Student Sends Email to Every West Po Student, Creating an Inbox Nightmare


Chaos struck West Po students’ inboxes this past Thursday night as one West Po student sent an email about YouTube restrictions to the email address, [email protected], which delivered the message to the entire student body, spawning countless reply-all messages and entirely new email threads.

Some students took advantage of the situation to send memes, videos, and other troll-like images and messages. A few even tried to help with the question posed in the original email.

One student messaged, “Hello ALL we[s]t pot[omac] seniors, there will be NO school on 8/28. Thank you.” August 28th is a Saturday, so it is true that classes will not take place.

Another simply wrote, “And thus the email chain went on forever.”

Other students found the excessive emails annoying, with one student writing, “I’m getting the IT department involved, it’s too … early for this – Until they do something about it, block the westpotomacstudents address and that should help some. Y’all a’int funny.”

Later in the morning, the problem escalated further as students discovered how to send emails to all high school students in Fairfax County by using email addresses similar to the one for West Po. Now all of the high schoolers in one of the largest school districts in the country are involved in this out of control email spam. 

According to Ms. Parekh, West Po’s Technology Support Specialist, every school automatically has an email address generated that sends messages to all students at the school. The purpose of this is to help school staff, such as administrators, easily send a message to every student in the case of something affecting the student body. While it is unclear exactly how, it appears students gained the permission to send messages to this email address and reply-all to them, leading to the email thread fiasco that took place Friday morning. 

Ms. Parekh said she will be working with higher ups in FCPS to solve this issue and prevent this situation from happening in the future. She also mentioned that if a student wishes to send an email to the student body, they can work with an administrator, who can send the message on the student’s behalf.

West Po Senior Matthew Leathem participated in the thread with a message meant to sound like an administrator informing students of a change in lunch schedule. When asked why he chose to reply, Leathem explained, “It was funny. I put a funny thing in there … I suppose it annoyed some people, but I’m sure a few people got a laugh out of it.” 

Leathem has a message for his fellow students, “To all the people who are complaining on the thread and adding more to the thread, that’s not … helping.”