Posted by What-Makes-People-Do-Crazy-Things?, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jan 25, 2012 at 9:20 am
This is more than bizarre. If the 19-year old had managed to complete his assault on this school employee, what could he do next? There is every reason to believe that the assault victim would already know this young man's name, or would recognize him from a collection of pictures of the school's students. He certainly would be identified and arrested if he returned to school.
He would have to make some radical changes in his life. If he is not native-born, he would likely have to flee the country, or at least move to another city and go to ground.
It's too early to draw any conclusions from this terse news report. But there should be someone reviewing this case when all of the facts are on the table.
Posted by Jessica , a resident of another community, on Jan 25, 2012 at 12:17 pm
@danos- summit prep unlike most high schools holds their students at a higher standard in order to pass a grade, so for a 19 year old to be in high school simply means that the school is trying to get that student to a standard where they can get into college not just a junior college, for please educate yourself more about a school before you say rude comments about my high school where i received the help in order o go to college.
Posted by bob, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jan 25, 2012 at 12:50 pm
> so for a 19 year old to be in high school
So by that logic then, it would not be hard to find students in that school who were 25, or 30, years old--students who had not yet been able to attain scores/"education" that allowed them college entrance?
And is the public paying for this "extra" education costs?
Posted by KP, a resident of the South of Midtown neighborhood, on Jan 25, 2012 at 1:13 pm
So Jessica...what age do they cut off the attempts to get out of high school?
Is this prep school privately paid for?
Gunn & Paly are prep schools that can get students into Stanford, so I am not quite sure what makes this school so special!
...and just because they can get into a school above a JC, doesn't mean they will - plenty of students go to the JC first, just to find out what they want to do before we pay the big bucks for a University!
Our JC's are higher quality than most around the country! Get over yourself!
Posted by JustMe, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Jan 25, 2012 at 1:17 pm
I am afraid that this young man has just ended his life, as he hoped it might be. I think he can forget graduating and going on to college, he will probably have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, he will have a NASTY criminal record, friends and family will probably treat him differently, jobs will be much harder to find, and many doors open to young people will be closed to him. Even if he lives an exemplary life from here on, he will probably never recover from these actions. I feel sorry for him, but I would not want him anywhere near my family.
On the other hand, the poor woman he assaulted is probably very traumatised, as is her family, his family, the school, and friends all around. One evil act can have a broad impact, far beyond the original target. I am VERY glad that the woman is relatively physically unhurt, it could have been worse. I fear she is inwardly very hurt and may take a long time to recover, if she ever does. I hope she gets the help and support she needs.
No one wins here, everyone loses, but the stupid kid probably loses most of all. I could probably show more compassion for him if I were not so fearful of him for the sake of those around him.
Posted by localteacher, a resident of Menlo Park, on Jan 25, 2012 at 2:40 pm
When someone is being held on suspicion of something and has not been prosecuted or proved guilty, it is SO irresponsible to release that person's name or print copy about them that suggests guilt prior to due process. This is not the first time that a name has been released prior to the completion of appropriate due diligence. It's disgusting, frankly. If the accused is found to be innocent, his name is mud - on public record. Absolutely disgusting.
To some of you who have posted responses, please examine your assumptions. It is not uncommon to find a 19 year old in secondary school. For more information about how youth are educated, to what ages, and under what circumstances, feel free to refer to California's Education Code, which is publicly available via the CA Department of Education (CDE). Gunn and Paly face their own challenges and also benefit from an uncommonly high baseline of widespread privilege. Summit offers a different model of education and has more success serving some students than other schools traditionally have.
The educational terrain in our local communities, state, and nation is extremely complex. No single model effectively serves all students and even the most successful schools cannot guarantee immediate "success" for all pupils. That being said, none of us are perfect, nor do we figure out how to manage all that life presents easily. Some people find a way beyond ignorance or self-importance slowly... if at all.
Blah blah blah. Try opening your minds a bit and considering the larger scope of human experience and development. Egad.
Posted by Miguel, a resident of Woodside, on Jan 25, 2012 at 3:29 pm
Actually this school is very safe, im more shocked that it happened at a sxhool with such a small amount of students. Also the school is taking precuations greatly. Im also sure that the main concern for the school prior to education is to set a small number of students to get a more wide opportunity of gaining a more vivid education no matter what age. Im sure this happens in other schools that contian 18 and 17 years olds.
Posted by Wilson, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jan 25, 2012 at 5:31 pm
> Actually this school is very safe
How would we know that to be true? Are California schools required to report crime on campus to the State, which in turn reports that information to the public? NO!
One of the questions that someone at that school should be investigating his where did this knife come from? Was it brought onto the school grounds? Was on this young man's person all day long? How often did he, and others, bring weapons of any sort onto this campus?
Sorry .. but without all of this information on the table (and a lot more) .. claiming a school is "safe" is not provable in any rigorous way.
Posted by Nick Shafer, a resident of Menlo Park, on Jan 25, 2012 at 6:51 pm
I would have to say that this is horrible and has never happened before... I am a student at Everest (the sister school to Summit with extremely close ties) and in the entire history of the schools there has never been such an incident. This is definitely an isolated incident within the school, violence is a rare event especially in this caliber. When our teacher's told us about what happened on Monday evening, the entire room fell silent and listened, all eyes upon the speaker. For a good few minutes, we just sat there and listened, not a word. We were all shocked, a room of teenagers show are just as surprised at this as everyone else... Everest and Summit are both amazing schools, please do not let this event make you think otherwise about us. We have a beautiful community of tight knit individuals from a diverse set of backgrounds and abilities. We trust, we live, we learn. We have prospered for many years with *amazing* results (take a look at the movie Waiting for Superman), and the actions of David certainly does not reflect the overall culture and feeling of our community.
We have been equally as stunned as the rest of the community, and actions have been taken within the school itself to prevent something like this from ever happening again.
Posted by Phil, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Jan 25, 2012 at 11:17 pm
Local Teacher, you concern yourself and defend the knife wielding attacker. I choose to stand up and defend the poor victim. This man was arrested for an extremely violent offense, and the public's need to know exceeds his privacy.
Posted by member , a resident of Woodside, on Jan 26, 2012 at 2:35 am
what i dont understand is where is the school to blame for any of this, why does it matter if a 19 year old is still in high school and how the school is to blame. all this talk about the school is completely irrelevant. so for someone to get offended that their school that brought them success to be badly talked about by someone who does not know the true reality that goes on at the school is understandable in my opinion.
but besides the it is obvious that the kid is disturbed and has been for probably a long time now. its so sad to see that he chose to harm his educator who was trying to help him move forward in his high school career.
i also can only imagine how this will affect other students currently attending the school not only because some may have been close with the student but because it puts everyone in an uncomfortable position. plus if any students from the school came across these comments that ive seen i can only imagine how horrible they would feel, knowing that their school is being talked about in a horrible manner over something one disturbed young man did.
Posted by Local Yokle, a resident of another community, on Jan 26, 2012 at 12:47 pm
Keep in mind that at schools (as is mandated by District, state and Federal law)students who are elligible to recieve educational services until the age of 21 1/2 if that student has an IEP as per IDEA ed law.
Posted by Localteacher, a resident of Menlo Park, on Jan 26, 2012 at 1:29 pm
@ Danos. Yes, a 19-year-old is a youth, even though the law (with an interesting history worth investigating) might label one as an adult. Those of us who work with young people and adolescents know that 19-year-olds are still developing into adults. My goodness, we even know some who have taken a bit more time to complete high school than others and have managed to go all sorts of wonderful places and achieve good and wonderful things. Fortunately, though this may be uncomfortable for you, people don't all fit into neat little limiting boxes. I understand, however, why this is a frustrating situation. Assault is disturbing.
@ Phil. I concern myself with all of the members of my community, near and far, and without proof of guilt, I maintain the possibility of innocence. I have not defended any knife wielding attacker, nor would I ever. Your statement was nice and inflammatory, but incorrect. I have watched local periodicals skirt the edge of libel repeatedly, and more often than not, in the cases of people of color who are SUSPECTS, but not PROVEN perpetrators. This young man was arrested on SUSPICION of committing a crime, so he may not be any sort of public threat. Then again, he may very well be guilty. If he is, then he will experience the ineffectual long arm of the law and likely won't engage in much rehabilitation at the hands of local or state government. Still a loss. If he is NOT guilty, then he has been publicly defamed without due process and that is still disgusting. The assault is horrific. If you knew me or my history and experiences you would never assume that my heart is not with the victim. But, I too am taking full advantage of the anonymity that this forum provides. I do wonder what sacrifices of privacy you would be willing to make if it were your life or reputation on the line.
I truly appreciate those of you who have been able to discern that a school is not responsible for the behavior of a single person. Acknowledging that the student in question might have been guilty of this terrible act, his actions were still his own and not the result of his educational experience. Summit is a wonderful school (no I don't teach there) with a phenomenal staff and student body.
Posted by Bryce Zurcher, a resident of Portola Valley, on Jan 26, 2012 at 11:28 pm
As a student at Everest Public High School, Summit's sister school (with the same academic model), I can personally attest to Nick Shafer's comments. This incident is very isolated and extremely shocking; nothing like it has occurred before in our school communities. On the contrary, I think Summit and Everest are notable places for academic vivification and personal development- I have seen many more students turn themselves around and realize their potential at Everest than at any other school I've previously attended. While there are definitely lessons to be learned and aspects of the school to be examined more closely as a result of this incident (such as how David reached such a negative mental/emotional state without being noticed and supported more by the numerous personal support systems Summit has), I do not think the incident is by any means an accurate reflection of our overall exceptionally positive school communities.
Posted by Anon., a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Jan 29, 2012 at 1:53 pm
Wow, call me a hardliner, which I am not - really I am a far left Liberal, but we ought to have something like ONE-STRIKE, when it is a strike like this, what are the probablilities that this "person" and I use the term loosely will ever not be a threat to those around him. He is 19 now … what has he done already in his life that we do not know about? I do not even want to run into this guy outside of a correctional facility, but my guess is that our laws will free him at some point, assuming he is convicted, and that we will be back to cause someone else problems in the future.