Internet filter somehow bypassed in Ladue student's video sex chat incident

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by Russell Kinsaul / News 4 and KMOV.com staff

KMOV.com

Posted on December 4, 2012 at 1:13 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 4 at 6:40 PM

LADUE, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- Prosecutors are deciding what charges will be filed against a man accused of performing a sex act online for a Ladue Middle School student on Thursday.

According to school officials, while the student was in class, a technology staff member noticed something strange going on with one of the school’s computers.

The employee went over to the computer in question and saw video from a chat room of a middle-aged man exposing himself to the student and masturbating.

According to officials, the incident happened after the student took pictures of his or her genitals with a cell phone, and then sent it to the man over the video chat room.

School officials said they notified police. The student’s parents were also contacted and the student was disciplined, according to officials.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Ladue schools said the filters used to block inappropriate sites somehow stopped working.

“This site was quickly blocked once the activity was detected, and due to immediate collaboration with City of Ladue police, a related site has now also been blocked by the district,” the statement read. “Unfortunately, those creating inappropriate website content are constantly attempting to circumvent filters.  It is a never-ending process to identify and block these sites and unfortunately, there are times when the efforts of those promoting these sites are successful."

According to the Ladue schools IT Director Rob Highfill, it was a categorizing error the led to this particular incident. 

"It was incorrectly catagorized; it should have been categorized as a chat site and it wasn't and therefore it made it through," he said. 

Ladue schools contract with a company called sonic wall to provide filtering services, but inappropriate sites have to be discovered and physically added to a list to be blocked.

"It’s really an impossible task, the filtering companies do the best they can," said network administrator Joseph Jandgraf. 

 

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