(Mis)Uses of Technology

by Mike Masnick

11-Year-Old Arrested For Changing His Grades

from the they-start-young-these-days dept

Ah, the youth of today... An 11-year-old sixth grader in Florida has been arrested for using his teacher's computer to change his grades. He didn't hack in or anything. He just went into the room during lunch, got on the computer, and changed his grades. Now, he's been charged with "an offense against intellectual property", which is a felony. He also faces being expelled. I can understand the kid getting in trouble at school for this, but being arrested on felony charges seems like a little too much. Also, I'm sure that people will make a bigger deal out of this becaue a "computer" was used. Would he be charged with the same felony if he simply erased a pencil marking in a gradebook? Maybe I just don't understand the law here, but what was the offense against intellectual property?

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Anymouse Custard, Feb 12th, 2003 @ 1:05pm

    No Subject Given

    My take on this: In the recent climate we've got zero-tolerance, and you add on top of this laws that state that *any* unauthorized use of a computer is "hacking" and further, laws saying that "hacking" is a form of terrorism, and thus a felony.... Then you take the poor 11 year old who gets a 6 billion pound weight dropped on his figurative head. I think this is yet another example of how we've gotten so fed up that we're ready through the baby out with the bathwater, and the tub too while we're at it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    dorpus, Feb 12th, 2003 @ 1:34pm

    Typical Florida

    Florida is big on severe punishments. It has a long history as a conservative southern state whose law and order is threatened by migrants. The American moviemaking industry originally set up shop in Jacksonville, but eventually moved to Hollywood because the state's conservative residents disliked the kinds of people the movie industry was attracting.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    The Dirty Tech, Feb 12th, 2003 @ 1:36pm

    No Subject Given

    What they didn't tell you is that he received an "A" for creative thinking. But really, consider this a prelude to the future of punishments not fitting the crimes. Such as, we have the right to free speech, but speak out against the US government and you will be labeled a terrorist. Excuse me now, I have to go add another layer to my tinfoil hat.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2003 @ 6:58am

    No Subject Given

    I'm a great believer in corporal punishment. Guess this is the equivalent in cyber space. Would hate to see him actually get screwed in this but I'm willing to bet he won't be doing this again anytime soon.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2003 @ 9:42am

    E-mail the prosecutor

    Here is the e-mail address of the procecutor, why don't you try to give her a dose of reality? ELLEN@stlucieco.gov

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    k 12 student, May 4th, 2003 @ 8:35pm

    No Subject Given

    I've been looking up on the subject of students illegaly changing their grades and ive noticed that 9 times out of 10 the student has simply walked into the class room and changed their grades. why cant the teachers lock their doors?! In todays society parents put alot of pressure on their children to do well in school and for many students this "illegal use of intelectual property" seems like an answer to their prayers. It seems alot like luring a fish to a worm if u ask me.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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