the school got them as well.

"I mean, it was pretty explicit," he said. "But I'm pretty sure he didn't say it."

The principal says most of the nasty emails ended up in spam accounts. The school system's tech department worked with Google over the weekend to remove the emails, but they've also taken other steps.

"We've reached out to law enforcement to see if they can help us track down the individual responsible," said school spokesman Lindsay Whitley. "So that we can ... prevent the likelihood of this happening again."

The principal has this simple message for parents and students: Anything purportedly from him should be deleted if it's not from just his name and email address.

Right now, Pope cannot email students en masse, but the teachers can send out assignments individually.

The school system is asking anyone with information to get in contact with the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office.

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