A New Tripoli, Pennsylvania mother stands accused of "hacking" into the Northwestern Lehigh School District and changing her children's grades.
According to the District Attorney's office, 45-year-old Catherine Venusto, who was employed by the school district as an administrative office secretary from 2008 to 2011, used Superintendent Mary Ann Wright's login information 110 times to access the district's online grading system, even after leaving her job to work for another school district.
On one occasion, Venusto changed her daughter's F to an M (medical exception); another time, she bumped her son's 98 to a 99.
In addition to altering grades, Venusto is also accused of accessing the email accounts of nine faculty members without permission, as well as viewing thousands of private personnel files saved on the human resources drive.
When confronted with the allegations, state police detectives say Venusto confessed, pinning the blame on "curiosity and boredom."
All told, Venusto faces six charges of unlawful use of a computer, computer trespassing, and altering data — each one a third degree felony. If convicted, Venusto could spend up to 42 years behind bars and be forced to pay $90,000 in fines.
Her children, meanwhile, will likely remain in the same school district. "It's not their fault," said assistant superintendent Jennifer Holman. "If the students continue to go to school here, which I assume they will, we need to do our best to support them in whatever way they need."