Was Noland a monster?
Just hear me out! Let's look at his character first of all. Now I'm not saying I agree with him completely but let's look at his profile. He was much older than Keating and came from a different time. He seemed to genuinely believe that boys of that age didn't have the maturity to make their own choices (something I somewhat agree with I must admit). He believed in the curriculum and institution and that to question either would be to question something designed for positive personal and academic development. 'John, the curriculum here is set. It's proven it works'. In short as a man in his position whether you agree with him or not his intentions seemed sincere.
Now let's look at that position. He was the headmaster of a school to which parents paid thousands of dollars in order to have their sons graduate to Ivy league schools and not the stage. Their successful training in said institution and curriculum, even if he thought it was a load of crap, was his responsibility and it's a success that would have been expected, no demanded! He fairly counselled Keating 'prepare them for college, the rest will take care of itself'. In other words 'our job is simple.
Here's me perhaps being controversial. I never bought the whole scapegoat thing. Even if Mr Keating hadn't been left carrying the can Neils dad was never going to. So is it possible that Mr Noland genuinely believed that Mr Keatings encouragement at least contributed to Neil feeling he had no way out?
If you dip your foot into a pool of piranhas don't cry when you lose a toe!