Student expelled for high school Counter-Strike map

Texas school's war on game's virtual war on terrorism


A Texas high school that suspended and then expelled a student for creating a map of his school for the PC shooting game Counter-Strike has released new details of the incident.

The 17-year-old boy's trouble started when the school received a phone call from a parent, one day after the Virginia Tech murders who complained her child had played a computer game that "involved killing" and "took place inside an animated map of Clements high School."

Counter-Strike is a tactical first-person shooter game that pits a team of counter-terrorists against a team of terrorists.

After the call, officials at the suburban Houston school promptly found the boy's website where the map was being distributed.

The police report said the boy (who was not identified, as he has not been charged with any crime) was brought to the Associate Principal's office where he was frisked and questioned.

The student "stated that it was simply a game and that he never intended for any violence to occur at the school or for anyone to get hurt in any way."

The boy's mother arrived and gave police permission to search her son's bedroom. The police found nothing illegal in the student's bedroom, but confiscated five decorative swords in the search.

Sword ownership rights have been under heavy fire since they were determined to be the leading cause of death during the Siege of Acre in the third crusade.

School officials determined, due to the violent nature of the video game, the iron-age WMD (weapon of mass decapitation) and other undisclosed information, the matter should be classified as a "Level 3" situation.

According to the school manual, "Level 3" covers situations where a student "engages in conduct relating to a false alarm or report or a terrorist threat involving a public school."

The student was immediately transfered from Clements to the M.R. Wood Alternative Education Center, which specializes in special learning needs, and apparently, has a crack terrorism response force.

The police determined that no criminal offense had occurred and there were no threats on any specific person or people. It's quite common for youngsters to craft maps of their schools and other familiar places for these types of games.

The incident has sparked outrage in the county's Chinese community, which the student's family is a part of.

Community news website FortBendNow reports that on Monday, two school trustees attempted to bring the case before the Fort Bend Independent School District Board to expedite an appeal for the student. The trustees requested Board President Steve Smelley (yes, that's his real name) call a special meeting, which he did — but the president and three other board trustees boycotted the meeting — leaving the school's superintendent and one other trustee to face 120 members of the local Chinese community who arrived to show support for the boy's mother.

Because there were not enough board members present, the meeting had to be called off.

The site reports that members of the board boycotted the meeting because they believe the meeting request was an attempt to pander to the Chinese community to gain votes for an upcoming election.

FBISD spokeswoman Mary Ann Simpson and Smelley told FortBendNow that there are other mitigating circumstances — which they declined to specify — which came out of the police search.

"They got more stuff that doesn't look too good," Smelley told the website.

The police report did not appear to mention what Smelley was talking about. ®


Other stories you might like

  • HPE unveils Arm-based ProLiant server for cloud-native workloads
    Looks like it went with Ampere – which means a certain Reg writer lost a bet

    Arm has a champion in the shape of HPE, which has added a server powered by the British chip designer's CPU cores to its ProLiant portfolio, aimed at cloud-native workloads for service providers and enterprise customers alike.

    Announced at the IT titan's Discover 2022 conference in Las Vegas, the HPE ProLiant RL300 Gen11 server is the first in a series of such systems powered by Ampere's Altra and Altra Max processors, which feature up to 80 and 128 Arm-designed Neoverse cores, respectively.

    The system is set to be available during Q3 2022, so sometime in the next three months, and is basically an enterprise-grade ProLiant server – but with an Arm CPU at its core instead of the more usual Intel Xeon or AMD Epyc X86 chips.

    Continue reading
  • US weather forecasters power up latest supercomputers to keep you out of the rain
    NOAA makes it rain for HPE, AMD

    Predicting the weather is a notoriously tricky enterprise, but that’s never held back America's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). After more than two years of development, the agency brought a pair of supercomputers online this week that it says will enable more accurate forecast models.

    Developed and maintained by General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT) under an eight-year contract, the Cactus and Dogwood supers — named after the fauna native to the machines' homes in Phoenix, Arizona, and Manassas, Virginia, respectively — will support larger, higher-resolution models than previously possible. The cost to build, house, and support and operate these machines, now operational, will cost $150 million over the next five years, we understand.

    “People are looking for the best possible weather forecast information that they can get,” Brian Gross, director of the Environmental Modeling Center for the National Weather Service, told The Register.

    Continue reading
  • Google said to be taking steps to keep political campaign emails out of Gmail spam bin
    Just after Big Tech comes under fire for left and right-leaning message filters

    Google has reportedly asked the US Federal Election Commission for its blessing to exempt political campaign solicitations from spam filtering.

    The elections watchdog declined to confirm receiving the supposed Google filing, obtained by Axios, though a spokesperson said the FEC can be expected to publish an advisory opinion upon review if Google made such a submission.

    Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment. If the web giant's alleged plan gets approved, political campaign emails that aren't deemed malicious or illegal will arrive in Gmail users' inboxes with a notice asking recipients to approve continued delivery.

    Continue reading
  • China is trolling rare-earth miners online and the Pentagon isn't happy
    Beijing-linked Dragonbridge flames biz building Texas plant for Uncle Sam

    The US Department of Defense said it's investigating Chinese disinformation campaigns against rare earth mining and processing companies — including one targeting Lynas Rare Earths, which has a $30 million contract with the Pentagon to build a plant in Texas.

    Earlier today, Mandiant published research that analyzed a Beijing-linked influence operation, dubbed Dragonbridge, that used thousands of fake accounts across dozens of social media platforms, including Facebook, TikTok and Twitter, to spread misinformation about rare earth companies seeking to expand production in the US to the detriment of China, which wants to maintain its global dominance in that industry. 

    "The Department of Defense is aware of the recent disinformation campaign, first reported by Mandiant, against Lynas Rare Earth Ltd., a rare earth element firm seeking to establish production capacity in the United States and partner nations, as well as other rare earth mining companies," according to a statement by Uncle Sam. "The department has engaged the relevant interagency stakeholders and partner nations to assist in reviewing the matter.

    Continue reading
  • California's attempt to protect kids online could end adults' internet anonymity
    Websites may be forced to verify ages of visitors unless changes made

    California lawmakers met in Sacramento today to discuss, among other things, proposed legislation to protect children online. The bill, AB2273, known as The California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act, would require websites to verify the ages of visitors.

    Critics of the legislation contend this requirement threatens the privacy of adults and the ability to use the internet anonymously, in California and likely elsewhere, because of the role the Golden State's tech companies play on the internet.

    "First, the bill pretextually claims to protect children, but it will change the Internet for everyone," said Eric Goldman, Santa Clara University School of Law professor, in a blog post. "In order to determine who is a child, websites and apps will have to authenticate the age of ALL consumers before they can use the service. No one wants this."

    Continue reading
  • Is computer vision the cure for school shootings? Likely not
    Gun-detecting AI outfits want to help while root causes need tackling

    Comment More than 250 mass shootings have occurred in the US so far this year, and AI advocates think they have the solution. Not gun control, but better tech, unsurprisingly.

    Machine-learning biz Kogniz announced on Tuesday it was adding a ready-to-deploy gun detection model to its computer-vision platform. The system, we're told, can detect guns seen by security cameras and send notifications to those at risk, notifying police, locking down buildings, and performing other security tasks. 

    In addition to spotting firearms, Kogniz uses its other computer-vision modules to notice unusual behavior, such as children sprinting down hallways or someone climbing in through a window, which could indicate an active shooter.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022