Town Square

Post a New Topic

Palo Alto High principal reflects on 'egg wars'

Original post made on Nov 16, 2009

Eleven Palo Alto High School students were suspended and about seven more received "consequences" for participating in an Oct. 27 "egg war" on the Gunn High School campus, Paly Principal Jacquie McEvoy says in an interview looking back on the incident.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, November 16, 2009, 4:35 PM

Comments (135)

Posted by anonymous, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 16, 2009 at 4:58 pm

The principal sounds very reasonable.
My other reaction is how disheartening it is that so-called "leadership students" were involved in this nonsensical "egg war." Pretty childish, dudes.


Posted by uppity parents, a resident of Greater Miranda
on Nov 16, 2009 at 6:35 pm

Permanent damage to a sports track and to a scoreboard from EGGS??

Well, either those things were not built very well, or we throw waaaayyy too much money at sports facilities at Palo Alto schools.

Any school facilities we build should be egg resistant.

Time to reconsider those huge bond measures and parcel taxes we keep passing for our schools.


Posted by Paly class of 2011, a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 16, 2009 at 6:36 pm

Maybe next year mcevoy shouldn't alert the police ahead of time, so the tradition will remain in the unincorporated forests of Stanford, like they have for the last 3 decades. the reason why this year's event ended up at gunn is because police were already stationed on Stanford waiting for it thanks to mcevoy.

and also there were at least 200+ people there..dont mistake it for being a small event..its one of the most widely known unsponsored traditions at Paly along with freshman friday and senior streaking during the last week of school.

mcevoy can do what she wants, but egg wars will still happen next year..


Posted by A Noun Ea Mus, a resident of Professorville
on Nov 16, 2009 at 7:05 pm

Maybe McEvoy needs to ponder the law of unintended consequences as she messed with a harmless and established tradition. For decades the egg war has essentially been a harmless tradition.

Time to move on......to 2011?


Posted by Gunn parent, a resident of Gunn High School
on Nov 16, 2009 at 7:28 pm

So were ANY of those Paly egg throwers at the Gunn beautification day, to help clean up? I didn't notice any in our group.


Posted by gunn senior, a resident of Terman Middle School
on Nov 16, 2009 at 7:32 pm

once again im proud to be a gunn student. with everything that gunn has been through it was so insensitive for paly students to do that, even unintentionally. no one wants to ruin their fun but they need to find somewhere to do it where they won't damage any private property. on top of that students and parents think that they did nothing wrong in fact quite the opposite - there with people who bragged about it with facebook statuses like "haha big surprise for gunn." i have to say it sucked to walk around amongst eggs everywhere. also, those poor janitors, so unfair that they have to help with clean up because some irresponsible kids have nothing better to do than throw eggs at each other. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by parent, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Nov 16, 2009 at 7:50 pm

In my high school, we used to let the air out of 2 or more tires of our teachers' car. There's a prank with no property damage.


Posted by OhlonePar, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 16, 2009 at 8:04 pm

Reading between the lines, McEvoy is clearly someone who over-reacts. Breathalyzers for school dances? Five-day suspensions because it's easier to pull back later--i.e. when you actually have some information?

Nonsense.


Posted by Paly Parent, a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 16, 2009 at 8:15 pm

This article clearly illustrates why Paly needs a principal like McEvoy. She gets it. Yes, our kids can have fun but you cannot be destructive and harmful. What those kids did at Gunn was illegal and dangerous. Thank goodness no one was seriously hurt. My sophomore daughter will not attend any egg wars. She knows better because she was raised better. I do not believe parents support this illegal activity. I hope McEvoy knows she has our support.


Posted by VoxPop, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 16, 2009 at 8:38 pm

Breathalyzers at dances? Idiocy. I fail to see how that teaches kids to assume responsibility for their actions.


Posted by Gunn parent, a resident of Gunn High School
on Nov 16, 2009 at 9:12 pm

Reading between the lines .... of the responses from the Paly kids that were part of the egg wars, and that expressed no remorse for their actions it is clear they are a bunch of narcissists.

Below are Hotchkiss's 7 Deadly Sins of Narcissism. As home work for the Paly egg thrower's lets compare them with the typical Paly egg thrower response.
----

1. Shamelessness - Shame is the feeling that lurks beneath all unhealthy narcissism, and the inability to process shame in healthy ways.

2. Magical thinking - Narcissists see themselves as perfect using distortion and illusion known as magical thinking. They also use projection to dump shame onto others.

3. Arrogance - If a narcissist is feeling deflated, he can reinflate himself by diminishing, debasing or degrading somebody else.

4. Envy - If the narcissist's need to secure a sense of superiority meets an obstacle because of somebody else, he neutralises it using contempt to minimise the other person's ability

5. Entitlement - Narcissists hold unreasonable expectations of particularly favorable treatment and automatic compliance because they consider themselves uniquely special. Any failure to comply will be considered an attack on their superiority and the perpetrator is considered to be an "awkward" or "difficult" person. Defiance of their will is a narcissistic injury that can trigger narcissistic rage.

6. Exploitation - can take many forms but always involves the using of others without regards for their feelings or interests. Often the other is in a subservient position where resistance would be difficult or even impossible. Sometimes the subservience is not so much real as assumed.

7. Bad Boundaries - narcissists do not recognize that they have boundaries and that others are separate and are not extensions of themselves. Others either exist to meet their needs or may as well not exist at all. Those who provide narcissistic supply to the narcissist will be treated as if they are part of the narcissist and be expected to live up to those expectations. In the mind of a narcissist, there is no boundary between self and other.

---

OK now how does that list compare with the Paly egg throwers that responded on the original thread.

#1) Shamelessness - check.
#2) Magical thinking - "their special after all" - check.
#3) Arrogance - check.
#4) Envy - maybe the weakest in this list ... - check minus.
#5) Entitlement - triple check.
#6) Exploitation - double check.
#7) Bad Boundaries - triple check.

Next assignment. Parent that refuse to set boundaries for their special Paly kids.


Posted by teacher Mom, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 16, 2009 at 9:29 pm

I love that Principal Jacquie McEvoy is a leader. She doesn't pay lip service and stands by keeping our kids safe. She's made really good choices for our kids. As for the parents who are against the breathalyzer, how can you be against discouraging underage drinking?


Posted by Mark, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Nov 16, 2009 at 10:05 pm

Thanks McEvoy for teaching a whole generation of kids that "the man" is to be feared and never trusted. Furthermore, your contribution to the general lack of respect for our society's establishments (Palo Alto High School) is sure to pay dividends for years to come.


Posted by Mark, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Nov 16, 2009 at 10:07 pm

"how can you be against discouraging underage drinking?"

Discouraging takes place before the underage drinking, putting breathalyzers out at a school function tells the kids that they are second class citizens, not to be trusted and will not be receiving the benefit of the doubt.

Its also a little big brother, is this not a country based on innocent until proven guilty?


Posted by Alcohol, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Nov 16, 2009 at 10:45 pm

Name five high schools in the neighboring school districts who don't use breathalyzers. Heck, name two. My son goes to the dances at Gunn now because he knows that no one will be drunk and out of control. As a parent, I'm more than ok with this decision and I support gunn and paly for making this change to utilize breathalyzers. High school dances should be alcohol free. Isn't that obvious?


Posted by confused, a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 16, 2009 at 11:26 pm

I read this news and some earlier ones a few times, but I've still failed to understand why picking Gunn. Most people felt sorry and sad for the recent tradegies happened in Gunn, and trying hard to help them healing. Under this situation, it's unthinkable to commit such behavior.


Posted by A Noun Ea Mus, a resident of Professorville
on Nov 17, 2009 at 12:04 am

Geesh can't some of you people get it! They didn't pick Gunn. The Paly students tried to have their internal egg war (Juniors vs. Seniors) where they usually have it on the Stanford Campus in the "rural" areas of such. No damage, eggs just out in open fields. No one to my knowledge was ever seriously injured in the past.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

"McEvoy alerted Palo Alto and Stanford police in October when she heard rumors another egg war was in the works."

The yearly egg war was then driven off a rural area onto Bol Park and then onto Gunn. Once there no doubt a bit of the predictable Gunn/Paly rivalry raised it's ugly head, FB posts made, etc. And real property damage occurred. But please don't assume that the yearly egg war is synonymous with such property damage. It was inadvertently herded into such.

Then people from Gunn predictably react off the same Paly/Gunn rivalry tradition.

And all is spun as being the fault of the yearly egg war tradition! Amazing spin.

And further then the recent tragic suicides at Gunn are bought into the mix.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Paly alum., a resident of University South
on Nov 17, 2009 at 12:06 am

Dear Gunn Parent – Yes, groups of teenage kids do tend to be somewhat narcissistic. It's pretty textbook mob mentality. Do you honestly think that these kids going to Paly has anything to do with bad decisions? 200 kids from Gunn are just as likely to collectively get in trouble, but alas they might not have any classic traditions that might do so. Teenagers in general are arrogant, entitled, and are consistently testing their boundaries. While the location that these kids decided on was obviously unfortunate, the fact that you're using this incident to further some sort of parental sense of superiority based on region is pathetic.


Posted by OhlonePar, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 17, 2009 at 12:08 am

Gunn parent,

Right, every kid who participated in a 30-year-old tradition has a personality disorder. Give me a break.

Using a breathalyzer isn't "discouraging" teen drinking--it's showing that we do not trust kids to behave responsibly.

Why should kids be subjected to a test used on drunk drivers without probable cause? I don't have a problem with a test if one suspects drinking--but guilty by reason of being a teenager until proven innocent sets a bad example.

It's in keeping with what else has been reported about McEvoy. So far, I'm not impressed, just hope there's someone else when I'm PalyPar.


Posted by Another parent, a resident of South of Midtown
on Nov 17, 2009 at 12:09 am

Confused, I agree. But if you read the post above from Gunn Parent, it will help you to understand the problem. Thank you Gunn Parent. I enjoyed that!


Posted by Paly class of 2011, a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 17, 2009 at 12:13 am

To 'Paly Parent' from up above who said, "My sophomore daughter will not attend any egg wars. She knows better because she was raised better."

Don't try to assume what your daughter will or will not do next year with regard to longstanding Paly traditions. Chances are she will attend.

The majority of students that attended are well-raised, hard-working students that will be attending elite universities next year. Most of the people that attended are well-behaved and well-rounded students...you can't generalize because they took part in a tradition that has been going on longer than McEvoy has been alive.

That said, don't be surprised if your daughter "suddenly has to go work on a physics project with her group" come the night of next year's egg war between the the upperclassmen.

And as long as the Paly administration doesn't interfere, Gunn will never have to go through this again...hopefully next year the event will be restored back to the Stanford forest across the street from Paly.

And for what it's worth, I do agree it was stupid that the decision was made to move the event to the field behind Gunn...I don't know why another place wasn't chosen. Nevertheless, the administration's interference is the reason for the sudden change of location.


Posted by OhlonePar, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 17, 2009 at 12:21 am

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Personally, egg wars seem kind of dumb to me and not something I would ever enjoy (but, hey, as a toddler I hated finger painting because of the mess)--but there's a judgmental attitude about this whole thing that strikes me as out-of-line with the transgression.

A little tolerance of adolescents and adolescent behavior would be a good thing, I think. (And, yes, they should pay for the damage--though I also consider the fussing over egg damage to be over the top--yes, there will probably need to be some paint touch-ups--not that hard, boys and girls)


Posted by What Kids are Saying, a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 17, 2009 at 2:09 am

I doubt any of Jackie McEvoy's critics would defend the decision-making or actions by PALY students that led to property damage on Gunn's campus. Nor would her critics condone underage drinking, drinking at dances, or other risk behaviors. The weird irony is that nearly everyone - including a vast majority of students and parents – shares the same underlying values that Jackie voices in this article. It is not at ALL inconsistent to believe in taking responsibility for one's actions, respect for others or a school's rules and still have serious concerns about the McEvoy administration.

It is a mistake to equate her controlling, authoritarian style with strength or effective policy – especially when it comes to working with young people. Moreover, it is not what their behavior deserves.
At a time where this community desperately wants every young person to know they can come to an adult for help, many PALY students are disinclined - expressing sadness, frustration, anger and cynicism with their school's administration and rigid policies. Very worrisome…


Posted by Paly Parent, a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 17, 2009 at 5:53 am

My daughter talks to me about what things some kids do and how she does not agree with those choices. She knows that i would frown on her involvement in any destructive activity and she has the values to not participate. I talk with her friends parents and there is a lot of support for using common sense on stuff like this, tradition or not. wasn't the friday freshman stuff a tradition too? who decided that these mean, destructive, hurtful events are traditions? My daughter's friends parents who i speak with do not support those things. i have yet to find a parent with any common sense who does.


Posted by parent, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Nov 17, 2009 at 8:18 am

Good News. On another thread a woman has already volunteered her house for the egg wars. I believe it is the same person who wrote the letter "Rogue Principal". Problem solved. Paly kids can have their egg war at a private residence and then the schools don't need to be involved at all!


Posted by PA resident, a resident of Community Center
on Nov 17, 2009 at 8:38 am

Another case of poor newspaper reporting. PA weekly only got part of the story. Did the reporter ever talk with students or parents of the students?

From what I heard, the principal overreacted as the students were very open (innocently) about this event (a Paly tradition). The principal took no effort to stop it before it occurred. This creates distrust among everybody-principal/students/parents.


Posted by Capbreton, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 17, 2009 at 8:39 am

There are only two people to take to task in this story. First, Frozen Egg Boy. That was way out of line. He alone should face the music for being at the bottom of the intellectual ladder at Paly.

Second is McEvoy. She came to this posting from inner city schools and thinks our kids should be treated the same. Note to Jackie: These were eggs. Not rocks, pieces of Rebar and knives. Her totalitarian ethic that led her to call the police proactively did, indeed, cause the problem to happen. (If an egg were to break in the forest would anyone notice?)

Our overmanaged kids need occasional outlets that don't actually cause much damage and are highly unlikely to injure. In my day at Los Altos High on Halloween we used to go to the top of a hill and roll pumpkins down on police cars amassed at the bottom. The police would eventually rush up the hill and scatter us. Everyone had a laugh. Even the police. Today they'd probably taser a few kids if someone tried that.

Let the kids blow off steam and get Jackie out of here.

Oh, yes. My daughter's high school does *not* use breathalyzers.


Posted by Gunn parent, a resident of Gunn High School
on Nov 17, 2009 at 8:54 am

@OhlonePar

The reason I posted the 7 traits of narcissism isn't because some 150 paly kids chose to participate in egg wars. It was what those kids said on this forum afterwards. (Almost) none of the kids expressed any regret about it (i.e. shamelessness). They made a mess of the Gunn campus(bad boundaries) and expected someone else to clean up after them(entitlement,explotation). They claim it as "a tradition"(magical thinking, entitlement) because they are paly students leading a stressed out life - as if they are the only ones in the world with stress. But most of all when the Paly principle tries to show that bad choices have consequences they chaff at this and lash out and how harsh this is. THAT is classic narcissism. Unfortunately, that extends beyond the kids to their parents too.

What I found really annoying however, was the lack of Paly kids at the Gunn beautification project this weekend. If 100+ kids felt entitled enough the make a mess of the Gunn campus why weren't those 100+ Paly kids helping to clean up Gunn this weekend?

If any Paly kids were at the Gunn project this weekend, please speak-up you deserve some praise. To the rest of the paly egg throwers, where were you? Why do you expect others to clean-up after you?


Posted by A Noun Ea Mus, a resident of Professorville
on Nov 17, 2009 at 9:22 am

Why are some people continuing to insist on retrofitting the decades long traditional egg war with the recent forced migration to Gunn? Is it based on an inability to really see how this came down? Or emotional opportunism? The current Paly administration tries to stop an innocent and fun activity that has gone on for decades and ends up merely causing the migration and the resultant damage. In my opinion the only people who should be disciplined and forced to clean up the mess are those very administrators who in reality bought this about.

If the decades long Paly Senior/Junior Egg War was any big long standing problem why hasn't there been a hue and cry over this over the same time span? If Stanford and PA Police were truly the supposed instigators of this egg war crackdown why weren't there stern warnings and invective coming out of Stanford, PA Police Chiefs vowing to put an end to the ovarian holocaust?


Instead this year we've had Broken Eggs at Gunn. Time to ponder the symmetry and hold both versions in our mind's eye!


Posted by palo alto mom, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 17, 2009 at 9:47 am

The egg wars were stupid and destructive, but I don't understand how Dr. McEvoy could possibly think that she is accomplishing positive things at Paly. She spends a lot of time "fixing" things that were not broken. Before she came, the kids were used to the Administration expecting them to make good choices and most of the time they did. Now the Admin expects them to make bad choice, shows little trust in the students and fails to listen to them. She has also consistently overreacted in terms of her "punishment" for "crimes". Any one remember a kid getting arrested for turning over his own car on Paly property?

FRONT PAGE OF THE PALY PAPER - PALY DANCES DISAPPOINT

If the atmosphere at the Paly dances is so much better (according to Dr. McEvy) , why were there several articles in this month's paper about how attendance is way down and students no longer want to attend dances.

"Students feel that the school should place more trust in its students and provide them with the opportunity to make smart choices."

"Even before the strict policy pertaining to alcohol was implemented, the majority of students did not drink before dances. The administration's decision to punish the entire student body for the choices made by an extreme minority shows a lack of respect for the rest of the students and has prompted negative feedback."

WHAT PALY STUDENTS FEEL THE ADMIN THINKS OF THEM

"I think the administration's power would go a lot further if they were to listen a little to what the students have to say. Or even just pretend to. People don't like feeling
ignored. Maybe I should just shut up right now because I know no one will be reading this who both has power at Paly and cares what we have to say. They seem to be mutually exclusive these days.

I know the administration probably feels it will be criticized no matter what it does, but there's a lot of loyalty in a lot of students that no one has tapped because there is no one listening to us. And if no one listens to what the students here have to say, Paly will be an autocracy before we know it. "

The whole paper is at Web Link


Posted by Former Paly Parent, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Nov 17, 2009 at 10:56 am

I chaperoned several Paly dances between 2000 and 2007 and was appalled at the number of drunk kids in attendance. One of my kids only went to one dance over the entire 4 years at Paly due to the huge majority of attendees who were drunk at every dance.

I chaperoned a couple of dances during this time because I thought my kid was missing out on something that I remember enjoying during my high school years. What I found was that my kid was right. I estimate 2/3-3/4 of the kids who came to the 2005 Homecoming dance were legally drunk. There was a lot of vomit in a variety of places, unfortunately not much of it was in the bathroom (or outside).

That said, I support using breathalyzers at dances until kids figure out a different way to have fun. For some reason, a large majority of high school and college students believe that one cannot have a good time unless one is completely blotto. It's sad.


Posted by Parent of teen, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Nov 17, 2009 at 10:59 am

I wonder what the reaction would have been if they had been black kids, not overprivileged rich white kids having "fun." I don't think we would talk about "bad decisions." They would be punished and shamed.
Not to mention the good food they destroyed. These kids don't even know the difference between tossing a ball and tossing food. Hundreds of dollars of good food.
And they don't know how to have fun without destroying property. Not all teenagers are so debased.


Posted by Another parent, a resident of South of Midtown
on Nov 17, 2009 at 11:12 am

Parent of teen, I agree. But you can see from some of the posts above and elsewhere that there are those who have a huge blind spot around their children. I've yet to see one of the parents who approve the egg fights as a harmless tradition invite them over to egg their home. If it is indeed harmless, why not?


Posted by We support you!, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 17, 2009 at 11:28 am

I am so ashamed for our community. Thank you, Principal Mcevoy for
your bravery to do the right thing. Thank you for educating our youths about consideration and respect. Please know that we do support you!


Posted by A Noun Ea Mus, a resident of Professorville
on Nov 17, 2009 at 11:29 am

"I've yet to see one of the parents who approve the egg fights as a harmless tradition invite them over to egg their home. If it is indeed harmless, why not?"

Oh for Krist sake.....

Well I think water slides can be fun. That doesn't mean that I'm going to put fire hoses on my second floor and invite kids over to water slide down the stairs.

I think Paintball can be fun. But I wouldn't invite kids over to my yard for a paintball fight.

I think egg wars can be fun. If they are held in rural areas as in the past there should be no problem. Obviously the forced migration to Gunn then ended up with damage.

A formerly harmless tradition was turned harmful. And then the real perps of this spin it such that the tradition itself is to blame. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Its almost laughable. It's like the stereotypical adults at a Little League game running amuck.


Posted by Sasha, a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Nov 17, 2009 at 11:38 am

Principal McEvoy rocks! I absolutely support her decisions about everything mentioned above. For all those who are complaining about her...if YOUR kid got hurt, or YOUR property was damaged, or you found out YOUR kids were drunk at the high school prom...YOU would of been the first to accuse her of not doing her job or keeping your kids safe. C'mon get real....the egg tradition, no matter how old it is, is ridiculous!!! Times change, traditions change, and those idiot kids should be able to use their creativity to find a new tradition. How about community service. The good feel that get from that will last MUCH longer then a few minutes throwing eggs at each other.


Posted by Local Mom, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 17, 2009 at 11:38 am

Eggs destroy property? I agree with the earlier poster that we ought to review what's being used with our bond funds for the schools! Paper mache?

Anyway, it's perhaps little wonder that the "in the box" and "don't get out of line" thinking takes over - and no sanctioned place for the kids to blow off some steam!

And we wonder what causes kids to walk onto train tracks? Maybe some parents and teacher administration ought to remember how FUN it was to be a kid, and GIVE them the space to be that until they graduate.... is that too much to ask?

They're not adults till they're 18 anyway. Why not let them have some fun - and allow it so it'd be in a "controlled" environment, instead of having the kids have to come up with an alternative that's less predictable...


Posted by A Noun Ea Mus, a resident of Professorville
on Nov 17, 2009 at 11:39 am

"I wonder what the reaction would have been if they had been black kids, not overprivileged rich white kids having "fun." I don't think we would talk about "bad decisions." They would be punished and shamed."

Well if a bunch of kids from EPA were to be out in the dark throwing eggs on Stanford land.........the SWAT team would have probably been called in and some of them shot, eggs in hand. But for a better analogy if this event had been a tradition and had taken place by EPA youth out in the marshland area towards Willow Road west of University.....probably a non-issue forever.

"Not to mention the good food they destroyed. These kids don't even know the difference between tossing a ball and tossing food. Hundreds of dollars of good food."

Are you saying they should buy balls and throw them around, leave such litter on the ground? I think that if you sat any of the kids down and showed them pictures of balls and food they could differentiate between them. Lots of money is spent on lots of traditions, food is wasted either by design or default. Cinco de Mayo celebrations, Bull Fights, family reunions, workplace pot lucks where food ends up being tossed. Get real with your indignance please.

"And they don't know how to have fun without destroying property. Not all teenagers are so debased."

For years the tradition went on without apparent problem or property destruction. It was never intended to be a Paly vs. Gunn thing, only a Paly Seniors vs. Juniors yearly Egg War. Yes and they were all so debased every female went on to star in Girls Gone Wild video's, every male survivor of Egg Wars went on to participate in the most greivous of frat initiations.

Oh the shame and horror of it all!


Posted by Me Too, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 17, 2009 at 11:48 am

I agree that the egg fight as a tradition is a different issue than property damage at Gunn. If they can find a place that will host an egg fight, then I suppose they can do it. The problem is there aren't many (any?) places in town that don't mind the mess. Stanford made their irritation known and that should be respected. Maybe there is private property somewhere that will host - but if not, it is an event without a venue. Sorry kids (but not that sorry).

Seeing OP and others scoff at breathalysers at school dances (a universal and sadly necessary measure) demonstrates how out of touch some of the principal's critics are about our children's behavior. Jackie may be tough - but when I look at the kids - and parents - she is up against, I can see why and thank her.


Posted by Breathalyzers, a resident of Greater Miranda
on Nov 17, 2009 at 11:57 am


Breathalyzers are a great idea - we should use them a lot more. Why for school dances? Because if we don't, parents who think that schools are responsible for the actions of their kids will sue if a teenager dies of alcohol poisoning. School officials can't be too careful. I think that parents should be responsible for the actions of their kids. If a kid drinks and gets in an accident, the parent should be totally responsible - including shared jail time.


Posted by Confused, a resident of another community
on Nov 17, 2009 at 12:14 pm

>Eleven Palo Alto High School students were suspended and
>about seven more received "consequences" for participating in an
>Oct. 27 "egg war" on the Gunn High School campus, Paly Principal
>Jacquie McEvoy says in an interview looking back on the incident.

How were these 18 determined; what did they do that the unpunished students didn't?


Posted by Another Paly Parent, a resident of Menlo Park
on Nov 17, 2009 at 12:36 pm

First, eggs DO cause damage. If you'd ever had an egg thrown onto your house or car, you'd know. The residue, if allowed to dry, damages paint and is extremely difficult to remove. I know, I've had to do it.

Secondly, if you were the parent of a kid who's been taken to the hospital for treatment because she had made herself ill from drinking, then you might be more in favor of more regulation. These ARE good kids, but they are kids and don't think through consequences, no matter how sophisticated they might be. Learning at this age that actions have consequences is a good thing. Learning that a frozen egg can crush facial bones and destroy someone's eyesight by being the victim may be too harsh a lesson- compare that to a couple of days suspension.


Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 17, 2009 at 12:41 pm

I think the beating of the dead horse has gone on and on and on...too long.

Whether you agree with McEvoy's perspective on managing student behavior or not, a key failure in this instance is the lack of pro-active communication and guidance. This isn't to say that the students are not to blame - but what I am saying is that the "adults" in this equation failed to provide preventative guidance. Unfortunately, this is a telling pattern of the McEvoy era.

After last year's "Freshmen Friday" suspensions and discipline, McEvoy et. al. did the right thing this year and got out in front of the "tradition" and made it very clear - "Don't do it, or pay the consequences...and the consequences are x, y & z." Finally, a refreshing action taken by the folks in the Tower Building - but instead it appears to have been forgotten.

Given that McEvoy knew about the pending Egg War, as proven by her giving a head's up to the local police departments - why didn't she give the same notice to the student body at large? Why didn't McEvoy send an email alert to parents via the usual email process?

This whole mess (pun intended) could have been averted. Perhaps the administration could have pro-actively called in Senior and Junior leadership and come up with an alternative? Instead - the result was more of a sting operation than a preventative measure.

Regardless of how you may feel about the two preventative measures taken in the last year or so (Breathalyzers at dances & proms; Strong consequences communicated before Freshman Friday), the result has been that the students have responded by not crossing the hard-and-fast line.

Would the students still have held the Egg War - knowing that both PAPD and Stanford Sheriffs were out in force...or that the discipline for participation would be x-number of days suspension? We'll never know for sure - though I suspect there would still be a few numb-skulls who would have insisted on pressing their luck. But at least most, if not all, of this episode would have been prevented.

Point is this: McEvoy will continue coming off as an over-the-top disciplinarian until she and her staff figure out that they need to pro-actively work with students - instead of waiting (in the shadows) for them to screw up and then beat them down afterwards.


Posted by Another parent, a resident of South of Midtown
on Nov 17, 2009 at 1:08 pm

Anon, Since they're harmless, why don't you want the egg fights at your home? If there was no harm done at venues in the past, why doesn't Stanford want them there? Could it be the exact same reason for which you don't want your own property strewn with rotten eggs? Blind spot.


Posted by Anon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 17, 2009 at 1:23 pm

Seems like a reasonable wrap-up to a bad situation.

What gets me is the people who still defend or minimize this
event. There are always people who just do not get it living
in the middle of everyone else and the seeds of the next egg
war or whatever are waiting to sprout from the combination of
bad values and poor judgement.

i like the idea of restitution and community service.

- by the way I have not posted here ... i'm Anon. with a
capital A and a period at the end. Just just cannot be anonymous
anymore without someone trying to blame you for all the
other anonymous comments! ;-)


Posted by middle school mom, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 17, 2009 at 1:25 pm

How can you be against underage drinking?
Wrong question.
As a Quaker, taking this test would violate our religion. We are against underage drinking but this test presupposes dishonesty and it would not be possible for our child to attend a dance if it were to remain a requirement, much as we are unable to "swear" to tell the truth in court. Courts all over this country recognize the religious rights of Quakers. Why can't Paly? I guess we'll have to talk to Ms. McEboy next year with our child.


Posted by Anon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 17, 2009 at 1:32 pm

Did things like this happen in the past? I don't think anything this bad happened before but I am not a Paly historian or anything. Has the world changed in that in previous generations there were more involved parents who knew their kids and what they were up to?

Expecting the police to be "out in force" or the principal to "herd cats" so to speak by trying to predict every bad situation in advance seems unreasonable.

Why do people have kids these days if they do not keep in touch with them and their development or try to instill some judgement and values in them? Or with the media, the music, the movies, the peers is it just impossible and we have to leave it up to the "state"?

What would really stop this cold is to publish pictures or videos of these kids talking about this. I'm not really suggesting this as a solution ... obivously it would not fly ... too bad, but I would love to see just who was involved in this mess and what their general mindset was? I cannot imagine even as a former paly high-school student why anyone would do this or defend it?


Posted by Anon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 17, 2009 at 1:42 pm

A Noun Ea Mus ... Reading your posts the twisted logic you are using and the persistence you are using to defend this whole egg thing make me wonder what you could be thinking or what you value in life, besides disingenuous debate and hyperbole?

When someone makes the statement that egg wars are bad and ties it to that no one would want to have an egg war at their house, you chime in with waterslides are good, but no one would want to have one in their living room. Is that really logical to you? Does that add illumination or depth to your or anyone else's understanding of what happened here? It doesn't to me. It makes me realize that bad judgement and non-crtiical thinking is what adds to this from the get-go, and that is a perfect example. Sorry to single you out, but there is no better example of what I am trying to express.


Posted by Redstone, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Nov 17, 2009 at 1:52 pm

This is a completely self-serving article fabricated by Dr. McEvoy. The kids ended up at Gunn because she had made sure the police were posted everywhere else. The "investigation" was conducted by terrorizing the students, there was no violation that authorized imposing suspensions and HELLO!! you don't impose punishment and "find out the facts" later. Did Dr. McEvoy ever hear of the Constitution??? Saying there were frozen eggs and serious injuries to justify imposing suspensions is like Bush saying there were WMD in Iraq to justify the war. Oh. Guess there really weren't any after all but it's too late now. The kids did offer to apologize and clean up the mess and those involved were not permitted to do so. McEvoy told them the Gunn principal didn't want them anywhere near the school (could that also be a lie?) There is no justification for the unevenly imposed punishments. Shame on PA Online for not getting the real story.


Posted by duvie dad, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 17, 2009 at 1:57 pm

Crescent Park dad - thanks for your comments, I agree totally. Principal McEvoy seems more interested in exerting authority than actually helping students develop a sense of responsibility.

I hope we get to see an actual educator take her place soon, rather than someone who behaves more like a warden.

And no, I am not in favor of underage drinking. My house has been egged, and it is a real challenge to clean it up.

So I do believe we should try to work with teens to find less harmful ways to blow off steam - proactively work with them, not draconian measures when they screw up.


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 17, 2009 at 1:59 pm

IN an extreme effort straining to excuse bad behavior of SOME teens, some parents are posting that the principal must anticipate every conceivable oddball activity some students might engage in that might hurt people and damage property. It isn't that tough, folks. Just learn some common decency and DON'T do it. In many years associated in various capacities with PA and PA schools, I have never heard of the "egg wars." I am not denying some students clearly participated in this nonsense, but please do not elevate it so some level of importance. It's not a great tradition. (Check with anyone from out of the city as to how they react when told about this "activity.") It's NOT important, either, except that it is a silly activity that is inappropriate. If damage and injuries occurs, and schools or other private property are trespassed on and a mess is made there, then there should be some response. I would think that many a child of ten would know better than to have done this!


Posted by veteran mom, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Nov 17, 2009 at 1:59 pm

I would rather McEvoys "goal for our kids" be to educate them, instead of , "to prevent kids from getting into trouble". She missed an opportunity to teach the school community about appropriate consequences to certain actions.


Posted by Paula, a resident of Professorville
on Nov 17, 2009 at 2:04 pm

Would the Paly kids and parents have been happy with hundreds of eggs on their sports fields, sidewalks, lawns? Just have the egg wars at their own school if it's such an important tradition.


Posted by Anon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 17, 2009 at 2:10 pm

Good point Paula.

I went to Paly decades ago and recently while eating at Town and Country one day we took a walk through Paly. It looked so terrible, like a bombed out wreckage from what I remembered it like. Perhaps they took it to Gunn out of jealousy. I used to be proud of Paly, but it should be razed and rebuilt at this point but as with everything else I am sure there is no money to do that.


Posted by a Paly parent, a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 17, 2009 at 2:35 pm

Here's a suggestion for the next egg war: before having it, go to the property owner and get their permission to have the war on their property.

So far all you've done is to authorize yourselves to trash someone else's property and then whine when you're caught. What's disappointing is how many Palo Alto parents think that's acceptable.

Good for Dr. McEvoy for bringing in some accountability. The kids are obviously not learning it at home.


Posted by Susan, a resident of Menlo Park
on Nov 17, 2009 at 2:40 pm

Oh please. Do you mean to say that the staff were unable to handle the students? You don't have to re-invent the wheel. Deal with it so the rest of us don't have to. Or is that what the staff wants? Do you want the rest of the community to come down and HELP YOU! If so, put out an ALL POINTS BULLETIN! ATTENTION: STAFF CAN'T HANDLE STUDENTS.


Posted by PA citizen & parent, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 17, 2009 at 2:45 pm

This is not the first time that McEvoy has been "suspend first - facts later" responsive. And, more often than not, she has her very willing hatchet men, i.e., Vice Prinicipals, do the first line interrogation and intimidation leading to suspensions. I think it is a shameful abuse of power to try to bully students into "ratting" on their classmates.


Posted by A Noun Ea Mus, a resident of Professorville
on Nov 17, 2009 at 2:55 pm

"Stanford made their irritation known".

The event was going on for decades and, while some mention may have been made......perhaps the City of Palo Alto should mention an irritation with the Stanford Band?

"I think the beating of the dead horse has gone on and on and on...too long."

Indeed. Then PA Online posted a self-serving "reflection" along with a call to "move on". I am tempted to come up with analogies, but will defer.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

I've got a bit of a line into the details of what went down, has gone down, this event and other things....from the Senior Prank criminal charge of years ago to this. Using long suspension threats ala "confess to ze crime or we won't reduce it".... then kid found to be totally innocent. Kid threatened who merely drove over to pick up a brother, etc.

I could go on and on.....Paly parents talk to your kids. Take what they say with many grains of salt and still......


Posted by curious, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 17, 2009 at 2:57 pm

Let's see kids went to the first spot for egg wars but found police; first sign of bad idea.
Kids claim to have gone to a second spot but found police; second sign of bad idea.
How many signs do they need?


Posted by Really Ticked, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 17, 2009 at 3:27 pm

There's history here and it isn't on McEvoy's or Feinberg's and Berkson's side.

The above article contributes really nothing. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.] McEvoy knows that people have rights. She just doesn't feel it's necessary to apply those rights to students. Her approach appears to be consistently anti-student. But, of course, a different standard applies to the powerful. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

And, finally, come on now! Palo Alto Online . . . shame on the author of this article who did not have the journalistic integrity to check out all the facts before writing a blatantly one-sided article.

I am steamed! ! !


Posted by Another parent, a resident of South of Midtown
on Nov 17, 2009 at 3:32 pm

Sorry Anon, My scolding was directed toward A noun e mus but I am typing challenged so was abbreviating it. I await his city wide invitation, extending to East Palo Alto to have all high schoolers over for an egg fight in his house since eggs are harmless. Bring it A noun!


Posted by Redstone, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Nov 17, 2009 at 3:38 pm

People-- please understand. This is not about glorifying a tradition (which many agree is a stupid one) or excusing kids making a mess. The point about it being a tradition is just to emphasize that it has gone on many many times before without any consequences. There was no reason for these kids to think there would be consequences. Dr. McEvoy could have told them this time will be different as she in fact has done with other traditions she wanted to destroy. Instead, she went out of her way to trap them and then handled the whole 'investigation' and punishment in a way that violated the student's rights. Suspension is a very serious consequence and it can only be imposed for certain violations. This was not one of them. This is not about eggs or spoiled students this is about JUSTICE and the abuse of power by adults over the children they are supposed to be protecting and nurturing.


Posted by Maggie, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Nov 17, 2009 at 3:53 pm

Just to clear something up...

I personally did not attend egg wars, but I have about 50 friends who did, and all of them say that they chose the Gunn location because there is a field in back of the school that is strictly NOT Gunn property. Egg Wars was not AT Gunn - a few drunk students decided to throw eggs on Gunn property, not all 200 of them. I agree that those students who did throw eggs at Gunn should have paid the consequences and that all those who participated should have helped clean up. However, to assume that this is an attack from Paly toward Gunn is completely unjustified. The majority of Paly students believe that the egg throwers should face the consequences - they do not condone egg wars. Neither do I.

Also, while I support most of Principal McEvoy's efforts, I do not believe that 5-day suspensions are any way to foster respect. The administration's overreacting approach (with no previous warning - we were warned there would be consequences, but not 5-day suspensions) leaves the student body confused and angry. I believe the student body has trouble understanding why this "tradition" has been left alone for so long and why only this year is the administration doing something about it. I think, however, that Principal McEvoy has made clear that she is different from other principals in her policies, and I am confident that the student body will reevaluate the worth of such "traditions" in the future. Whether this is a good thing, I don't know. What I hope is that the administration and the student body can come to a compromise where the administration can keep up the school's reputation, but the students can also have some semblance of fun.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 17, 2009 at 3:54 pm

The real issue now is that this is a tradition that everyone now knows about and very few knew about before. I have been a Paly parent for 7 years and this is the first I had heard about it. When I asked my grad about this tradition I was told that it possibly happened but not many people got involved. When I asked my present Paly student I was given the same answer, it was to them little more than a rumor of something that didn't mean much to the majority of students. Now it seems everyone at Paly has an opinion. How can you tell your child not to do something foolish like this if you don't know it exists, and how can they know whether it is foolish if all they have heard in the past is hearsay unless they are the ones involved? This is the first year the majority of us have heard of it and a little publicity has gone a long way in clouding what may or may not in the past have been letting off steam.

The other point is that although Gunn ended up being the venue this was not a desire to vandalize Gunn. Unfortunately the damage to Gunn was an unintended consequence. If the kids had decide to move to Mitchell Park, we could now be talking about vandalizing the library, or the Little League field. It was not a target, just a misguided choice of venue. Perhaps the duck pond could have been chosen and even then some would complain about vandalism too. (I say this because the duck pond and egg throwing may not be considered too bad although it could be argued it would upset the ducks!)

The only one here making much sense recently is Crescent Park Dad, and I am with him.


Posted by A Noun Ea Mus, a resident of Professorville
on Nov 17, 2009 at 3:57 pm

Sounds like Redstone heard what went down.

I don't intend to "glorify" the Egg War tradition. Indeed most of the participants were more the elite of the school it seems---the cheerleaders, athletes, student body people, ones that work on the floats, etc. Some of my kids would never have participated, just like they wouldn't be caught dead working on a homecoming float. Others did both. Meanwhile some have chosen to demonize the participants.

But can't we let them have something of their own--even if we think it is a silly or stupid tradition? Do we have to push everything they have into the dirt, destroy all their traditions, and then spin it for effect? Reminds me of adults complaining about the "violence" of the Power Rangers in years past...yet they continued to watch a sporting event in which the contestants fight and get penalized.

But McEvoy may be inadvertently teaching our kids a lesson in the abuse of authority. Maybe some benefit to that.


Posted by Paly Student #2 '11, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Nov 17, 2009 at 4:05 pm

To 'Paly Parent'...
The incident has nothing to do with how the kids were raised. It was relatively harmless and going into how they were raised is WAY over reacting. Everybody makes mistakes and we should just move on, not try to tackle the kids for being raised badly (which is completely false). How do you justify how somebody was raised as good or bad? You can't.


Posted by eager to know, a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 17, 2009 at 4:26 pm

Can someone from Palo Alto High please explain why this good tradition couldn't be carried out in their own school? If Stanford objected, the first alternative would be somewhere closer to Stanford, right? Perhaps your explanation will change our point of view.

Also, I don't understand how the security system works in Palo Also's schools. Last year a few of us stepped into Oak School in Los Alsos. Within a few minutes, a security guard showed up (which I think was perfectly reasonable & expected).


Posted by some fun, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 17, 2009 at 4:54 pm

The field behind Gunn was not a good choice for egg wars. This is not a secluded place that is out of the way. This is a part of the neighborhood with walking/biking paths running through. This is a place that all of the neighbors take walks and walk their dogs on a daily basis. This would be the same as having the egg wars at Mitchell Park and so everyone who uses this area has a right to be upset that anyone would come and mess up the area with litter (egg cartons, bags, egg shells, egg). Then we move on to the campus and defacing of property continued by more than a few. OK, they didn't mean to deface, it was just one of those teenage moments. Some of those folks went home and instead of realizing; "shoot, we might have screwed up here" they went on to Facebook and boys and girls literally bragged about what they did to the campus. I believe one was, "wait till you see your campus tomorrow, sick". Another was, "Gunns going to get quite the surprise...". Another was "scoreboard". And kids just want to have fun...


Posted by fred, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 17, 2009 at 4:57 pm

Let's just be done with it and blame Stanford for the whole thing... What right have they to want to protect their private property.
Certainly we can't blame the kids, or their parents


Posted by Paly Parent, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 17, 2009 at 5:02 pm

Steamed ' my son attends Paly and told us about Egg Wars. We discussed it and decided it wasn't appropriate to attend. I'm glad he had better things to do than go around destroying property and getting in to fights with other kids. I wish all parents and their kids exercised similar logic and restraint. But if you decide to break the law, you need to be prepared to accept the consequences.

My understanding is that the Paly student body and almost all Paly parents have accepted the consequences and moved on. They would be appalled that a small number of bitter parents are still scrambling around trying to cause further problems and de-focus the school from it's mission of educating the students. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Did the administration over react to 'Egg Wars'? Maybe a bit. Could the situation have been handled better. Probably. Instead of spending time threatening lawsuits and comparing folks to the Gestapo, I suggest parents practice personal responsibility and use common sense. Who knows ' maybe it will rub off on the kids.


Posted by Member of Paly Voice, a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 17, 2009 at 5:17 pm

My friend who was suspended got one day and community service. She said everyone got the same punishment if they threw eggs. She said that she was treated pretty well by Berkson and Fienburg. The five day suspension rumors are rumors.

Paly Parent in the post above sounds like my dad because we had the same conversation and I ended up not going. My friend is past all of this.


Posted by Parent, a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 17, 2009 at 5:34 pm

I believe we have a right to expect that managers (McAvoy, et al) should be visionaries and capable of creative, pro-active, and insightful leadership. During her tenure to date, she has failed repeatedly to show that she is capable of the above. And while individual teachers can attempt to foster a positive classroom learning experience, the negative, reactionary, and authoritarian environment the administration creates makes the Paly high school experience a mine field for students, including the ones who attended egg wars and those who did not. Whatever happened to teachable moments?

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Paly Parent, a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 17, 2009 at 6:21 pm

What happened to people being accountable for their actions like vandalism?


Posted by parent, a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 17, 2009 at 6:56 pm

No one is advocating that they not be held accountable, only that there are many ways to be held accountable. The emphasis should be on logical consequences that directly tie accountability to the behavior you want to change. But it requires a flexible, thoughtful and creative mind to see the many ways. But, it's been established that flexible, thoughtful and creative are not characteristics of McAvoy et al.


Posted by palo alto mom, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 17, 2009 at 6:58 pm

This is no longer about being held accountable for your actions, the egg wars were wrong and stupid.

This was a self-serving article, with Dr. McEvoy patting herself on the back for her behavior.

Parent said it perfectly it is time for the "negative, reactionary, and authoritarian environment" to change, starting with a positive leader who believes in the students and helps then learn from their mistakes.


Posted by Shock, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 17, 2009 at 7:01 pm

To Paly Parent,

You might call it vandalism. McEvoy did. The police didn't. It would be better if you found out first, what really happened. Shouldn't people in power be held responsible and accountable for the abuse of power?


Posted by Paly Parent, a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 17, 2009 at 7:12 pm

Vandalism = Web Link#

I (and numerous others as shown in this thread) support Mcevoy and how she's made really good choices for our kids.



Posted by A Concerned Parent, a resident of Professorville
on Nov 17, 2009 at 7:41 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


Posted by Paly class of 2011, a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 17, 2009 at 8:03 pm

Just for the record, for the people criticizing the students, your city's own Police Department looked the other way towards this event.

The Paly administration is making such a big deal of this. If it were left up to the police, Gunn would get cleaned up, but nothing more would happen.

A friend of mine was stopped by an officer on a neighborhood street next to Gunn as they prepared for the event.
The officer, a former Paly grad himself, said in his own words, "I know about the tradition, you guys are free to throw eggs at other students, but we [PAPD] will be pissed if any eggs are thrown at property."

The Paly administration is trying to suspend anybody that threw eggs period, not just those who damaged Gunn. As you can see, there is a conflict of interest between the philosophy of a school administration and the police department...

What kind of message do students pick up when police look the other way towards a long standing tradition, and then the next morning the students find the principle trying to suspend anyone who attended.

And to clear up one question asked way up above, the only reason why 18 people were 'disciplined' is because (most) Paly students are smart enough to know not to snitch on others. Chances are those 18 people were called out by only one or two students that attended and then ratted out other people...sure hope s/he keeps his/her identity concealed. Especially with regard to college apps, students get pretty angry when suspensions are just served around freely.


Posted by Lee, a resident of Professorville
on Nov 17, 2009 at 8:27 pm

Whether or not you agree or disagree with the egg wars the problem here is how the Administration interrogated the students and the punishment was dealt. The list of violations that occured here is long. I seriously doubt that this will just "blow over".
BTW my son did not participate in the egg wars.


Posted by LOL, a resident of Gunn High School
on Nov 17, 2009 at 8:37 pm

haha I was mad when I found out that paly kids egged Gunn, prior to me knowing that they egged each other.
when if found out that they egged each other.... i "LOL'd"
I didnt know it was a tradition for the students to throw eggs at each other so the thought of them having an egg fight was hilarious

the expenses for our schools are because the field is literally brand new, from last year and it is turf so you cant just water it down and expect the eggs to go away: if not cleaned up, the eggs will be there for a while.
also i suspect that some of the eggs were boiled, so..... if you threw it directly at the scoreboard..... u can expect some cracks
yeah....good tradition you guyss.... pure genius....
throwing eggs at each other...takes a lot of brain power to think of that idea.


Posted by Michelle, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Nov 17, 2009 at 8:54 pm

Gunn parents. As a Paly parent you can have McEvoy as a principle. Here again, she showed that the way she chose to deal with a tradition wasn't a good decision, and doesn't match the school and the students' spirit. If she had a problem with this tradition, why didn't she approach the kids beforehand, instead of calling the police? What did she expect the police to do? to arrest the 200 kids?
For how many more years will Paly student have to cope with a principle who fights them all the time and uses her power and punishments to make changes.


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 17, 2009 at 8:59 pm

I was the first to comment on this thread. Check it out. If you look back, you will see I am diametrically opposed to "A Noun..." who now posts that the "elite of the school" were involved with this ridiculous "egg wars..." ...so WHAT?...that excuses it? I interpret it a different way and it doesn't reflect positively on the Paly student body. Now I am really laughing.


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 17, 2009 at 9:01 pm

I think you mean "principal" if you are referring to Principal McEvoy


Posted by OhlonePar, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 17, 2009 at 9:06 pm

Just to make it clear--I am not in favor of drunk kids at school dances. What I do oppose is treating kids with suspicion--i.e. mandatory Breathalyzer tests--without cause.

It's a case of guilty until proven innocent--it creates an environment of antagonism and distrust. Over the long term it's short-sighted. McEvoy's shown a degree of hubris in her time at the school.

If we don't treat our teens with a basic level of respect--i.e. we judge them on their actions not on the mere fact of their being teens--why should we expect respect from them?


Posted by Charlie, a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Nov 17, 2009 at 10:20 pm

Most of us did some sort of bad behavior as teens -- mostly harmless--mostly not caught. I know there were kids who drank in high school -- no breathalyzers -- no frisking --. You cannot learn to make good choices without the opportunity to make bad ones. You can be kept safe in a prison -- but you don't learn personal responsibility that way.

If you destroy property, you pay for its replacement. If you make a mess, you clean it up. You face the consequences that fit the event and maybe can be used as a teaching situation rather than just punishment.

Why do high school kids forfeit their constiutional rights because they go to school? Why do those who are there to teach our children, choose to always punish them. What kind of a community do our young live in? Its sad.


Posted by Anon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 17, 2009 at 10:33 pm

1. The principal did the right thing. Maybe not the perfect thing, but I don't know what could have been done any better, and the principal is the correct person to sum up and report, so this is hardly self-congratulatory back patting. I am discouraged and saddened by all the unnecessary shots at the Paly principal and the complaining. This whining is like immature delinquents complaining about authority and it is sad to see supposed adults of responsible community members stooping to this level.

2. Throwing eggs is a bad dangerous thing to do. How this idiotic "tradition" ever got started is I find ridiculous. Eggs are food, they are messy and permanently so, they are hard and sharp and hurt people and damage property. Whoever says that any human being of any age needs to throw eggs at people or property for some kind of emotional satisfaction or release does not know what they are talking about.

3. Using someone else's property for something like this where there might be people around or property to damage is also wrong. Even if it is Stanford. Who wants to go for a walk and see smashed eggs everywhere rotting away for months or years?

When I was in high-school we used to sometimes hang out in Rinconada park at night and socialize. There was occasional drinking, pot smoking and fraternization between the sexes - it was all in fun - and nothing nasty ever happened that I know of. It never seemed like a terrible thing to do to me though it was illegal there was no vandalism that I could see. If it got too loud the police would drive by and everyone would go home. Then the next class started kicking in the fence slats and burning them in the fire pits to keep warm. Really logical, if you want to stay warm in the winter when it is cold and you are drinking beer. OK ... that was vandalism. Then the next year the next class came in and did all that and more. Fights and rowdiness, and the dumpster was used as a battering ram for some reason to smash in the little structure where the bathrooms are. This is what will happen with egg wars carried on over time as younger sibling hear and try to outdo older siblings. My point is that these "traditions" are baloney, and second have a way of escalating and getting out of hand.

These days this is much more serious crime, and a lot more pure arrogant, hateful, and thoughtless people it seems to me. I just happened to catch the transitionary time perhaps before things got out of hand. I could not then and do not now understand the need to be destructive or go up against society or the cops. Who do these kids think built and maintains all of this stuff anyway?


Posted by Anon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 17, 2009 at 10:39 pm

Michelle: >> For how many more years will Paly student have to cope with a principle who fights them all the time and uses her power and punishments to make changes. <<

LOL ... are you serious. What is this "Les Miserables"? You should try to go to school in Saudi Arabia - you'd love that. You really make me laugh, but to answer your question unless someone does not graduate 3 years is all the "principal harassment" they can get. There really are more important things in the world to worry about.


Posted by uppity parents, a resident of Greater Miranda
on Nov 17, 2009 at 11:10 pm

Anon just above:

The tone of your post is so condescending. It's really sad to read comments like yours.

The point is, this country is NOT supposed to be like Saudi Arabia. Maybe you should be the one who goes there actually.

Also, last time I counted there were still 4 years of high school, and, yes, 4 years of potentially being a student at a school where the principal and her staff so terrify the students that she breaks the school's spirit. Is that really what we want here in Palo Alto?


Posted by A Noun Ea Mus, a resident of Professorville
on Nov 17, 2009 at 11:30 pm

Annonymous...the reason I explained the student demographic which participates in the yearly Egg War was not to by default excuse it nor condemn it. Just to explain to all that it has been such an established tradition that a bunch of the "goody two-shoes" ("leadership" as you posted way above) types yearly participated in this as just another school spirit type activity. Knowing this I was the one alternating between laughter and disdain as I read all the posts referring to the kids as modern day Dillingers and "animals", etc.

And oh yes the principal sounds very reasonable. Next reasonable thing will be that B-52's will be dumping bleach on the Paly Campus. Streakers will be shot on sight. Prior pictures of the theatrical re-enactments will be air brushed out of any pictures still displayed on the campus. Closed campus. Dogs will sniff the lockers everyday for drugs. Students will learn to quickly confess to any charges lest mere suspensions become expulsions.

And at the end of the day who has egg on their face?....

yeah after we've "moved on"

And is PA Online and the Weekly a journalistic organ anymore? Or just a mouthpiece for whichever angle they want to support?


Posted by Anon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 18, 2009 at 12:13 am

Uppity, when I was at Paly it was grades 10, 11 and 12. I don't know if that changed but talk about condescending. The point is what whatever the principal does this is not and never will or could be Saudi Arabia, so making a herculean effort to look for repression in the discipline of some egg-throwers is foolish and uncalled for. If that seems condescending to you, tough toenails.

By the way, does Paly have lockers anymore? In my walk of a few years back though the campus all the lockers had been removed from the campus. There were lockers there when I went to Paly ... things were a lot different. The concrete and wood siding did not have to be painted to cover a bunch of grafitti. Honestly it might be nice to know what this campus looks like and what life is really like for kids these days.

I have to say I liked the old building much better than the new monolithic windowless ones, and certainly better than the temporary ones that replaced the big lawn.


Posted by A Noun Ea Mus, a resident of Professorville
on Nov 18, 2009 at 12:53 am

And meanwhile some parent in Saudi Arabia is softly complaining about some rule or edict their kids must endure . Their "Anon" then retorts with "well if you think this is repression you should see what they do them in this Yemeni village--- when the girls even peaked out of their burkhas".

I had let this whole thing go, wasn't on my mind. Then PA Online and the principal seem to want to revisit it! And then call to "Move On".

Like me ripping open a scab on my leg and then staring at it and yelling "heal, heal" as it bleeds anew.


Posted by Gunn parent, a resident of Gunn High School
on Nov 18, 2009 at 9:03 am

Wow, what a bunch of "narcissist rage" from some "mommies and daddies of egg throwers" on this thread. "Why is it always about what you?" to quote a book. How dare the principal of a school set limits for your kids.

Hotchkiss's item #5 is particularly relevant to those shameless egg throwers and their adult enablers.

Quote:

5. Entitlement - Narcissists hold unreasonable expectations of particularly favorable treatment and automatic compliance because they consider themselves uniquely special. Any failure to comply will be considered an attack on their superiority and the perpetrator is considered to be an "awkward" or "difficult" person. Defiance of their will is a narcissistic injury that can trigger narcissistic rage.

End quote.

narcissistic rage indeed ...

The paly administrations "defiance" of the egg thrower's will has obviously caused "narcissistic injury" the the parent and enablers hence the amount of rage toward the Paly principal here.



Next, to the "but it was a tradition" crowd.

It was taking place on Stanford property. If Stanford doesn't want you there, that is their right. Your so called trumped up tradition does not extend on to someone else's property, even a universitie's property. Nor does that mean you can trash Gunn. Nobody - not the police, not Stanford, not the Paly administration - nothing except your self-serving interests drove you to Gunn.

This shows a lack of boundaries in item #7.

Quote

7. Bad Boundaries - narcissists do not recognize that they have boundaries and that others are separate and are not extensions of themselves. Others either exist to meet their needs or may as well not exist at all. Those who provide narcissistic supply to the narcissist will be treated as if they are part of the narcissist and be expected to live up to those expectations. In the mind of a narcissist, there is no boundary between self and other.

End Quote.

Finally to the mess you created and didn't bother to clean up. If you don't clean up after yourself, then you are exploiting those that will need to deal with the mess you leave behind.

Web Link#


And considering the recent tragedies at Gunn. Item #6 is very relevant.

Quote:

6. Exploitation - can take many forms but always involves the using of others without regards for their feelings or interests. Often the other is in a subservient position where resistance would be difficult or even impossible. Sometimes the subservience is not so much real as assumed.

End Quote:

A Noun Ea Mus has reverted to distortion and projection quite a bit in his posts. They could be viewed as item #2.

Quote

2. Magical thinking - Narcissists see themselves as perfect using distortion and illusion known as magical thinking. They also use projection to dump shame onto others.

End Quote:


Finally the many of the response on this thread shows shamelessness which is item #1.


But the first principle of dealing with a narcissist - is they never now they are a narcissist, because in their world - it always is about them.





Posted by A Noun Ea Mus, a resident of Professorville
on Nov 18, 2009 at 10:08 am

Wow it's as if you are an attorney in a trial for psych crimes!

Exhibit A is...

I guess there is narcissism and there is pompous buffoonery.

For decades the Egg War took place on Stanford land. Yes of course they have to pay lip service that they don't condone it, lest a kid twist his ankle or something and blame them. But look at what Stanford is capable of doing to protect it's status. Drive by the entrance to The Dish where Stanford meets Foothill and see that they've hired a grown man to assure no canines enter.

Then from the Web Link showing the egg carnage at Gunn...

"Receipts for some of these cartons have allegedly been used to identify egg-throwers."

So the person who bought the eggs threw the eggs? Years ago I bought a ton of eggs for my daughter and her friends to use at the Egg War.

Quick call the police and have me investigated!

Charge me with narcissim, shamelessness, entitlement, distortion, projection, bad boundaries, exploitation.

At least some morning humor with my coffee.



Posted by A Noun Ea Mus, a resident of Professorville
on Nov 18, 2009 at 10:36 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Paly Parent, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Nov 18, 2009 at 11:01 am

Look people, I'm a Paly parent and my children did not attend the egg wars. We don't agree with the tradition but we strongly disagree with the punishment that was handed out to these students. McEvoy and her vice principals entrapped these students. They don't comunicate with parents or students regarding any issues or concerns they may have. They are really arrogant!!! For those of you that suppert her, I hope your children are never accused of anything because you will feel their rath.

My children don't like the atmosphere that has been created at Paly by McEvoy. They follow the rules and stay out of trouble but not because of her dictatorship. They feel like hamsters in a cage. The breathalizers are an insult. If a student looks drunk or smells like alcohol, fine breathalize him but not all students attending the dance. We have given these administrators to much power. It's about time somebody spoke-up against this administration. It's time to replace them.


Posted by Another parent, a resident of South of Midtown
on Nov 18, 2009 at 12:34 pm

Gunn Parent, Righteous!


Posted by Lee, a resident of Professorville
on Nov 18, 2009 at 1:46 pm

I wholeheartedly agree Paly parent. As I posted earlier my son did not participate in the egg wars but I disagree with the way the administration chose to handle this situation. Further I have instructed my kids never to enter any one of the administrators offices without me present. You might think that this is wrong but the only thing wrong about my stand is this Administration. If everyone knew what was said and done to these kids at the request of the principal you would be aghast. Further, we are only talking about this particular situation. There is a long list of inappropriate and mindboggling decisions that this administration has made. I vote them out.


Posted by palo alto mom, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 18, 2009 at 2:00 pm

What a difference a leader makes!

A few years ago, the Jordan principal was replaced - first with a temporary, but terrific principal and more recently with the current principal. It is a changed school - happier and positive, both for students and staff.

The former principal was very similar to Dr. McEvoy. Treated the students as guilty until proven innocent, bullied students in her office, etc.

Lets hope that our School Board and District Administrators make the same good choice to put a leader not a bully at Paly.


Posted by Former Gunn Parent, a resident of another community
on Nov 18, 2009 at 2:18 pm

To Paly parents, students, etc.

If egg wars have not been permitted on the Paly campus and are now being stopped from happening at Stanford. . . why would you think the Gunn campus would be okay or Bol Park? SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES OF YOUR ACTIONS. Come on parents DO YOUR JOB!!


Posted by A Noun Ea Mus, a resident of Professorville
on Nov 18, 2009 at 2:52 pm

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

No one is saying that Gunn is or was OK. Bol Park was apparently "chosen" after the event was chased from one venue to another. And it ended up at Gunn by accident.

Too bad Gunn had to suffer the consequences of McEvoy's actions and agenda. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by cieboy, a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 18, 2009 at 3:28 pm

Suspend the parents who approve of this nonsense. Parents I suggest you spend thanksgiving at a local food closet to meet some folks who would rather eat those eggs. People all over the world are hungry folks. PA no exception. Paly looks really silly here. Kudos to Gunn students for the classiness they show.


Posted by Anon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 18, 2009 at 3:39 pm

>> Wow it's as if you are an attorney in a trial for psych crimes! <<

Guilty as charged.

>> McEvoy and her vice principals entrapped these students. <<

Do you even know what entrapment means? I really doubt that, and I think the person who expressed this thought is paranoid or stuck in some anti-authoritarian mental space where they cannot see reality. Clearly since this was pertaining to high-school students around high-school related behavior the principal's actions were correct. As I said earlier, maybe not perfect or to everyone's liking, but certainly not deserving of the kind of attacks we can read here.

How can democracy or a community function if so many of its members seem to have a really distorted idiosyncratic way of perceiving social reality? The intensity of the attacks here, as usual in the online space, are really out of line. Why not a simple low key discussion driven by better ideas and suggestions instead of just venting emotional dysfunctions?


Posted by George, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 18, 2009 at 3:52 pm

I find it hilarious that people are freaking out about them having an egg fight - not a big deal. Let the kids have some fun. They shouldn't have done it at Gunn and damaged their property. That was clearly wrong, but perhaps the administration shouldn't have chased them from the original location!

If the administration is so hyped up that they can't allow a pretty harmless egg fight to occur off of its grounds, perhaps they can organize some sort of Juniors vs. Seniors athletic competition (Basketball 3 on 3 tournament, 5K, or something like that).


Posted by Anon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 18, 2009 at 5:40 pm

George, the only people "freaking out" are those that are the ones making ridiculous statements like you. "Let the kids have some fun" ... as if anyone wants kids not to have fun, or they only way the kids can have fun is by having egg wars.

The statements such as yours, that defend the eggs wars, or attack the principal all use foolish logic such as what you said, or hyperbolic statements that so far from reality.

One doesn't have to be "hyped-up" to not want to be responsible for damage and injury from something as stupid, unproductive and not fun as an egg war.

If you had to make statements that corresponded with reality I guess you would have nothing to say.

I thought someone's idea a few boards back of water balloon fights seemed pretty cool, and fun. Maybe not in this weather. Or Nerf machine gun wars ... which would be expensive. Something that is fight, gets the blood flowing and is not dangerous or wasteful of food and just plain stupid. There is a lot of lee way there ... maybe you could put your extensive imagination to work thinking up something like that.


Posted by George, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 18, 2009 at 6:31 pm

Have you ever heard of an egg toss? It's a traditional family gathering/field day sort of event. That's now illegal too? Are you kidding me? Eggs are a commodity. Yep, they're food. Is that what you're upset about? You're saying that I am out of touch with reality. Apparently you're out of touch with American culture. Aren't you a multicultural loving Palo Alto citizen? Egg tosses are part of my culture as a traditional American. Can't you respect my cultural upbringing???


Posted by A Noun Ea Mus, a resident of Professorville
on Nov 18, 2009 at 7:28 pm

Brief point of order..

So "Anon" if you are "guilty as charged" in response to "Gunn Parent"'s post........are you the same? Or just wanting the "guilty" credit?

Whose perception is the one "distorted' is also one of, well, perception.

The egging of Gunn, Gunn's involvement in all this, is just an unfortunate side-show or spill-over from the internal drama unfolding at Paly.

McEvoy is not guilty of "entrapment" in perhaps a legal sense. But think about it a bit. If she was that opposed to the Egg War, a decades long tradition, why didn't she engage some of the students and parents in a discussion? Or at least Instead it seems a strategy of making the "vandalism" definition a fait accompli would not be served by such an open and engaging strategy. Nor would it allow students to be ensnared and made examples of.

I just went back through all my Paly emails and found NOT ONE email even mentioning this subject. One would think that if this was such a big deal that at a MINIMUM some parental notification or heads up would have been issued. I don't know what we are dealing with here? Rank incompetence? Or skillful maneuvering that would make Machiavelli blush with envy?

And just because I know many of you still won't get it, let me try to describe to you my personal angle on all this....

One of my kids I wonder if she is really mine. She has never gotten into any trouble in high school. She has always done her homework on her own initiative since elementary school. She volunteers on her own without viewing it as just resume stuffing. Works on the floats, school spirit coming out her ears. When she rode with me once and found I liked listening to Amy Winehouse she was shocked. We joke that she is akin to Marilyn in the old sitcom series The Munsters. But I try and let my kids set their own direction as best I can.

So a while back (not this year) I'm out at a work meeting and I get a somewhat desperate call from my wife. "You need to pick up a big bunch of eggs for your daughter tonight. There is this yearly Spirit Week egg fight between the Juniors and Seniors". So I, no doubt like tons of parents at Paly this year, assume this is just another sanctioned event. Or at least a time honored tradition that is OK.

So there I am at the supermarket late at night resembling Flounder from Animal House saying "I need 10,000 eggs (marbles) please".

I have pictures of her after the egg fight and she looks absolutely ecstatic and like it was practically the best time of her life. Cammo attire and egg splatter. Then talking to her I hear that (that year) McEvoy had tried to get Stanford all in a big huff and stop it. The Stanford Cops were out and her friends got picked up. But no notice or anything that prior year...or this.

That year I had heard a litany of things going down that she and her friends found very demoralizing and downright stupid. She said "I'm glad I'm getting out when I am because she is going to wreck everything".

So now this year as the Egg War loomed she saw fit to target it, chase it all over the map. Yet no public engagement at all. No doubt many of the current parents were in a similar situation I was in when I first "aided and abetted vandals, criminals and animals". But my kid just had a great time and had great memories.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Paly Parent, a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 18, 2009 at 9:14 pm

Maybe if you read the paly handbook with your child and saw where it said you cannot have or throw eggs on campus, this would not be an issue.


Posted by A Noun Ea Mus, a resident of Professorville
on Nov 18, 2009 at 9:24 pm

"cannot have or throw eggs on campus"

GEEESH can't anyone read or understand anything!

That Egg War wasn't on a HS campus. That was year(s) ago.

The current incident wasn't meant to originally be on a campus!

There is probably also something in the handbook about no guns on campus...yet the theatrical re-enactment featured guys milling around with guns....oh that is gone now also......




Posted by Paly Parent, a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 18, 2009 at 9:31 pm

Looks like the Gunn campus to me Web Link


Posted by A Noun Ea Mus, a resident of Professorville
on Nov 18, 2009 at 9:42 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Paly Grad, a resident of Community Center
on Nov 18, 2009 at 11:25 pm

Is it really a surprise that students act out even more drastically when they feel threatened by overbearing authority figures? The fact that breathalyzing students is now standard protocol at school dances shows that McEvoy has little regard for the independence and privacy of her students. It is a shame that damage was done to the Gunn campus, but it also seems to me that this is a direct result of McEvoy's interfering in one of the only student traditions that Paly has. As far as McEvoy's concerns about egg-related injuries (who freezes eggs?) I think any student who is willing to go out for egg wars can safely be said to be aware of the risks.


Posted by astonished, a resident of The Greenhouse
on Nov 19, 2009 at 12:45 am

I find this astonishing.

1--Principal defines new crime after 30 years of no crime - calls police in advance but does not alert parents
2--Police steer kids from non-objectionable place and they go to a perfectfully fine place to have some fun--thisi s the princi[pal's fault 100%
3--200 kids go and have a good time - small small rowdy group does some things that are stupid and should be made to clean them up and reimburse for janitor time (did they use OT)
4--10 kids get suspended and 6 hours of community service. Basically the honest, good kids the admninistration could dupe into trusting them. Poor kids turned themselkves in for the most part and are now looked on as stupid and unwise. 190 go free. BTW -how many football and volleyball players were there (most) and how many got suspended (0)?
5--Principal, no doubt scared for career tries to tie eggs to tragedies at Gunn. Sorry - that is disgraseful and sacriligeous.
6--Principal has now ruined egg wars, historical re-enactments and dances at Paly - wow - three for three in ruining the high school experience - keep up the good work.

BTW - those same kids who used to frink, IF they go anymore, will tell you they just take durgs now, hmmmm
7--I agree this is reflection on Paly parents. Encouraging their kids to work but don;t forget to have fun so when you grow older you can look back on high school with fond memories not nightmares of too much pressure, too many tests and now an administration that you can longer tust!

To the person with the seven deadly sins, remember the one about people in glass houses shouldn't throw rocks. Or don't use a sledge hammer when a little hammer cvan do the job. Or perhaps you just have no life and can't figure this our for yourself



Posted by former paly student, a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 19, 2009 at 8:16 am

I'd just like to call attention to what the commentor called What Kids are Saying said. As a former paly student I think he hit it on the head


Posted by Wow, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Nov 19, 2009 at 8:24 am

I'm astonished that my fellow parents are acting this way. Great example you're setting for your children. Also, my daughter and I were at the volleyball game that night. Unless the volleyball team can be in two places at once, they couldn't have been there. Im glad there were consequences for those students who participated.


Posted by palo alto mom, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 19, 2009 at 9:50 am

Astonished - loved your post and I'd like to add ruining Prom!

"Principal has now ruined egg wars, historical re-enactments and dances at Paly - wow - three for three in ruining the high school experience - keep up the good work."

For last year's Prom the kids had to take buses instead of limos and get breathalyzed before they got on the bus, some waiting more then an hour in high heels and tuxes.

This also meant that parents had to show up at school at 1 am to pick up their kids (limos would have dropped them off at home) , the "before" parties which were hosted by parents to take pictures were curtailed, etc. Took a lot of the fun out of the prom for both the students and parents!

The breathalyzing itself is insulting (why not target those who are acting drunk - its not so hard to pick out a drunk teenager...) or at the very least, do it on the bus - there is a good 45-hour ride to get to SF. Let parents come pick up any kids who have been drinking.

One of my favorite HS memories was taking a limo to the Prom. In our generous community, I suspect we could find a way to transport those who couldn't afford it.


Posted by A Noun Ea Mus, a resident of Professorville
on Nov 19, 2009 at 11:03 am

Hey maybe we could get a two for one here! Get back part of the historical re-enactment PLUS ensure safety on the way up. Have graduated seniors return in uniform and cram the students into cattle cars for the ride up to the Prom.


Posted by Another parent, a resident of South of Midtown
on Nov 19, 2009 at 11:44 am

A noun, It is exactly your continued insistence that Gunn being the location was just an afterthought that I find offensive. Gunn is not a playground for what ever spoiled kids are getting edged out of the places they usually vandalize. It is the high school of a community, a community that was reeling from tragedies of its own. When the Paly kids took their rumpus over there it was not only insensitive and hurtful, but your repetition of what a non issue Gunn is just turns my stomach.


Posted by A Noun Ea Mus, a resident of Professorville
on Nov 19, 2009 at 1:30 pm

To "Another Parent".

Well then both ours stomachs are turning.

Gunn was not a specified target as the Egg War was planned. If you look at the pictures even the vast majority of the eggs landed on grass....a bit of water, a few insects, some deer and coyote, no problem.

There is a long standing Paly/Gunn rivalry. I remember my daughter used to wear this green Paly shirt with a picture of a kid peeing on "Gunn". I myself find this type of inter-school rivalry stupid and always have. I remember when I was in middle school and at some game a big guy from another school said mine "sucked". I said something like "they all do and if you want to fight please let's do so over something else". Anyway no doubt once some of the kids did end up at Gunn they availed themselves of the historic target.

What ended up happening to the Gunn buildings was vandalism. The perpetrators who were actually caught throwing eggs on the buildings should be held to some account. But 1) the reasons for why it happened needs to be viewed in the context of an ongoing process at Paly, one other parents have provided more than adequate input on and 2) it's not the crime of the century. Pay the janitors OT or something, the cost of the paint, etc.

as far as "spoiled kids getting edged out of whatever other place they were vandalizing". "Spoiled"? It may be that someone somewhere in the world could refer to the Paly kids as spoiled. Bangladesh, slums of Rio. But for a Gunn parent to do so is a bit of the pot calling the kettle black. Get real.

Again, for decades, 30 years or so, the Egg War tradition has gone on and no cries of "Vandals!" arose from Stanford. Stanford can be very rabid (like a dog) in protecting their turf. You seem to have a fixation on keeping the current unfortunate incident at Gunn tethered to the entire tradition over the years.

The fact that Gunn is "reeling from the tragedies" doesn't have any relevance as regards what the Paly kids did. Do you think in any kids mind were thoughts like "oh boy, Gunn just had some kids commmit suicide and now we can rub it in by egging their school"?

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Future HS Parent, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 19, 2009 at 1:53 pm

Wow, and you wonder why our kids are so stressed. I personally do not believe the kids, or "young adults" set out to cause harm to Gunn property. Yes, it was very very stupid. The kids involved made a mistake. We can only hope that they learn from this mistake. We should encourage all of our kids to learn from this mistake. But I think it is time to move on. There are much more serious issues facing both the Gunn and Paly kids that we as a community should be focused on. Do we want this unfortunate event to contribute to another tragedy?


Posted by Parent of teen, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Nov 19, 2009 at 1:54 pm

I oppose paying to have the cleanup done. The perpetrators should clean up any mess they made. Maybe later pay for a final job.
No fair letting daddy's money get these kids off without them cleaning up the mess they made.


Posted by Paly parent,, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 19, 2009 at 3:51 pm

Here is the question--if these Palo Alto high school parents consider this egg-throwing to be "harmless" and scoff at those of us that consider it to be vandalism, littering, and possibly battery, why doesn't one of them offer to sponsor the event in their own yard? Could it be because cleaning up after all those splintered bits of egg shell and congealed, sticky eggs would be quite burdensome? Or could it be that inviting students on your property to have a mock battle involving throwing hard objects at each other could incur liability? Somehow, though, if you are using public property, and run away from the police attempting to do the job we pay them for, and assume that municipal workers will clean up after your mess and tax-payers will pay to repaint or repair, it is just fine, and in fact, it is a fun, free-spirited activity to be encouraged.


Posted by Another parent, a resident of South of Midtown
on Nov 19, 2009 at 4:09 pm

A noun, Why don't you want it at your house?


Posted by Please check on facts, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Nov 19, 2009 at 4:31 pm

A noun, please be sure of your facts. I am quite sure that the egg wars have not been going on for 3 decades. I have spoken with teachers at the school and graduates from years ago, the estimate is that this "tradition" has been in place for around 10 - 12 years and has really escalated in the past 5 years to include a much greater portion of the student body. I also believe that Stanford is the one who has complained to the school about the mess that this creates on their campus and has asked Paly to do something about it.


Posted by OhlonePar, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 19, 2009 at 5:18 pm

If McEvoy didn't send a warning ahead of time of a crackdown on the egg wars then, no, she wasn't doing her job. She was exhibiting very poor leadership skills.

Among other things, she closed off a pro-active problem-solving approach to the issue.

What if she'd said that Stanford doesn't want them and there will be police on the grounds. What are some alternatives?

And moved on from there.

The Gotcha approach is counterproductive and, ultimately, unrealistic in that it causes more problems than it solves in this sort of situation. These kids do have rights--yes, Gunn parent, rights--and it's not at all surprising there are parents objecting to McEvoy authoritarian management style.


Posted by A Noun Ea Mus, a resident of Professorville
on Nov 19, 2009 at 5:47 pm

"I am quite sure that the egg wars have not been going on for 3 decades"

Perhaps not 3 decades. But a long time and an established tradition. See my post above, the testimony of other Paly Parents here.

"I also believe that Stanford is the one who has complained to the school about the mess that this creates on their campus and has asked Paly to do something about it."

Well there is complaining and there is complaining. And there is prodding and asking pointedly which leads to denial of authorization and complaining. When the event was held on Stanford's rural grounds I am sure some agreement could have been arranged that the students would return the next day to clean it up. Perhaps walking with packs of ravenous dogs on leash in a big row and they'd scarf up the egg residue.

Further what "doing something about it" entailed in this case seems to have had the end goal to just get kids in trouble. It's like the brush war with the students is occupying relationship space or something. Apparently a whole "Cat & Mouse" scheme evolved as to where it would be, wouldn't be here, now there, etc. Ultimately it spilled over unto Gunn. And people here are saying to step up to the plate and act like adults!??

And as for

"Here is the question--if these Palo Alto high school parents consider this egg-throwing to be "harmless" and scoff at those of us that consider it to be vandalism, littering, and possibly battery, why doesn't one of them offer to sponsor the event in their own yard?"

and more pointedly...

"A noun, Why don't you want it at your house?"

"THE" question heh?

Obviously the egg throwing which landed on structures at Gunn wasn't totally harmless. There was property damage when eggs landed on buildings. I suppose one could look at egg shells on a lawn as "littering" if one wants to stretch the definition. I prefer free calcium for the lawn. And "battery", come on now......you expose yourself with such a stretch there.

Now why don't I want it at my house?

If my yard were big enough to hold about 200 kids divided up into two groups I would indeed contemplate it. I could just cover the outside with some cheap plastic, etc. But this is a silly question and I don't know why I'm bothering to address it.

The really sad and bizarre thing is that this Egg War (yes it was a Tradition) occurring on Stanford's "ruralish" area could have been capitalized on for some long term good. Like a Paintball Game or something. Defined area, sign off on liability, etc. People are paid good money to come up with fun activities like this that can go on to become established traditions. Stanford could have even used it for some good PR. Their band could have helped to "officiate" the fun. But NOOOOOOOOOOOO.......

Or, if it truly had to end there, then some engagement with the school community could have been undertaken...like

"Hey gang it can't go on at the same locale, so either let's come up with an alternative locale or we have to end it."

Instead the Cat & Mouse Game.


Posted by Old Days, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 19, 2009 at 6:00 pm

To A Noun Ea Mus - I'm with you! I think we have a lot of posters here that were never kids or have forgotten about being a kid.

I remember Senior prank week when I was in HS. Showing up to find the school for sale with 20+ local realtor "For Sale" signs, or the school side walk lined with "borrowed" newspaper vending machines. I have to say the best was showing up to be greeted by the 12ft statue of Paul Bunyan "borrowed" from a nearby restaurant.

Not that I agree with the vandalism and the frozen eggs.... but these kids do need a bit of fun.


Posted by Uppity parents, a resident of Greater Miranda
on Nov 19, 2009 at 6:22 pm

I grew up in Europe in a place and time that were not exactly lenient on kids.

In 1964, one of my older brothers graduated from high school. That was 45 YEARS AGO! AND he was his school's valedictorian.

Well, part of the graduating students' celebrations was a huge egg and tomato fight. And even my brother took part in it. Yes folks, so it was.

No one's was worse for the wear. No one had it on their school record. And nobody's academic future was impacted.

My brother went on to be a very well-behaved, upstanding, successful, and hard-working person in spite of that event that some here would have you believe was a predictor of a lifelong career as a criminal.

I just can't believe Palo Altans at times.


Posted by Uppity parents, a resident of Greater Miranda
on Nov 19, 2009 at 6:32 pm

I should add that the above mentioned egg and tomato fight was secretly organized by the students, not an officially sanctioned activity. Furthermore the school administration did find out about it but did not go on a punitive rampage.


Posted by A Noun Ea Mus, a resident of Professorville
on Nov 19, 2009 at 8:53 pm

Well indeed time to move on as another PA Online Headline has moved it all on....


Posted by Anon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 20, 2009 at 2:17 am

>>> I remember my daughter used to wear this green Paly shirt with a picture of a kid peeing on "Gunn". <<<

How proud you must be.


Posted by Anon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 20, 2009 at 2:24 am

>>>> To A Noun Ea Mus - I'm with you! I think we have a lot of posters here that were never kids or have forgotten about being a kid. <<<<

Compared to what ... you and "A Noun Ea Mus" who never matured, grew-up or developed judgement or intellect?

I find it very entertaining and fairly sad to hear the lengths (and depths) some of you will go to in order to justify and even extoll some supposed virtues of egg wars.

Yes, kids are by nature pushing boundaries and have undeveloped judgement, that is the point. No one is punishing anyone in a draconian way and the principal is doing a fine job of finding reasonable middle ground.

What is sad is the supposed parents who keep on and on about this kind of thing defending their kids. This puts me in mind of the parent at a basketball game some years back who beat an umpire to death by pounding his head on the floor because he did not like some ruling on his kid's play. Some people do not know when to stop, or when to shut up and listen and look and get a clue ... in case they are ever asked to think at some other point in their lives.


Posted by anonymus, a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 20, 2009 at 2:55 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by A Noun Ea Mus, a resident of Professorville
on Nov 21, 2009 at 4:09 am

"This puts me in mind of the parent at a basketball game some years back who beat an umpire to death by pounding his head on the floor because he did not like some ruling on his kid's play."

Really? Posts here that you disagree with, vehemently even, remind you of people pounding in someone's head until it ended their life? OKAYYYYYYY

">>> I remember my daughter used to wear this green Paly shirt with a picture of a kid peeing on "Gunn". <<<


How proud you must be."

Neither proud nor upset. I merely posted this as evidence of a stoked rivalry. I already said I personally don't care for this type of thing, be it in kids schools or in adult sports. There are probably Gunn "recipocals". The salient point I was trying to make is that it wouldn't surprise me if some kids ended up at Gunn with eggs in hand and said "hey we happen to be here with eggs in our hands....let's now egg Gunn". Just as Gunn students might have done had they inadvertently ended up at Paly.


Posted by Anon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 21, 2009 at 5:50 am

>>> I already said I personally don't care for this type of thing, be it in kids schools or in adult sports. <<<

then walk the walk and quit endlessly proving otherwise


If you were a member and logged in you could track comments from this story.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Services, Dining and Shopping Downtown in Palo Alto
By Steve Levy | 16 comments | 2,065 views

Handmade truffle shop now open in downtown Palo Alto
By Elena Kadvany | 2 comments | 1,713 views

It's the End of the World as We Know It: "Snowpiercer"
By Anita Felicelli | 1 comment | 1,389 views

What is the new couple's paradigm these days?
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,040 views

Why is doing nothing so difficult?
By Sally Torbey | 7 comments | 921 views