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Los Angeles school cheating scandal: Student hackers caught

Los Angeles school cheating scandal.
Los Angeles school cheating scandal.
Photo by Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images

A Los Angeles school cheating scandal has put an Orange County high school in the national spotlight for all the wrong reasons. 11 students at Corona del Mar High School were expelled Tuesday for allegedly hacking into the district's computer system to change grades and get answers to exams, a Jan. 29 report by LA Times reports.

Those in the Newport-Mesa Unified School District made serious decisions after closed-door discussions.

"The Board of Education has weighed each of the cases presented this evening on an individual basis and in careful detail," board president, Karen Yelsey, said. "We’ve focused on the cases for hours in closed session. As a Board of Education, we are unanimous in our resolve to ensure the academic integrity of CDM and the district, as well as in delivering justice for the cases before us."

Votes on the Los Angeles school cheating scandal were mixed. "Six decisions for expulsion were unanimous; others were split 4-3 and 6-1," the LA Times wrote.

In December, the students expelled allegedly managed to attach a keylogger device in the back of several teachers' computers to track their keystrokes for logins and passwords. This was done in part with the help from a private tutor. Police have yet to locate him regarding his role in all of this.

Students had access to change grades and find English, science and history exams.

The district has begun the audit of 52,000 students' grades. They are looking for any changes that may have happened this year so far.

The Los Angeles school cheating scandal was a well-organized and sophisticated operation. They were not able to be fully successful due to being caught, however. Hopefully they learned from their mistakes in this very hard lesson.