Story Archive

Zero Tolerance for Shenanigans

Domanik Green, 14, an eighth-grader at Paul R. Smith Middle School in Holiday, Fla., admits he was up to no good. “I logged into a teacher’s computer who I didn’t like and tried putting inappropriate pictures onto his computer to annoy him,” he says — “wallpaper” showing two men kissing. It was easy to log in as a teacher, since pretty much all students know the password for teacher accounts are simply the teacher’s last name. Rather than detention, or even a few-day suspension, school administrators called in the sheriff to charge the boy with “an offense against a computer system and unauthorized access,” which in Florida is a felony. In addition to being arrested, he has been suspended for 10 days, and may be expelled from the school forever. After all, last year’s Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test questions were on the computer. Green didn’t access that file — he wouldn’t have been able to read it anyway, since the file is encrypted. “Even though some might say this is just a teenage prank,” said Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco, justifying the boy’s arrest, “who knows what this teenager might have done.” (RC/Tampa Bay Times) ...So there you go: arrests in Florida are now based on what a suspect “might have” done.
Original Publication Date: 12 April 2015
This story is in True’s book collections, in Volume 21.

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