A former high school student in Connecticut was charged with computer crimes after gaining access to a school database and changing the yearbook quotes of two students, inserting one attributed to Hitler and changing another to mention one of the Boston Marathon suicide bombers, police said.
Hollister Tryon, 18, a former Glastonbury High School student, was arrested last week and charged with two counts of third degree computer crimes, police said.
Some time before the yearbook was released in October, police said, Mr. Tryon was given access to the database of directory quotes submitted by students.
Police say he changed a student’s quote to one attributed to Hitler, while mistakenly attributing it to George Floyd, whose murder in Minneapolis last year sparked calls for reform of the nationwide police.
Another student’s entry was edited by Mr. Tryon, police said, to refer to drugs and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was convicted in the 2013 Boston Marathon attack that killed three people.
Officials at Glastonbury School, about 10 miles south-east of Hartford, were told of the citations in May, after the yearbooks were distributed, police said.
The Journal Inquirer, of Manchester, Connecticut, reported that Mr. Tryon was on Discord, a chat app for gamers, in October when users suggested that he submit quotes for the directory under other people’s names. , and gave him a few options, according to an affidavit.
Mr Tryon told authorities he randomly picked one of the recommended quotes and randomly picked two students to target from a list of around 50 usernames and passwords he had access, reported The Journal Inquirer. It was not known how he had obtained such access.
Mary LaChance, the mother of one of the students whose quotes were changed, said it was shocking to receive a call from the school on a Friday afternoon in May about the quote attributed to Hitler, which said, “It’s a pretty special secret pleasure.” how the people around us don’t realize what is really happening to them.
The quote appeared in the directory under a photo of her son, who was then a senior.
“I was crying when they told me that,” Ms. LaChance said, adding that school administrators were quick to say they didn’t think her son was responsible.
Ms LaChance said she met with school officials, who were trying to collect the 300 copies that had been given to the elderly.
The school suspended delivery of the directories and received replacement pages from the directory publisher, Ms. LaChance said. The books were bounced and redistributed about 10 days later.
In an email sent to parents on May 26, school officials wrote that they “deeply regret not having caught the act of fanaticism and vandalism before the yearbook was printed,” adding : “We are reviewing and revising our directory procedures for collecting and reviewing future student submissions.
The school did not return phone calls to ask for comment. Calls made to a phone number listed as belonging to Mr. Tryon were not returned. Mike Dwyer, a lawyer who represents him, declined to comment on Sunday.
Ms. LaChance said she did not know why Mr. Tryon chose his son. They were never in any class together at Glastonbury High School, which has around 2,000 students, but both were Boy Scouts and knew each other, she said.
“My hunch is that maybe he tried to get my child into trouble,” Ms. LaChance said, adding that while she didn’t want Mr. Tryon’s life to be ruined because of his actions, they did. were always stupid and hurtful.