Last year, 19-year-old Tyler Coyner was the salutatorian at his high school graduation (a video is on YouTube). This year, he is charged with breaking into the school district’s computer system. Coyner, according to a Pahrump Valley Times profile of him, had a 4.54 grade point average, which earned him the distinction of being salutatorian but, in truth, he had not truly earned the honor. The student who spoke of attending an Ivy League school and becoming a hedge fund manager had actually changed his grades by hacking into his high school’s computer system.
Coyner, who is currently attending the University of Nevada at Reno, is now charged with being the ‘ringleader in a group of 13 students who have been charged with conspiracy, theft and computer intrusion in connection with the case,’ says NetworkWorld. He was somehow able to obtain a password to the Pahrump Valley High School’s grade system and, for two semesters, changed students’ grades for cash. The Nye County Sheriff’s office say they found ‘a flat-screen television, allegedly stolen from a local Walmart, and equipment for making fake driver’s licenses in Coyner’s dorm room’; it was noted that Coyner was ‘remorseful.’ Coyner’s roommate, 19-year-old Matthew Miller, 19, has also been charged, along with 19-year-old Nicholas Ramoser and ten other juveniles.
The scandal has shaken Pahrump Valley High School, Coyner’s alma mater. Says the Pahrump Valley Times. School officials are currently seeking to correct the grades that Coyner and the others are charged with changing after which they will notify the colleges about the Pahrump Valley High School students who were accepted with incorrect grades. Once that is complete, the district will notify colleges about students who were accepted with incorrect grades, says the Las Vegas Sun.
I guess it’s no surprise to anyone these days that high school cheating has become a high-tech cyber-digital-techno-enterprise. Sometimes those days—when grades were written down in ballpoint pen on paper on smudgy ditto sheets and there was no such thing as hacking—can look downright halcyon.
Photo by k0a1a.net.