http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/siliconvalley/5335721.htm By Dennis Akizuki Mercury News Mar. 06, 2003 Six students at Fremont's Mission San Jose High School have been suspended for hacking into the school's computer and changing some of their first-semester grades. The investigation into the incident is ongoing, but the school believes all the students involved have been caught, Principal Stuart Kew said Thursday night. Kew said the software program the students used to break into the school's records is ``readily available on the Internet'' and that the school is working with the Fremont Unified School District's management information systems officials to install new safeguards. He said he is ``disappointed, shocked and dismayed'' about the incident, and he expressed concern about how it could affect the welfare of the school and the community at large. Mission San Jose is recognized as one of the top academic schools in California, with a rigorous curriculum and highly competitive student body. Many families move into Fremont's Mission San Jose area specifically because of the high school's reputation for excellence and its high academic standards. The hacking and grade changes were discovered Wednesday, when a Mission San Jose counselor was reviewing a student's academic record and noticed some discrepancies. ``There were a number of grade changes,'' Kew said. Quickly, the school determined there were five other students involved. Kew would not identify them other than to say they were a ``mix of juniors and seniors.'' He emphasized that grades turned in to colleges for admission purposes had not been compromised by the hacking. As for punishment, Kew would only say ``appropriate disciplinary action'' had been taken. But a faculty member said Thursday night that the students had been suspended. Kew did not dispute that statement. Asked if the students could eventually be expelled, the principal said that was something only the school board could decide. Hacking into a school computer to change grades is not unheard of. And it has been depicted in movies such as ``War Games,'' starring Matthew Broderick. In December, Reid Ellison, an 11th-grader at Anzar High School in San Juan Bautista, hacked into his school's computer and changed his grade -- but only after he presented the idea to administrators as a class project. To prove he was successful, Reid -- a straight-A student -- changed his grade-point average from 4.0 down to 1.9. ``It was kind of the opposite of what most people would do,'' he told the Mercury News. Reid received a perfect score on his project. There was also some controversy at Mission San Jose last year, when one of the school's former valedictorians told a local newspaper that she had cheated on several occasions while in school. That caused a stir among students, teachers and parents. - ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY of the mail.
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