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Mailbag: Allowing CdM students to transfer is outrageous

January 29, 2014

As the parent of three children who have grown up in the Newport-Mesa Unified School District, I am shocked at the dialogue centering on the Corona del Mar High School kids who have been accused of cheating by changing grades.

The principle of "restorative justice" to justify some of them being shipped to Newport Harbor High School with no record of their outrageous transgressions on their college transcript is absurd. These kids are accused of doing more than just peeking over the shoulder of a fellow test taker to confirm a test answer.

At least some of them may have brazenly broken into the school and used sophisticated technology to access confidential student records and then changed grades for their own benefit.

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Pointing to the high-pressure environment in which our teenagers live as some sort of excuse or justification for these ethical lapses is a cop-out. Yes, our teenagers face a competitive landscape to get into a good college and take the next step in their formative years.

That's life. Welcome to our competitive society.

Nor is there any merit to the claim that the tutor made them do it. Our teenagers face temptations every day in all aspects of their lives, and blaming others is a lame excuse.

I realize the facts behind this scandal are not readily available because of the students' right of privacy, and I understand that there may be varying degrees of culpability. But for the students involved, the punishment must fit the crime.

If our district allows these kids to simply transfer to another school to escape any true repercussions for their actions, then our school board members have failed us and should be recalled.

We need to teach accountability, not only to the kids involved, but to the hundreds of other youngsters who were not involved in this scandal and are developing their own moral codes.

In our zeal to ensure that no child is left behind, let's not leave common sense behind.

Gunnar Gooding

Newport Beach

More dog parks for Newport

I agree with letter writer Beverly Reilly Pinsky ("Mailbag: Lovely Newport could use more dog parks," Jan.24).

Where are the dog parks in Newport? That little carpeted one by the new City Hall will not get it done. And try, when allowed, to walk the beach when your 60-pound standard poodle wants to run. We need more parks.

Howard and Lana Larsen

Newport Beach

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