Mother, daughter arrested after allegedly casting hundreds of fraudulent homecoming queen votes
CANTONMENT, Fla. - An assistant principal and her daughter are facing criminal charges after they allegedly rigged her high school's homecoming court vote.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement reported this week that Laura Rose Carroll, 50, and her 17-year-old daughter, who was named homecoming queen at Tate High School in October, were both arrested.
The department said it was contacted by the Escambia County School District after it discovered that someone gained unauthorized access to hundreds of student accounts. The school learned of the breach after finding that 117 of the homecoming court votes had come from the same IP address in a short period of time.
“The investigation found that Carroll, an assistant principal at Bellview Elementary School, and her daughter, a student at Tate High School, had accessed student FOCUS accounts,” the FDLE said in a statement.
Court documents said FOCUS allows students, teachers and parents to log into their account to "view grades, medical history, test scores, attendance, disciplinary actions, personal information, student picture and student identification number.”
Investigators were able to link the unauthorized log-ins on FOCUS to Carroll's cell phone and computers in her home. Witnesses also reported that Carroll's daughter had bragged about accessing other students' private information for years.
“I have known that [Carroll's daughter] logs into her mom’s school account in order to access grades and test scores since freshman year when we became friends,” one person said. “She looks up our group of friends grades and makes comments about how she can find out our test scores all the time.”
Investigators said Carroll’s FOCUS account had accessed a total of 372 high school records since August 2019, with 339 of those being records of Tate High School students.
Carroll was booked into jail Monday and is being held on $8,500 bond. Her daughter was taken into custody and placed into Escambia Regional Juvenile Detention Center.
They both face several charges, including criminal use of personally identifiable information and criminal conspiracy.
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