SMMUSD Will Password Protect School Board Zoom Meetings


Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District will now require meeting attendees to utilize a password, in addition to the Zoom link and meeting ID, to attend school board meetings. 

The first SMMUSD school board meeting that will require a password will be this Thursday, Sept. 3, at 5:20 p.m. The password can be found at the top of the meeting agenda, which is posted on the district’s website. 

This move follows the platform Zoom’s global move to require that all meetings require a passcode or waiting room as an extra security measure. Zoom will implement that change on Sept. 27. 

Zoom crashed around the country on Aug. 24–which also happened to be SMMUSD’s first day of school, as well as many other districts’ first day. Bloomberg reported that Zoom shares fell 2.6 percent  in intraday trading to $282.15 at 3:25 p.m. Eastern Time, though the crash was fixed by around 1 p.m. Eastern. The company’s stock had quadrupled earlier this year as a result of the pandemic, which forced schools online. 

It was not known whether or not these security changes were already planned before the August crash.

Since school board meetings have gone online, more members of the public have tuned in than ever before, Gail Pinsker, an SMMUSD representative, said. Pinsker estimated that the school board Zooms have been getting about 50 to 250 attendees depending on what was on the agenda, which is much more than when the meetings were held in person before. At one meeting, Pinsker estimated, about 600 people tuned in.