Last updated: February 04. 2014 10:42PM - 3012 Views
By - rdupuis@timesleader.com

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WILKES-BARRE — A legal brief filed Tuesday sheds new light on administration allegations against a Dallas High School sophomore accused of attacking the district’s Internet server.

Attached to the filing by defense attorney Gary Michak is a Jan. 27 e-mail purportedly written by district technology director Bill Gartrell to high school Principal Jeffrey Shaffer regarding the student, who is identified in court documents only by his initials.

The student “intentionally created multiple files and folders,” the email states, and “when we stopped his account it was at 1.5 million records and 118GB of data” composed of small word documents repeatedly duplicated.

“This would have crashed the servers if we hadn’t stopped it,” the email concludes.

Last week, Michak succeeded in obtaining a preliminary injunction against the district after officials suspended the boy, informing his parents that the youth “was being investigated as a cyber-terrorist, and that the district was considering referrals to law enforcement, including federal law enforcement,” Michak wrote.

Luzerne County Judge David W. Lupas last week ordered the boy may “return to school without restriction” and prohibited the district from making any public comments or disseminating any confidential information pending a court hearing, which is set for 1:30 p.m. Thursday.

A call to Wilkes-Barre attorney Robert N. Gawlas Jr., who is representing the district, was not immediately returned Tuesday afternoon.

The student denies the allegations, Michak wrote, which he believes were based on “unsubstantiated suspicions” that the youth was involved in computer-related incidents during the 2009-10 and 2012-13 school years.

As well, the student was not able to attend a Jan. 27 hearing between his parents and administrators because he was not permitted on district property due to suspension, said Michak, who said he was denied access to the proceeding.

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