Our Child-Abusing Schools: Prosecution For A Prank

"You changed your grade on the school computer, kid--that's the death penalty!"

“You changed your grade on the school computer, kid–that’s the death penalty!”

In Holiday, Florida, Paul R. Smith Middle School eighth-grader Domanik Green was suspended for breaking into the school computer system to  change the background on his teacher’s computer to feature a photo of two men kissing. Then school administrators decided that the punishment wasn’t enough. They had him charged with the felony of computer hacking, and the fourteen year old will be tried as an adult.

The only explanation I can come up with for stories like this is that the school administrators don’t like kids. This wasn’t some sophisticated hack, like the stuff Matthew Broderick did in “War Games.” He knew the teacher’s password (his last name), and just changed the background. Changing a teacher’s background on his computer is the 21st century equivalent of putting an uncomplimentary caricature of the teacher on the blackboard. Charging a teen with a felony for that is excessive and cruel.  Putting in his own claim to a share of the Fascist Disciplinarian of 2015 award was Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco, who blathered, “Even though some might say this is just a teenage prank, who knows what this teenager might have done.”

Better shoot him, Chris, just to be safe.

I’ve been writing the same thing since 2009, and if I’m sick of it, you must be. Let me just reprint what I wrote…mmmm, let’s see, in this post, about a school that had student arrested because he wrote  on Facebook about using a gun to kill a dinosaur:

[A]ny parents who allow their children to be exposed to these incompetents are themselves guilty of neglect. Empty the school. I mean it. It’s the only way to stop this stuff.

As indeed it is.


Facts: Res Ipsa Loquitur


26 thoughts on “Our Child-Abusing Schools: Prosecution For A Prank

  1. You can’t fight bureaucrats; I’ve been beating my head against the wall all morning, pointing out, whenever the school says that rules must be followed, that should include their following the “due process” provision set forth in their own handbook.

  2. With the facts of the case as stated, what’s the chance that the student will be found guilty? This hits me as textbook malicious, frivolous prosecution.

    • But it shouldn’t ever even go to a trial. Even if the kid not found guilty, he’s still got to bother explaining that every time someone asks about his record.

  3. Well, obviously, the schools do not exist for the benefit of the students. This young prankster is clearly beyond redemption and incorrigible – wouldn’t even last a day in the Pilling School for Perversion Prevention. (Did the teacher REALLY have that big of a problem with the image?! WHO, again, needs correction in the matter?) At least the teacher wasn’t lying by sharing a false password. That’s something. There are worse things. Like a picture of a teacher who raped and became impregnated by one of her students.

    • Quite the contrary, Lucky. Consider why he did this. His “teacher” had posted a pro-pervert image on his page of the SCHOOL SYSTEM website. That was the only thing he changed. It’s no different then if he had taken down a Playboy centerfold tacked to the classroom bulletin board. And why the felony indictment by the school system in response? The boy’s REAL crime was not hacking. It was political incorrectness. He punctured one of Big Education’s most sacred of cows… the Deviant Agenda. And only days before the glorious Day of Silence, too! For that, he must be crucified as an example to his young classmates, any of whom might potentially be some of those dreaded Christian counterrevolutionaries.

  4. Private school is the biggest line item in our budget each month — by far. I have family and some friends who don’t understand this and keep telling me to “just move to a good school district.” I’d rather have complete control over the situation — even if it does mean we’ll be eating rice and beans for the next 12 years.

    • It’s a shame the left wing fights tooth and nail to prevent tax credits or vouchers for private schooling to offset some of that expense.

      To be fair, that’s largely because the union is made up of left wing people rather than because it’s actually a left wing cause per se, but support for school choice programs is mostly right wing or libertarian.

      • I’m not asking for a tax credit or voucher — such a system (while benefiting me personally) would harm public schools even more. We are witnessing that first hand in DC.

        I do feel guilt about this — no question. I do not have the time or energy to mobilize the community and convince all the middle and upper class families to send our children to the public schools and fight to make them better. There are neighborhoods in the DC area where people have done this and it has worked. But truthfully, that effort is so enormous and the people leading that charge usually have one stay-at-home parent. I couldn’t do that and stay employed.

        • How does it harm schools, exactly? If it’s about funding, it only takes money away from the public schools in the same way that buying my burger at burger king takes money away from McDonalds. Actual competitive pressure will do a lot more to improve public schools than top down regulation ever will, assuming they don’t get shielded from the lost income.

          For the same reason food stamps are superior to government provided food, school vouchers are likely to be superior to government provided schooling.

          • Because parents will rush to get into certain schools and other schools will remain half-full or empty — they will then face funding issues and possibly be shut down. Teachers leave — it becomes a huge mess.

    • We have to have public schools — even if some of them are awful. The alternative is 25% (or more) of our nation’s children not getting an education at all.

  5. Actual fact, I’m at least as concerned about the Sheriff, who wants to prosecute the young man for “what this teenager might have done” rather than an actual crime. Because changing that background was just as he described it, a teenage prank. He OWNED that computer…if he was going to do anything else nefarious, he would have done it.

    • Actually, he only owned whatever access that teacher had to that computer. Which is not the same thing. Given his awful password choice I’m sure all his other passwords were saved though…

      • Depends on how the network was set up. There are many token-rings that do not require a separate password for the network, assuming that passwording the computer is sufficient security. It isn’t.

        • I was thinking more in terms of the teacher not having admin access on that computer. Bascially, the teacher account may not have owned the computer, so guessing his password wouldn’t give it to the student.

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