Central Montcalm student suspended for tampering with laptops

By Ryan Jeltema • Last Updated 10:59 am on Friday, January 06, 2012

STANTON — One Central Montcalm High School student is suspended for 10 days and could face further disciplinary action after allegedly disabling security measures on school computers.
Superintendent Jake Helms said the 15-year-old student is suspended until the Board of Education considers whether more discipline up to expulsion is necessary.
“He definitely needs to learn that is not something you should be doing, but I hate to exclude a student that young out of school,” Helms said.
Three Central Montcalm Middle School students were suspended for three days in connection to the incident. They are now back at school.
“There are no long-term ramifications there,” Helms said.
The Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office has forwarded a report about the incident to the County Prosecutor’s Office. Prosecutor Andrea Krause hopes to decide whether to file charges sometime before the end of next week.
The case would go before Montcalm County Juvenile Court if any charges are filed.
School officials and police believe the student tampered with hardware and software on school-issued Apple MacBook laptops to remove security measures. About 1,100 high school and middle school students received the computers last year.
Helms said 35 laptops issued to high school students and four laptops issued to middle school students had security measures removed. The students wanted to install a new version of the popular “Halo” video game but security measures prevented them from opening the program.
The district confiscated all 1,100 student laptops on Dec. 16 to see how many had their security measures removed. Helms said most of the district’s high school and middle school students received their laptops back after officials determined fewer than 40 need repairs.
He said some students involved with the tampering will not receive computers from the school again.
Casair, a Stanton computer company, originally was planning to check all 1,100 laptops over Christmas break. But Helms said that didn’t take place and the company’s work will be limited to possibly showing Central Montcalm computer technicians how to repair the affected laptops.

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