It turns out the Corona del Mar High School cheating scandal not only took out 11 students–"took out" as in they were expelled–but a Newport-Mesa Unified School District administrator as well.
Jane Garland, who was in charge of discipline, was not fired, however. The 66-year-old, 13-year employee of NMUSD abruptly resigned over the district's handling of the scandal, which she called "a farce."
In an internal email later made public, Garland accused the district of failing to give the expelled students due process, instead just plucking off a dozen names and expelling them to make it appear the school board got tough.
Actually, up to 150 students are believed to have been involved in cheating at CdM High. Garland believes the 11 students who were expelled had been led astray by an adult, Timothy Lance Lai, a private tutor who is still being sought by Newport Beach Police for questioning; he has disappeared. Garland calls Lai "a predator."
The district declined to comment on Garland's accusations on grounds student-discipline issues are private.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.