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High schooler, mother arrested for hacking homecoming queen vote

A 17-year-old high school student and her mother were arrested for hacking the school’s system and changing the homecoming queen vote.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said in a press release Monday that the mother and daughter will be charged with offenses against users of computers, computer systems, computer networks, and electronic devices, unlawful use of a two-way communications device, criminal use of personally identifiable information and conspiracy to commit these offenses.

Laura Rose Carroll, an assistant principal at Bellview Elementary School in Florida, allegedly cast 246 votes for Homecoming Court, making her daughter the homecoming queen. 

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“Agents uncovered evidence of unauthorized access to FOCUS linked to Carroll’s cell phone as well as computers associated with their residence, with a total of 246 votes cast for the Homecoming Court,” FDLE said.

Along with the fraudulent votes for homecoming, the arrest records state that Carroll’s daughter had improper access to Carroll’s FOCUS account that has personal information for all students in Escambia County School District.

I have known that [the daughter] logs into her moms school account in order to access grades and test scores since freshman year when we became friends,” one witness told investigators. The witness also alleged that the daughter openly shared private information from the account. 

The arrest records allege that Carroll’s account improperly accessed 372 student accounts over the past 1 1/2 years.

Carroll’s daughter would have had to been periodically told the password for the account, as Carroll was required to change it every 45 days.

Carroll and her daughter were arrested on Tuesday. Carroll’s bond is set at $8,500 while her daughter was taken to Escambia Regional Juvenile Detention Center.