Eleven students at Corona del Mar High School were expelled Tuesday in connection with a cheating scandal that has rocked the high-performing Orange County campus.
School officials allege that the students hacked into the district’s computer system to change grades and access exams.
Newport-Mesa Unified School District trustees reached the decision early Wednesday after lengthy closed-door discussions.
In a statement, board President Karen Yelsey said the decision to expel the students — the most severe penalty being considered — follows the recommendations made by the school principal and district administration.
“The Board of Education has weighed each of the cases presented this evening on an individual basis and in careful detail,” she said. “We’ve focused on the cases for hours in closed session. As a Board of Education, we are unanimous in our resolve to ensure the academic integrity of CDM and the district, as well as in delivering justice for the cases before us.”
The votes of the board varied. Six decisions for expulsion were unanimous; others were split 4-3 and 6-1.
Last month, the district confirmed that students attached a keylogger — a small device that can be placed in the back of a computer to monitor keystrokes — to several teachers’ computers to swipe logins and passwords, allegedly with the help of a private tutor.