TRENTON, Ohio – Two teenage girls are accused of gaining unauthorized access to their school district's Web site and posting a fake winter school closing, police said.
Edgewood City Schools Superintendent Tom York said he was perplexed when he entered the Web site to announce a one-hour delay for cold and found an announcement that school was canceled for snow -- which wasn't in the forecast.
"I didn't make that call, and I'm the guy who does, so I knew something was up," York said.
The two Edgewood High School students were charged Friday and face expulsion. The fake notice, posted last Monday, confused many parents and persuaded some students to stay home.
York said he ordered a delay because of an extreme cold snap. But the notice on the Web site kept flipping between a one-hour delay and cancellation, he said, and the district could not explain itself to angry parents while the investigation was ongoing.
One of the girls, 16, was charged in Butler County Juvenile Court with delinquency by unauthorized use of a computer and by reason of records tampering. The other girl, 17, was charged with delinquency by reason of complicity to those crimes, Sheriff's Sgt. Monte Mayer said. Their names were not released.
The company that runs the Web site, RCH Networks Inc. of Middletown, said the system was not hacked into because no security breach was detected. Administrators say the girls must have gotten the password somehow.
"The Web site wasn't hacked. It was accessed," RCH President Craig Hesson said.
RCH helped the district find the suspects by supplying the identification numbers from computers that accessed the system, which authorities could then track to the girls' homes.
Trenton is about 25 miles north of Cincinnati.