Jane Garland Resigns from Newport-Mesa Schools over "Farce" Expulsions for Cheating

Categories: School Daze

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."

11 Corona del Mar High School Students Expelled for Cheating

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.

Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!

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Note that the 11 students were not expelled. They accepted an agreement rather than face actual expulsion. They were not kicked out, they were railroaded. 


It was surprising when the media reported that Kathy Scott was hired as the new principal for Corona del Mar HS, after leaving the Anaheim Union HS District. 

It appears that principal Kathy Scott has an expertise for scandals as she was the principal at Oxford Academy (under Superintendent Joseph Farley) who allegedly transcribed text messages from a female student's cell phone.  Scott turned over the transcribed text messages and teacher Christopher Ontiveros was arrested.  Based on the OC District Attorney and/or the Anaheim Union HS District's negligence, the text messages transcribed by Scott did not hold up during Ontiveros' criminal trial and Ontiveros was acquitted.

If the messages turned over to law enforcement by Kathy Scott with the knowledge of former Superintendent Joseph M. Farley (now retiring Superintendent for the Capistrano Unified School), were in fact legitimate, the DA did not have the text messages backed up with cell phone records which most likely contributed to Ontiveros' acquittal.  If in fact the messages were not legitimate, then someone messed up big time and Ontiveros' reputation as a teacher has been destroyed, even without an acquittal.  

Principal Kathy Scott was also the supervisor of former Santa Monica Malibu Union HS District former teacher Thomas Arthur Beltran, who is currently serving 14 years in state prison for lewd and lascivious conduct.  With lots of mystery, then principal Kathy Scott at the time received abuse reports concerning Beltran; however, any record of reports to law enforcement were not found in Beltran's personnel file.  Beltran pled guilty so his situation is much different than that of former teacher Ontiveros who most likely will ever teach again.  Former Superintendent Joseph Farley and Kathy Scott escaped all accountability for any potential errors in judgment involving Ontiveros.  It is TRAGIC that if in fact Corona del Mar principal Kathy Scott mishandled the CDM cheating scandal that she was never held accountable for the Christopher Ontiveros fiasco and failures to report as mandated by law involving Thomas Arthur Beltran.   

ZERO TOLERANCE policies in both private and public schools is usually enforced when it comes to MINOR CHILDREN; however, when well-paid private and public school administrators make a mistake and/or fail to report child endangerment in accordance with the law, no one is held accountable.   

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