Pasco PTA to retry Zoom meeting with superintendent

Tampa Bay Times | Jeffrey S. Solochek | June 17, 2020

The group is taking extra steps to protect the call’s security.

Denise Nicholas was mortified.

She sat watching helplessly as her computer screen went dark, while fielding messages that her Pasco County Council of PTAs Zoom call with superintendent Kurt Browning had been hijacked.

With help from the Florida PTA, which paid for the Zoom channel that was supposed to be secure, Nicholas got the meeting shut down. But the information the more than 230 parents had hoped to learn remained unknown.

So now Nicholas is ready to try again.

Armed with added steps to protect the session — interested participants must submit their name, email and phone number through a Google document just to get to the registration page — the Council of PTAs has set up a new conversation with the superintendent for Thursday evening.

The event will be even more timely than the last one, as it comes the same day that Browning plans to announce the district’s reopening plan for August.

Interest remains high.

Within the first hour of posting details about the meeting on Facebook, Nicholas said, more than 170 people had filled out the form to gain access. Most of them submitted questions for the superintendent, as well.

Last time, the group had space for 300 participants in the online call. Nicholas said she expected to approach the upper limit, but said there would be room for a reporter to tune in.

“Just don’t give anyone the link,” she added with a laugh.

Zoom has told the Council of PTAs that it is investigating how the previous meeting was infiltrated.

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