As some of you know, I've recently been suspended from my current high school for 10 days with possible expulsion. There are about 7 different versions of the story, so hopefully this will clear any misinformation up. If you're short on time, you can skip ahead to "the charge". This page is titled "ridiculous" for very good reason.
For the past couple of weeks I had been using the computers at my school and had come across a serious security 'hole' in the local system. A security hole is an area where one can gain access to otherwise restricted parts of the computer. After finding this, I wanted to see just how serious it was. From this, I was able to create a new log-in name on this computer and within less than a minute had greater access to the workstation. I made a mental note of this, and went on to find more. After this I found one more. A couple days later, I wanted to see if they had found any of these, and they had found them both. I then found one more on March 19th. Few people know, and even fewer believe, that my intentions were to notify the technology dpt personnel of these to prevent someone malicious from using these to their advantage. I wanted credit for finding these, so I became angered when one of my teachers told them about the last one I found.
On March 20th, I was doing normal school work, and not finding security holes in my last class of the day. During the last half hour of class, a hall monitor came in looking for me. I immediately thought it was because of the security holes, so I got up and happily went along with the hall monitor.
I was brought into the assistant principal’s office and asked to have a seat while I waited for him to return from the tech office. It took a while so I got up and talked to the other assistant principal who knows me from last year. Soon after, the assistant principal came down and brought me into his office. He asked me "what have you been downloading onto our computers". At this point, I realized it had little to do with the security holes found on the computer. I responded honestly, since I had not been downloading anything. He then asked if there was anything in my locker that I didn't wish for him to see, which I also responded with a no to. After this, he produced a CD and ran it on his computer. It brought up my home directory and he asked if it looked familiar to me, which it did so I said yes. He then went into a folder called "security void" which I had added at December 5th apparently, and thus forgot about it. For those of you who don't know, this folder contained an exact replica of my website at www.securityvoid.com. He asked me what this was, and I told him it was a copy of my website and apparently he didn't believe me, so he called down the lead tech guy to tell him and me what it was. The tech guy said it was a website and the principal was suddenly stricken with an enraged look. He then asked me why I was downloading bomb making websites onto the schools computer. I was bothered by the sheer ignorance evident in this sentence, but continued on. I went to describe how I'm against bombs, and bombs are meant to hurt people. The asst. principal, still at my throat, quickly retorted with "well then what is this" and clicked on my 'mercury fulminate' page. I told him it was an explosive, and then explained to him the difference between bomb and explosive.
Once more, he had an enraged look on his face. He asked me why I downloaded this material onto the computer, and I explained it was to edit the HTML and make it look better. He had no clue what I was talking about, so he had to turn to the tech guy and ask him what I meant. After this, he asked me why I was interested in this stuff, and I told him it was because of the chemistry behind it. I had the tech guy bring up the mercury fulminate page to show the reaction to him. His exact words were "Well now I'm really concerned. Most kids download stuff to see it and think it's cool, but you seem to actually know what you're talking about. This brings up great concern." The principal is concerned because I have knowledge upon chemistry? because I know what I'm talking about? He proceded to tell me that I created a threat to the students at kaneland by putting this information on the school network. Now, going back to the underlined word up there; I placed this information on my home directory. The home directory is a location where I am the only student that can view that file or set of files. So how did I create a hazzard by this? The next statement made by him, I got a chuckle out of. He told me that I was a safety hazzard at kaneland, because I have knowledge about this.
On my suspension sheet, the exact reason for my suspension with recommendation for expulsion is as follows:
Neil downloaded explosive making material that included literature videos and pictures onto the school network. This is a direct violation of the acceptable use policy and a serious concern because of the nature of the material.
The reason that I got the penalty that I did is because of how the above statement is worded. If I told you any ordinary statement, but left out certain parts, I could make you feel one way or another about it. Lets take a look at the following statement:
"American soldiers kill thousands of people every week in other countries"
That makes you feel strongly against american soldiers, doesn't it? Well lets take a look at the same statement, but with all the information inserted:
"American soldiers kill thousands of people, who are shooting at them, every week in other countries that are at war with us"
Now, you are not forced to be against the american soldiers, you can choose who you want to be with; where the greater cause is. Now, with the information I have just shown you, lets take a look at my charge but with all the information added and the correct terms in place.
Neil uploaded a copy of his website, which contains explosve making material including literature videos and pictures onto his personal home directory, which only he can view, on the school network. This is a direct violation of the acceptable use policy and serious concern because of the nature of the material.
The word "download" is an incorrect term. By deffinition, download means to go from bigger device to smaller device, or from computer to peripheral device (flash drive). I brough the copy of my website on my flash drive, so I uploaded it. By deffinition, upload means to transfer information from a smaller to a bigger computer or from a peripheral (flash drive) to a computer. Now with the above information, is the expulsion on fair grounds?
April 03, 2007 - A mandatory board meeting is scheduled monday the 9th. Myself and my parents have to attend, it is to "discuss neil's future at kaneland"
April 06, 2007 - I had just received a letter about the recommendation for expulsion today. It was attached with a sheet saying "It is your right to have representation at this expulsion hearing. Please notify the school if you plan on appealing this expulsion by April 9, 2007" However, I got this letter today which is good friday. No lawyers (representation) are open on good friday, so that means I have half a day (monday) to get a lawyer to represent me at my hearing. I know they did this on purpose because the envelope states it was sent on April 5th. Onto the other matter though, this is what the letter says, word for word:
April 5, 2007
Mr. and Mrs. *last name censored*
This is a recommendation for the expulsion of Neil *last name censored*, a junior at Kaneland High School for a Level IV-8, other acts of misconduct which are seriously disruptive/or create a saftey hazard to students, staff, and/or school property.
Neil was in possession of instructions for making explosives that include exact formulas for various explosive compounds. There were also videos of explosions and fire-making devices. These materials had all been downloaded into his personal file on our district network. CDs of the same materials were in his locker.
Instructor *name censored* alerted *name censored, head tech guy* that there might be inappropriate materials on the district network. *name censored* was also investigating probing being done by Neil of administrative district network software. If Neil had gained administrative rights on a computer, he could have erased files and/or added additional software, which may have severely disrupted our network.
An expulsion hearing will take place on Monday, April 9, 2007, and 8:00pm in the district board room at Kaneland High School. Expulsion proceedings shall be conducted in accordance with statutory provisions for expulsions of students by the Board of Education
April 9, 2007 - Just got back from the board meeting. I am not expelled but suffer some other concequences. The following concequences include:
I will not be allowed on the school computers for the remainder of the year.
I will have to attend a saturday school for the remainder of the year
My last class of the day, C++ programming, will be replaced with a building character class
If I don't meet all of the requirements, and expulsion will be permanently added to my school record. I will be back in school on wednesday, April 11th.
Talking to me:
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