Thursday, October 19, 2006

When A Student's Prank Gets A Teacher Suspended

A 17-year-old Dallas, Texas high school student thought that it would be funny to swipe a Colorado teacher's identity on the internet and then start sending suggestive email to the teacher's students:
GRAND JUNCTION (AP) - It may have started as a prank, but one high-school student is paying the price for meddling with images from a former teacher's MySpace page.

Grand Junction police say 17-year-old Todd Gugat moved from Colorado's Mesa County to Texas and started sending altered messages from Fruita Monument High School teacher Bill Johnson's MySpace Internet profile to other students.

Gugat's messages included a photograph of Johnson bare-chested in a hot tub, with altered - and suggestive - captions.

The prank got Johnson placed on administrative leave over the summer, although he has since been reinstated. For his part, Gugat faces felony charges of criminal libel and criminal impersonation, but Gugat's attorney says a plea deal is in the works.
I find it disheartening that Johnson's school so easily fell for the kid's little wanker's "prank." That being said, I hope that as part of the plea deal the judge orders Todd Gugat to pay monetary restitution to Johnson for the damage that was done to the teacher's reputation.

In our consumer-oriented culture, there's no better way to get someone's attention (or teach 'em a lesson) than making him or her reach into his or her wallet
See our latest EduPosts here and this date's Extra Credit Reading there.