Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Judge Judy

Spent a few minutes today addressing the issue of the nasty email that one student sent another on Friday. The evidence:

1. The boy who sent the email called me Friday night to tell me he couldn't log in to his account. He didn't leave a number, so I didn't talk to him about it until today, but when he tried to log in today in front of me, it was rejected. Using my site admin. privileges, I found out that his basic account information (ie, password) was last modified 15 minutes before the nasty message was sent. I believe that he didn't send it.

2. On the other hand, it is widely known among his classmates that on Friday afternoon he was spouting off about his password, and someone was able to guess it. I have the names of the students who were part of the conversation - only four, including him and the girl who claims to have received the email. One of the others looked genuinely mystified when I asked her to change her password - I believe that she honestly has no idea how to do it. The fourth girl has never had any issues with this boy that I know of, and has never really been in trouble with anyone. I would be extremely surprised if she did something like this... but I can't rule her out. She probably has the computer skills.

3. The girl who received the email forwarded it to me exactly three minutes after it was sent, which was approximately 15 minutes after the boy's password was modified. She definitely has the computer skills to log in as someone else, change their password, and send herself a mean email. Furthermore, she used to attend the same school as this boy, and has had issues with him before (going both directions). Finally, she has stolen things from other students' bags numerous times and lied quite glibly to cover her tracks. I would bet a lot of money that she sent that email to herself. She didn't say much when I spoke to her about it today.

4. The boy's mother called me tonight. We've had some issues in the past, not a common thing for me - I normally get along fine with parents. She doesn't like or trust me, and frankly, I feel the same way towards her. She also is incapable of speaking in any volume below a bellow. So, she calls me and tells me her son's entire schedule to prove to me that he didn't send the email. I assured her that I did not think it was him, and that we were close to figuring out who did it. She told me hacking is illegal and she is going to press charges. I told her that her son was talking too openly about his email password and might lose email privileges for one week as a result. She asked me why I was punishing him when he didn't do anything, and repeated his entire Friday schedule again, complete with the address and phone number of the sports camp he attends... she also assured me that they are church-going people, but not everyone is, and they feel sad for those wicked people who do not have Jesus... and so on. She prays over her son's teachers, and encourages him to as well. Oy vey! This was about a twenty minute conversation. I think I said twenty words! In the end, I told her that when we knew who had done it, we would call both mothers in to discuss the issue, with the principal. Now I need to call my principal and warn her about what's to come... she knows none of this, as she was at Regional meetings all day.

Updates will follow....

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