On Wednesday, eighth grader Domanik Green was charged with a felony for "hacking" onto the computer of a teacher he didn't like and changing the desktop to a picture of two men kissing.
Green, a student at Paul R. Smith Middle School in Pasco County, Florida, accessed the computer on March 31 with an administrative computer password that he told theTampa Bay Times he learned by "watching a teacher type it in."
Green was arrested on Wednesday and charged with "offense against a computer system and unauthorized access," the Pasco County Sheriff's Office told BuzzFeed News. He was released from Land O'Lakes Detention Center to his mother's custody later that day.
While his intention was only to "prank" the teacher he didn't like, one of the computers he accessed was storing encrypted questions for the FCAT, a test for middle school students in Florida.
The computer Green got into with the FCAT files was not of interest to him because it didn't have a camera. He logged into the computer of the teacher he didn't like instead and "tried putting inappropriate pictures onto his computer to annoy him," he said.
"Even though some might say this is just a teenage prank, who knows what this teenager might have done," Pasco Country Sherriff Chris Nocco told the Tampa Bay Times.
A detective with the Pasco Sherriff's Office told WTSP News that Green was trying to "put pornography on the computer." It is unclear whether he is referring to the picture of two men, or to more graphic content that could have gotten the teacher fired.
Green had been suspended for accessing staff computers in the past, and said it was something all students did because the password was easy to remember: the teacher's last name.
"He had the chance to be in the FCAT files, he had the chance to change grades or whatever ... and he didn't take it," Green's mother Eileen Foster told WTSP News. "I think that alone proves he doesn't deserve a felony charge."
Ema O'Connor is a politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.
Contact Ema O'Connor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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