WiFi problems linger months after hack


Delilah Brumer

A student holds a phone, which displays a no internet connection screen.

Jason Arevalo

Senior Ralph Uy De Ong uses Schoology to complete assignments for his classes but struggles to get a stable connection to the school WiFi. Uy De Ong notices that Schoology and Google Docs move slower than ever. 

“I feel the slowness because when you have to do assignments over Schoology that are due that period, it can get annoying because you’re unable to complete them, whether that be struggling to get online or struggling to turn them in due to the WiFi,” Uy De Ong said.  

Due to the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) cyberattack that happened the first week of September, teachers now have to complete a two-step login process for certain online programs. Even with the additional steps, there still have been glitches on the platforms that teachers and students use, according to Spanish teacher Glenda Hurtado. She has noticed that certain areas of the school, such as the back of the school, have a weaker connection to the WiFi.

“I feel like the physical textbook helps me plan out my lessons, especially when some of our resources like the e-book go down, which is why I force my students to bring the textbook because it’s one of the most reliable resources available,” Hurtado said.  

Other teachers have figured out ways around the WiFi issues. English teacher Francesca Gunther has her students use their phones in class as a workaround if they are struggling to connect to the school WiFi. Resource teacher Sadia Aziz has students do paper and pencil assignments if their computers don’t work.

“What I have learned is that paper and pencil, as well the photocopier are really good tools,” said Resource teacher Sadia Aziz. “Technology is not the only way of teaching things.”

The LAUSD conducted an internal cybersecurity audit that was prepared more than two years ago but has failed to follow through with its recommendations, causing the district to be vulnerable to hacks. In addition, the school district knew about the initial stages of the September hack as early as July 31 but did not immediately make that information public, according to the Los Angeles Times article published on Jan 21. 

As frustrations persist, LAUSD is working to solve connectivity problems by updating WiFi networks in schools and providing tech support.

“I use my data instead of the WiFi,” sophomore Malaika Afridi said. “While it works, it uses a lot of my data.”