Reason for expulsion?

The school experience. School related queries, discussions, and stories that aren't specific to a subject.

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pastrybot
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Re: Reason for expulsion?

Postby pastrybot » Tue Feb 17, 2009 4:27 am UTC

Clumpy wrote:(NOTE TO SELF: If I ever find myself back in secondary school through a temporal loop do not show any talent or individuality.)

Funny. That's either the best thing to do (usually, with bad teachers) or the worst thing to do (usually if you have a good teacher).

Anyways, I have quite a story to tell.

Back in late middle school, we had a pretty bad IT director/person. The computers themselves weren't that bad (donated by Dell, new Optiplexes) and had Windows XP and the lot. Anyways, I had gotten a fancy new flash drive and had put a couple things on there-including a portable version of PuTTY. I was grabbing some school assignment from my home computer over SSH when the IT person came over and FREAKED OUT on me. I don't remember what exactly she did but she started yelling at me, yanked the USB drive out (and almost broke off the connector, leaving it stuck inside the computer!) and just went crazy. All my classmates (and my teacher) were just staring at the IT director with this "lol, what?" expression on their faces. When I finally got a word in edgewise saying that I was grabbing an assignment from home over the internet, she just stopped and left.

It was actually quite surreal. :shock:
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xzarakizraiia
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Re: Reason for expulsion?

Postby xzarakizraiia » Wed Feb 18, 2009 8:09 am UTC

Wow, that sucks. I definitely think that you should go to your parents first, get them on your side and then try to talk to your principal.

My senior year of high school I was forced to take an HTML class, as it was the only thing that fit into my schedule, weirdly enough. It was very easy, so after I finished my assignments I would surf the web, only going to innocuous, SFW sites. At one point I decided to reply to a topic on my wow guild's forums and, ten minutes later, the teacher called me to her desk. Apparently I was violating the school's network policy by "transmitting information" to another site. She warned me that this was a very serious, expellable offense.

I apologized, but said that if she was interested in pursuing disciplinary action I would be happy to accompany her to the office to explain the information. I explained that I had used the school computers before extensively (I was on newspaper and we each had our own computers) but had never heard of this network policy and, while I didn't intend to "transmit information" again, did not think it merited expulsion, or even the threat of expulsion. She shut up.

I got away with stuff like that because I made good grades, was in honors classes, was a white girl (unfortunately, some of the staff at my school was incredibly racist and discipline was very uneven) and got along well with my teachers. It's completely unfair that I was able to get away with stuff like that (even if what I got away with was just 'being treated with respect') but high school can be awful, so take whatever you can get. If you are friendly with any of your teachers, maybe you can ask them to listen to your situation and offer some advice. Bullshit like this (especially the racism; looking back I realized how no one ever stopped me to ask for a hall pass, but the black and latino kids, especially males, were treated like criminals) is why I can't bring myself to teach high school. Arguably, that's why I should, but I just don't have the energy.

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Firion345
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Re: Reason for expulsion?

Postby Firion345 » Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:33 am UTC

Terrible stories, I've never tried any of these fancy programs or anything, but there's a few simple tricks to get whatever on our computers.
1. Passwords are all first three letters of your name, and last three student ID numbers, both easily obtainable from the library.
2. Most teacher documents for classes are kept in easy access public areas, you can also access files from the rest of the school board using this.
3. We have a block on most of the websites, all you need to do is reboot the computer and pull out and plug back in internet cable, and the block is magically destroyed.
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Re: Reason for expulsion?

Postby 534n » Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:57 pm UTC

Consider your school lax, and I am serious.

In our IED Class (Introduction to Engineering and Design)-
One student was labeled a Hacker for changing the brightness on the screen, which he didn't even do.
I was restricted access to the school computers for logging into a computer that was already logged in (using Novel), which essentially just logs out the other person and logs me in, saving time. This apparently is "looking for breaches in the security system for use in illicit access to restricted materials. BS.
We discovered it is against school policy to change the resolution of the monitor so that we could see more of the models we were working with.

My friend was kicked out of the technology department, which runs the entire network, for telling them a much more efficient way to set up the ghosting system, preventing the frequent crashes associated with them. They claimed he was trying to trick them into creating flaws in the system to be exploited in a hacking attempt.

Our tech department is paranoid to the point where they back up all the accounts every hour. A practice that ends up with a lagged system for 10-20 minutes.

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Re: Reason for expulsion?

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Thu Feb 19, 2009 6:07 pm UTC

Wow, I'm feeling pretty lucky. I eventually got to know our IT techs (for there were 6) really well, and damn did they know their stuff they all had MCSE and 2 had CCNP, the head of IT services had aquired CCDP, CCSP and CCIE (R&S).

I was once caught running 2 full computer rooms of PC's as a cluster (which involved unplugging the switch feeding those two rooms from the router, which is easy if the cable cupboard is unlocked, and using Boot over IP from a LiveCD master station.), the Head of IT called them, they said they'd deal with it, Took me to the assistant head, and asked if as "punishment" I could be removed from normal compulsory IT classes and made to build a stable cluster from scrap PC's. Best punishment I've ever had.

I suggest finding an adult (either your parents, or a knowledgable and preferably professional computer "expert") to help you state your case to the principle/school board. Having an expert to back your point would most likely be very effective for you, quite embarrasing for the faculty, and potentially catastrophic (career wise) for the foolish and ill informed tech who accussed you. Be aware that even if your slate is wiped clean, they can still hold a grudge.
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Re: Reason for expulsion?

Postby darkspork » Fri Feb 20, 2009 3:35 am UTC

This reminds me of something that happened to me.

I once wanted to duplicate some files from my personal folder on the school network before its deletion upon my graduation from middle school. This was before flash drives in that 2-year period where zip drives were somewhat common. Anyway, as the floppy AND CD drives were disabled by the most aggressive, annoying restriction technology available, I explained my case to the "computer teacher" (A 40 something old woman who did, in fact, use her CD tray to hold beverages) and she explained that she was "not allowed" to disable the protection software. Fine. I mentioned an alternative method. "Could you disable Bess for 20 minutes so I could email the files to myself?" Although the password for the network had been her dog's name "oscar" and was also written on an index card taped to her desk within my view, I was weary of hacking it myself. The school had suspended every person who attempted this stunt in the past, and a ruined track record immediately before escaping from that hell hole was not worth a few essays. "Okay..." I pondered, "How about a zip drive? Could I use one of those to store the data?" Her response irritated and confused me like only an IT person can be when discussing technology with a complete idiot.

"My computer has a zip drive," she mentioned. Was she serious? I couldn't be left to roam the internet to my own devices without an overprotective filter holding my hand and covering my eyes, yet she would let me sit in the Admin chair, its eyes peering over the horde of students playing Empire Earth. She wanted me to work at the only computer that sat free, a king among hardware? "It would probably be easier to just disable the filter for a few minutes," I declared, feeling almost unworthy to wield that mouse. "No, you should do it here. She even presented me with a zip disk to borrow." I sat down and began to copy my precious data, noticing that the teacher had wandered outside to catch a smoke. I had absolutely no reason to do anything special there. I sat there, knowing that as long as I lay under the massive machine that was my middle school, I should keep my cool and make it to the end uneventfully. I sat, bored and cleaned her mouse, a task i believe no one had ever done and has not been completed again to this day. When she returned, I announced that the copy had finished and removed the zip disk from its slot. I thanked her and she informed me that I was to return the disk the next morning. To answer your questions now, no I didn't forget it and yes, I did bring it back.

The next day, found her office and placed the drive, my files retrieved and removed, in front of her, on the desk. I thanked her again for the help and she responded that it was no problem. That afternoon, I was called to the principal's office. I walked in the door and noticed him, the computer teacher, the dean, and one of the guidance counselors eying the door in expectation. This could NOT be good. "I've been told that you hacked the school network," he informed me. The computer teacher's look was of cluelessness while the dean's gaze burned holes through my head. I didn't remember doing a single thing I had not received explicit permission to do. "No," I responded while my heart began to race. "You edited your grades. Stop playing dumb. You're smarter than that." I hadn't even searched for, accessed, or even found that. It suddenly came clear as the dean inserted a zip drive into the computer. She quickly navigated to an Excel file containing every student's given grades. I couldn't believe what I saw. The zip drive she casually allowed me to use contained the master academic reports for the school. "I didn't even know that... was..." I stuttered. The 93 average sitting beside my name was roughly what I expected. I had an A already. Why would I tamper with the system to beef it up? "Can't you check the backup? I didn't..."

"There is no backup copy," explained the dean. It's roughly what I expected. Their intellect was far below the national average. "Wait... then when does it say it was modified?" I hadn't known at that point a way to change this value. Surely enough, the date was over a week before. They still doubted this, claiming I hacked it somehow. The incident led to detention for the remainder of my stay - two months. I was also no longer welcome near any of the school computers, even after each of my teachers individually proved that I had done no wrong. The computer teacher still sits in that chair, using her crappy mouse and imitating knowledge of computer systems while slowly sipping coffee supported by a defunct drive. The school's fancy new wireless network stands, broadcasting under her faithful watch, protected with the key "oscar."
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jakemaheu
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Re: Reason for expulsion?

Postby jakemaheu » Fri Feb 20, 2009 10:48 am UTC

darkspork wrote:This was before flash drives in that 2-year period where zip drives were somewhat common.


When was that? I don't remember ever using a zip drive (unless you mean floppy).

darkspork wrote:Anyway, as the floppy AND CD drives were disabled by the most aggressive, annoying restriction technology available, I explained my case to the "computer teacher" (A 40 something old woman who did, in fact, use her CD tray to hold beverages) and she explained that she was "not allowed" to disable the protection software.


*shudder*

darkspork wrote:"There is no backup copy," explained the dean.

*headdesk* Why would they not make daily backups, or at least password-protect the spreadsheet? That is a necessity for any record-keeping.

darkspork wrote:I was also no longer welcome near any of the school computers, even after each of my teachers individually proved that I had done no wrong.

This is just too perfect.
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Re: Reason for expulsion?

Postby darkspork » Sat Feb 21, 2009 6:29 pm UTC

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Re: Reason for expulsion?

Postby Blue_devil » Mon Feb 23, 2009 11:15 am UTC

To OP,
I'm going to assume you're an American student because it makes what I have to say somewhat relevant to the conversation.

From a strictly legal perspective, you have to get used to that fact that as a member of a public high school any rights that you have are severely restricted. In the recent Supreme Court case it was found that it was legal to suspend students for exercising their free speech in a way the reflects poorly on the school they attend even though they did not exercise their speech on school grounds or at a school related function. Also, a school is considered fully within its right to punish for anything that it feels would incite students to do something that the school teaches against (this would of course include grade fraud).

"It was reasonable for (the principal) to conclude that the banner promoted illegal drug use-- and that failing to act would send a powerful message to the students in her charge," Chief Justice John Roberts
[cite]http://www.cnn.com/2007/LAW/06/25/free.speech/index.html[/cite]

Keep in mind that in this case Frederick (the kid who got suspended) was skipping school, and he was not in the area designated for people from his school. He was unaffiliated with his school in every way possible aside from being in sight of the principle.

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Re: Reason for expulsion?

Postby qinwamascot » Mon Feb 23, 2009 11:10 pm UTC

You probably would not win a lawsuit. It's hard to prove that you did nothing wrong, and the school will just fabricate something that's not true. But the school board will still be terrified of a lawsuit because it costs a huge amount of money. First, try going back to the principal and IT adviser and explaining to them exactly what you told one person and exactly what capabilities he would have at that point from a security standpoint (if your school has a reasonable gradesheet program, not much in that area). If that doesn't work, take it to the school board. They're actually likely to listen to you if you tell them the actual story in a way that makes the principal look like a buffoon and the IT adviser a moron (but be respectful. Present your case, give them all the information, and provide whatever evidence you can). If that fails, threaten to sue them for mistreatment and time lost in education (this is actually a lot, because it encompasses all the taxes your parents are paying for you to go to school if you can show that your performance was significantly hampered).

Also, you should mention that 1 person who used a program they installed on their own system in the way it was intended to be used does not constitute a "ring of hackers".
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Re: Reason for expulsion?

Postby VDOgamez » Wed Feb 25, 2009 12:15 am UTC

I got in almost the same situation, except what I did was even LESS harmless! I found the administrative account controls and had access to them because of some REALLY bad security hole, and then realized what I could do with it. Mwahaha... No, I just made it so I could have shared files with my friends over the school's network. Then I got suspended for hacking and me and all my friends were forbidden to use the computers for the rest of the year. Luckily I was able to appeal my case, and ended up with just the suspension. For sharing files with my friends to simplify a group project. WTF?

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Re: Reason for expulsion?

Postby Windmill » Wed Feb 25, 2009 5:47 am UTC

In high school I hated those computers that were so restricted. My physics teacher encouraged us to get around the filters and such so we could actually do our work. I remember some Environ. Science kids were trying to research drug resistant viruses and antibodies, etc. They couldn't even google it because it had "drugs" and "drugs" was blocked.

Thank God I'm in college where the IT actually know what they're doing and they're not going to expel you for posting on a forum from one of their computers.

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Re: Reason for expulsion?

Postby Bright Shadows » Wed Feb 25, 2009 11:43 am UTC

VDOgamez wrote:I got in almost the same situation, except what I did was even LESS harmless! I found the administrative account controls and had access to them because of some REALLY bad security hole, and then realized what I could do with it. Mwahaha... No, I just made it so I could have shared files with my friends over the school's network. Then I got suspended for hacking and me and all my friends were forbidden to use the computers for the rest of the year. Luckily I was able to appeal my case, and ended up with just the suspension. For sharing files with my friends to simplify a group project. WTF?


You used the admin controls.
First problem, right there. Messing with stuff you can't normally isn't smart. It's kinda obvious. Should have just shut down the computer.
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HK-Z3N
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Re: Reason for expulsion?

Postby HK-Z3N » Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:09 pm UTC

Question: Have you tried making an attempt to speak to a higher authority within the schools hierarchy? Observation: Academic authorities find lying and misleading parents acceptable to students unwilling or fearful of contacting Education Governors. If they do not allow you to speak your case or punish those truly responsible, a small threat of contacting their masters about their incompetence can work wonders.

Example: I myself had similar problems with academic authority figures, thankfully my parental units were aggressive enough in my defence as to mention this possibility, leading to much easier transactions afterwards.

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Re: Reason for expulsion?

Postby Bobthemonkey » Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:54 pm UTC

Our school is so paranoid about security, but they make the most basic mistakes.
For example:
Our school has a Novell system to control and limit what you can do on the computer. It is so limited that you cannot right-click or access the task manager. The software that we use in my IED (Intro to Engineering and Design) class, called Autodesk Inventor, has a tendency to crash. Unfortunately, because Novell has disabled the task manager, we can do nothing when Inventor crashes, and we have to wait until the computer resolves it on its own (2hrs or never). Also, the school IT people disabled all of the USB ports on the computers (on the assumption that we would then not be able use those USB ports for flash drives) but they forgot that we use USB keyboards and mice. This caused huge amount of problems, and did more damage than any student-spread virus or flash drive could have done. Sometimes Novell detects itself running and goes crazy, shutting itself down. Then it detects that it is being shut down, so it shuts down the process that is shutting it down. Thus the infinite security loop. I hate our schools computers.

-Bob

P.S. The IP address is available in large letters in the Novell Application Launcher
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Re: Reason for expulsion?

Postby Bhelliom » Mon Mar 02, 2009 9:04 pm UTC

Man, I feel for you guys. I had a similar experience my junior year of high school. Apparently clicking on network neighborhood and poking around is equivalent to being an elite hacker. Don't get me wrong, I certainly had the ability to cause damage, but I always thought about how annoying it would be to have a black mark on my record if I was going to go into a computer field later in life. Long story short, the school administration freaked out after the incompetent system admin painted some horror-scape about my nefarious hacking activities. I mean how could they doubt her, what with all those pages of logs and printouts that had NOTHING to do with the situation. Fortunately, they were never able to prove I did anything and there were no entries on my record, but I had to do 3 days suspension. In the end, both technology teachers (who were on my side) resigned the same year after I graduated, out of disgust for the system. I admire them for staying around so I could finish all the tech classes.

It was just so WEIRD. I had two teachers going to bat for me, but they were "lowly" teachers, and the System admin was the "Godly" System Admin. It never occurred to anybody that teachers who taught computer classes MAY know something about computers.

Okay, I need to calm down again, sorry folks. It just gets me so worked up...
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