IT department deletes spam emails sent to all AAPS students containing inappropriate and offensive content


At around 7:30 on Monday night, a set of spam emails were sent to every student in the Ann Arbor Public Schools, using a list that contained all AAPS student emails. 

“I assumed something like this wouldn’t be possible,” Pioneer senior Jackson Willmer said. 

In a district-wide email on Tuesday afternoon, Superintendent Dr. Jeanice Swift said the district’s IT department has since deleted the chain of emails to prevent further spamming.

While the initial email, which promoted “Team Seas,” an ocean-cleanup project by Youtubers, didn’t contain any offensive information, a number of the responses included homophobic and racist content which IT department had worked to delete from student email boxes in addition to preventing additional emails.

“We are deeply sorry for the offensive messages that were shared in this email spam situation, these messages do not represent the core values of our AAPS; we apologize for the harm these hateful messages have caused for our students, staff, families and members of our AAPS community,” Swift wrote in the email.

In addition, Swift said the appropriate steps will be taken to respond to the messages. “Members of our school teams will follow up with the students responsible, and their parents, to complete appropriate student intervention, support, and disciplinary processes, up to and including legal action,” she said.

AAPS Director of Communications Andrew Cluley declined to comment on any disciplinary actions taken.

Concerns about the security implications of this situation were raised by students. “I was a little concerned, because any question of security is worrying.” said Pioneer senior Porter Malcolm. “I don’t think anything could have happened, but it’s still a little off-putting.”

In her email, Swift emphasized the district’s focus on students but she said that the district is not concerned that any possible breaches of security occurred. “Since the spamming occurred via the use of an internal email group, no information, including student ID numbers, has been compromised,” Swift wrote. “This was not a data breach or a malware attack.”

Swift says that any students who still have any of Monday’s emails in their inbox or trash should delete the messages and empty their trash folders to further erase offensive contents that were sent in the spam emails.