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3 Palos Verdes High students arrested for alleged grade-tampering

January 27, 2012 |  9:15 am

Three Palos Verdes High School juniors have been arrested on suspicion of breaking into classrooms, hacking into teachers' computers and changing their grades online, police said.

The teens also repeatedly broke into classrooms late at night on the Palos Verdes Estates campus to steal hard copies of tests from teachers' desks, according to the Daily Breeze.

They figured out the answers and sold them and the actual exams to classmates before the tests were given, said Sgt. Steve Barber of the Palos Verdes Estates Police Department.

Teachers apparently were unaware their computers had been hacked and grades changed until a few weeks ago, when a student brought the scandal to the attention of administrators, and teachers noticed discrepancies in their bookkeeping.

The three were arrested Thursday.

"They were very bright kids," Principal Nick Stephany told the Daily Breeze. "They were in AP and honors classes. Am I shocked? Yeah. Definitely by the extent of it. None of these kids had any real trouble before."

The alleged grade-tampering began several months ago, when the three students allegedly picked the lock to a janitor's office late at night when school was closed, Barber said. The teens pilfered a master key, used it to enter several classrooms, removed hard copies of tests from teachers' drawers and tampered with the computers, Barber said.

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-- From a Times staff writer

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