A number of male adults gained access to an online class of second year students at a Meath post-primary school this week and engaged in inappropriate behaviour, it has emerged.

The class, which took place on the digital platform Microsoft Teams, was stopped immediately and school authorities have reported the matter to gardaí, the family agency Tusla, and the Department of Education.

The school has also sent a message to the parents of the pupils, who are aged about 14, advising them of what happened and offering any supports necessary. It is understood a small number of male adults were involved in the breach.

The school, which operates under the patronage of Louth Meath Education and Training Board (LMETB), also shut down the use of the Teams platform pending its ongoing investigation into the matter.

In a statement to Meath Live the LMETB said, ‘On Wednesday last, the 13th of January, an incident occurred at one of our Meath schools.  A number of uninvited adults accessed a live online class being delivered to a small mixed group of second year students. The behaviour of these individuals was such that the teacher terminated the class. The school took immediate action to respond to this incident.

‘The relevant authorities were informed, including TUSLA and  An Garda Siochana, as would be the norm in a situation like this. As a precaution the school also suspended the use of online classes pending a review of the circumstances by our ICT team. The parents and guardians of all 2nd year students were informed of the occurrence by the school and support was offered to any students affected. LMETB also took the opportunity to inform the Department of Education of the occurrence. School management teams at all of our schools were briefed about the incident.

‘LMETB’s focus now is to support our students and teaching staff and maintain the continuity of teaching and learning. Enhanced security settings have been deployed which, we are confident, will prevent any recurrence. LMETB is disappointed that the entire school community’s efforts to  support remote learning during this time of national crisis should be undermined by such mindless behaviour.  However we remain determined to play our part in the fight against Covid by continuing to provide remote learning opportunities and by supporting our school communities