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Mass. high school senior expelled over prank-turned-cyberbullying

Southbridge High School in Massachusetts, where a senior was expelled after online prank aimed at a teacher spun out of control.
CBS Boston
(CBS) SOUTHBRIDGE, Mass. - A high school senior in central Massachusetts says he didn't expect an online prank targeting a teacher to spiral out of control the way it did - but now he's been expelled, and his college plans are apparently on hold, CBS Boston reported.

The cyberbullying case began in September when Southbridge High School student Chris Latour went on a popular Internet message board and posted the password that gave anyone access to a web portal run by his English teacher.

"It was supposed to be a senior prank where kids would go in and post funny photos," says Latour.

Instead, students lashed out against the female English teacher with a barrage of vulgar, sexually derisive insults, sending the newlywed to psychological counseling.

Police traced the comments to mostly overseas IP addresses and none to Latour himself. But because he provided the password, he was held accountable. First, he was given a 10-day suspension. Then, last week, he was expelled.

"I did my 10-day suspension I think that was fair because I made the mistake, but the whole expulsion thing is just taken it out of proportion," Latour said.

"They took everything, everything away from him," says his grandmother Vivian. "He can't go to college, he don't have a scholarship no more."

The senior had an 87 average in the class and says he apologized to the teacher, but that it wasn't well-received.

"I'd like to go back to school," says Latour. "I'd like to get my diploma and go to Westfield State like I'd planned on but I don't see that happening."

The superintendent, principal and police all declined to discuss the incident.

  • Barry Leibowitz

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