Palo Alto Weekly
News - January 15, 2010
'Egg wars' come to Palo Alto school board
Attorney demands suspensions be expunged for district to avoid lawsuit
by Chris Kenrick
The controversial "egg wars" of last October came back to bite the Palo Alto Board of Education Tuesday when a lawyer asked board members to expunge the suspensions of students associated with the incident or face a lawsuit.
In a statement delivered during the "open forum" portion of the school board meeting, attorney William D. Ross said the suspensions are harming the ability of students to apply for athletic scholarships because of NCAA rules requiring that students disclose whether they have been a subject of school discipline.
Ross asked board members to review and expunge the suspensions as soon as possible to "avoid liability" for interfering with students' ability to obtain scholarships.
The Oct. 27 "egg war" took place between members of Palo Alto High School's junior and senior classes on the Gunn High School campus, damaging the school's new track, scoreboards and pool deck and requiring professional cleanup at a cost of $3,200.
Palo Alto High School Principal Jacquie McEvoy initially issued five-day suspensions to students known to have participated, quickly reducing them to one-day suspensions after she said she learned the egg fight had not been as serious as she'd first believed. Later, McEvoy said she would expunge the suspensions entirely if students remained on good behavior for the rest of the year.
Frustrated by what they viewed as McEvoy's punitive discipline style, some parents have demanded a probe of the school's investigative procedures in the incident.
The "egg war" between juniors and seniors is an unauthorized tradition of Paly's Spirit Week, normally taking place in a Stanford eucalyptus grove. This time, the students spontaneously moved to Gunn after Stanford police scared them away. Paly student representatives later apologized to Gunn for the incident.
Posted by A Palo Alto parent,
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 16, 2010 at 10:37 am
Here's what the penal code of California says:
a) Every person who maliciously commits any of the following
acts with respect to any real or personal property not his or her
own, in cases other than those specified by state law, is guilty of
(1) Defaces with graffiti or other inscribed material.
Whenever a person violates this subdivision with respect to real
property, vehicles, signs, fixtures, furnishings, or property
belonging to any public entity, as defined by Section 811.2 of the
Government Code, or the federal government, it shall be a permissive
inference that the person neither owned the property nor had the
permission of the owner to deface, damage, or destroy the property.
(b) (1) If the amount of defacement, damage, or destruction is
four hundred dollars ($400) or more, vandalism is punishable by
imprisonment in the state prison or in a county jail not exceeding
one year, or by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars
($10,000), or if the amount of defacement, damage, or destruction is
ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or more, by a fine of not more than
fifty thousand dollars ($50,000), or by both that fine and
(2) (A) If the amount of defacement, damage, or destruction is
less than four hundred dollars ($400), vandalism is punishable by
imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by a fine of
not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine
(B) If the amount of defacement, damage, or destruction is less
than four hundred dollars ($400), and the defendant has been
previously convicted of vandalism or affixing graffiti or other
inscribed material under Section 594, 594.3, 594.4, 640.5, 640.6, or
640.7, vandalism is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for
not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than five thousand
dollars ($5,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment.
(c) Upon conviction of any person under this section for acts of
vandalism consisting of defacing property with graffiti or other
inscribed materials, the court shall, when appropriate and feasible,
in addition to any punishment imposed under subdivision (b), order
the defendant to clean up, repair, or replace the damaged property
himself or herself, or order the defendant, and his or her parents or
guardians if the defendant is a minor, to keep the damaged property
or another specified property in the community free of graffiti for
up to one year. Participation of a parent or guardian is not required
under this subdivision if the court deems this participation to be
detrimental to the defendant, or if the parent or guardian is a
single parent who must care for young children. If the court finds
that graffiti cleanup is inappropriate, the court shall consider
other types of community service, where feasible.
(d) If a minor is personally unable to pay a fine levied for acts
prohibited by this section, the parent of that minor shall be liable
for payment of the fine. A court may waive payment of the fine, or
any part thereof, by the parent upon a finding of good cause.
(e) As used in this section, the term "graffiti or other inscribed
material" includes any unauthorized inscription, word, figure, mark,
or design, that is written, marked, etched, scratched, drawn, or
painted on real or personal property.
(f) The court may order any person ordered to perform community
service or graffiti removal pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision
(c) to undergo counseling.
(g) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2002.