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District: Alleged Student Hackers May Be Expelled

The Board of Education will decide whether a group of students at Corona del Mar High School will be expelled for allegedly hacking into school computers to change their grades.

Corona del Mar High School(Photo credit Michael Kim)
Corona del Mar High School(Photo credit Michael Kim)
A group of Corona del Mar High School students who were allegedly caught hacking into school computers with the help of a private tutor to change their grades may be expelled, a district official reported in a news release Tuesday.

Officials said the news about the students' possible expulsions was released following a local news report that said the students may not be expelled, but could face a disciplinary measure known as "restorative justice," which focuses on teaching students to learn from their mistakes and building their character.

"While the district is a proponent of restorative justice and uses the practice in many cases, restorative justice is not being utilized in the current CdM process," Laura Boss, Newport-Mesa Unified School District spokeswoman, said in the released statement. "The principal recommended the students involved go through the expulsion process."

The expulsions would have to be approved by the district's Board of Education, Boss added.

Along with potential disciplinary action by the school, the students could also face criminal charges for hacking into the school's computers .

Newport Beach police still want to question private tutor Timothy Lance Lai, 28, of Irvine for his alleged involvement in the computer hacking incident. He has yet to be located, officials said.

"It is important to recognize that student disciplinary action is only one aspect of resolving this unfortunate and troubling situation," Boss said.

Do you think the students involved in the computer hacking incident at Corona del Mar High School should be expelled? Tell us in the comments.

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Lisa McBean January 15, 2014 at 12:43 PM
I can see both sides of it - Yes they should be expelled because actions must have consequences. Delaying consequences produces entitled people and eventually rewards wrong, unethical or illegal behavior. Better to learn this during High School than later in life when the consequences will be much greater. On the other hand, these kids have a lot of pressure - from their parents, teachers, college counselors, coaches, etc... They aren't allowed to be less than perfect (on the outside) - they are scared not to bring home the perfect GPA. I would want to evaluate each case individually and see what is really going on to get to the root of the problem. Why did they not know that this was wrong? Or if they understand that, why was it worth the risk? Ultimately parents set the standards for their children, and if getting an A rather than a B or a C is worth cheating for, the kids know this. They are smarter than you think. I think they should be expelled but I would also want them to know that this is not the end of their bright futures if they move forward and learn from this huge mistake.
Annie G. January 27, 2014 at 12:18 PM
I say give some credit for pointing how lame the security is on that schools computer system- maybe they were cheating but wow---what with all the hacking threats going on--they have a future in the industry, ya, just hope its not the side hacking us some more.

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