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"Palo Alto" book by James Franco

Original post made by Sohini on Feb 28, 2011

I recently read the notorius book by James Franco called "Palo Alto". It is a very disturbing picture of the lives of Palo Alto teens, I wonder whether it reflects some of what is going on in our high schools currently. I asked my neighbor's whose girl goes to Castilleja and she said that there is indeed a lot of bullying, cruelty, drugs, drinking, etc going on and she knows it only because she is very close with her daughter. She says you would never guess, because the girls she knows who drink at parties and smoke pot look "angelic", they are all very well mannered and have excellent grades...

Comments (8)

Posted by mom, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Feb 28, 2011 at 1:08 pm

I am not surprised. I once spoke with a Paly senior who was going to Brown University. He candidly admitted he was doing drugs on a regular basis with his friends.


Posted by Mom, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Feb 28, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Lots of bullying at Castilleja? Of course! Get a whole school of females and it's pettiness to the max! Girls are meaner and more vengeful than boys. There was a lot less craziness with girls when I grew up in the 70s.


Posted by Concerned teen mom, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Feb 28, 2011 at 8:14 pm

heard that high school girls are "doing favors" to boys. I didn't understand its true meaning at first...


Posted by Mom, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Mar 1, 2011 at 9:02 am

Don't assume all teens live the partying lifestyle. Depends on who your children hang out with. There are plenty who don't engage.


Posted by Gun Parent, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 8, 2011 at 4:28 pm

PAUSD high school students do drugs, they go behind the mobile classrooms, behind the tennis courts, and in a parking lot that is by the apartments next to Gunn. There is a lot of drugs on campus, if you child is not doing it, you are very lucky with so much exposure. Teachers know it too, but it is a hard thing to deal with, so everyone pretends that they do not see it. Other times when it is very clear and someones else pushed the administrators to do it, they will call police, but then the kids comeback to campus again, and starts all over. Our kids have a lot of temptations to deal with. By the way drug using starts in middle school, but increases at the high school level.


Posted by Sally, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Mar 9, 2011 at 7:09 am

I know many parents in Palo Alto who still do drugs and drink too much (Okay, the've moved on to fine wine). And promiscuity it still there as well. So the kids are just modeling after the parents.


Posted by palo alto mom, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 9, 2011 at 12:15 pm

There are more kids who do not bully, drink or do drugs then there are kids who do. And "bullying, cruelty, drugs, drinking, etc" goes on in probably every high school (and middle school) in the US, but not every town has a famous resident to write about it.

The one thing that surprises me is that most days at lunch there are kids at Town and Country sitting near the railroad tracks smoking - pot and cigarettes - dealing drugs, etc. Why aren't the police (or Paly admin) there on a regular basis? Do they not know or are they ignoring the problem? And there are parents who in PA do drugs - with their underage kids.


Posted by Sue, a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 10, 2011 at 1:15 pm

Somebody gave me that book. I made it through the first three chapters, then gave up. It is an immature, narcissistic drivel, apparntly written for a creative writing class, of his own design. Think Charlie Sheen.


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