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Cupertino Students May Retake STAR Tests After Prank

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Monta Vista High School In Cupertino. (CBS)

Monta Vista High School In Cupertino. (CBS)

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CUPERTINO (KPIX 5) — The student body at a South Bay high school could pay the price after a handful of their classmates played a prank while taking their standardized tests.

A photo posted on Facebook and Instagram showed a Monta Vista High School student taking the STAR test penciling in his bubbles to form an acronym that is popular with teens: YOLO. It is not a reference to the county in Northern California.

“You only live once,” explained sophomore Famy Chabosh.

What could have been a childish prank became a serious security matter for the school when the student posted cellphone photos of his handiwork on the social networking sites, along with photos of the test booklet. Three of his friends also posted the photos on social media.

“It really was not a cheating incident. It was a breach of test security,” said Superintendent Polly Bove of the Fremont Union High School District, in a phone interview with KPIX 5.

Bove said the issue was found by state test officials, whose job is to look for things like this.

“The first report was made to us by the California Department of Education who monitors social media sites during the test administration window,” Bove said.

A student at Monta Vista High School in Cupertino filled in 'YOLO' on his standardized test, and posted photos of the test booklet on Facebook and Instagram. School officials disciplined the four students involved in the prank. (CBS)

A student at Monta Vista High School in Cupertino filled in ‘YOLO’ on his standardized test, and posted photos of the test booklet on Facebook and Instagram. School officials disciplined the four students involved in the prank. (CBS)

“I don’t think that was a very smart decision because it doesn’t just affect him, it affects the whole school. I heard that we might have to do it all over again, which is kind of annoying,” said Akfhay Savale, a sophomore.

State testing officials have not decided if there will be a retake or if Monta Vista’s tests will be invalidated, potentially giving everyone at the top performing school a zero. That could affect everything from college entrance considerations, to real estate prices in the neighborhood.

“It’s supposed to be a prank that just went too far,” said Varsha Ravikumar, a senior. “And I don’t think they realize the consequences of what they did.”

District officials are expected to hear from state testing officials in the next few days.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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