Palo Alto superintendent seeks revisions on federal agreement

Trustees to discuss response to Office for Civil Rights

Palo Alto Unified Superintendent Max McGee is seeking to limit certain reporting and investigatory requirements outlined by the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights in a draft resolution agreement related to two yearslong sexual-harassment cases at Gunn and Palo Alto high schools.

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14 people like this
Posted by Truth
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 10, 2017 at 2:06 am

I think McGee knows the worst cases are the ones that were so bad, people left the district, and doesn't want any sunshine where it is most needed. That attitude toward truth is why we keep having these sexual predators in our schools, why special ed has so many problems that don't get fixed, and retaliation goes completely unchecked. I hope people who want this agreement to do some good will stick with their guns and ensure that we learn from those who gave up and left to protect their children, too. Not all would have moved away - some simply took their kids out of local schools.

6 people like this
Posted by Truth
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 10, 2017 at 2:17 am

McGee should be careful what he wishes for with this administration. I was never a fan of school vouchers until PAUSD. If they lost funding for every student who chose to school elsewhere, they'd learn to start listening. Rightwingers are funny about regulations. McGee seems to forget that to the new administration, he's a bloated government bureaucrat making more money than the governor. Or perhaps McGee is hinting that the new administration will turn a blind eye toward child molesters? Hardly.

12 people like this
Posted by ThePoint
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 10, 2017 at 7:20 am

Isn't the whole point of an independent investigator that they "are independent "?

If McGee decides the boundaries and constraints on this, then it's not really an independent investigation, and it will fail to answer the questions the community has.

I, for one, want clean closure on this. True independence, transparency and effectiveness can only be achieved by the investigator deciding when he is done. Not Max. Not the board.

Really, what are they hiding?

The request for limits just look like someone with a long history knew something, and failed to act on it, or covered it up. It is these senior figures we want exposed.

Limiting the investigation does not uncover the truth, but rather reveals this board as still hiding something...

5 people like this
Posted by Gunn
a resident of Gunn High School
on Jan 10, 2017 at 8:23 am

Web Link

It's time.

Like this comment
Posted by caroline V
a resident of Portola Valley
on Jan 10, 2017 at 11:56 am

Thank you for this excellent reporting.

This PDF warnings by John Adkisson and Doroth Korber warned the Senate Rules Committee that the Governor might exempt public entities and public employees; 
Web Link (2 pages)
Web Link (99 pages).

That is exactly what happens. Despite my 46 page complaint at SJSU campus police SG 1301140, many certified complaints with CSU Board of Trustees, CSY Chancellors, SJSU Presidents, Governor Brown, Attorney Kamala Harris and several other elected and appointed officials describing the details of the repeated harassment, intimidation, retaliation and discrimination, the details of the academic and workplace mobbing (group bullying), as well as other allegations and despite the confirmation by the US department of Justice Civil Rights, which won its lawsuit (OCAHO Case No. 11B00136 ) against St Francis Heights and its operator Lifetime Generations Healthcare finding them guilty of violating the Nationality and Immigration Act and using discriminatory labor practices, the Civil Rights office immediately dismissed my allegations without any hearing, without testimony of my witnesses and not knowing what evidence they used for their decision. After several appeals telling me I can file a lawsuit in federal court see Case ## 13-000140, 09-13-2014 and #09-15-2348.
The Civil Rights Office gives immunity to our public education system and will dismiss student allegations so that our education system receive the funding. We can only hope that the new administration will review how California automatically dismisses civil rights issues, will review the facts that caused our broken education system, broken healthcare system, broken justice system, and will review federal funding.

4 people like this
Posted by Secretive
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 10, 2017 at 1:33 pm

Secretive is a registered user.

[Post removed.]

1 person likes this
Posted by Unprecedented?
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jan 10, 2017 at 1:39 pm

The Point,

Lots will be outsourced to an independent investigator in this OCR resolution agreement.

He/she will be investigating sexual harassment claims, known and unknown, as far back as 2007 [portion removed due to factual inaccuracies.]

OCR experts out there - is there any precedent for the OCR requiring this independent investigator? None pop up in Google or the OCR website. I even looked at the famous OCR Title IX case that the Rolling Stone covered. The OCR said there that the university's Title IX coordinator is to investigate, adjudicate, and ID remedies and that was a Title IX coordinator who, according to the OCR, had "not adequately oversee[n] and coordinate[d]" Title IX complaints for 4 years. Web Link

And BTW who are these independent investigators? Lawyers? Given the amount of work that the OCR is requiring and the hourly fees they probably charge, my guess is that it will come in at at least 6 months and $250,000.

Like this comment
Posted by Unprecedented?
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jan 10, 2017 at 6:38 pm

[Portion removed due to factual inaccuracy.]

The investigation will:

1. "reach a written determination regarding whether sexual harassment occurred," and

2. "determine and document what remedial actions will be taken and services provided...and if any additional actions need to be taken at the school-site to address any ongoing problems."

This includes:

1. "actions and services provided for former students," and

2. "actions to address any failure to report by responsible employees" and whether staff "should be disciplined...for enabling or failing to report the behavior."

The OCR is requiring that:

1. Board policies state that an "employee will be subject to discipline up to and including dismissal" if it is determined that he/she is a risk to students, and

2. The District provide OCR with the investigation's "proposed corrective action plan, including but not limited to...remedies for the complainant, any actions necessary to address the harm to the school community, and any actions necessary to prevent further recurrence of harassment."

Web Link

19 people like this
Posted by Malarkey
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 11, 2017 at 1:34 pm

Malarkey is a registered user.

I think we are seeing the real Max McGee, and he is not the nice, egalitarian person he tried to convince us he was! He has no problem with hiding evidence of past transgressions, some of which occurred before his watch, even.

I think the district goofed by using the same head hunters that gave us the infamous Kevin Skelly.

1 person likes this
Posted by Sally
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 13, 2017 at 2:16 pm

I think one of the above posters is correct: Educational vouchers will allow the disgruntled parents to go elsewhere. I also think the Trump administration will radically restructure the Dept. of Education (and its OCR), which will mean that our public schools will no longer have to face the assaults on them by special interest complaint groups. There is a new day dawning, and our school board should not give in to the complainers.

Like this comment
Posted by Nobody special
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 13, 2017 at 4:32 pm

@Sally - "our public schools will no longer have to face the assaults on them by special interest complaint groups."

Those special interest complaint groups - are you think like, umm, women generally? Or maybe victims of sexual assault?

3 people like this
Posted by Skelly is laughing
a resident of Gunn High School
on Jan 14, 2017 at 9:53 pm

Kevin Skelly was a newbie superintendent who left a wake of confusion and destruction in his path, Glenn McGee is actually worse because of his salesmanship. Either way, only suckers accept these old boys from the Leadership Associates club. Next hire: stop being hypnotized by shiny objects.

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