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Excerpts from administrator’s email

Editor’s Note: The following are excerpts from a recent email Jane Garland, the Newport-Mesa Unified School District director of outreach and advocacy programs, sent to the school board and high-ranking district officials about the Corona del Mar High School grade-changing scandal.

Investigation was a ‘farce’


“The handling of the CdM computer hacking scandal and the exploitation of the students, their families and me personally by the school district has been a total farce.”

Incident in 2013


“We had two students implicated in a key-logging scam at CdM in the spring of 2013. The administrators in charge at the time left the district with no statements on file and yet both students were suspended and one transferred to [Newport Harbor High School] NHHS.”

‘No evidence who key-logged’

“Other than the students who implicated themselves — the district has no evidence who key-logged, who broke into the school, who had only knowledge. And yet all are receiving the same punishments.”

Not treated with ‘any dignity’


“The students were all paraded into the CdM offices and held for many many hours being questioned by not only administrators but police officers without being afforded the right to call parents, etc. There was no privacy provided to these young people, nor were they treated with any dignity or empathy.... The students were told that the administration wasn’t after them but only the tutor, so not to worry.”

Some 150 possibly involved 

“The implicated students have stated that approximately 150 students have some involvement in this situation. I would warn any parent who hired Tim Lai to be prepared for the inevitable. Or probably not, because I believe the system is willing to allow these 11 students to take the fall and close the book on this matter.”

My reputation was ‘irrefutably damaged’ 


“I had a reputation in restorative justice, with numerous news articles written about the implementation in NMUSD. The recent statements in the press have made it impossible for me to continue in my position as Director of Student Services. My credibility, my word and my reputation have been irrefutably damaged by NMUSD staff and board members.”

Kids ‘may or may not be culpable’ 

“In a concerted effort to provide a community with revenge and a false sense of innocence for those involved but not accused, NMUSD has been willing to vilify a handful of kids that may or may not be culpable.”

Considers herself a ‘whistle blower’ 

“I am disturbed and saddened to be a ‘whistle blower’ on this issue. NMUSD has the potential to be a great school district. Unfortunately this situation has revealed serious deficiencies in the management and operation of the district.”

Focus was on ‘public relations’

“Absolute integrity is critical to the academic process. The school system has approached this violation of absolute integrity with little vigor and apparent indifference with a focus on public relations instead of corrective actions.”