Assistant principal, daughter arrested after tampering with students’ data to get Homecoming Queen title
An assistant principal and her daughter have been arrested for illegally accessing students’ accounts to claim the Homecoming Queen title in a high school in Florida state in the US.
Laura Rose Caroll, 50, and her daughter, 17, were found to have tampered with other students’ votes in favor of the daughter, whose identity was withheld, as per CBS affiliate WKRG yesterday, March 15.
Investigation on the case began in November last year, around a month after hundreds of votes for Tate High School’s Homecoming Court were deemed fraudulent, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE).
Although arrest records did not disclose who won the crown, the daughter is believed to have been named Homecoming Queen based on videos and photos online, the report said.
Several students disclosed being told by the daughter that she used her mother’s Focus account to vote for herself, the report said. Carroll, as assistant principal of Belleview Elementary in Pensacola, had access to the school board’s FOCUS program, which is a student information system that holds student data such as grades, medical history, test scores, disciplinary actions and other information, as per WKMG-TV also yesterday.
Investigation results showed that 117 votes had the same IP address as Carroll’s phone. These votes were cast a month prior to the homecoming event in October.
Authorities also determined that Carroll accessed 212 student Focus accounts in October 2020. In total, police found that 246 “student” votes were cast from Carroll’s phone and a computer associated with her home address, the FLDE said as cited by the news outlet.
From August 2019, Carroll’s account had been used to access 372 school records, 339 of which were of Tate High School students.
Other students told investigators that the daughter, who has since been expelled from the school, openly talked about looking at her peers’ test scores and other data by using her mother’s Focus account, which had district-level access.
Carroll and her daughter were arrested yesterday for several charges, namely, an offense against users of computers, computer systems, computer networks, and electronic devices; unlawful use of a two-way communications device; criminal use of personally identified information; and conspiracy to commit these offenses. Ian Biong /ra
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