SAN JOSE -- Four students at Pioneer High School were suspended for five days each for stealing a password and accessing various school computers.

The students, who thought they were playing a practical joke, did not change any grades nor get into others' e-mail accounts, said Paul Higgins, spokesman for the San Jose Unified School District. The district would not identify the grade levels or ages of the students.

During a computer lab last month, a teacher observed the students manipulating other computers from their own screens.

"This is an isolated incident not reflective of any districtwide problems," Higgins said.

Nevertheless, the school district is making changes in technology, he said, "that will enable changing passwords in a more proactive manner."

Last year, at Leland High School in San Jose, at least eight seniors and one junior faced suspension or expulsion after they were caught having copied from stolen tests.

Contact Sharon Noguchi at 408-271-3775.



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