Prosecutors investigate students’ Web site mocking school officials

FLORIDA — The Hernando County State’s Attorney’s Office is investigatingwhether a Web site created by students that parodied their high schoolviolated any laws.

The site, which was shut down by its server in December, was createdby students at Springstead High School in Spring Hill. It contained storiesthat portrayed one teacher as a pedophile and another as a drunk, as wellas doctored photographs of several school officials participating in sexacts.

John Sanders, superintendent of schools in Hernando County, said althoughhe had been aware of the Web site for awhile, he called the sheriff’s departmentwhen postings began appearing in “poor taste.”

The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office turned the case over to the HernandoCounty State’s Attorney’s Office in December. Bill Catto, assistant stateattorney for Hernando County, would not discuss the details of the caseexcept to say the investigation is ongoing.

Catto declined to identify the students under investigation.

In addition, Linda Walker, postal inspector at the Tampa Field Office,said the U.S. Postal Service is running its own investigation into copiesof pages from the Web site that were mailed to school administrators alongwith an offer from the owners to sell the rights to the site for $10,000.

Walker said she was unsure of the statute the students may have violatedbut said she thought it was related to a statute involving mailings ofprohibited material.