More Details Released In Tate High Homecoming Queen Vote Scandal As Altered Photo Appears In Yearbook

May 7, 2021

We are learning more about the Tate High School homecoming queen vote scandal as the school prepares to recall years books over a photo edited in a way some parents tell is going too far.

Emily Rose Grover was 17-year old juvenile at the time of her arrest in April by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. She turned 18 just a few days later, and will now be tried as an adult.

Grover and her mother Laura Carroll, former assistant principal at Bellview Elementary School, were charged by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement with one count each of felony offenses against users of computers, computer systems, computer networks, and electronic devices; felony unlawful use of a two-way communications device, felony criminal use of personally identifiable information, and conspiracy to commit these offenses. The misdemeanor conspiracy charge against both has been upgraded by prosecutors to a felony count.

One edited photo in this year’s Tate High School yearbook shows Grover’s face covered with clipart of a horse that resembles the school’s mascot. The horse’s rear-end was used to cover Grover’s face, and that is the part that has upset many. The photo is above; note that has blurred the faces of other individuals in the picture.

“They covered her face with a horse’s rear,” one parent wrote in an email to “That’s just too much and should have never happened.”

“We are recalling those yearbooks to fix that problem,” Escambia County School District Superintendent Dr. Tim Smith said. “Somebody went in and made an edit that shouldn’t have happened.”

The yearbook was published after Grover’s arrest. Parents tell us some students did not receive their yearbooks after the photo was discovered.

Grover was named Tate High School’s 2020 homecoming queen, but has since been stripped of the crown. A replacement queen was not named.

A newly unsealed court document reveals statements submitted by Grover and Carroll as part of a school district expulsion hearing.

“I’ve done wrong, ignorance is hurting me the most. I 100% knew it was wrong and would do anything to undo it but I had no idea this much trouble could come from this,” Grover wrote in an email.

“Emily is guilty of looking at information in my FOCUS account, but the hundreds of students she is alleged to have looked at were viewed by me, with district administrator access,” Carroll said. “Is is because of my negligence that she saw anything in FOCUS that she was unauthorized to view.”

“There is no excuse for me seeing other peoples grades but insecurities and curiosity led me to poor choices. I accept responsibility for what I have done and I understand why it was so wrong,” Grover said.

The investigation began in November 2020 when the Escambia County School District contacted FDLE to report unauthorized access into hundreds of student accounts. The investigation found that Carroll, an assistant principal at Bellview Elementary School, and her daughter Grover, a student at Tate High School, had accessed student FOCUS accounts. Carroll had district level access of the school board’s FOCUS program which is the school district’s student information system. FOCUS users are required to change their password every 45 days and Carroll’s annual training for the “Staff Responsible Use of Guidelines for Technology” was up to date.

In October 2020, hundreds of votes for Tate High School’s Homecoming Court voting were flagged as fraudulent, with 117 votes originating from the same IP address within a short period of time. Agents uncovered evidence of unauthorized access to FOCUS linked to Carroll’s cellphone as well as computers associated with their residence, with a total of 246 votes cast for the homecoming court. Multiple students reported that the Grover described using her mother’s FOCUS account to cast votes. The investigation also found that beginning August 2019, Carroll’s FOCUS account accessed 372 high school records and 339 of those were of Tate High School students.

Arrest affidavits obtained by provide more details into the allegations.

When two FDLE special agents responded to Carroll and Grover’s residence in Cantonment to interview them, Carroll immediately stated that she would defer any questions to her attorney, FDLE said.

FDLE received nine statements from students and a teacher that all stated Grover spoke about accessing Carroll’s FOCUS account or they have seen her access it for almost four years.

“I have known that Emily Grover logs into her moms school account in order to access grades and test scores since freshman year when we became friends,” one student said in a statement to FDLE. “She has looked up [redacted] student ID before to [redacted]. She also knows that if she logs into her moms account at Tate it will ping that Laura Grover signed in at Tate High School. She looks up all of our group of friends grades and makes comments about how she can find out our test scores all of the time.”

“When Emily Grover was a sophomore [redacted] class, I recall times that she logged onto her moms focus account and openly shared information, grades, schedules, etc. with others. She did not seem like logging in was a big deal and was very comfortable with doing so,” another statement written by a witness said.

According to FDLE, the Escambia County School District FOCUS program contains grades, medical history, test scores, attendance, disciplinary actions, personnel information, emergency contacts, schedules, exceptional student education (ESE) information, student picture and student identification number. Teachers and staff members are able to view student profiles or more depending on access level.

The school district uses an application called Election Runner to perform activities such as homecoming court voting. FDLE was notified that Election Runner contacted the school district regarding over 100 flagged votes and an ethics complaint involving the Tate High School homecoming voting.

Carroll contested Grover’s expulsion from Tate High School that stemmed from the incident. An administrative hearing was held, and Grover’s expulsion was upheld.

Carroll remains suspended from her position with the school district.

Pictured: Yearbook, homecoming queen photos are photos, click to enlarge.


46 Responses to “More Details Released In Tate High Homecoming Queen Vote Scandal As Altered Photo Appears In Yearbook”

  1. Wee R Patriots on May 11th, 2021 6:19 am

    Oh yeah one more thing . If these records are so important and could be so detremental to the whole system should they be so easy to get into. I bet they can be hacked in 1 minute by a hacker. If this stuff is so serious put it on a blockchain as Africa has done there is no way to rig the system then. We are running all these so called important systems on the cloud with little to no security. This is exactly how the election could be rigged and was rigged . My fellow Americans cyberattacks are real.

  2. Rita Jenne-Ryan on May 10th, 2021 3:02 pm

    It is a Parents job to teach & guide their children. This Mother failed her daughter. At 17 her Mother showed her how to get into othet students personal information . At 17 she probably wasnt aware of breaking any laws much less committing a felony. Charge her Mother with a felony and daughter with a misdemeanor. She should have been suspended from school and sentenced to community service. People who have committed violent crimes havent been sentenced to 16 yrs in prison like the law is threatening this 18 yr old girl with.

  3. Dean on May 9th, 2021 4:03 am

    Sorry but many commenting don’t understand, and aren’t expected to, the seriousness of this crime. I’m a recognized expert in public records and information management with years experience. For one, most don’t realize the legal liability this places the school district in. It could result in lawsuits that even if they ultimately successfully defended could cost the county hundreds of thousands of dollars…your dollars, the taxpayers dollars. Also, individual students could suffer a multitude of personal damage equaling the same in dollars, etc. The federal and state laws regarding such a crime weren’t conceived because this is a mild breach of responsible conduct. It is a serious crime and therefore has serious consequences. It could affect the lives of countless innocent people for years into the future in a multitude of ways. Let the legal system apply as the law requires. We are a nation of laws and the consequences of violating those well known laws are thoughtfully constructed and should be executed in this and every case.

  4. Tate Student on May 8th, 2021 10:33 pm

    I agree with Jack. The mother should be held accountable, but the rest of Emily’s adult life shouldn’t be ruined because of a dumb choice she made as a teenager. That doesn’t mean she should get off scot-free, of course, but some serious community service should be plenty.

  5. Eric W on May 8th, 2021 6:58 pm

    The girl is no better than a hacker who wrongfully gained access to PII and deserves to be a convicted felon! The mom should have her entire work record screened and find out exactly who’s records were accessed so those people can sue her and her daughter as well as the school board for not having systems in place to pick up these anomalies.

  6. Jlb on May 8th, 2021 2:53 pm

    Wrong is wrong. First shame on her mom for allowing her daughter to get into school information. This girl admitted she was wrong. She was getting into her moms FOCUS for over 4 years. That is a serious offense. Cheating for home coming was just the straw that broke the camel’s back. I feel bad for the yojng lady that should have been crowned that night,an wasn’t. So now the courts will take over an consequence will come down. As far as the year book…the page should have been removed.

  7. Holier Than Thou on May 8th, 2021 10:40 am

    I’ll tell you like I told Jesus, “Hand me the rock!”

  8. Connie on May 8th, 2021 10:31 am

    The parent should face a felony and should have already been fired. She is a public servant and breached ALL trust. The student is a product of the parent’s horrifying choices and has received punishment via expulsion. The student should not be erased out of the yearbook as she did attend that school! This was a poor choice from the school and the teacher in charge of the yearbook should be replaced! This is cruel and unjust to bully the student. Two wrongs do NOT make a right. Be careful as the Almighty will judge us as we judge others! The front of the yearbook has the writing right off the Mean Girls movie and all the kids see that so what kind of example is being set? This is a story of tragedy to achieve something that no one would have even cared about at their 20th reunion yet now fame will always be there. Sad story all the way around. The kids posting and laughing about the pic are sadly following the example set by the yearbook. Hate begets hate and love begets love.

  9. retired on May 8th, 2021 9:31 am

    @ JACK

    “She turned 18 just a few days later” so if she would have waited just a few days it would be a mute point. Her and her mother both thought about this for weeks or months, they both knew it was wrong!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Nicole on May 8th, 2021 8:21 am

    She literally said in a statement that she knew she was wrong but didn’t think she’d get in this much trouble. She has absolutely no remorse for her actions and has been actively viewing and distributed the information on this website for years if the statements are true. She’s not going to receive the maximum punishment of 15 years of course but she definitely shouldn’t just get a slap on the wrist.

  11. Bill on May 8th, 2021 8:09 am

    I’ve changed my mind. I was wrong to say Rick Shackle should be let go over this. To be honest, even though it’s been clearly reported since this story broke, I thought Laura Carroll was assistant principal at Tate and under Shackle’s supervision. I just noticed that Carroll worked at Bellview Elementary. My bad for not having my facts straight.

  12. Rick on May 7th, 2021 5:51 pm

    Well now the whole town has seen the picture! Way to make a big deal out of it. The networks will love this. Great job all!!!

  13. Jack on May 7th, 2021 5:40 pm

    I’m probably in the minority here. The kid shouldn’t be charge as a adult. She should get ton of community service. She’s a kid who made a stupid decision and who had a bad rolemodel. Putting a felony on her record and preventing her from ever holding a good job or leading a normal life is over the line and just petty. Have her do alot of community service and learn her lesson.

    The mom should be charged and sued.

  14. Punk Rock on May 7th, 2021 4:10 pm

    The horse is pretty funny. They should leave it for posterity.

  15. Stephen on May 7th, 2021 2:08 pm

    You know we’re screwed as a society when people are more mad about someone having their face covered up in a yearbook than they are about someone who actually committed a crime.

  16. EMD on May 7th, 2021 1:00 pm

    Everything about this is ridiculous and very very sad. Our society is out of control, upside down, and spiritually and mentally ill. Even our country’s leaders are morally bankrupt, for the most part. “When there is no king, the people do what is right in their own eyes.” I do not see anything righteous about any of this. Not the crime, not the response, not the judgment, not the justice, not the envy, not the coveting, not the vengeance. This whole thing is unequal all the way around. Is anyone without guilt? There has been only One who was without guilt, and He is The One, that we are trying to push out of our society. There has to be laws and there needs to be punishment, but it should fit the crime. This is like a dadgum “free for all.”

  17. Jason Cote on May 7th, 2021 11:07 am

    Forrest Gumps mom did a better job advancing her childs future than this.

  18. Jason Cote on May 7th, 2021 11:05 am

    Parent : Who taught you this
    Child : You alright. I learned it by watching you!

  19. Angelique Sanders on May 7th, 2021 10:40 am

    This young lady made a horrible choice, a mistake that has changed the course of her young adult life. It is sad that it took a criminal investigation for someone to step in. I do not know her or the mom, but I can only imagine how it has turned their lives upside down. The mother has already stated that it is her responsibility and by what I read, she has owned that. Most likely it will have grave and ill affects on her ability to be employed and it has tarnished years of employment in which I am sure she contributed to the lives of countless children in the schools in which she was placed for employment.
    The yearbook photo is/was a horrible act of unkindness, and malicious because it was altered purposely. Two wrongs never make a right. If it were my children who made that decision to take things into their own hands they would be marched up to the school and made to take ownership, that is how one learns – setting standards, expectations, and being consistent. Unfortunately, that is not the way that many parent, and that in my mind is unfortunate but far be it for me or others to pass judgement.
    My children attend Tate HS, and I will be the first to say that there are many opportunities to improve upon. However, Mr. Shackle does care about each and every child on that campus…even those who make mistakes! Having seen firsthand he listens, he is invested and he cares. He does not micromanage the adults in his school. He allows everyone – child and adult to have opportunities to excel or at times fail. Lessons are learned by both paths. For those who are looking for a clean up, how many of you are looking at the actions of your own children or friends? It is beyond ridiculous that this made national news, over a popularity contest! You don’t get scholarships for being homecoming queen, you don’t receive educational credits, you are given a crown, get to dress up and be paraded around in front of people. Stop and think about that….it’s more about this young ladies self image, self-esteem and confidence or lack there of. Those are mental health issues!
    Start looking at the root of the issues and stop asking for the heads of those tasked with the responsibility to teach and foster growth. If we each step up in our own independent roles: parents, teachers, administrators, or student we can and will make positive changes.

  20. Michelle B on May 7th, 2021 10:30 am

    1) while I agree that 15(?) years for rigging a popularity contest is a bit much, people are losing sight of the actual issue…the illegal use of government property, regardless of what they were doing it for. It’s a felony! The punishment is for that reason, not for casting fake votes.
    2) where is the information on the parent? All the news focusing on the daughter. I want to know what the mother is faced with. And according to this article, she’s suspended from the school district. Why not fired?!?
    3) many think the principal should be let go? Why? Because he’s not publicly commenting on situation? Or because of the choices of one of his students? If the girls’ mother has been doing her job (as a teacher), her daughter would’ve probably been unable to access the system. The mother isn’t employed at Shackles school. Her school and the school district should be the ones answering for this. Shackle has been in our local school district for a looong time, in many capacities. He’s been deserving of every one of them.

  21. Nick on May 7th, 2021 10:20 am

    1) Fire the mother
    2) Expel the kid

    Force them to pay all associated financial costs including the yearbook recall and reprinting.

    No legal action for the daughter. The mother should face misdemeanor computer and privacy charges.

  22. JTV on May 7th, 2021 10:16 am

    Mom and daughter wanted popularity, they’re getting it now. How many homecoming queens are front and center of the news for this long.

    Be careful for what you wish for.

  23. Rufus Lowgun on May 7th, 2021 10:02 am

    Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

  24. Bubba Griffith on May 7th, 2021 10:00 am

    Have you ever heard two wrongs don’t make a right?? The grownups should have known better and are PAID too! Very VINDICTIVE!!!

  25. JD on May 7th, 2021 9:53 am

    Bill, Talk about cancel culture this little snobby girl and her mother have been doing this for at least 4 years and finally get caught and you want to fire the principal and yearbook advisor. They are probably following guidelines for this. you sound like a typical cancel culture fool that want’s to take the responsibility from the person who is responsible for the whole thing. (the mother and student) and cancel the principal and advisor. How old are you and do you have any common sense?

  26. Plea Bargain on May 7th, 2021 9:44 am

    Here’s a fair plea bargain: Drop the felony charges, and keep the picture with the horses ass on her face.

  27. Roger on May 7th, 2021 9:18 am

    Up to 15 years? Are you kidding me? She did wrong and has to live with this for the rest of her life. She would have a tough go a fair chance at a life around here now. The humiliation she has endured alone is a ton of punishment. I completely agree with DK. Why the harsh treatment? You can murder, sell drugs, rape and a multitude of upscale crimes and get much better treatment. We see it in the news every day. She messed up and she knows it and yes there has to be some form of punishment but good grief, it was a homecoming crown.

  28. Popeye on May 7th, 2021 9:11 am

    Has she been convicted yet? I think we should let the legal system take the full coarse and see what really happened- where is innocent to proven guilty?

  29. Bewildered on May 7th, 2021 8:52 am

    Punish the student or teacher who altered the yearbook by picking up the cost of reprinting the books – case closed. I doubt that the principal proof read the book numerous times while it was put together.

  30. DK on May 7th, 2021 8:09 am

    I’m curious also?Why their treated like career criminals?I’ve seen way worse crimes with a slap on the hand?

  31. Mel on May 7th, 2021 7:55 am

    It seems like more scandal is coming out of Tate High School. How did the staff or students go in and edit years books that were already approved for release?

  32. J-THE-G on May 7th, 2021 7:36 am

    Let them ridicule the girl who was so desperate to be popular she cheated. Not like they did anything that bad, she is in fact a horses a**. Although I do think a lot of it is due to the mother.

  33. Jdub on May 7th, 2021 7:35 am

    @Bill…Mr. Shackle is a wonderful principal and leader at THS. He fights for these kids and shows up! He puts the kids at that school 1st. He is a leader that does not micromanage his people! Did you know that students are a part of yearbook staff as well. So one of them could have quietly edited that pic afterwards and went unseen by the adults. He nor the teacher sponsor over yearbook would have never purposely allowed that to happen with that pic. You must not understand how well teenagers cause use technology! Just give our kids their yearbooks. Are we really going to recall a book over 1 pic of a girl that made a poor decision just to win HOCO queen and took someone else’s crown. I call it karma!

  34. Derek W on May 7th, 2021 7:29 am

    Many Parents now days are all about being their child’s friend and not their parent! Some re-live their teenage years through their child. I see these parents wearing teenage clothing and being the “cool mom” rather than a parent. This is especially true in the high school cheerleading arena. I personally know a mom that went absolutely crazy when her children were in high school, at 50 years old she began acting like a teen. She partied all weekend and she eventually started dating multiple men which led to a divorce and her three girls suffered. Bottom line is be a parent and not a “bff best friend forever”.

  35. Doesn't Suprise Me on May 7th, 2021 7:22 am

    Wow… Tate is really showing everyone in the area how classy they are. Starting to remind me of a certain Santa Rosa county school.

  36. Tate Mom on May 7th, 2021 7:12 am

    I agree with Bill!!! Enough is enough already. Superintendent Dr. Tim Smith needs to look into this while shebang.

  37. Oversight on May 7th, 2021 7:05 am

    Likely just deserts; however, inappropriate place for the yearbook. The superintendent needs to whole sale change out leadership at many schools around the district starting at Tate. Time for the Good Old Boys to head into early retirement or just be fired.

  38. Just Curious on May 7th, 2021 7:03 am

    I agree with Bill. No person should be humiliated to the extend that Emily has. What she did was wrong, not devastating.

  39. J.Larry Seale on May 7th, 2021 7:01 am

    This has given Tate a VERY bad name and a BLACK eye ………
    This news has gone world wide……….. What
    sad time for ALL who have gone to Tate…………..

  40. Just Curious on May 7th, 2021 6:54 am

    To those “perfect” people making cruel comments, does it make you feel better?

  41. Person on May 7th, 2021 6:08 am

    The girl made and A** of herself I think it’s fitting. This isn’t just a mistake, this was pre meditated. Parents are such pushovers and sensitive to every little thing. Your kids are a reflection of you! Children are given everything just to keep them from whining and have no respect for the people who brought them into this world. Though some “parents” should have never been them in the first place. I regret nothing I have just said.

  42. Jr on May 7th, 2021 5:39 am

    When I first saw this yesterday I immediately was angered. This is the lowest of the lowest. Yes, she did wrong and will pay for it in so many ways. But, to remove all proof of her(exact words from the Student Editor in Charge) is of bad taste and low class. The Teacher in charge of this as well as the leader of this High School has committed an act that borderlines on a stance of bullying. This young lady made those memories of good times as well as that mistake made over a plastic crown…how can they see this as ova good thing. Poor display of class right here…

  43. She acted like a horse's behind so.... on May 7th, 2021 5:21 am

    Fitting and well deserved; good job yearbook staff.

  44. JTV on May 7th, 2021 4:31 am

    The yearbook staff was wrong, but I’d never return that yearbook for the new one. The class of 2021-2024 will have fond memories of this at their 35 year reunion.

  45. Erin on May 7th, 2021 4:18 am

    I’m so confused as to why someone would put their whole life in Jeopardy over a popularity contest! Why does being more popular than someone else mean that much to people?

  46. Bill on May 7th, 2021 1:19 am

    The teacher who heads up the yearbook committee and Principal Rick Shackle need to go. The girl did something wrong but you don’t use the yearbook to publicly humiliate a student. I’m including Shackle because this has become a huge story and he has obviously failed to take command of the ship. That’s poor leadership.