Monday, April 23, 2012

Why Does It Always Have To Be The Smart Kids?

Don't you just hate reading stories like this one?
Some of Berkeley High's best students are among nearly three dozen students suspended for hacking into the school's attendance system, an act that could lead to criminal prosecution, administrators said Thursday.

At least four students used an administrator's stolen password to clear tardies and unexcused absences from the permanent records of 50 students, offering the service or the password for a price, Principal Pasquale Scuderi said.

The scam allowed the students to circumvent the school's rigid attendance policy, which had been in effect until March and required teachers to dock student grades if they had three or more unexcused absences.

The hackers erased from the system hundreds of cut classes and tardies from October through December, and charged classmates $2 to $20 for the illicit assistance, Scuderi said.

It took the school district several weeks to investigate, identify and interview students involved.

At least two of the students who instigated the hacking scheme face expulsion.
Is it really so difficult just to go to class? Is a couple hours of "chillin" really worth this kind of legal hassle? I can't imagine the answer is "yes", so I have to believe these kids were too stupid or immature to think through the ramifications of what they were doing.

And yes, that goes for me, too, who did some things in high school of which I am exceedingly not proud.


allen (in Michigan) said...

Beyond the expected and proper stupidity that's part of being that age - and I'm not being ironic - schools a coercive environment.

The mandatory nature of public education is going to kick off an automatic recalcitrance that only fear, maturity or trust can overcome. Unfortunately, the mandatory nature of public education also implicitly undercuts parental authority so for far too many kids there's no one to encourage trust - the belief that it's all worth it - and all that's left is fear and maturity to push back against the natural response to coercion. Then there's the fact that for a lot of parents public school wasn't a positive experience so that source of trust is further undercut.

Probably part of the skill st of "uber-teachers" is the ability to imbue that trust that this dreary, tiresome business is really worth it.

At that age hoping maturity will provide the impetus to not act stupid is a thin reed indeed.

Happy Elf Mom (Christine) said...

$2 to $20??? That's all they made on this? Yeah, agree that hacking into the school's computer system is not such a hot idea.


I think the person who allowed the password to be stolen by the children needs to lose his job. Stupid. You guard your password with your life.

Also... seriously, why dock student grades for absences? Why?? What if the kid could just show up for the test and ace it? Does the kid need to sit his butt in the chair to stoke the teacher's ego? Really? I'm thinking they have other students who could use the help without 50 kids in the class. That policy should be changed.

This is stupid pie all around; everyone gets a slice.

Darren said...

"This is stupid pie all around; everyone gets a slice" What an awesome line! I've never heard that one before.

maxutils said...

If you steal a password, you're not 'hacking' in, you're stealing. Perhaps a distinction without a difference, but a TRULY smart student would have hacked in WITHOUT the password . . .

And, to Happy Elf Mom -- while I agree with you that a grade should be based on performance, not attendance -- the school loses money for every day they are out. So, a) that's why they care, and b) since thew students were actually causing the district to receive money they otherwise wouldn't have, the district should be more appreciative. ;)

Anonymous said...

My question is, how did they get caught?