A Connecticut teenager was arrested after he allegedly gained access to a school’s database and changed a yearbook caption to an Adolf Hitler quote and altered another one to include the name of a Boston Marathon bomber.
Hollister Tryon, a student at Glastonbury High School, was charged with two counts of third-degree computer crimes, according to a police arrest log.
Authorities began investigating in May after school administrators reported that several quotes in the senior yearbook had been changed. One of them was swapped to a Hitler quote that was incorrectly attributed to George Floyd, a Black man who was killed by Minneapolis police, the arrest log states.
Another quote was changed to reference drugs and the name Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was convicted in the 2013 Boston Marathon attack that killed three people and wounded hundreds of others.
“After conducting an internal administrative review, the case was referred to the police department for a criminal investigation,” authorities said.
Tryon, 18, was arrested July 9 “as a result of both investigations,” according to officials.
“He is accused of unlawfully accessing a computer database students used to submit their yearbook quotes, and changing the two students’ quotes prior to publication of the yearbook in October 2020,” authorities said.
Tryon’s bond was set at $5,000. It was unknown Tuesday if he had an attorney.
The high school addressed the incident in May and apologized for not catching the altered captions prior to the yearbook being printed. School officials said they immediately suspended the distribution of the yearbooks, asked for students to return them so replacement pages could be added. The student was disciplined, but details were not released.
“We deeply regret not having caught the act of bigotry and vandalism before the yearbook was printed. We are examining and will revise our yearbook procedures for collection and reviewing future student submissions,” school officials said in a letter to parents.
A further investigation into the incident found another quote “glorifying war in the yearbook,” the school said.
“There is no place for any of this anywhere in our school system,” officials said. “We recognize that racism and privilege exist in our society. As a district we have committed ourselves to examining our school system and our school culture and to dismantling any practices that support inequality, privilege, and racism.”