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Alleged computer hackers fight expulsion




Alleged computer hackers fight expulsion
Alleged computer hackers fight expulsion



http://www.yorkdispatch.com/local/ci_4704172 

By BROCK PARKER
The York Dispatch
11/22/2006

The Central York School District expelled two high school students last 
night after they allegedly hacked into the district's computer system in 
October.

But parents of the two Central York High School students, Adam Tran, 16, 
of York and Brandon Diehl, 15, of York, are fighting the expulsions, 
saying the punishments the school district is doling out are too harsh.

On behalf of their respective sons, Jill Diehl of Springettsbury 
Township and Maryann Tran of Manchester Township filed separate appeals 
against the Central York School Board in the York County Court of Common 
Pleas yesterday, claiming the school district is violating the 
constitutional rights of the students by refusing to let them return to 
school.

Central York school officials first suspended Adam Tran and Brandon 
Diehl on Oct. 18, after the two students allegedly used their computer 
skills to breach the school district's computer system on Oct. 17, court 
documents stated.

Court records did not elaborate on how the two high school sophomores 
hacked into the computer system. But Central York High School Principal 
Jay Butterfield sent letters to Diehl's and Tran's parents last month 
saying the actions of the two students "caused a disruption in services 
and considerable time in investigation, research and resolution of the 
security issues," according to court records.

Vote to expel: After a disciplinary hearing for the students Nov. 1, the 
Central York School Board voted last night to expel the two students, 
said School Board President Eric Wolfgang. Wolfgang said he was "not at 
liberty" to discuss details of the case because it involves disciplinary 
proceedings of two students.

The school district's attorney was unavailable for comment this morning.

But in anticipation of the school board's vote last night, Jill Diehl 
and Maryann Tran each filed an appeal yesterday afternoon asking the 
court to declare the expulsions invalid.

In the appeals, Daniel Fennick, the attorney for Diehl and Tran, stated 
that under rules established by the school district, Brandon Diehl and 
Adam Tran should only have been punished with short suspensions.

The appeals describe Tran as an honor roll student with no disciplinary 
record and Diehl as an "above average" student with only a few minor 
disciplinary problems on his record. The appeals also state that the 
"harm" done by Tran and Diehl to the district's computer system was 
fixed in "about 10 minutes" by the district's technical team.

According to the appeals, Central York School District rules state that 
inappropriate uses of district computers are punishable by a five-day 
suspension for the first offense and a 10-day suspension for the second 
offense.

Not charged with crime: Tran's and Diehl's appeals claim that the school 
district suspended and then expelled them because the school board 
determined that the students violated state and federal laws when they 
allegedly hacked into the district's computer system.

But in their appeals, Tran and Diehl claim the school board does not 
have the ability to determine if the two students violated any state or 
federal laws, because neither student has been charged with a crime. As 
a result, the appeals are asking the court to overturn Tran's and 
Diehl's expulsions.

--Reach Brock Parker at 717-505-5434 or at bparker(at)yorkdispatch.com.


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