EDUCATION

Chris Latour, Massachusetts High School Student, Expelled For 'Cyberbullying' Senior Prank

12/04/2012 05:26 pm ET | Updated Dec 11, 2012

A Massachusetts teenager has been expelled after a senior prank targeting his English teacher went terribly awry.

Southbridge High School senior Chris Latour publicly posted a pass code that would grant access to a school website run by the teacher. The intent was for his peers to go in and post funny photos as a prank, Latour told the Telegram & Gazette.

Instead, items posted to the site included vulgar and sexually derogatory comments, and eventually forced the educator to seek psychological counseling.

Latour was suspended for 10 days for cyberbullying and violating the district's Internet use and bullying policies. He was served with an expulsion letter Thursday, according to the Telegram & Gazette.
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While the teen tells CBS Boston he was wrong to have shared the pass code and accepts the suspension, he maintains that the expulsion is unnecessarily harsh given that he didn't post any of the negative comments. In the meantime, Latour is staying on top of schoolwork. He has 10 days to appeal the expulsion.

"You know I'd like to go back to school I'd like to get my diploma and go to Westfield State like I planned on, but I don't see that happening," he told CBS Boston. His grandmother, Vivian, added that Latour has lost a college scholarship as a result of the incident.

Indiana high school senior Austin Carroll made headlines in March when he, like Latour, was expelled just months before graduation. Carroll's controversial offense: use of profanity in a Tweet posted from home on his personal account.

The expulsions come as a number of states are cracking down on cyberbullying in schools. In North Carolina, a law that took effect Saturday for the first time made it a crime for students to use digital devices with "the intent to intimidate or torment a school employee."

In July, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo also signed a law to protect students from cyberbullying, putting in place a series of measures to report and handle digital harassment.

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