Education A National Roundup

Florida Students Charged With Altering Grades

By Andrew Trotter — September 13, 2005 1 min read

Three students at Bay High School in Panama City, Fla., have been arrested for allegedly gaining access to the school’s computer system and altering records.

The students allegedly used a computer program last spring to capture a teacher’s password, allowing one of them to change the grades of six to eight other students, according to Paul Vecker, a school resource officer at the Bay County Sheriff’s Office.

The three 16-year-old boys are all enrolled in the school’s advanced computer class, said Karen Tucker, a spokeswoman for the 27,000-student Bay County district. The intrusion into the computer system happened several times, from several locations, but the boys are not suspected of changing their own grades, she said.

One student has been charged with “offense against intellectual property,” Mr. Vecker said, and the other two were charged as accessories. All the charges are felonies.

According to Ms. Tucker, the boys have been suspended from school and will not return until the investigation is completed. They could also face expulsion.

The students whose grades were changed, but who did not report it, are also being disciplined. One girl, whose F in one course allegedly was changed to a B, may have her promotion to 12th grade revoked, Ms. Tucker said.

A version of this article appeared in the September 14, 2005 edition of Education Week