QUEER VOICES

Florida Teen Charged With Computer Hacking After Changing Teacher's Computer Background To Gay Kiss Image

04/13/2015 12:21 pm ET | Updated Feb 02, 2016

A 14-year-old Florida student has been charged with a cybercrime after allegedly hacking onto his school's computer network to change the background image on a teacher's computer to a photograph of two men kissing.

Eighth grader Domanik Green, who attends Paul R. Smith Middle School in Holiday, was suspended from school for 10 days and also charged with an offense against a computer system and unauthorized access, according to The Tampa Bay Times.

A number of media reports are pointing to the fact that one of the computers that Green accessed had encrypted questions for the 2014 version of a standardized test that Florida administers to students in all its public schools stored on it, but authorities say that the teen did not view or tamper with those files. Meanwhile, Green has argued that his actions were merely a prank.

"I wasn't really thinking, I was just kind of really annoyed at the teacher that day," he told ABC Action News. "I took a picture off of Google and put it on his laptop and blew it up. That way, when he got on the laptop, there'd be a picture of something gross."

Green's mother, Eileen Foster, acknowledged that her son did something wrong but felt that the arrest was unnecessary, and said she didn't think it should be so easy for students to access the school's computer system.

The fact that Green didn't access the test files or change grades, Foster noted, "proves he doesn't deserve a felony charge" for the offense, according to WTSP-TV.

Still, authorities stood their ground.

"Even though some might say this is just a teenage prank, who knows what this teenager might have done," Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco is quoted as saying.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misquoted the amount of time the student was suspended. This has been corrected.

Suggest a correction
Comments

CONVERSATIONS