This is every student’s dream, to have the ability and knowledge to hack into their school’s computer system and change that lackluster D- into a standard B+. While we have seen endless scenarios like this play out in movies for years, a group of students in Colorado actually managed to pull it off.
At Golden High School, Colorado’s oldest school, administrators are investigating reports that hackers got into the school’d computer system and changed grades. According to students, it is causing a lot of confusion and frustration at the end of the first semester. Jamie Hamilton, a senior at Golden High School, stated, “I think it’s pretty extreme and almost pathetic really.”
Investigators are looking into whether or not students hacked into the campus portal system. The portal system is meant to give parents access to grades, schedules and attendance records. “People started giving themselves A’s,” said Hamilton. And, according to sophomore Hannah LaFalche, “And everyone was getting accused of doing it.”
According to other students at Golden High School, hackers changed the grades for themselves as well as other students just before winter break and the end of the first semester. “I didn’t think students could get in so easily,” said Brooke Palmer, another sophomore at the school. Student reactions are varied from frustration to amusement.
Hamilton added, “I think it’s kind of sad that people feel they have to cheat like that.” Palmer, laughing, said, “Pretty naughty, but I give them props for getting in.” What is frustrating for administrators is that they have no idea exactly how many grades were changed. It could be as low as only 15 or as high as 200. The bad thing for students is that they are being forced to go back and prove which grade they received.
“The teachers don’t know what to do because they don’t keep their hard files, they just keep them on the computers,” said LaFalche. Students are being told to bring back what they can to teachers including tests, notebooks, homework, projects etc… in order to determine their real grade.
Cindy Stevenson, Superintendent of Jefferson County Schools, declined to do a public interview but noted that her staff is working hard to find out how this incident happened. She added that when they do find out what happened, how it happened and who did it, they will improve their security. The school district also declined to say how many students, if any, have been caught or how many are suspected of hacking the system.
According to Stevenson, parents can have confidence in the integrity of the campus portal system though students say they wonder if they can have confidence in their grades.
Source: 9 News