+
Culture

Mom shares how her prodigious 11-year-old hacked the school's internet and people are howling

internet, school, hacking

This 11-year-old controlled his school district's internet for three months.

For the past two years, schools have relied on the internet to conduct at-home school, either exclusively or in a hybrid format. Though we're fortunate to live in a time when online learning is actually an option, it's not been amazing for many as Zoom fatigue, home fatigue and general pandemic fatigue set in.

Most kids can't do anything about that, but an 11-year-old named Elijah took matters into his own hands when he'd had enough of the COVID-19 life. And hoo boy, did it get him into serious hot water.

Elijah's mother, Victoria (@victoriaprettymuch) shared the story on TikTok in a video that's been viewed more than 2 million times. "If anyone wants a child who's 11, come get him," she wrote, then calmly described how she'd been holding the story in for seven months while everything got worked out.

The story goes that in April of 2021, Victoria was called into the school to talk about some issues with her son. The school told her that her son wasn't in any danger, but he was "in major trouble." When she arrived at the school, she was met by four police officers, the district attorney's office, the superintendent, the principal, three IT technicians—and her son, who was in tears.


@victoriaprettymuch

#FYP #foryoupage #tiktok #viral #trending #follow #PINKHolidayRemix #smart #kids

As it turns out, the kid had been controlling the entire school district's internet for the past three months. This fifth grader had managed to hack the system and turn it off and on whenever he felt like it. Victoria had to hire a federal attorney because the school wanted to press federal charges.

"What have I given birth to, Rainman?" she asked. "If you want him, come get him. I'm giving him away."

The video got such an overwhelming response, Victoria posted a follow-up video answering some questions and explaining the outcome of the situation with her "baby genius." The district attorney decided not to press charges because of his age. Instead, they were recommended to a first-time juvenile offenders program, where Elijah's had to complete five tasks for his record to be wiped clean.

One of the tasks was to build a video game—and he built a basketball video game in two hours.

@victoriaprettymuch

Reply to @sweetest_taboo91 Hopefully we answered all questions lol 😂

Like, holy moly, kid. A whole video game in two hours? He really is a prodigy.

People's reactions to the story are mostly to laugh and express support for the kid's tech-savviness. Obviously, committing cybercrime is not how he should be utilizing his talents, but he's only 11 and this is a good time to learn that lesson. (Also, haven't we all wanted to turn off some annoying parts of pandemic life for a while? Who can blame him for figuring out how?)

Some people joked that those "punishments" meted out to him were probably tests from the FBI to recruit him. Loads of people working in IT were impressed. One person asked, "Can he hack Sallie Mae?"

Really, though, the best thing for a ridiculously smart kid like this is to help him hone his skills and channel them into constructive, positive things. He definitely has a bright future ahead of him, and a patient, caring mom to help him get there.

All illustrations are provided by Soosh and used with permission.

I have plenty of space.

This article originally appeared on 04.09.16


It's hard to truly describe the amazing bond between dads and their daughters.

Being a dad is an amazing job no matter the gender of the tiny humans we're raising. But there's something unique about the bond between fathers and daughters.

Most dads know what it's like to struggle with braiding hair, but we also know that bonding time provides immense value to our daughters. In fact, studies have shown that women with actively involved fathers are more confident and more successful in school and business.

Keep ReadingShow less
Identity

This blind chef wore a body cam to show how she prepares dazzling dishes.

How do blind people cook? This "Masterchef" winner leans into her senses.

Image pulled from YouTube video.

Christine Ha competes on "Masterchef."

This article originally appeared on 05.26.17


There is one question chef Christine Ha fields more than any other.

But it's got nothing to do with being a "Masterchef" champion, New York Times bestselling author, and acclaimed TV host and cooking instructor.

The question: "How do you cook while blind?"

Keep ReadingShow less
The Prince Charles Cinema/Youtube

Brendan Fraser dressed as Rick O'Connell.

Brendan Fraser might be making the greatest career comeback ever, racking up accolades and award nominations for his dramatic, transformative role in “The Whale." But the OG Fraser fans (the ones who watch “Doom Patrol” solely to hear his voice and proudly pronounce his last name as Fray-zure, for this is the proper pronunciation) have known of his remarkable talent since the 90s, when he embodied the ultimate charming, dashing—and slightly goofball—Hollywood action lead.

Let us not forget his arguably most well known and beloved 90s character—Rick O’Connell from the “Mummy” franchise. Between his quippy one-liners, Indiana Jones-like adventuring skills and fabulous hair, what’s not to like?

During a double feature of “The Mummy” and “The Mummy Returns” in London, moviegoers got the ultimate surprise when who should walk in but Brendan Fraser himself, completely decked out in Rick O’Connell attire. The brown leather jacket. The scarf. Everything.

Keep ReadingShow less

Gordon Ramsay at play... work.

This article originally appeared on 04.22.15


Gordon Ramsay is not exactly known for being nice.

Or patient.

Or nurturing.

On his competition show "Hell's Kitchen," he belittles cooks who can't keep up. If people come to him with their problems, he berates them. If someone is struggling to get something right in the kitchen, he curses them out.

Keep ReadingShow less

This article originally appeared on 01.27.20


From 1940 to 1945, an estimated 1.3 million people were deported to Auschwitz, the largest complex of Nazi concentration camps. More than four out of five of those people—at least 1.1 million people—were murdered there.

On January 27, 1945, Soviet forces liberated the final prisoners from these camps—7,000 people, most of whom were sick or dying. Those of us with a decent public education are familiar with at least a few names of Nazi extermination facilities—Auschwitz, Dachau, Bergen-Belsen—but these are merely a few of the thousands (yes, thousands) of concentration camps, sub camps, and ghettos spread across Europe where Jews and other targets of Hitler's regime were persecuted, tortured, and killed by the millions.

Keep ReadingShow less
Health

What I realized about feminism after my male friend was disgusted by tampons at a party.

"After all these years, my friend has probably forgotten, but I never have."

Photo by Josefin on Unsplash

It’s okay men. You don’t have to be afraid.

This article originally appeared on 08.12.16


Years ago, a friend went to a party, and something bothered him enough to rant to me about it later.

And it bothered me that he was so incensed about it, but I couldn't put my finger on why. It seemed so petty for him to be upset, and even more so for me to be annoyed with him.

Recently, something reminded me of that scenario, and it made more sense. I'll explain.

Keep ReadingShow less