Corona del Mar High School officials have cancelled the upcoming homecoming dance, pep rally and related activities after a number of students were reportedly intoxicated during the Battle of the Bay football game on Sept. 16.
CdMHS Principal Kathy Scott made the announcement in a video this week. She said that the annual Battle of the Bay against Newport Harbor HS was very spirited and successful, “but CdM lost in student fan behavior.”
Scott called the behavior “inappropriate,” “despicable and deplorable” and “embarrassing and inexcusable.”
Varsity boys lacrosse head coach G.W. Mix explained the behavior in a letter to the athletic community. Mix was “dumbfounded” by what he witnessed.
“A multitude of students were intoxicated to the point of being unable to control themselves – found by security personnel stumbling around the concourse or laying in their own vomit in the restrooms.,” he explains in the letter. “In the stands, students were throwing items at the fans below them. A number of student-led cheers were laced with profanity.”
Additional resources were called in to assist the student resources police officer, he said.
“A small fleet of ambulances were called to the scene to handle the more dangerously intoxicated youngsters,” he added.
He also congratulated the CdM football team on their big win. What should have been a celebration for an impressive victory was marred because of the embarrassing behavior, he wrote.
The cancellation comes in the wake of other negative scandals in recent years, including the student cheating scandal in 2013 and the NFL-style “prom draft” in 2014.
Mix also had a “candid conversation” after the incident with a number of senior students, which was enlightening and worrisome.
“I am concerned the issue of underaged drinking and poor decision making by our CDM student body is much larger than any of us may have predicted,” Mix wrote in his letter. “I believe it is reaching epidemic proportions and it is finding its way to some of our youngest student-athletes.”
In Scott’s video, she apologized to all the students who acted appropriately on Friday night.
“Unfortunately, your poorly behaved peers stole any true victory we all could experience,” she said.
Scott mentioned the group of CdMHS students who spoke to the Newport Beach City Council about the restricted parking around the campus. One of their arguments was assuring council members and residents that CdM students were law-abiding and respectful. Many of the adults who heard the complimentary comments at the council meeting were also at Friday night’s football game and observed the “complete opposite“ type of behavior, Scott pointed out. She received many phone calls and emails from those adults about their disgust and blaming the administration for “having no control of our student body,” she said.
This type of behavior clearly demonstrates that there is a need for police and security to conduct searches and breathalyzer tests at school events, Scott said.
“If school events now require this much monitoring, it beckons me to question simply: ‘Should we even have these type of events?’” Scott noted.
People commenting through social media have presented a variety of viewpoints, several supporting Scott’s cancellation move, others calling it a blanket discipline that punishes too many of the innocent kids, and many pointing out that this bad behavior does not represent the entire school.
Mix had a few other things to say in his letter, including that although there will be consequences for those who were identified as being under the influence of alcohol – and there were likely more who were not identified- they will not turn their backs on them.
“We will all learn a valuable lesson and collectively assume responsibility for their actions,” Mix wrote. “Then, we will work together to restore our hard-earned reputation as leaders on our campus and within our community…Together, I believe we can make a real difference in our school community.”