A former Connecticut high school student is accused of changing entries in his school’s yearbook to include a quote from Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, police said.
Hollister Tryon, who was barred from attending graduation at Glastonbury High School for allegedly altering the school’s 2021 yearbook, was charged Friday with two counts of third-degree computer crimes for accessing a database used by students to alter two classmates’ entries, the Hartford Courant reported.
“It is a quite special secret pleasure how the people around us fail to realize what is really happening to them,” read one entry allegedly submitted by Tryon, incorrectly attributing Hitler’s quote to George Floyd — a black man who was murdered by a white Minneapolis cop in May 2020.
Tryon, 18, also reportedly inserted a quote in a second student’s yearbook entry referencing drugs and Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was convicted in the April 2013 attack that killed three people and wounded more than 260 others.
The reworked entries were uncovered in May as distribution of the yearbooks began. School administrators later recalled the mementos to remove the offending material and contacted cops, the Courant reported.
“We deeply regret not having caught the act of bigotry and vandalism before the yearbook was printed,” administrators said in a statement in May.
“We are examining and will revise our yearbook procedures for collecting and reviewing future student submissions.”
Tryon was arrested on a warrant Friday. He was barred from attending Glastonbury High School’s graduation ceremony, but received his diploma when his mother picked it up at the school, Principal Nancy Bean told the Courant.
An arrest log obtained by the Journal Inquirer shows Tryon, of Glastonbury, is accused of “unlawfully accessing” a computer database used by students to submit their yearbook quotes to change two entries prior to publication in October.
The alleged tampering was later discovered this spring as seniors got early copies of their yearbooks, the newspaper reported.
Tryon, who was ordered held on $5,000 bond, was released after posting $500 in cash. He’s due back in Manchester Superior Court on Aug. 6 and faces up to five years in prison on each count if convicted, according to the Journal Inquirer.
Officials from the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford told WTNH in May that the “anti-Semitic incident” harmed the community.
“They certainly underscore the importance of anti-bias education and Holocaust education,” president and CEO David Waren told the station of the altered entries. “This is an opportune moment for the school to re-double their effort in this regard.”
Another Glastonbury resident said she was shocked by the allegations.
“It’s a terrible mistake, and I think the kids need to learn history,” Dorothy Switalska told WTNH. “Maybe watch a historical movie [and] see what Hitler did.”