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Corona del Mar High School has canceled an upcoming pep rally and homecoming dance after reports surfaced that some students were intoxicated at the Battle of the Bay football game on Friday. (Joshua Sudock, Orange County Register/SCNG)

CdM cancels homecoming dance after reports of intoxicated students at football game

STAFF WRITER

Corona del Mar High School has canceled an upcoming pep rally and homecoming dance after reports surfaced that some students were intoxicated at the Battle of the Bay football game on Friday, adding to a string of recent incidents that has put the school in the national spotlight.

In a campus video message to students on Monday morning, Principal Kathy Scott that while the school came out on top in their annual rivalry game against Newport Harbor High School, “CdM lost in student-fan behavior.”

“Unfortunately your poorly behaved peers stole any true victory we all could experience,” Scott said. “Clearly the administration, teachers and the coaches have a much higher expectation for our school and our students than some of you students have for yourselves."

In the video she described their behavior as “despicable” and “deplorable.”

In a letter sent to parents, she described their behavior of some students “extremely inappropriate” and “totally inexcusable” during the game Orange Coast College’s 7,600-seat LeBard Stadium.

Students were accused of using alcohol and controlled substances during the game.

“Unfortunately there was a large group of our student body who missed the mark and failed to represent CdM positively in a very public venue,” Scott wrote.

She did not reveal what happened or how many students were involved.

College officials said the school is willing to work with Newport-Mesa high schools to use its athletics facilities, but was not considering a ban, said Letitia Clark, OCC director of Public Affairs.

The Newport-Mesa Unified School District declined to discuss whether the students would face disciplinary action, citing student confidentiality.

“While we cannot discuss student discipline, please know that we are responding to this as per our school discipline process (to ensure accountability) and we have support programs in place to assist with substance abuse,” said district spokeswoman Annette Franco.

Newport Harbor Principal Sean Boulton said he stood on the sideline near his students and could hear Corona del Mar fans lacing loud chants with profanities.

“I’m saddened that some students compromised the integrity of their school and the district,” he said.

Boulton said he supports Scott’s decision to cancel the pep rally and dance and that Newport Harbor’s homecoming festivities on Nov. 4 were not affected.

Newport Beach police worked the game and arrested a 16-year-old Newport Harbor student on suspicion of public intoxication and resisting/obstructing a peace officer, said police spokeswoman Jennifer Manzella.

The student, who is a Costa Mesa resident, has been suspended, Boulton said.

In Scott’s letter, she said some parents have enabled their children.

“However, we are struggling with a disconnect within our parent community where a pervasive culture exists that allows or tolerates their children to bend or break the law and violate district policies,” she wrote.

It was not known if the Oct. 7 dance was the first to be canceled in its 54-year history. The school will still play its Oct. 6 game against Woodbridge High School at Jim Scott Stadium on the Estancia High School campus.

Friday’s episode is the latest of recent incidents to tarnish Corona del Mar, which is consistently one of the state’s top ranked high schools.

A tutor who hacked into the school’s computers to alter student grades during the 2012-13 school year was sentenced last year to a year in jail. Eleven students were also expelled as a result.

In 2014, news leaked of a “tradition” where senior boys hosted an NFL-style prom draft to choose dates, with critics calling the practice creepy and sexist.

In 2009, critics accused then principal Fal Asrani of canceling a school production of the Tony-winning rock opera “Rent” because the it depicted gay characters.

As for the game, the Sea Kings won handily against Newport Harbor, 41-13.

Contact the writer: 714-796-2478 or lcasiano@ocregister.com


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