Records hacked at New Jersey high school; students grades changed

Toni Yates reports on the case affecting students at Orange High School.
Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The search is on for the person who hacked into the records system at Orange High School in New Jersey, and changed the grades of several students.

"They asked if I knew about the situation. I told them no. Did someone use my phone? I told them no," said student Natalee Dean.

"They asked me if i knew about it..two of my grades were changed and my attendance. They asked did I ask someone or pay someone to change them. No," said senior Sharonda McDermott.

The Orange school district has been chasing the mystery: who hacked the system using a teacher's password and handed out better grades and attendance records?

We're told more than 100 students were questioned by attorneys and the district, many found guilty, they say, unfairly.

"I worked so hard, and for something I didn't know and know nothing about, they give me ten days plus I'm not really graduating. My mom is leaving all the way from the Bahamas to see me graduate and it feels so embarrassing," said Dean.

"I think it's very wrong, because if you don't have evidence and we're paying the price as many students have done, that's not fair," said McDermott.

Many students have said they had absolutely nothing to do with it, that they were not even aware of the changes in their records.

They claim that the school has found no evidence against them, yet they are still being punished.

"No we were not treated fairly at all because they say they investigated, but they don't find anything. Why are we being punished for something we don't know about?," said Dean.

"They called us one by one and asked who did it, when no one confessed, they took away graduation from seniors, they took Project Grad, and we have a 10 day suspension basically to graduation," said McDermott.

They say underclassmen with changes are being banned from extracurricular activities next year, but for the seniors: "This is my last year. Parents have been waiting to see their children walk. For this to happen is ridiculous<" said McDermott.

The school says it is still investigating, and the Essex County Prosecutor's Office is now involved.

Seniors say those suspended have been forced to come to the school after their classmates leave, to take their exams.
Related Topics:
education hacking education new jersey news scandal Orange
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