A Florida woman and her daughter were arrested for hacking a high school's computer system to gain access to hundreds of students' accounts in order to rig the Homecoming Queen vote in favor of the daughter.
Laura Rose Carroll, 50, is an assistant principal at Belleview Elementary.
She used her position to access the Escambia County School District's internal system to cast fake votes for her 17-year-old daughter—who attends Tate High School in Pensacola—so she could be queen for a day.
It appears the Sunshine State's reputation remains steady.
Jeez Florida, can y’all do anything right? https://t.co/ojVXu74T16— Tyrions Liver (@Tyrions Liver) 1615899142.0
@Phil_Lewis_ Florida forever floridaing. https://t.co/wTHv0ddoSg— BRPT Performance Training & BRPT Consulting Group (@BRPT Performance Training & BRPT Consulting Group) 1615856480.0
@Phil_Lewis_ This is panhandle behavior— BrianH (@BrianH) 1615899341.0
According to WKRG, both mother and daughter were charged with:
"offense against users of computers, computer systems, computer networks, and electronic devices, unlawful use of a two-way communication device, criminal use of personally identified information, and conspiracy to commit these offenses."
You can watch the news report below.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) said the investigation began in November 2020 when hundreds of students casting their votes for Tate High School's Homecoming Court a month before were flagged as fraudulent.
After discovering 117 votes originated from the same IP address as Carroll's phone, the investigation concluded Carroll and her daughter had unlawfully accessed the FOCUS accounts of several students.
FOCUS is the Escambia County School District's student information system, which Carroll had "district level access" to.
Looking forward to the TV movie version of this: Pensacola assistant principal, daughter arrested in homecoming qu… https://t.co/eg5Pa5fgGZ— Jeffrey Burlew (@Jeffrey Burlew) 1615904387.0
Florida women... 100% this becomes a movie. 😂😂😂 Mom, Teen Busted in Alleged Homecoming Queen Scheme… https://t.co/Abeotc3XEu— Tall, Dark and Socially Distant 🇨🇦 (@Tall, Dark and Socially Distant 🇨🇦) 1615904774.0
@Phil_Lewis_ It’s a Reverse-Carrie fir the 21st Century.— findingNamo inExile (@findingNamo inExile) 1615848932.0
Multiple students also told authorities the daughter bragged about using her mother's FOCUS account to cast votes for herself, which ultimately led to her being crowned as the school's Homecoming Queen.
@Phil_Lewis_ And the daughter tells her friends all about it. #smh— Susan C-P (@Susan C-P) 1615861230.0
@fox35orlando That is really sad and humiliating.— Reggz (@Reggz) 1615909020.0
The FDLE investigation also uncovered Carroll's FOCUS account from August of 2019 had access to 372 high school records—339 of which were Tate High students.
Evidence showed a total of 246 votes were cast from accounts accessed through computers tracing back to the mother and daughter's home in Pensacola or from Carroll's phone.
How pathetic do you have to be to jeopardize not only your integrity but a well-established career to make sure you… https://t.co/6QkxTIqlvp— ShiJeHi ♍ (@ShiJeHi ♍) 1615899039.0
District Superintendent Tim Smith told the Pensacola News Journal Carroll was suspended from her job.
She was booked and released from the Escambia County Jail on Monday.
The daughter was expelled from the school and taken to the Escambia Regional Juvenile Detention Centre.