More than 300 students at three Los Angeles Unified high schools bypassed security measures to access unauthorized websites on their new district-issued iPads, prompting an immediate ban on taking the tablet computers home, officials said Tuesday.

The breach was discovered Friday at Westchester High, Roosevelt High in Boyle Heights and the Valley Academy of Arts and Sciences in Granada Hills. Those campuses were among the first to receive the iPads in the first phase of a plan to equip every LAUSD student with one of the $678 tablets.

Ron Chandler, the district's Chief Information Officer, said tech-savvy students used their programming skills to alter settings and delete files, giving them access to sites like Facebook and YouTube. However, software embedded in the iPads immediately locked down the devices and alerted officials that they'd been tampered with.

“We knew immediately what had happened,” Chandler said.

Chandler said administrators had spoken with each of the students and are working to create a system of progressive discipline to deal with repeat offenders.

“What this really forces us to do is ramp up the conversation about responsible use and accountability,” Chandler said.

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