Students suspended after inappropriate tweet

CaptureBy Mike Stanford
Executive News Editor
Freshman Cam Gates was following the developments of another potential cold day Wednesday, January 7 when he stumbled upon what appeared to be a screenshot of the “Welcome from the Principal”.
However, instead of talking about the school, the screenshot included profanity and insults. While Gates found it humorous, he was unsure of the legitimacy of the picture.
“I heard a lot of mixed stories about [the picture],” Gates said. “I would have said 60 percent chance it wasn’t real.”
According to District 214 Director of Technology Services Keith Bockwoldt, the pictures were faked using a tool with the web browser. However, the website was facing difficulties from server overload from students and parents checking the status of school for the next day.
“There was no hack,” Bockwoldt said. “There was no defacing of the website. Let me make that very clear.”
When Bockwoldt saw the picture that caused the rumors of a hack, he immediately knew it was fake. He began to work with Prospect’s Dean of Students Mark Taylor to track down the perpetrators of the scandal.
According to Bockwoldt, all students who tweeted or retweeted the picture were suspended, and the administration is very close to finding the person who initially started the frenzy.
“[The picture] was very inappropriate,” Bockwoldt said. “Even for a student to retweet [the picture] was very inappropriate.”
While the recent case of false defacement of District 214 websites generated a great deal of buzz, it is not the first.
A few years ago, students used the same tool to edit the online gradebook only on their computer.
“[Students] would go in [the online gradebook], change their grades on the page, take a picture of it, and say, ‘Hey mom or dad! Look! I got these grades!’,” Bockwoldt said. “Really they didn’t [and were lying].”