Pic of two men kissing gets 8th grader Jail Time

Holiday, FL – What can a picture of two men kissing get you?  If you're an 8th grader in Florida, it will get you jail time.

The Pasco County Sheriff's Office has charged Domanik Green, an eighth-grader at Paul R. Smith Middle School, with an offense against a computer system and unauthorized access, a felony. Sheriff Chris Nocco said Thursday that Green logged onto the school's network on March 31 using an administrative-level password without permission. He then changed the background image on a teacher's computer to one showing two men kissing.  – TampaBay.com

Should we put him in jail or should we sign him up for computer camp.  It must be difficult to hack into a school computer system, no?

Green says that his peers frequently use the admin password to video chat or screenshare on school computers. The code is easy to remember because it's just a last name. Green discovered it by watching a teacher type it in. Green was originally suspended from school for three days and other students were punished, too, but he was later arrested because the school deemed his infraction more serious. It is now overhauling its password system.- Slate.com

Did the student receive jail time for the content of the picture used or was it due to the presence of standardized testing or was it just the hack itself?  Here is a local news coverage clip.



So, if the student had not placed the image onto the teacher's computer, he would not have been arrested.  See kids, gay kissing can land you in jail!  What if it was a picture of lions mating, Paris Hilton, or Stewie from Family Guy?  Would it have been as big of an issue?  Would it have been reported?  Did the subject matter of the picture lead to the situation's escalation?

Green was released on Wednesday from Land O'Lakes Detention Center into the custody of his mother. He'll likely be granted pretrial intervention by a judge, sheriff's detective Anthony Bossone said.  Green also received a 10-day school suspension. It's unclear if he'll return to Paul R. Smith to complete the school year after the suspension. – TampaBay.com

Unfortunately this reminds me of an occurrence when I was a high school teacher.  A couple of students thought it would be hilarious to create a website about one of their least favorite teachers, a lesbian having a child with her life partner.  The website depicted the crucifixion of the teacher as well as the killing of her baby (unborn at the time of the website's creation).  The link was shared with hundreds of students.  School and legal authorities were involved, suspensions happened, counseling occurred, and the students returned to the school.  Most of the school was shocked to see the students back in the school system, but the rights of the students were more important.  After that incident, I never felt comfortable or protected teaching in that environment (that's another story) and many LGBT students felt betrayed by the administration.

But that was around 2004 and things were different then. Things are better now, right?


What do you think?