Teen accused of accessing public school's database, altering gra - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Teen accused of accessing public school's database, altering grades

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18-year-old Jose Bautista 18-year-old Jose Bautista
Jose Bautista at his bond hearing. Jose Bautista at his bond hearing.

MIAMI (WSVN) -- A South Florida teen was taken into custody after, authorities said, he illegally accessed the Miami-Dade Public Schools database and changed four students' grades.

Eighteen-year-old Jose Bautista, a senior at Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School in Northeast Miami-Dade, faced Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Thomas J. Rebull, Friday. "You've been arrested on four counts of offenses against intellectual property, public records exemption and four counts of offenses against computer users," Rebull told Bautista at the bond hearing.

Miami-Dade Schools Police arrested Bautista on Thursday. They said the teen took money, hacked into the school's computer system and changed students' grades. Police said each of the counts Bautista is charged with represents one of the students for whom he altered grades.

"It's not fair to the people that really try," said Mayan Dehry, a student at Bautista's school. "Like, I know a lot of kids are in AP classes, and they try really hard to get the grades that they get. I don't know, if you're just going to be lazy and then change your grades, that's not what learning is about."

Fellow student Brett Curtis said Bautista's actions are not representative of the majority of his peers. "We have almost 3,000 kids here who come to school every single day, who work hard for every single grade that they earn," he said.

News of Bautista's arrest spread through the school Friday, even reaching the ears of faculty members. "I'm not surprised. The way that kids today are able to [use computers]," said teacher George Lesperance. "All I can say is, I'd have to get more information."

Curtis said he is certain school officials will make sure the students involved will be brought to justice. "If it is true, it's definitely not fair to the rest of the students," he said. "It certainly makes me angry. Like I said, I can't guarantee or tell you if it happened or not, but we have an amazing administration that will get to the bottom of it."

When Bautista was booked into jail, his eyes were red and watery in his mug shot. In bond court Friday, a public defender spoke on the teen's behalf. "There's no legal basis for four counts of either of the charges," said the attorney, "since there's nothing specifically alleged as to the number of times this was allegedly done."

Bautista's bond has been set at $5,000.

The teen remained behind bars on Friday. Once released, he will be on house arrest and will be required to wear a GPS monitor.


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