• Elizabeth Casolo

GHS Teacher Sends Email to All GPS Students, Resulting in Hundreds of Replies

Updated: Nov 9, 2020

GHS science teacher Robert Conlan sent an email Tuesday, Sept. 29, to all Greenwich Public Schools (GPS) students, prompting hundreds of replies.

The email, addressed to “Kanako,” regarded a community cleanup Saturday, Sept. 26. Kanako MacLennan, a director of Greenwich Green & Clean, was the intended recipient.

“It was a pleasure to meet you… From what I could see, the cleanup was a tremendous success,” Conlan wrote in the email.

Ashley Tweddle—a GHS senior—was active on the email chain.

“I read 'Kanako,' and I was like, he [Conlan] sent this to the wrong email… And then two people replied to the email. Then seven to 20,” Tweddle said.

Several “I’m not Kanako” messages circulated before memes, email subscription notifications and miscellaneous replies were sent to all students.

Concerns have arisen regarding inappropriate messages on the chain, which were viewable to younger students in the district, as well. Alexandra Zeppeiro, another GHS senior, expressed a similar sentiment about the middle school and elementary school students, saying the racist, homophobic and sexually explicit messages on the chains could “ruin their innocence.”

“As a precaution, we ask parents of younger students to please check your child’s email to help delete emails and clear up their personal inboxes,” Toni Jones, GPS’ superintendent wrote in an email to families. “The technical staff is working through the evening to check accounts.”

Zeppeiro was not sure of how GPS would proceed, wondering if the technical staff will “sift” through every email or not. Some content, though, was more lighthearted, referring to shared GPS experiences. Zeppeiro observed a number of students repeating “Kanako 2020” on one email chain. She said, “Those are harmless.”

GPS email accounts were eventually made inaccessible to students, and the all-student email list was suspended.

“Our engineers have temporarily disabled the ability to email this [all-student] list,” Jones said.

Zeppeiro acknowledged how impactful this one event can be for the district: “This is going down in Greenwich history.”

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