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Paly student arrested for parking -- upside down

Original post made on Jun 5, 2007

A Palo Alto High School senior has been arrested for felony vandalism when he parked his car upside down on the lawn of the Paly Quad as an apparent senior prank.

Read the full story here Web Link

Comments (239)

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Posted by misinformed
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 5, 2007 at 7:30 pm

The car was not on the lawn it was on a deck, there was no damage to any sprinkler system. Only damage was to a couple of boards broken on the deck. Hardly $3,000 worth of damage.


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Posted by anon.
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jun 5, 2007 at 7:47 pm

still
the times they are a changing
things are getting hot
pranks are funny for some
a [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff] nuisance for others
don't be suprised when the authorities overreact
just like mom and dad do
sometimes
when they've had enough
somebody could get hurt
an eye poked out
fly out of a bus
and file a lawsuit
all kind of stuff can happen
when kitty gets out of the bag
the days of tom sawyer are long gone
welcome to the terror dome!


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Posted by RS
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 5, 2007 at 8:24 pm

Well if you reread the article, it states Sgt Brown got arrested. ;^)

"Brown was arrested for felony vandalism and removal of the VIN number, a misdemeanor, and booked into Santa Clara County Main Jail in San Jose. "

Perhaps this article was written poorly.

However driving a heavy car onto an elevated wooden deck sounds like a judgement error that requires the prankster to be "educated" and have a real consequence.


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Posted by Leslie
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 5, 2007 at 8:26 pm

When I was a senior, we had two pranks:
-Several burly boys place a early 70's Honda Civic on the roof of the school.
-a friend of mine (very short with very small feet) streaked with wet painted feet throuhg a common area of the school

They were caught along with the rest of us who helped in the planning. There was damage. We had to repair the damage or we did not graduate. We did so. The burly boys all went to college and now pay taxes. My friend is a physician in New Mexico and I have a graduate degree in chemsitry and have worked in biotech for 18 years.

I guess they could have put us in jail, but really why? Hasn't this gone just too far?


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Posted by Leslie
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 5, 2007 at 8:29 pm

Sorry about the spelling in the last post! I got a bit excited, I guess.
Leslie


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Posted by anon.
a resident of Triple El
on Jun 5, 2007 at 8:40 pm

Leslie,
the 70's are gone
along with wacky packs
and bruce jenner
the police state has intensified
welcome to the terror dome


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Posted by anonymous
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 5, 2007 at 8:50 pm

there is more to the story. there is always more to the story. if you've been involved in anything in the media, you know there is always more to the story. try not to get too worked up over things you don't know yet. there is always more to the story.


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Posted by eyewitness
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 5, 2007 at 9:14 pm

what misinformed wrote is true

the car was on the deck upside down. if you look at the marks on the deck most of the damage apears to be from when they removed it. The car was no where neer the lawn or any sprinklers.

The damages done could be fixed with no more than 100$ and a trip to home-depot. Felony Vandalism is a completely rediculous charge.


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Posted by pediRN
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 5, 2007 at 9:34 pm

The senior prank during my freshman year at Paly was an artistic display of Michelob bottles lining the roofs of all the buildings on the quad. Apparently, the seniors who called themselves "the Michelob gang," spent all night arranging the bottles about 3 inches apart all along the roof. The effect was stunning.....the year was 1977. The stunt made the front page of the paper. And, no I don't in ANYWAY condone teenage drinking, but arresting an 18 year old senior for parking his car upside down? Just plain stupid. These poor kids can't do anything!


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Posted by Don Paco III
a resident of Duveneck School
on Jun 5, 2007 at 9:43 pm

This is rediculous, i hope the administration realizes the mistake they've made.


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Posted by Witness
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 5, 2007 at 9:46 pm

first of all, like mentioned a couple times already, the car was on the senior deck. The only damage was a couple of cracked boards which was a result of the school dragging the car off the deck. It had nothing to do with sprinklers or grass. And btw, the deck is so old that I can jump up and down and the boards would crack.

Oh, and Brown didn't get arrested, Marchant did.


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Posted by Paly '78
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 5, 2007 at 9:51 pm

Hey, I will always remember the Michelob Gang Senior Prank. I say that the police need to focus on more important things. To make an example of one kid is ridiculous. Shame on Principal Scott for not stepping in..but then again it doesn't surprise anyone.[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff].


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Posted by David
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jun 5, 2007 at 9:56 pm

Web Link

This link explains some of the issues related to vandalism and California law.

There appears to be some flexibility, depending on the level of damages ($400 is the cutoff between misdemeanor and felony) and preivous arrests and/or gang association, etc.

The schools are compelled to prosecute senior pranks, because, if they do not, they will be setting themselves up for real trouble. Remember the prank at Gunn a while back? A fire-banger went big, and a girl was seriously burned.

I think a few days in the slammer is a fair punishment. I don't think it rises to the level of a first strike offense. Something tells me that this kid needed help. Who helped him turn the car over? He and his gang should be forced to give up their summer plans, and actually repair the damage themselves (or do labor on campus to compensate). Only then should they get their HS graduation certificates.

Wanna play, gotta pay.


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Posted by Anon.
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 5, 2007 at 9:56 pm

The car was on the deck, not the grass- unless they drove across the grass with a tractor and then dragged the car off the deck through the grass- which they didn't, there would be no damage to the grass let alone the sprinklers- The police overreacted and I hope someone can testify against their claim that the car was on the grass.


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Posted by thisisstupid
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 5, 2007 at 9:56 pm

this is the most rediculous thing i have ever heard of. Paly high administrators should be ashamed of taking their precious deck so seriously that they would ruin the future of an otherwise good student. the deck was already falling apart, and no one was hurt or could have possibly gotten hurt by the prank. Get over yourself paly admins!!!


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Posted by student
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jun 5, 2007 at 9:58 pm

Again, the car was not on the lawn, but on the deck.
The $3,000 is not due to damage to sprinklers, but damage to the deck, and costs for the removal of the car and toilet cemented in a planter.
However again, the deck is very old, and boards have already been broken from simply walking on it.


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Posted by Ms. Liz
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 5, 2007 at 9:58 pm

Who looks like the hero and who like the fool? Shame on Principal Scott and the Administration. You have gone too far. Funny that you call yourselves the great educators. You have lost the respect of the community. We support Daniel and his family and hope that you come to your senses.


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Posted by Paly Student
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 5, 2007 at 10:03 pm

Wow, this is the worst article probably ever written. I cant believe that this person actually works for a professional newspaper. Sad. Thank God im going off and getting a good education. Im suprised that this article was published online, for anyone to see, before the facts were straightened out. This is how rumors get started, and i cant believe a high schooler has to say that to someone who is supposed to be a mature adult. But, we all make mistakes, and this author has made a few. How embarassing [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff].


 +   Like this comment
Posted by pediRN
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 5, 2007 at 10:03 pm

Hey Paly '78 -- thanks for the support and the reality check. Everything is soooooo serious here now. Too bad - we actually had fun growing up. I remember the 24 hour band marathons and putting Mr. Britt's car in the band room - we didn't damage anything, but it was still fun. Incidentally, my daughter graduates in the Paly class of 2007 next week, and she can't wait to be done.....it makes me kind of sad, since I actually enjoyed high school. If kids can't act like kids during high school, when can they?


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Posted by konvict
a resident of Professorville
on Jun 5, 2007 at 10:06 pm

mr marchant showed serious lack of judgement here
in reality what he shouldve done is deny deny deny


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Posted by bigsecksi
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 5, 2007 at 10:06 pm

~~~~~~~~QUOTE~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I think a few days in the slammer is a fair punishment. I don't think it rises to the level of a first strike offense. Something tells me that this kid needed help. Who helped him turn the car over? He and his gang should be forced to give up their summer plans, and actually repair the damage themselves (or do labor on campus to compensate). Only then should they get their HS graduation certificates.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff].


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Posted by rediculous
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jun 5, 2007 at 10:07 pm

This is insane. There is no way this young man should be prosecuted for a felany. People need to put a stop to this. A felany on someones record is going to hurt his chances of getting good jobs in the future not to mention the college he is going to might revoke his admittance. This is typical PALY high administors, not understanding the issue and overreacting. People should speak up.


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Posted by Samual Adams
a resident of Gunn High School
on Jun 5, 2007 at 10:09 pm

Im so glad im about to graduate, [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff]. I've flipped over tons of cars, and its really not that big of a deal. Get over it, and long live the fighting ninjas!!!


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Posted by RS
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 5, 2007 at 10:13 pm

eyewitness,

its easily over $100

Cost of salaries for people having to deal with the mess.
Cost of removing and dealing with the car
Cost of repairing the deck.

Easily over the $400 above.

A night in jail wont hurt him.


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Posted by BS
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 5, 2007 at 10:15 pm

RS you should spent a night for posting that without getting your facts straight
hes no longer in jail buddy


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Posted by it will
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jun 5, 2007 at 10:16 pm

He is not in jail and is now out on bail. But if he was to spend a night in jail it would hurt him. A felony on your record will hurt you for the rest of your life, no way this kid should be prosecuted for that.


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Posted by Anon
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Jun 5, 2007 at 10:17 pm

Hey RS, have you ever heard of senior pranks? well, its a tradition that the cool kids in highschool do before they graduate, so [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff] laugh about it. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Anon
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Jun 5, 2007 at 10:19 pm

One more thing RS, this kid is a great kid, not a gang banger who carries a knife to school everyday. He comes from a good family, and doesnt deserve to be in jail with weirdos. maybe when you have kids, you will understand.


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Posted by Stanley Gardlelangston
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 5, 2007 at 10:22 pm

boooooo palo alto highschool. those administrators are big beezys. one little prank wont kill them. 3,000$? thats wayy to much for a few broken boards. cost of labor/dealing with the mess? the janitors are paid hourly to clean our schools, they need a challenge once in a while to stay in tip-top shape.


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Posted by RS
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 5, 2007 at 10:28 pm

He does not have a felony on his record, yet.

Being arrested is not being convicted.

If he is a "good" kid, the DA will probably just make him pay for the damage and do some community service. I think that would be fair, don't you?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ms. Liz
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 5, 2007 at 10:33 pm

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff].


 +   Like this comment
Posted by THIZZorDIE
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 5, 2007 at 10:33 pm

lolerz, Blaine marchant is a real american hero. give him a trophy. the toilet feels bad, he hasnt gotten any face time. WHERE IS THE JUSTICE?!!!??~ HUH?!

-Cutty


 +   Like this comment
Posted by JRider
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2007 at 10:35 pm

What we should be asking ourselves is why this school administration would have such a kneejerk reaction to the incident. Why get the police involved? Why not just get the kids together to resolve things? The damage amount was probably exaggerated to justify the school's response.


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Posted by true
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 5, 2007 at 10:48 pm

PALY administrators have a track record of over exagerating. Earlier this year 07 was put into the grass by killing, administrators claimed the cost of repair would be $10,000. These people made a rash decision that should be overturned.

THIZZ OR DIE FOR LIFE


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Posted by Jesus C
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 5, 2007 at 10:50 pm

VIVE TOM!!!!!!


The people that say a night in jail might be good for him, either
A) [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff] or
B) were the loner kids at school who wish they could have been a part of their senior prank

God Bless Blaine Marchant!


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Posted by jeepers
a resident of Southgate
on Jun 5, 2007 at 10:53 pm

oh, man, this is just crazy...now this kid is going to have to check the "yes" box whenever he has to answer the "have you every been arrested?" question on job application. this should have been handled internally - - bad judgment. a stern warning and a bill from the school system would have been enough. they could have also extracted some community school service from the kid...


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Posted by jeepers
a resident of Southgate
on Jun 5, 2007 at 10:56 pm

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff].


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jesus C
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 5, 2007 at 10:58 pm

[Comment removed by Palo Alto Online staff].


 +   Like this comment
Posted by calm down
a resident of Gunn High School
on Jun 5, 2007 at 10:59 pm

over here at gunn high (though not a prank of this magnitude, but none the less a prank) a senior egged a teacher while wearing a spartan warrior mask. he was suspended and recommended for expulsion, was denied from graduation, wasn't allowed to attend the prom he had already payed for, and was filed as being expelled to the colleges he applied to. however, after months of fighting the board and the admin, they overturned ms. likins' (the over-reacting principle at gunn) decision. he is now allowed to graduate, but he wont be able to attend the colleges he got accepted to because he wasnt allowed to finish the required classes at gunn, since he had already missed so much and the principle did not want him back, and he wasn't payed back for his prom investments for this student's prank, they CLEARLY OVERREACTED and so they have for Daniel Marchant. the prank he is being punished for is such a non-threatning act. whatever damage he has caused, if he even did, should be payed for in some way or another, like a voluntary fund raising by the senior class, but a felony on his record is way over the top. give the kid a break. however, congradulation to the cops for tracing it back to him even after he scratched off the VIN, you guys are super! im sure he will learn from this and become a great citizen


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Posted by tom
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jun 5, 2007 at 11:03 pm

gogo tom robinson. my boi. and bearclaw


 +   Like this comment
Posted by hood N****
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 5, 2007 at 11:04 pm

[Comment removed by Palo Alto Online staff].


 +   Like this comment
Posted by bowls
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jun 5, 2007 at 11:07 pm

everyone gotta chill and hit some bowls. free tom robinson.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by MacDrezzy
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 5, 2007 at 11:11 pm

plus, thizz is pretty cool. its not bad for you. it actually makes you smarter. einstien did thizz hella.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 5, 2007 at 11:13 pm

tom robinson is my hero


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Posted by RS
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 5, 2007 at 11:16 pm

jeepers,

On every job application I've filled out the question is have you ever been "convicted", but I agree with you, it would have been better if they could have done it the way you suggested.


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Posted by MatchMaker
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jun 5, 2007 at 11:22 pm

Jeepers and RS, you two should date.


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Posted by friend
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 5, 2007 at 11:22 pm

David wrote: Something tells me that this kid needed help.


Wow, this guy definetly does not know this kid at all. He is acutally one of the seniors at Paly that needs the least help. He's just a sweetheart and took all the blame. Don't talk about someone you don't know in circumstances you don't understand. There is nothing wrong with him except that he was the only one man enough to take the heat! [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff].


 +   Like this comment
Posted by absurdity
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 5, 2007 at 11:23 pm

what is most ridiculous about this entire thing is that the deck was ALREADY BROKEN!! literally every board being replaced was already damaged. there have been countless times i have walked across our beloved deck and nearly fallen because i stepped on a broken piece of wood. tomorrow, a part of the deck THAT THE CAR WAS NOWHERE NEAR is being repaired. it's pathetic that instead of ponying up the dough to repair the deck when it's needed, they see and opportunity of a harmless senior prank decide to make the student pay for the ALREADY BROKEN deck. on top of that, they want to charge him with a felony? get real. the deck was already broken. he shouldn't have to pay for [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff]. and more importantly, he should not have a felony on his record.


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Posted by MA mama
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2007 at 11:26 pm

Paly 78ers, What a laugh! Our '78 class (different state) filled a VW bug with water & goldfish - in the cafeteria. People had a sense of humor back then - even the administration.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by MA mama
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2007 at 11:28 pm

ps. Help this kid out and take pictures as evidence before they replace the deck.


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Posted by Blaine supporter
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 5, 2007 at 11:28 pm

1. The reference to thizz is from a popular rap song. Blaine is in no way affiliated with ecstasy, and was not condoning or preaching the use of ecstasy.
2. Had the school asked Blaine to remove the car from the deck, he would have done so, and in a method that would not have cost $3,000. He is a good kid who took responsibility for his own actions by turning himself in. The fact of the matter, is that the school never even asked him to remove it.
3. Many members of the senior class, including myself, have offered to dedicate a day to rebuilding the broken part of the deck. The school however, felt that it was necessary to hire tow trucks and carpenters to fix the deck, which amounted to $3000. I deem this to be an unnecessary expense.
4. For those of you (RS), who suggest that "a couple of days in the slammer is fair punishment," I request that you look at the FACTS of the story. A high school kid thought it would be funny to flip a car over on campus during his final week of high school. Should he really be placed in jail next to people who have robbed banks, Driven under the influence, or muredered people? Hm, probably not.

I thank you for taking the time to look over these points, and hope that you all join me in lending support to Blaine and his family. There will be several students at school tomorrow who have taken it upon themselves to privately collect donations to help Blaine's family pay for the damages. I hope that you all consider donating, because the actions of the Paly administration and PAPD are unfair and the Marchant family does not deserve to suffer.


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Posted by insane
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jun 5, 2007 at 11:29 pm

People need to voice there complaints to the Palo Alto highschool administration and city officials to keep this young man from being prosecuted with a felony. this could ruin the rest of his life.


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Posted by spelling
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 5, 2007 at 11:43 pm

The deck is horrible for this article:

"Senior prank' has felony consequences for 18-yar-old who left his car unside down on Paly quad"

Palo Alto Online should really edit before enabling.


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Posted by RS
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 5, 2007 at 11:54 pm

Blaine supporter,

I said a night in jail would not hurt him. I was not promoting it as punishment. They dont put the car flippers with the murderers. ;^)

Unfortunately a deck is considered a structure in building code like a house, so someone qualified has to do the work.

I'm not out for blood here. When you damage someone elses property, it should be restored. You access damage costs by the value of what was ruined. If it was a lousy deck, the damages are the costs to remove the car and the replacement of value of what was.

Now he did this deliberately thats where knowing the kid is required. You guys all say he is nice, I'll take you at your word. This is more about bad judgement than a pattern of behavior
So yes then a felony conviction is overboard.


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Posted by Schmarz
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 6, 2007 at 12:01 am

This is absurd. I saw the damage firsthand, and it's not anywhere near 3,000. There was never any intent to cause serious damage, the plan was to just have fun. If you truly think a high school senior deserves a FELONY for a harmless prank I strongly advise [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff]. Kids have fun, that's what this was. Obviously there should be punishment, but a felony and jailtime is going overboard. The man is doing a great thing by taking the blame for everyone else. That kind of character should be rewarded, not punished.

Tom Robinson 4 lyf3.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by reward tom
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jun 6, 2007 at 12:05 am

Tom Robinson is the man. Taking blame for this hilarious prank. Good stuff Tom. (bearclaw) free tom robinson


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Posted by RS
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 6, 2007 at 12:17 am

Maybe if some of the others that participated came forward, they would be easier on him. If there is a teacher you trust to have a confidential conversation, it might be worth asking.

Just a thought


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Posted by just nuts
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jun 6, 2007 at 5:01 am

Felony for what amounts to a harmless prank? And one that even some with a sense of humor would think was cute/funny (except the ecstasy part).

Sure, bill for the damage and suspend the kid for a time, but to even put an arrest on the record is playing hard ball with the kid's life.

This belongs in "news of the weird". It's stuff like this that gets national debates going....


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Posted by Lou
a resident of Meadow Park
on Jun 6, 2007 at 5:36 am

Can anyone spell "ridiculous" around here? Good grief.


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Posted by anon.
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jun 6, 2007 at 6:19 am

welcome to the terror dome


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Posted by Pete
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 6, 2007 at 6:55 am

"The man is doing a great thing by taking the blame for everyone else. That kind of character should be rewarded, not punished."

No snitches, right Schmarz? Mafia code.

Now here's the way it works, Schmarz. All the kids snitch. The cops get the information then they say that the kid didn't snitch. That way, the forever naive [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff] can still have their heroes.


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Posted by anon.
a resident of Community Center
on Jun 6, 2007 at 7:31 am

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff]
Like I said before, times are getting hot.
The adults are scared.
When they get scared they overreact.
Kids should beware.
Welcome to the terror dome.


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Posted by hamm
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 6, 2007 at 7:53 am

if the administration is trying to set an example of tom its not going to work. Senior pranks will always happen.

im in class of 08 and all this is making us do is have to come up with something even better thatll cause more comotion.



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Posted by TROB 4 LYfe
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 6, 2007 at 8:34 am

You're my boy Blanie! you're my Boy! TROB 4 Lyfe


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Posted by Parent and Blaine Supporter
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 6, 2007 at 8:54 am

This reaction by the District and police is way out of proportion, and (as now seems typical) exaggerates the situation. The priorities are misplaced, and we should actually have chuckled at the prank, and allowed it to be part of the Class's fine legacy.


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Posted by disgusted Parent
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 6, 2007 at 9:27 am

My understanding is that the school pressed charges after Blaine turned himself in. I am outraged that the school handled it so poorly. Blaine is a great kid who doesn't deserve this kind of punishment for an inocent senior prank. Glad my kids are now finished with PAUSD!


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Posted by Former paly mom
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 6, 2007 at 9:46 am

A few years back, one of my kids was involved in a "senior prank" at Paly. The leader of the group even went to the assistant principal and said, "Here's what we want to do. Is this OK? We'll take it down at brunch." The asst principal said it was OK.

So this group of kids went to Paly at 4:30AM to transform a small structure at Paly into ... well, I don't want to say because it will give the group away. I saw pictures though and it was hilarious.

However, the same AP who said it was OK showed up to school very early and dismantled their work of art. None of the other kids saw it until the photos were passed around via email. What they did could have been called vandalism, though the only marks made on Paly property were made by staplers and masking tape.

The leader of my kid's group didn't get into any trouble, thanks to clearing the prank in advance with the administration, but all they did with that information was eradicate the impromptu sculpture before it could be enjoyed by everyone. Very disappointing.

I went to a local high school and was involved in a bunch of relatively non-destructive pranks. Well, except for the ancient truck that we dismantled and then re-assembled on top of the gym. It took the school a while to figure out how we'd gotten it up there. Our trick: bribing the guard to stay away from that part of campus for an hour.

I think one thing that really hurt Blaine's prank was the drug reference on the car. It's possible that the whole thing would have been less of an issue if the administration hadn't felt the prank was encouraging drug use.


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Posted by Janice
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 6, 2007 at 10:41 am

There are so many good things about Palo Alto and then there are the things that make us a national laughing-stock. This could be one of the latter.

It was a senior prank. It was funny. No one got hurt, and unlike the Gunn explosion there was little chance of anyone getting hurt. The school could have simply asked the students involved to repair or pay for fixing the damage.

Blaine Marchant is the kind of young man most parents would be proud to have as a son. Have we completely lost our sense of proportion, and our sense of humor?


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Posted by eric
a resident of Mountain View
on Jun 6, 2007 at 10:42 am

If the participants in this thread are Paly students, I think that the adminstration should spend less time worrying about pranks and more on their English department!


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Posted by parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 6, 2007 at 11:27 am

I am fascinated. Is this kid from a prominent family or something? The laws apply equally to all.


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Posted by just thinking
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 6, 2007 at 11:51 am

And, of course, if he had tipped the car into your drvieway, not damaging your lawn or sprinklers, you would just be yukking it up while calmly calling the police.


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Posted by just nuts
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jun 6, 2007 at 12:20 pm

But he didn't tip the car onto my driveway. Nor did he tip it on to any individual's driveway.

He did it at school where it's nearing graduation time and there is a history of senior pranks. I'm sure the crew involved would have gladly taken responsibility for any damage incurred if given the opportunity.

But FELONY criminal charges? What kind of thinking is that. This will have permanent repercussions on this boy's life. Even if he manages to cop a plea (and even if he gets his record expunged) he will forever more have to report this arrest if he ever attempts to get a security clearance.

For god sakes have some proportion. How can PAUSD purport to spend 12 years preparing him to go out into the world and then not handle this as an internal matter. I'm not saying don't do anything but I see absolutely nothing here that justifies criminal prosecution.

I just don't get it, and I think the administration's reaction to this prank (and that is what it was) is simply disgraceful.


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Posted by just thinking
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 6, 2007 at 12:33 pm

Felony is determined by cost to repair damage, and in ths case, remove the car. I know someone who threw a brick at an RV,cracking the $1200 single piece windshield.
Some lessons are learned hard. And perhaps this can be a lesson to his peers - beware of committing felony stupid. Imagine explaining that one to an employer - especially if you need a clearance or surity bond.
Good luck,dude.


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Posted by Parent
a resident of another community
on Jun 6, 2007 at 12:57 pm

It just goes to show. 18 year olds are not adults and should not be treated as such. If this student were still 17 then things would be very different for him. Just because this particular student had passed his 18th birthday, does not make him mature enough to deal with adult life. We treat our kids as kids until they leave school, then we expect them to be thrown into the realities of the adult world when all they have learnt is how we protect them.

Bring back 21 as the age of majority. If they can't drink at 18, then they shouldn't be treated as adults at 18. They are still kids.


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Posted by just nuts
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jun 6, 2007 at 1:12 pm

18 is old enough to distinguish "right" from "wrong". If this was an 18 year old accused of an intentionally malicious act performed with the intention of causing injury or distress to others, I would have little sympathy. For example, I recently had another parent tell me an unfortunate story about his 16 year old son shooting a BB through a house window. That's just a stupid act and taking legal action to insure that statement is made both personally and as a society seems entirely appropriate.

But what happened in this case is entirely different. It seems apparent to me that the intention of the act was soley to provide a degree of levity and ammusement to the campus community. True enough that in a strictly legal sense, this was unlawful, but on a measured on a moral scale, I see something entirely different. What I see is a group of students attempting to exercise their first ammendment right to free speech to say goodbye to the PAUSD years with some flair.

It distresses me that the PAUSD administration evidently cannot see the difference.


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Posted by A Paly senior parent
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 6, 2007 at 1:49 pm

Shame on Paly administrators for resorting to the standard defensive action of wanting to "set an example" or "not creating a precedence." Have they forgotten their own excitement on graduating from high school and resorting to a final harmless senior prank that will be the kind of bonding memory that makes for happy reunions? I heard they got uptight about a streaking episode...

As administrators they could easily have dealt with the reported (exaggerated??) damage or expense of having the car towed, in a responsible way. As educators they could have demonstrated leadership on how to deal with conflict, "breaking of the law," and the "punishment." Instead they show an enlightened Bay Area community what humorless, fearful, and thoughtless administrators they have become.

They should take a tip from Stanford and the Palo Alto Police Department on how to deal with community issues in order to create a vibrant community where right and wrong are dealt with appropriately and not heavy handedly.

Knowing Blaine and many of the Paly class of 2007 I am sure they will turn out to be much more enlightened when they are in their 40 and 50s. Too bad Paly administrators have shown they are not role models.


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Posted by parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 6, 2007 at 2:19 pm

the law is the law - are some of you saying this student should be given a pass by the police because he (apparently) is popular? How about if it was some kid you didn't know -- would you be rushing to defend him/her? I am just concerned about applying the law equally around here and if it's felony for one, then it's a felony for another, even if the other is a popular guy.

As for Stanford, that's a private university with private land. How exactly do their police deal with such situations?

I also feel as a community we need to ensure that each student is dealt with in a consistent fashion by Paly administration and not pressured into giving a pass to a popular guy on a particular occasion. That would not be fair.


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Posted by Scott
a resident of Southgate
on Jun 6, 2007 at 2:23 pm

Where are all of Blaine's buddies, the ones who helped him with this caper? They are hanging him out to dry. Have they no shame? They need to come in and fess up. I would be willing to bet that felony charges would be dropped, if the whole gang faced the music.


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Posted by just nuts
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jun 6, 2007 at 2:58 pm

"parent" --

I have no objection to the law being the law, and my complaint is not with the PA Police, who have a responsibility to pursue the resolution of a crime when one is reported. But it is my understanding that typically police departments in minor crimes cases are reluctant to make an arrest where the "victim" has indicated a desire not to press charges. And that's exactly what I believe should have happened with PAUSD in this case.

In terms of "uniform treatment", I think I've already explained what I believe differentiates this "crime" from simple vandalism, which I would characterize as just wanton destruction. This case does not appear to be malicious at its roots from what I know about it.

I could care less whether Blaine is popular or unpopular. I don't know anything about him, and Paly is not even the high school that my kids will attend. But I do have kids in PAUSD, and I'm aghast at the heavy handedness that the administration is willing to use.


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Posted by Tyler Hanley
online editor of Palo Alto Online
on Jun 6, 2007 at 3:01 pm

Tyler Hanley is a registered user.

We are hoping to post a photo and/or video of the overturned car. If anyone has a photo or video they would like to share with us, please send me an e-mail at thanley@paweekly.com. Thank you.


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Posted by sally
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 6, 2007 at 3:04 pm

Hmm...Seems that the administration is the root of the problem here. They could have handled things differently.


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Posted by no way
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 6, 2007 at 3:09 pm

If the whole gang faced the music they would all be in trouble, and blaine would still be charged with a felony. It is also unrealistic to think that just because Blaine has friends he is getting some sort of lean way from the administration. This was a senior prank not some serious crime.


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Posted by trudy
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 6, 2007 at 3:28 pm

Web Link


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Posted by parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 6, 2007 at 3:42 pm

I think you misunderstood me. I am noticing the immediate, personal support on this thread for this particular student and just wondering if so many youth would be speaking up and criticizing the Paly administration and police if it were a less well-known kid who had done the prank? Whether you think this student is treated fairly by what's happened so far --or not --, I want to be certain another student would receive the same treatment. I am not sure that would be the case.


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Posted by A Paly senior parent
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 6, 2007 at 4:02 pm

Parent--

As someone who has lived in this community for a long time, I think this community believes in taking a thoughtful and moderate view on issues and doesn't resort to the kind of favoritism you are speculating. You are wrong just based on the number of supportive comments from people who don't even know Blaine.


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Posted by andrewyson
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jun 6, 2007 at 4:13 pm

Kid broke the law, vandalized property, should go to jail. I don't care if its $200 or $2,000 in damage, what was his car doing upside down on school property? Jail time for kiddie. I was in high school too, I did pranks, probably even worse stuff. But I didn't get caught AND I didn't do something as stupid as leaving my car behind and sadly trying to scratch off the VIN#. Little bit o' jail time makes sense here and I ain't going to kill the kid. And yes a police records sucks but lots of people have to deal with that. Tough...


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Posted by ChibiKuhn
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 6, 2007 at 4:55 pm

Our prank was righteous. We caulked pennies of our graduating year into the senior wall. The year was 1995. Wes TP'd the school too, but that was lame. Hi Pete! Hi Acuff! Hi Ghasseppi!


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Posted by James Franco
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 6, 2007 at 5:01 pm

I used to hang out on the deck...before Spiderman.


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Posted by someone
a resident of Mountain View
on Jun 6, 2007 at 5:10 pm

been reading all these comments ... some said it was on a wooden deck and that the damage is only $100 ...I think these people need to consider the labor and tax dollar spent in removing that car and whatever inconvenience it gave to those affected


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Posted by Danny
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 6, 2007 at 5:14 pm

Come on people! Its just a prank. If your so concerned about the damage make him pay for it, other than that forget about it. It does not constitute jail time. He's just a kid.


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Posted by willywonka
a resident of another community
on Jun 6, 2007 at 5:20 pm

does this kid needs punishment? of course he does because he did something bad I mean we do the same thing to our kids, don't we? When they do something bad we tell them to go to the corner and face the wall. Well unfortunately for this kid his corner is jail.


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Posted by Claudia
a resident of another community
on Jun 6, 2007 at 5:20 pm

I just wanted to say let the kids be kids, they did not harm noone, let them just pay for the damages. but there is no need for them to go to jail or skip their graduation. They have been waiting for this guaduation for 12 years. Do you think is fair? no, just like the previous email, they all turn to be someone important in society, and they pay taxes. so just let them go. Like i say make them clean the mess.


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Posted by jj
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 6, 2007 at 5:28 pm

This is now the 26th reference to the failings and dwindling credibility of the Paly administration. For a school that can't seem to keep a principal for more than 3 years, it raises all kinds of questions. What's going on with the leadership over there?


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Posted by Paly Senior
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 6, 2007 at 5:55 pm

James, say something to the administration!

Just kidding. Seriously though, folks. This article was reported extremely incorrectly. The car was flipped upside down on the deck, not on the lawn. The damage to the lawn and sprinklers is impossible because it was never on the lawn to begin with; and hoping this is a professional newspaper, you would think you would use spellcheck. Example: "...in an attempt to conceal his ownership of the vehicle, she said. But officers were able to trace it to him."

It should read: "...of the vehicle, she said, but officers were able...."

I was also outraged that they arrested Blaine, he's a good kid and is not angry at the world or psychologically insane, and what angers me about this town is the stereotype that all high school kids are nutcases.

Another thing that upsets me is the failure to report about the lack of security involved in this situation. The principal has been increasing nighttime security over the past month to make sure these pranks didn't happen, however anonymous sources have said that the security was just sitting in the back parking lot. The car entered the quad from the front parking lot. I don't know about other people, but I sure as hell don't know how a car, let alone a person, can reach the quad unnoticed.

Palo Alto Online: In the future, use spellcheck and do some actual research, and people might respect you better. Maybe you should read the Campanile, a high-quality newspaper run by Paly itself.


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Posted by Razor
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 6, 2007 at 5:59 pm

doesn't anyone have a sense of humor anymore? in general, administrators in these changing times are out of touch with today's youth and don't seem to mind severely hurting a kids future with unneccesary police contact over nothing but a senior prank. this kid didn't harm any of his classmates or anything of that horrible nature. i guess they're, well, OLD and self-righteous. for example, ever hear of "fo shizzle, my nizzle"? or "iz" replacing "is" in the writings and language of today's kids? it'z all over MTV. our society endorses the usage of such terms for ratings and the corporate buck, y'know. many kids just scribble and doodle in their notebooks, like we all have at that age. it's slang and "thizz" has been used as "thizz is what it iz". as in, this is what it is! NOT the drug extasy. what does it mean to "skate or die!" think about it. nothing. they just immitate what they see as what's considered cool sometimes. just like we all have. let's not make thiz out to be more than what it iz in order to sell newspaperz. let'z not stereotype. that would be discriminating. and let'z definitely not try to have our entire car painted because someone scratched 4 inches of it. repairing the old steps should be "all in a day'z pay", not overtime or needing additional funding. i say administrators and educators should laugh and smile more with today'z kidz, making learning fun. they are supposed to be teachers not enforcement officers. would any kid want to be on a team where the coach iz always mean, discriminating and looking for deficiencies and then excluding them from participation? today'z kidz are very smart and willing to learn but many are thrown away in this fashion using this same, lame excuse. it's a shame and just too bad that our educational system has in place educators that have a "can't wait for the day to end and get home" attitude. san francisco mayor gavin newsome recently broke the "man-code" and got away with it. what about the "senior prank-code"? our world could use a laugh now and then. it'z healthy.


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Posted by Paly Parent of 2 teens
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 6, 2007 at 6:20 pm

I am a parent of 2 teens at Paly so I went to the school to see the deck for myself. A few 2x4's were replaced. And by the condition of the rest of the deck they probably needed to be replaced. This is outrageous that the kid was arrested for this. If this is what the dean calls a "bad day" we need a new dean.


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Posted by senior
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 6, 2007 at 6:26 pm

im extremely upset and saddened with our high schools adminstration. This should have been handled internally, not turned over to the police. The senior class as well as blaine's parents would have gladly paid for the cost to repair the boards and remove the car, if it meant that blaine would have been spared the legal system and the palo alto police.


On friday the school involved police in a school matter as well. There was a cop circling around where the kids were eating lunch in an attempt to scare away any streakers. The cop picked fights with several students, even going so far as to tell students that if they didn't like his presence at the school that they should just leave schoo, and that he wasn't forcing them to stay.
it seems like the school should b, if anything, encouraging streakers since that is a compltely undestructive way of celebrating four years and expressing joy at being finished with high shool.

Lawrence should have handled this internally and given blaine the opportunity to fix this without anything going on his criminal record


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Posted by anonymous
a resident of another community
on Jun 6, 2007 at 6:51 pm

yeah, really, streaking is a great thing to do - my G*d how immature can one get??


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Posted by your wrong
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 6, 2007 at 7:04 pm

Why is streaking considered immature? I find it amusing and a show of the end of your high school career. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by juniorgirl
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 6, 2007 at 7:45 pm

As a junior girl that utilizes "The Deck" on a daily basis, I feel that the damage done to it only aided those of us who have to make use of the decrepit, splinter filled deck. By creating an obvious safety hazard, maybe the administration will finally fix the deck, since all of the rest of the problems (uneven boards, sharp edges, etc) were considered invisible and unhazardous to the Paly student. So, thank you Blaine, from the class of 2008 for highlighting this safety hazard to the principal. Maybe then they will be distracted from persuading the cheerleaders not to go $20,000 into debt or putting a flat screen tv into the student center. I mean really, with some volunteer action, you could probably create an entirely new deck for less than $400.


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Posted by Where are our priorities?
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 6, 2007 at 8:02 pm

This is just another sad case of the American mania for running to the legal system at the drop of a hat; whether it be the criminal justice system or civil litigation.

Poor judgement by a high school senior at his/her school does not warrant immediately calling in the authorities (who once called are required to follow their procedures). The kid wasn't a flight risk or in any way threatening harm to anyone. Getting the police involved should have been a last resort, when all else failed. It sickens me to contrast how this was handled versus the Virginia Tech situation where, with clear evidence of mental illness, the administration were not able to act because of the fear of compomising the to-be-killer's civil/privacy rights.

There is something really wrong with priorities on what is and is not of real importance regarding behaviour in our schools and the appropriate response level to different student actions.


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Posted by bearclaw
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 6, 2007 at 8:07 pm

amen


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Posted by just another palo altan
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 6, 2007 at 8:11 pm

Mr. Lawrence -- this is a strangely over-the-top reaction. I am concerned about what it suggests about your judgment as you go into your new position. To call in the police on someone (the *only* one) with integrity enough to come forward voluntarily and take responsibility for his prank creates a chilling atmosphere henceforth. Actually, that kind of overreaction and behavior strongly strongly reselmbles that of the entire regime M.O. of the departing superintendent. Please, please don't go down that road. It would be too depressing and ugly. First a senior, next management team members? Let's hope not.


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Posted by absurdity
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 6, 2007 at 8:25 pm

i have been informed that $400 felony damage occurred simply by two assistant principals arriving early and receiving overtime. had the prank caused no damage, blaine would still be facing felony charges because the administrators were paid overtime. the school claims there was nothing they could do, according the the law he committed over $400 worth of damage. if they were really interested in their students' futures, maybe the administrators just come to school when they are supposed to. but no, the school needs to set an example. senior pranks are dangerous, harmful, and very dangerous.


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Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 6, 2007 at 8:26 pm

look at this another way. If your 18 year old son damaged your driveway as a prank, would you call the police or deal with the matter yourself, making the kid pay for the repairs and do the work himself, or would you call the police. I think most parents would deal with it themselves. This is what Paly should have done. This was a Paly matter and dealing with this internally would have been the right thing to do. Leave the police to deal with matters when they become dangerously illegal, not when they are lighthearted pranks. Get the kid to do the work, pull weeds, pay for the materials. But, give him his graduation and give him his clean slate.


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Posted by No whining
a resident of Escondido School
on Jun 6, 2007 at 8:37 pm

Senior pranks are for a time long gone, when lawsuits weren't so common. Most people have a fine sense of humor and appreciate the intent of this prank, but most people threaten a lawsuit immediately if they or their precious children are exposed to things that many of us might find funny. This student screwed up. He knew the prank carried risks. So lay off the administration, the school, the police, et al. Take your medicine like a man--or at least a woman.


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Posted by absurdity
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 6, 2007 at 8:43 pm

brilliant post, no whining. you contradict yourself by complaining about the current situation and then telling people not to complain about it. then you make a sexist joke. when i and others take offense don't complain. that's today's society.


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Posted by Get a grip
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 6, 2007 at 8:46 pm

I think I need to stop randomly checking Palo Alto Online because in the last month I've read of an entire school administration (Duveneck) deciding to tell 5-11 year olds they can't hold hands, hug or touch because a handful of students were reportedly playing roughly at recess and NOW we have the case of the upturned Volvo at Paly which has turned into a felony case. Where are the rational adults in this overwrought school district and why is this town so embarrassing? Do you know how stupid we look to towns dealing with important problems like gun violence, high dropout rates, etc?


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Posted by Kevin
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 6, 2007 at 8:59 pm

If, during the commission of this prank, one of the 20 or so kids involved happened to get caught on the wrong side of the car, as it was flipped, and got crushed, the same people who are now making light of it would be screaming about the administration's lack of control on the campus.

This thing was a group effort - eveyone with ears knows that. Why is Blaine being left to his own devices here? This seems to be the height of selfishness, since those who participated want someone else to take the rap. Where are you guys? Time to do the right thing.


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Posted by Peacemaker
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 6, 2007 at 9:12 pm

Let us all ask ourselves what each of us would do in the shoes of each party.

~The administrators are just trying to keep law and order (imagine trying to prevent streakers all week)
~The police are just doing their jobs (what if you were a policeman?) ~Blaine was doing what any Paly senior would do: a stupid prank.

Everyone did what they thought was best in their capacity, and agreeably we can all say each party as erred in their ways. Sure we can go on saying how one group is worse than the other, but why are we comparing wrongs with greater wrongs? Do the two wrongs work like multiplication and turn into a right? No this isn't math, this is reality, and the fact remains despite all the excuses and justifications each side can use, all have made mistakes.

I suggest everyone not let their emotions get the better of them when they voice their opinions. Just a test of maturity.

When the dust settles, we must all remember that we are all human, and that we all can make errors in judgment, despite how justified we felt about our actions. Our community must begin laying the foundations of forgiveness and start the healing process. Let us forgive the administration for taking a hard-line on discipline, for it is their job, and let us forgive Blaine for doing what seniors do-pull pranks.

Make him and the others responsible pay for repairs, give him his diploma, and let us all continue on our lives.


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Posted by Get a grip
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 6, 2007 at 9:12 pm

Kevin: That didn't happen did it? Of course had severe injuries resulted, those involved would be punished accordingly. And last I checked, Paly isn't in session at 3 AM and unless it knew or should've known of an upturned Volvo prank, it would hardly be the school's fault.
You're right about the guy being abandoned by his friends, but that's not really the point.


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Posted by KCM
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jun 6, 2007 at 9:21 pm

When I was in high school, the heavy object being installed on the roof did slip and crush both of the prankster's hands. As I recall, nobody was prosecuted or sued; everyone just felt terribly for the guy. He'd earned a full athletic scholarship to college. There were none of those type of pranks at the school for at least several years after that.


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Posted by Jon S
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jun 6, 2007 at 9:27 pm

Ok juniorgirl. Let us get something straight.

The flat screen TV installed in the student center came from a grant by the PTSA and Site Council. It was actually a refurbished plasma that cost effectively half its retail value, and should not be seen as a waste of money, because it costs less than the laptops in the laptop carts around school. (yes the old G3 imacs). The proposal was presented to the PTSA and Site Council and approved. Go see their minutes for more detail.

The TV is part of the whole plan to upgrade the student center, and is an effort at stress relief sponsored by the ASB Council. The TV at this rate will be fully operational next year, and will have important bulletin information, and will be used to watch movies.


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Posted by peoplehavetheirstorieswrong
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 6, 2007 at 9:36 pm

parent said:
the law is the law - are some of you saying this student should be given a pass by the police because he (apparently) is popular? How about if it was some kid you didn't know -- would you be rushing to defend him/her? I am just concerned about applying the law equally around here and if it's felony for one, then it's a felony for another, even if the other is a popular guy.


To that, Blaine is not exceptionally popular. He is just known around campus as a good guy and everyone is appauled that this is happening to him. He has the reputation of being a genuniely nice kid, and that's why so many people are rushing to his defence. Another reason is that a FELONY charge is absurd. He was not harming anyone, or trying to get revenge on someone by putting a car on their lawn...IT WAS A SENIOR PRANK. Paly is just rediclous



and

Scott said:
Where are all of Blaine's buddies, the ones who helped him with this caper? They are hanging him out to dry. Have they no shame? They need to come in and fess up. I would be willing to bet that felony charges would be dropped, if the whole gang faced the music.

They have considered turning themnselves in, but if they did that then they woudl ALL face felony charges, and nothing good would happen for Blaine. Blaine's decision was to not get anyone else involed and he is an amazing kid for that. If that if his decision and he is willing to go to such lengths to protect his friends, then everyone involed has decided to respect that but they have his back all the way. And they are helping pay for the damages.


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Posted by Kevin
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 6, 2007 at 9:36 pm

Get a grip,

If the school administration shrugs it off (boys will be boys), and exacts no real punishment, then it is sending a signal that pranks are tolerated, perhaps even expected. When it goes bad, and there is an injury, the question will be asked: Why did you (administration) allow such a permissive environment?

The administration is stuck between a rock and a hard place.

The issue about why Blaine has been abandoned goes to the heart of the character matter. What kind of students are we graduating from PAUSD? The "no snitch" creed is worn like a bad tattoo by way too many of the kids. If Blaine was my kid, I would insist that he snitch. It would be both the honest thing to do, and it might well take the heat off him. He doesn't owe his "buddies" a damn thing, after the way they have treated him.

Tell it like it is, Blaine!


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Posted by Blaine supporter
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 6, 2007 at 9:38 pm

I have already posted once in this spread, and would like to respond again to several things that have been said since my last post. 1. To "Eric, a resident of Mountain View," who felt it necessary to criticize the grammar and intellect of the students who have taken the time to post comments on this story, I would like to point out that the author of this article did not show exemplary grammar either, nor did the majority of parents who have posted. 2. To those of you who insist on using profanities, it does not make your point. It only makes you look extremely immature and unprofessional. 3. This is the second time this year that the PAPD has taken it upon themselves to make an example out of a Paly senior in an effort to make it look like they are accomplishing something. Whether it be berating a school teacher for throwing a halloween party, creating a villain out of a senior who tried to perform an innocent prank, or even wasting 10 cops on the University Avenue streets trying to catch nasty culprits who GASP! aren't wearing seatbelts?!?!?!?! the PAPD has a history of creating much ado about nothing. (Hey Eric from Mountain View, if our english department was really that bad would I have been able to make a Shakespeare reference?) So here's a thought: instead of having the PAPD utilize innocent pranks for publicity to make themselves look accomplished, maybe they could actually do something? It took them several days to catch the flasher that was actually causing harm to Paly students, but only several hours to make an example of poor Blaine. Hm, does this seem like they are making efficient use of their time? 4. To those of you who are suggesting that all of this commotion is due to the fact that "Blaine [must come] from a prominent family," or that he is a widely known figure on campus, shame on you. What makes the Paly community so unique is that we are constantly there to support each other. I assure you that the same actions would have been taken by the Paly community had any student been placed in Blaine's position. Once again, donations are being collected for Blaine's family. So far roughly $200 has been collected. I think this in it of itself proves that Paly thinks that this is a worthy cause and that the administration is being unjust.


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Posted by N/A
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 6, 2007 at 9:48 pm

For someone who wishes to work with the community, Scott Laurence chooses a great way to begin! Those of us who have been in the community for quite some time and watched Mr. Laurence's progression. This latest decision comes as no surprise. Mr. Laurence has spent more time on progressing himself than he has on the students, teachers and parents. If he is the great leader, that he is why are we in such a mess. Many a principal has faced this sort of a situation here in Palo Alto, but it has dealt with it using tact and consistency. Unfortunately, within the PALY administration there is no consistency. The PAUSD Board needs to open their eyes, pay attention, and reach out to the entire community and not just their immediate circle.

Instead of the students collecting money in a jar, maybe those who participated should at least admit to their parents and have them write a check for the damages along with the Marchant family. Wait a minute that would take courage and if they have not done so far, Blaine should remember this lesson as he moves forward. It amazes me that other parents did not know and would not have offered to have their children do the right thing. When are the parents of this community going to make their children take responsibility for their actions? It goes to show you the values of our community are twisted.

If the students want to protest, why attend graduation? Especially those individuals who participated in this prank should show their support and share this punishment. How do you sleep at night? Maybe your public faces should match up with the private faces. You are taking hypocrisy to a new height.


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Posted by PA Senior
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 6, 2007 at 9:51 pm

Peacemaker: but what about the shoes of the wrong-doers?

and no whining: I take great offense to the term "take your medicine." I find it very cruel, and by no means is "medicine" a way of treating fun.


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Posted by Paly Parent
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jun 6, 2007 at 9:57 pm

The Paly administration already shrugs off lots of crimes that students commit, many of which are felonies - bikes, iPods, cell phones, wallets with cash and graphing calculators are stolen on a regular basis from places such as locked lockers and bike cages. There have been times that the Paly administrators are told who has perpetrated the crime and they do nothing - the value of the stolen items can quickly reaches the level of felony crime at $400. These are situations where real crimes are committed that harm other students and the Paly admins do not prosecute or involve the police. Why the double standard with Blaine? With this prank, there is no person who is a victim and the cost of repairs has not been clearly defined and yet, there has been a rush to prosecute Blaine. It sure seems like a double standard to me, or is it a mixed message?


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Posted by Sally
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 6, 2007 at 10:29 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Paly Grad
a resident of Portola Valley
on Jun 6, 2007 at 10:40 pm

I graduated in '99, and even back then my classmates got ridiculous punishments for harmless pranks like streaking across the quad. The guy who said, "you have to punish every prank or you'll have a repeat of the Gunn fire bomb explosion", sounds like the same type that goes around and says, "you can't have gay marriage or people will marry their pets". There's no comparison. Harmless pranks are good for school moral.

Sure, they kids who put a car on the deck did something stupid, and really not all that original. But jail time? Typical example of the Palo Alto police being bored out of their minds and over-prosecuting. I guess the kid should just be lucky he didn't caught by the palo alto cops that were accused of clubbing that (since proven innocent) man a few years back.


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Posted by D
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 6, 2007 at 10:54 pm

Whose fault is it really that this incident has been so blown out of proportion? And who pursued this- Jerry Berkson or Scotty Laurence? Somehow I feel it's Berkson flaunting his power...


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Posted by Sally
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 6, 2007 at 10:55 pm

This will be Scotty's legacy...nothing else.


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Posted by Paly parent R
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 6, 2007 at 11:45 pm

In a community, particularly an educational one, logical, restorative consequences should be applied to behavior such as this. If harm were done, the student(s) should meet with the parties harmed -- or their representatives-- to determine how best to make amends. Especially in the case of a non-malicious prank, the whole school community would be far better served if the consequences were aligned with the "crime." Instead of allowing for Blaine to do the work of repairing damage or raising money to repair it or to do some equivalent service to the school, the administration turned to punishment that is disproportionate. Blaine's friends might want to come forward, but the risk of a felony record may have deterred them from doing the "right thing." It is one thing to come clean if you know that you will be held reasonably accountable; quite another to risk a life-long record.
It seems that senior pranks repeatedly crop up, whether or not perpetrators of them are punished. Making an example? I think this is an example of an educational opportunity missed. Felony charges are ridiculous. Maybe seniors should spend their last month of school doing something more meaningful. Maybe the school community could brainstorm ways of providing memories, humor, and excitement to students who are at a huge life transition.


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Posted by you can't control the outcome
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 7, 2007 at 12:07 am

Were you there when the prank was discovered? Do you know who called whom when? Did you hear conversations among police, administrators, workers? If not, who are you to assume anything, and then libel our school and district? Do you know the going rates for the workers called in to deal with the work? (And despite an uninformed claim to the contrary, administrators don't earn overtime!) Do you know the law? Do you expect police officers to take a subjective, personalized view to the law on a case by case basis, because the perpetrator is a nice guy? Do you expect the administration to tell the police to ignore facts of the case differently because they like the kid? Seriously, I can't see who was supposed to do something differently here. The workers or security spot the problem and phone it in to be removed asap. If they don't, they're not doing their jobs and it encourages more pranks and vandalism, which consumes more human resources/labor at school and costs money to repair, and risks student injury in oneupsmanship (see above). So the security guys and maintenance guys all do their jobs. Then is the administration supposed to overlook a crime on campus because some potentially dangerous and costly pranks are subjectively considered funny, or done by nice kids, while others are subjectively considered in poor taste or done by bad kids? "What hypocrites!" you'd cry. "What a double standard!" Not to mention that addl. costs come out school budget I'm guessing, unless insurance kicks in and you can't get that without police report. So the admin. goes through with its job, and then a confession comes along. Are the admin. or police supposed to undo their reports and take back what they said because this "good" kid comes in rather than some troublemaker? "Oh, nevermind that a crime has occurred and costs have been incurred. You're nice and you're willing to pay after the fact." Yes, it's a shame that in this case a prank that ended up being relatively harmless *might* result in a felony prosecution. Let's be thankful the DA has more discretion to plea down or not prosecute. But take note, youngsters. Good lesson there - when you start down a road that involves this kind of action, you cannot control the outcome. You cannot control the outcome, but you are legally responsible for what you set in motion. Maybe better to aim for silly pranks rather than costly ones. I've always favored the kind that involve a lot more people doing something totally unexpected in broad daylight for everyone to enjoy.


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Posted by G
a resident of Mountain View
on Jun 7, 2007 at 12:58 am

Does anyone know where the other three wheels from the Volvo are???

I just bought the 'scrap' from the tow company and it would be nice to have the wheels so it can be rolled around while I strip it for parts. What about the rest of the parts like the interior? I'd be happy to come haul it all away...

Post here and i'll be in touch.


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Posted by G
a resident of Mountain View
on Jun 7, 2007 at 1:00 am

Oh yeah, what the heck does "Tom Robinson 4 Lyf3" stand for?

When mommy and daddy give you a toy, you shouldn't destroy it and turn it on its roof....


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Posted by Paly parent JS
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 7, 2007 at 2:29 am

I was under the impression that Paly was an exceptional high school. Apparently I was wrong....at least as far as teaching coherent writing. The grammar, spelling, and punctuation in the student's comments is atrocious. If these are examples of Paly students' writing skills then principal Scott best spend more time impoving his students' writing, rather than laying the wood to a senior for a miinor pramk.


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Posted by U.K. friend
a resident of another community
on Jun 7, 2007 at 2:46 am

The Palo Alto high school prank story has now gone INTERNATIONAL. I was born and live in the UK. A very dear friend who has first hand knowledge of the administration,the family and the young man, alerted me to this story. He is incensed by the heavy handed way in which the administration dealt with this incident, resulting in a felony penalty with HUGE implications for the future of this student, and so he should be.I wanted to comment. Looking at the postings here it seems that the community is equally incensed " thank goodness for the true voice of America which still has some logic reason! The facts as reported are clearly incorrect - the extent of the damage, and the incident itself have been blown up out of all proportion. What happened to the notion that the punishment should fit the crime? The administration in their infinite wisdom (?) chose to invoked your legal system. The legal system is not at fault " it will regretfully now taken its course and the law will be applied. The decision to call the police and to have the boy charged was ludicrously heavy handed and was a totally disproportionate response to the dreadful “crime" of being a high spirited 18 year old prankster. It is the school administration that should be held to account on this one. Maybe they should have made an example of the boy and organised a public hanging!! The fact that my Palo Alto friend and I have personal experience of being high spirited 18 year olds together many years ago in England, adds a huge irony to this. Like other commentators here we can tell similar stories of our mis-spent youth, as can our own parents. The difference is that way back then they were dealt with by the school directly and by our parents " we were not sent to jail and given a criminal record for a school prank.

I should make it very clear that you are not alone in this. The same over the top response occurs here in the U.K day in and day out. We are just as stupid here. I send solidarity and sympathy from across the Pond " long live the combined voice of British and American reason!!


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Posted by HS Student with no Connection to Blaine
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 7, 2007 at 7:30 am

Simply put, the whole situation is preposterous at best and ludicrous at worst. Did Blaine cause minor damage to the Senior deck, absolutely. Should he be compelled to repair said damages, again, absolutely. The problem is this, the situation calls for a proverbial slap on the wrist not a jail sentence or a felony conviction.

In terms of the deck itself. Let's consider some known facts.
1. The deck was in poor shape as of Monday, by which I mean it was partially rotted and bowed and buckled as one walked on it.
2. The deck was in poor shape after Blaine and Co. flipped his car.
3. When I walked by on Tuesday afternoon I looked at the damage. The damage consisted of several broken boards. As I walked towards that area of the deck, the boards upon which I walked were creaking and buckling under my feet, clearly the deck needs replacement.
4. I could easily have fixed the damage myself with $100, a trip to home depot, and a few hours to work. The damage was minor at worst.
5. With regards to the supposed damage to the irrigation system, the school permits parking on the quad several times per year for football games and the like. If filling the quad with cars doesn't damage the irrigation system I fail to understand how driving a car on the deck would so.
6. Additionally the irrigation system in question is supposedly 50 odd feet from the deck.

Clearly, efforts to charge Blaine with a felony are ridiculous. I do not know Blaine and do not condone his actions, but they were extremely light in damage and moderately funny. The school administration should simply relax and understand that a prank is not a grievous offense, he should be allowed to graduate and continue with his life.


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Posted by Sam in San Carlos
a resident of another community
on Jun 7, 2007 at 7:31 am

Any other school would keep local law enforcement (and press) out of it, and give the young man many hours of detention or community service. This should not keep him from graduating, nor should it go on his criminal record. Thoughts? I wonder what the Catholic nuns would do.


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Posted by Cameron Fry
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 7, 2007 at 7:33 am

Save Ferris!!! I mean Blaine.


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Posted by Student
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 7, 2007 at 8:29 am

Just take a look at the length of the original article vs. the amount of support for blaine on this page! It is obvious that the administration made a mistake in the severity of their actions, however, at this point, there is not a lot they can do besides regret the decisions that earned them such a bad reputation with the community.


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Posted by JD
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 7, 2007 at 8:36 am

If Blaine has really raised this much support, everyone should DONATE to cover a portion of the ridiculously excessive fines he will be forced to pay!


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Posted by Paly Grad & Blaines neighbor
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 7, 2007 at 10:15 am

"The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers" -W.S. Henry VI

I live down the street from the kid. I'm a 4th generation Palo Altan, and a good hunk of my family work for PAUSD. It's really not the administrations fault here, folks.
Welcome to the age of Zero Tolerance/Zero Reason.
Upset that they're throwing the book at this kid? Blame Palo Alto. Blame parents who sue the school district for any damn-fool reason. Blame the climate that has made rigid adherence to draconian rules the only way to avoid lawsuits.

If people want the schools to act in a fair and even fashion, they need to stop freaking out and insisting on new rules to keep their precious porcelain doll kids safe from the Big Bad World (tm).


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Posted by get a new deck
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 7, 2007 at 10:21 am

that deck was in bad shape when i was there, from 92 to 96. one year the seniors put stinky fish fertilizer all over it.


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Posted by RS
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 7, 2007 at 10:32 am

I'm going to try to make a constructiuve suggestion to the students that want this fixed.

1st. Deal with what is and stop looking back, police were called he got arrested that can't be changed.

2nd. Find out who has control to make a decision about Blaine's outcome.

3rd. Ask that person if restitution was made, could the charges against Blaine be dropped or at least reduced.

4rd. Be reasonable about restitution, it wont be $100. It should include the deck repairs, material and labor and the vehicle removal, minimally.

5th. Raise the money and pay it back. Hopefully people that participated would be tapped for the bulk of the funds.

Being contrite while you do all this would be a plus.

Mistakes can be fixed on both sides, fix your side and maybe you can help Blaine.

Just a thought. Good luck.


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Posted by Play Grad, take 2
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 7, 2007 at 10:53 am

and to Razor(and a couple of others)....

"for example, ever hear of "fo shizzle, my nizzle"? or "iz" replacing "is" in the writings and language of today's kids? it'z all over MTV. our society endorses the usage of such terms for ratings and the corporate buck, y'know. many kids just scribble and doodle in their notebooks, like we all have at that age. it's slang and "thizz" has been used as "thizz is what it iz" -Razor, above.

Uh. Wrong. Totally.

Check it. Web Link

If star ball player/"good kid"/3.8 GPA angels want to avoid attention from the 5-0, they'd do well to avoid obvious drug culture references, at least until the day we get a Libertarian President instead of our current administration.


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Posted by Kevin
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 7, 2007 at 12:57 pm

If there is to be a hero in this affair, it will be the first guy to come forward and say, "I was part of it. Punish me, as well as Blaine".

This would demand a level of character that is almost nonexistent in Palo Alto youth, today. They have learned from their parents, who have a rationale for anything that makes them feel more comfortable, even if others have to suffer. They talk the language of concern and sacrifice for the common good, but it's just talk.

Any rebel heroes out there that want to break out of the pattern? It will hurt. You will be put under enormous peer pressure. But you will become a man.


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Posted by Jay Thorwaldson
editor emeritus
on Jun 7, 2007 at 1:52 pm

Jay Thorwaldson is a registered user.

Hi --

Because of the comments about typographical errors or other information in the initial online posting on the senior prank, I thought I'd add a couple of clarifications:

First, the posting was made in an extreme rush and (while it is a poor excuse) was clearly not proofread adequately, for which I take full and sole responsiblity. The typos and errors in the article were corrected within a couple of hours. We certainly deserved the chiding we have received.

Second, the information came from the police report on the incident, which clearly indicated damage was done to the lawn and sprinklers. The officer reviewing the report apparently misinterpreted the reference to the lawn to mean that the car was overturned on the lawn, or we misinterpreted what the officer told us. But a double-check of the report indicates lawn and sprinkler-system damage was done.

I'm not sure what the references to damage being "blown out of all proportion" means. If there was lawn or sprinkler-system damage in moving the car to the deck, $3,000 can be used up really fast.

In any event, it is in my opinion that it is most unlikely that a felony charge will be sustained in this case, and a misdemeanor or two should not affect Blaine's future academic career. We should know before June 19, his arraignment date, what the official charge or charges will be.

Best,

-jay


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Posted by jeepers
a resident of Southgate
on Jun 7, 2007 at 1:53 pm

what I wanna see happen is anyone who pulls a prank be required to pay to clean it up, including the cost of cleaning it up.

another thing I wanna see is cameras all over every PAUSD campus in town

check out the bathrooms and other public places that the janitors have to clean up

people need to learn to clean up their mess, or pay some consequences

and while I'm at it, all the cute talk about "thizz" (ecstacy) is pretty pathetic - since when is a drug that can have dangerous side effects "cool".

here's a balanced report on ecstacy
Web Link

dangers of ecstacy
Web Link

thizz? how about Terrible Tuesday? how about "learn to have fun without ingensting drugs of any kind?

how cool is that?


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Posted by anonymous
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 7, 2007 at 2:01 pm

I think we can do without glorifying drugs, thank you


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Posted by Nanny
a resident of another community
on Jun 7, 2007 at 2:58 pm

The thought of Blaine spending one minute in jail is just rediculous. He's a good boy with a great family; he just had the misfortune of getting caught. I've seen and heard of much worse senior pranks than that and they are making a mockery of the situation by arresting him. That principal has no sense of humor and they could have fixed that"decrepid"deck with a quick trip to the lumber dpt at Home Depot, like someone said already. This was not a felony situtation...he didn't kill anyone, hurt anyone or himself. They are using him to set an example and they are going too far. The Marchants are all great people and they deserve the best. So does Blaine!


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Posted by Martin Luther King Jr.
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 7, 2007 at 3:53 pm

Arresting Blaine is like censoring a public forum...oh wait.


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Posted by go home
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 7, 2007 at 4:18 pm

Paly parent JS-

We don't use proper grammar on an online forum because we don't want to waste our time spellchecking.



RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE

the community of palo alto should stay out of a school's actions and consequences. if you don't go to paly, then don't get involved. this negativity of the community shows how much us school students are outcasted. we'll be alive one day, and you'll have nothing to say about how we run things.

in other words, what goes around, comes around


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Posted by Parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 7, 2007 at 4:41 pm

Whereas I don't think the police should have been called in on this and I think the Paly admin should have done any type of discipline that they felt fit without police intervention, I also believe the family should make sure that their son is duly reprimanded.

If I gave my teen a car I would expect them to look after it, not to destroy it in such a senseless manner, let alone the harm involved in doing so. A car, is a car, is a car, and should be treated as such. As a registered vehicle, it should be treated with the respect that a vehicle needs to be, such as safe disposal when the time comes to dispose of it. As a gift (or whatever) it should be treated with the respect that that responsible gift deserves. A car, no matter how old, is still a valuable commodity and if it has been used in such a manner, then I am amazed at the sense of values here.

Is a car now a "throw away" item? Is it that disposable, like the old school back pack and the rest? No, this is Palo Alto, our kids have too much if they can afford to treat their property as such. In my day we burnt our notebooks in a celebration pyre, but the textbooks, which we had to pay for, were sold back to the next year students.

We should teach our kids values. That would be a good lesson for all.


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Posted by I was there
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 7, 2007 at 5:05 pm

-PERSONALLY THERE- Look, I've read through this forum and just have to laugh at every single person that has commented on this. I was personally there, YES, personally there and the damage WAS greater than $3000.00. Let's get a few things straight, the car damaged the deck by being dropped on top of it as it was flipped over. You're talking about a 1500pound + vehicle! YES it damaged the deck, not to mention that the entire car was spray painted on (leaving residue all over), the entire car was stripped and the tireS were thrown up in the trees (damaging the trees), AND what was also never mentioned that the DAMN KID cemented a toilet into a huge wooden planter, cemented two other garbage cans, and cemented two drinking fountains. Oh yes there's more..... but YOU all seem to know what happened. This kids an idiot period! Who would use there own car! Obviously he's a dummy because removing the license plates and VIN do nothing!! All the rest of the car's information can be located on the engine, transmission, body frame, door jam, etc. Let's look at the facts - [portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff] [he] obviously didn't care about what damages he was causing. If it was just the car, ok, maybe that would be funny, but there is way more to it than you all think you know. HE DOESN'T DESERVE TO GRADUATE WITH THE REST OF THE CLASS, I'M GLAD HE GOT A FELONY CHARGE, AND I HOPE THIS AFFECTS HIS COLLEGE CHOICES AND FUTURE JOBS. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 7, 2007 at 5:15 pm

I Agree with the - Personally There - comment above.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
Everyone's making light of it because they associate it with 'A Senior Prank'.

Well think about it, would it be the same if it was done elsewhere, like YOUR front yard, the middle of the street, or an Elementary school. What if this was not done by a senior, and it wasn't a senior prank. Would it still be funny.

or, if someone's kid got killed when the car flipped over and landed on them. Yeah, it wouldn't be funny then..

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by wow
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jun 7, 2007 at 5:30 pm

this is what people are saying. the community should have no voice on school issues. im sure, of course, none of you were in high school ever


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Posted by stfu jeepers
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jun 7, 2007 at 5:42 pm

just don't. refrencing a drug doesnt mean you do it.


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Posted by Ryan Giordano
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 7, 2007 at 5:43 pm

Wow Palo Alto, I'm so glad I'm going away to college and getting away from you. A response to a post by "Resident" who was to afraid to post their name, it wasn't in your front yard, and no little kids were playing under the car, they were careful about what they did (thats why security didn't catch them). That's the point, it was a senior prank and in good fun. People especially need to recognize that a large amount of people were involved and Blaine was brave enough to take the blame for everyone. Also, leave our administration/teachers alone because they are really great role models. Finally, shut up whoever said we need to find fun without drugs and ecstasy, this had nothing to do with ecstasy. - Ryan


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Posted by Go Oregon
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 7, 2007 at 5:45 pm

I too am glad to get away from this absolutely rediculous town. All the adults are hippocrits, and don't realize that us, the current PALY seniors, will take over the world, and because of the negativity received, we will never listen to you.


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Posted by get your facts straight
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 7, 2007 at 6:11 pm

Blaine's car was a used peice of crap. It was not a gift from his parents he bought this car off of a friend. The car was useless, it could only go into one gear, drive, and it had a history of major problems with the transmission and radiator. It was sitting in front of someone house for months before it was taken off his hands. People saying that palo alto kids are spoiled have some standing but not with blaine. This was no gift from his parents. Please before posting some dumb remark get your info right and dont make up incorrect statements. Im glad im getting far away from all you former hippy's and hypocrites.


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Posted by John
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 7, 2007 at 6:24 pm

Ryan is right, except there was the possibility of something going awry in the carrying out of the prank, and had any one of them had their limbs crushed, people would be screaming the administration failed to act. Administrators did what was covered under district policy, and of course they will take the heat for doing their job of ensuring that senior pranks won't cause harm to the perpetrators by using punishments as a deterrent. Leave it to arrogant parents and my misinformed rebellious classmates to cry foul based on limited and biased information.

Props to Jay and his crew, because news happens so fast and sometimes it is hard to get the complete truth out when people want it. Of course they will improve their methods, and our community must be forgiving.

My thoughts go out to Blaine for being the only senior as far as I know who has the guts to fess up and take the consequences.


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Posted by Disgusted Gunn Student
a resident of Gunn High School
on Jun 7, 2007 at 6:26 pm

School rivalries aside. Hilarious Prank.

Poo on the administration for over-reacting. Bravo to Blaine for turning himself in.

To the old people for pressing charges: Are you seriously going to screw this kid's prospective career because of a senior prank? At the very worst cut a deal... don't make him a convicted felon.

PAUSD needs to step it up.


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Posted by Nanny
a resident of another community
on Jun 7, 2007 at 6:44 pm

Odviously the person above who felt compelled to write "HE DOESN'T DESERVE TO GRADUATE WITH THE REST OF THE CLASS, I'M GLAD HE GOT A FELONY CHARGE, AND I HOPE THIS AFFECTS HIS COLLEGE CHOICES AND FUTURE JOBS. Didn't like Blaine much. Or didn't know Blaine at all. Which is too bad for you. Yes, he should clean up the mess but those buddies of his who helped him, cuz I know he didn't do all that in 15min; should step up and help out. A felony charge is simply overkill, To a kid who has the "juevos"to take it like a man and not rat out his friends...go BLAINE!
Still supporting Blaine and always will.


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Posted by Paly Grad & Blaines neighbor
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 7, 2007 at 7:09 pm

"I too am glad to get away from this absolutely rediculous town. All the adults are hippocrits, and don't realize that us, the current PALY seniors, will take over the world, and because of the negativity received, we will never listen to you."
Posted by Go Oregon

Heh. Lets us know how that turns out for you. I heard much the same from outraged members of my class and now 20 years after graduation... Let me think... I know of a couple of former classmates who work for Safeway, another who's an airmarshal, several who shipped off as fodder in Gulf War I, and a bunch who had their lives implode when the tech bubble burst.
Hope you get to see members of the class of '07 taking over the world. Don't hold your breath waiting for it tho.


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Posted by i love blaine
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 7, 2007 at 7:35 pm

Okay to the person above me:
[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff] You can say all you want about the paly class of 07 not being good enough, but even as a sophomore, i know they're awesome and capable of great things. you really shouldn't bash the youth, because when you're rotting in a retirement home, we'll be the ones running the world. we are the future and blaine is heroic for what he did. i fully support him and don't know anyone who doesnt. And you know what, the guy working at safeway might be the happiest man alive for all you know, don't be so superficial. but back to the issue at hand, i think that if condemn blaine, you're taking a lot of fun out of the high school experience. high school is supposed to be "the time of your life" and the amount of pressure paly puts on us is unreal, it's PRANK so get over yourselves and move on!
GO PALY
tom robinson 4 lyf3

THIZZ or DIE


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Posted by A Participant
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 7, 2007 at 7:44 pm

To all you little snitchs saying that we who participated should step up and take the balme with blaine, go rot in hell. You dont know what happened or what we planned. Blaine knew he was going to get caught before we did the prank and he was ok with that. Why the hell should we step up? The point of him taking the blame was so we didnt have to. Wise up and stop acting like you know all the facts...

And to whoever helped us and thinks Blaine should not graduate, go die.


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Posted by Parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 7, 2007 at 7:55 pm

To all those Paly students who have posted above.

Believe me, I remember what it was like. I left school thinking that I had arrived, that I was going to change the world, that I was young and the world was my oyster. It is a great feeling and in many ways I wish I was back there with you. However, you will learn that being an adult in an adult world is a reality and it can really hurt. You have been protected all your lives. You may not like it, but Palo Alto is far from how horrible this world can be.

My hopes for you is that you will all learn. That you will do well. That the pains you suffer in life will be the means to make you better, rather than to make you suffer.

The one piece of advice I will give you is that when you graduate next week, your real education will begin. Enjoy this last week with all the fun, you do deserve it. This is your time. But remember, it will pass, and one day you will become the old fogeys you seem to dislike so much today.

Been There, Done That, got the t-shirt to prove it.


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Posted by Disappointed
a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Jun 7, 2007 at 7:56 pm

"-PERSONALLY THERE- Look, I've read through this forum and just have to laugh at every single person that has commented on this. I was personally there, YES, personally there and the damage WAS greater than $3000.00. Let's get a few things straight, the car damaged the deck by being dropped on top of it as it was flipped over. You're talking about a 1500pound + vehicle! YES it damaged the deck, not to mention that the entire car was spray painted on (leaving residue all over), the entire car was stripped and the tireS were thrown up in the trees (damaging the trees), AND what was also never mentioned that the DAMN KID cemented a toilet into a huge wooden planter, cemented two other garbage cans, and cemented two drinking fountains. Oh yes there's more..... but YOU all seem to know what happened. This kids an idiot period! Who would use there own car! Obviously he's a dummy because removing the license plates and VIN do nothing!! All the rest of the car's information can be located on the engine, transmission, body frame, door jam, etc. Let's look at the facts - [portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff] [he] obviously didn't care about what damages he was causing. If it was just the car, ok, maybe that would be funny, but there is way more to it than you all think you know. HE DOESN'T DESERVE TO GRADUATE WITH THE REST OF THE CLASS, I'M GLAD HE GOT A FELONY CHARGE, AND I HOPE THIS AFFECTS HIS COLLEGE CHOICES AND FUTURE JOBS. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]"

Lady go get a life. YOU are the idiot. Do you actually think that Blaine was the one who did ALL of this? Are you that stupid? Come on...

Haven't you heard? This has gone INTERNATIONAL... all because Principal Laurence didn't feel like dealing with this problem himself and left it to the police. Someone could have easily fixed the damage, infact the whole deck, with all of the money Blaine's friends are collecting from donations from everyone at PALY. They are selling shirts and doing everything they can to help Blaine and his family. Principal Laurence's decision in calling the cops was uncalled for. He should be ashamed in himself.

He should be FIRED.


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Posted by susy
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jun 7, 2007 at 8:08 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Anne
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 7, 2007 at 8:14 pm

It's time for the Administation and the Police Department to do the right thing. Drop it and let the kid graduate. They mishandled it in the first place and they need to undo the damage. No one is going to let this go and this site is proof of that.


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Posted by Disappointed
a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Jun 7, 2007 at 8:20 pm

Susy... didn't you see the quotations around part of what was in the post?

I wrote the second half... not the fisrt... I was commenting on what they said. I am not THAT bad at grammar... I mean COME ON. the person who wrote that[the quoted part from my last post] seems like they are from the 4th grade.


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Posted by susy
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jun 7, 2007 at 8:26 pm

Hey disappointed. I wasn't referring to you...I thought that the dingbats name was "Personally there". Don't worry I'm on your side. Boy I sure hope that this is over soon. I would hate to in Principal Scotty's shoes right now. We aren't going to let this go.


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Posted by anonymous
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 7, 2007 at 8:28 pm

to those who said Blaine stepped forward...I thought I read that the police traced his car with the filed-off VIN back to him? Doesn't sound like stepping forward to me. Correct me if I'm wrong. It is interesting to hear others were involved - quite a few, from what some say. This vandalism, however minor(I didn't see it so I can't evaluate that), still was the wrong thing to do, I don't find it particularly funny in the annals of high school pranks.


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Posted by anon
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 7, 2007 at 8:38 pm

person above me....[portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff].. they traced the car to the person who sold it to blaine and then blaine came forward and took all the blame. get facts straight or dont say anything at all becuase no one wants to hear it.
FREE TOM ROBINSON


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Posted by answers
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 7, 2007 at 8:39 pm

blaine was confronted by the police, but turned himself in to the school administration.


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Posted by susy
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jun 7, 2007 at 8:42 pm

Anon, don't let "Anonymous" get to you. He/she is either a PAHS teacher, a PAHS employee, a nerd or a jerk. Which one is it anonymous?


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Posted by John Doe
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 7, 2007 at 8:49 pm

Knowing Blaine a little bit has shown me that he is a guy that would never mean any harm. He is a hardworking senior that just wanted to have a little fun before leaving for college. It is rediculous that he would even be considered to get a felony for the little prank he and his friends did.
He should only have to deal with minimal consequences for doing this. His future as far as college goes should definitely not be diminished in any way because of what happened the other day.


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Posted by Jimmy Smith
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 7, 2007 at 8:54 pm

yeah blaine and friends did a little damage, so what?
it was a high school prank, nothing new. happens every year with practically every high school around.
people need to live a little.
nobody was hurt. the only thing damaged was a [portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff] deck that needs to be re-done anyway.


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Posted by No whining
a resident of Escondido School
on Jun 7, 2007 at 9:35 pm

Still complaining? Prosecute the boy/man already! Let the school and city authorities do their jobs and hand out the consequences. The lesson learned would be a great gift to the kid and all students.


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Posted by Paly Student
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 7, 2007 at 9:55 pm

Blaine is a hero, he is taking the fall for half of the senior class. He deserves a medal and a high five from scott laurence


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Posted by PALY STUDENT
a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Jun 7, 2007 at 10:31 pm

YES! Blaine can walk at graduation!


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Posted by A Sophomore
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 7, 2007 at 10:46 pm

Wow, yeah I must say that everyone is taking this way too seriously, I am sure many people would have volunteered to completely fix the deck for free, and there is no way is cost $3000.


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Posted by jane doe
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 7, 2007 at 10:49 pm

PALY STUDENT of the Jordan Middle School Community where did you get your facts? I just heard on the news he can not walk.

Palo Alto certainly has a way of becoming famous. The events that have unfolded are so sad. As more time goes by, I become less and less proud of being a member of this community. There is much that has been shared, which is right. Yet there is much that could have been made right.

To you students who participated with Blaine there you can still make it right. Shame on you if do not. How you will sit there on your graduation night and be able to hold your heads up is beyond me. If you have any ethics or values, you would do the right thing and stay home. It takes strength and courage. Do you have it? Were you taught it?

For you parents who know your children shared in this prank and by this point many of you should, why do you not help your children do the right thing. It takes strenth, love and a strong moral fiber. Do you have it? Did you teach it? Can you practice what you preach or once again will you turn your heads and close your eyes? Shame on you if you do.


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Posted by SonofaPitch
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 7, 2007 at 10:52 pm

This has totally gotten blown out of proportion, and for what purpose? Me thinketh that the administration complains too loudly. Let the kids repair the damage and be done with it. And how about if the administration starts acting like mature adults, instead of like jealous kids who just got one-upped.


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Posted by A Sophomore
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 7, 2007 at 10:56 pm

Yeah this place makes me sad, but that is why we must stand and fight! I wish that people in general would just chillax, (yes I know it is not a real word thank you) I mean there is so much pressure from every direction to do everything perfectly. Some kids in my classes, have literally gone insane by the amount of pressure that everyone puts on us students to do everything right, we should have some time to screw around and stuff.


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Posted by wise up
a resident of Professorville
on Jun 7, 2007 at 11:15 pm

Listen - I'm so tired of hearing how administrators or police overreacted and should just undo the past. You can't just take back the police complaint because the investigation leads to a popular student. You can't change the definition of vandalism because it occurs during a prank. Anyways the full description of this prank sounds tasteless, thoughtless, (and kind of dull to boot). Were the students planning to pay back the clean up costs for the prank regardless of disciplinary measures? It also has not been noted yet that someone in this senior class (presumably) vandalized the lawn on the school's main quad, leaving a huge unsightly "07" behind for months. Somehow we've developed, not only in PA, this culture of damage as humor - I'm not impressed, and while I sympathize with young people caught up in the moment, I can't condone their actions or understand why they expect to commit crimes in the name of fun and be let off with a good-natured chuckle. Looking the other way just encourages the next one. Aren't there any creative fun-loving students who can come up with a prank/practical joke that's just funny but not criminal? And is there a reporter on the Weekly staff who could verify the order of events? If the prank was discovered by maintenance or security people in the very early morning, police couldve been on the case before the school. Then the school's actions become cooperating with police as they absolutely should and must as opposed to calling the police.


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Posted by A Sophomore
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 7, 2007 at 11:19 pm

I think its none of your bloody business, unless you are in some way connected to the school. Beside just you wait till next year the Juniors have a bloody brilliant idea, and for your satisfaction, it has minimal risks, and very low chances of damage.


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Posted by PALY STUDENT
a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Jun 7, 2007 at 11:26 pm

Jane Doe, I got my facts from Blaine Marchant himself...


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Posted by senior
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 7, 2007 at 11:37 pm

Thank you parent. it's good to know some of the rest of the adults in the community have SOME positive thoughts about the youth


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Posted by Administrator
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 7, 2007 at 11:48 pm

You all are too funny. This kid has everyone fooled. Well, he's not that smart as you all claim, and of course Security didn't catch him because they get off at 3am!

He pulled the stupid prank at 3:30 when they were gone. Ha Ha Ha Ha, what a joke [portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff]. No matter what anyone posts on here, the bottom line is he has to deal with the court system now and he commited a felony - period!

Ha ha, too late now for all you who feel sorry for the poor lad. He's gonna get what he deserves, not to mention who he snitched on.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

We all love reading the posts of you who stick up for him, it gives us all good laughs and just goes to show the percent of dummys out there. Of course someone will comment on this post too, but then again noone is original here, nor does anyone have any common sense when it comes to total disregard to public safety or tax payers property. Didn't anyone teach this kid any bit of common sense.

Turning yourself in isn't common sense either, he knew he was busted because the car was registered to him and he had his fingerprints all over the spraypaint, toilet, garbage cans, cement bags, etc. He was just hoping that they would go easy on him if he was to turn himself in; basically he was a coward and realized how stupid he was. I'm surprised he even realized that! Ha Ha Ha...

Furthermore, anyone who REALLY knows the campus or anything about Blaine, should know that there are at least 2 cameras that face the quad! and that Blaine and his friends have a little public page very similar to 'my space' (which I won't name because you don't deserve to see it) and it has all the info you need + all the pics and confessions of those involved. Too late to remove it now, because the Police already have it! [portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff] ... and if Blaine, or any of his friends so happen to be reading this, they know exactely what I'm talking about ...

[portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 7, 2007 at 11:55 pm

Isn't it obvious NOW that the methods this principal used in dealing with this senior prank is a method that all of our principals in Palo Alto would use because there is a "zero tolerance" policy which they have all sworn to follow. This is a policy that allows what happened to this Paly Senior to occurr. The same thing could happen to any Palo Alto student and for even a lesser prank. To the people who favor silly pranks over something like this one, our schools will not tolerate even a silly prank. The schools do not even try and get to the "bottom" of incidents, mild or serious. They can suspend, expel and have students arrested and they do it because They HAVE NO TOLERANCE! To those of you who think your child is being protected by such a policy, you are wrong. The only people being protected are the school adminstrators-protected against law-suits. It's time to stand up against zero-tolerance.


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Gunn High School
on Jun 8, 2007 at 12:06 am

I find it troubling that the Palo Alto police department chose to arrest the student on the spot. Speaking from first-hand experience, once upon a time in Palo Alto the principal would have told the student "I want things returned to the way the were by tomorrow" and that would have been the end of it, with a few photographs to remember what had been. We live in an amazingly intolerant and inhumane society. Shame on the police, shame on the school administrators, shame on the school board for "zero tolerance" (=zero intelligence), and shame on us for electing them in the first place and allowing things to come to this. Mr. Lawrence, et al, should Let Blaine go, *now*, let him graduate normally, and get back to the job of making Palo Alto a better place, instead of one many of us are ashamed to live in. The actions taken don't teach responsibility, but instead teach fear. Very, very sad.


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Posted by senior
a resident of Professorville
on Jun 8, 2007 at 12:18 am

administrator-

you're not really an administrator, nice try scaring us though. nobody confessed on the public page, and the police don't have it, because they're unable to access it. and that is a very crude comment to say "you wont get any sleep in jail." he's out of jail, and thats ****ed up to say that.

if you were a real administrator, you wouldn't call it "entertainment." you would call it doing your job, and you would not be able to have any feelings about it.

you act like you know blaine, when really you dont.

seirously, what everybody should learn about this whole situation is to get yoru facts straight before badmouthing anybody. and like someone said earlier, what goes around comes around. we'll be leading this world soon, and you all will be stuck in retirement homes. when we think about healthcare for you, maybe we'll take this into consideration. i' m not trying to scare people, but i'm saying watch what you say, you don't knwo how you'll be affected by it later.


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Posted by G
a resident of Mountain View
on Jun 8, 2007 at 12:47 am

Well, I bought it, and it is now sitting in my driveway, gracing the neighborhood in all its vandalized, spray painted glory. I'm charging $5 a head if you want to see it and $10 if you want a Polaroid next to it. (Do you kids know what a Polaroid is?) HA HA! (that's LOL for all you youngins)

I'd still like to know where the 3 wheels are? Anyone seen them around campus? I called Paly today and they said something to the tune of, "oh, everything was gone early in the morning before we got here"

What about the rest of the interior? Seats? What's left in the car is in cherry condition. I'll come haul away the parts you've got hidden away so the cops don't finger you for being involved. :p Seriously, I'm going to put my email here. If you have bits from this car, I'll come get them. Maybe I'll even give you a free Polaroid with the 'evidence'.

Cheers!


gdict@yahoo.com


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Posted by G
a resident of Mountain View
on Jun 8, 2007 at 12:52 am

PS: I'll pitch in $20 to the save Blaine fund to the first person that can get me a key to the car. It's be nice to save the locks from the crusher...

Cheers!


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Posted by Paly Grad & Blaines neighbor
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 8, 2007 at 2:40 am

"Okay to the person above me:

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff] You can say all you want about the paly class of 07 not being good enough, but even as a sophomore, i know they're awesome and capable of great things. you really shouldn't bash the youth, because when you're rotting in a retirement home, we'll be the ones running the world. we are the future and blaine is heroic for what he did. i fully support him and don't know anyone who doesnt. And you know what, the guy working at safeway might be the happiest man alive for all you know, don't be so superficial. but back to the issue at hand, i think that if condemn blaine, you're taking a lot of fun out of the high school experience. high school is supposed to be "the time of your life" and the amount of pressure paly puts on us is unreal, it's PRANK so get over yourselves and move on!

GO PALY

tom robinson 4 lyf3

THIZZ or DIE"

Posted by i love blaine, a member of the Palo Alto High School community, 6 hours ago

Uh, dude... you kinda totally missed the point of my earlier posts. I think Zero tolerance rules are idiotic, think the whole bleeding public school system is buh-roken, and am generally in favor of eliminating "nanny" laws. Heck, if it were up to me, you'd still have a smoking section on campus like we did "back in the day", and wish you kids could have seen Palo Alto and Paly before it became so freakin uptight. I happen to know that my freind at Safeway is happier there than I am running my own buisness. And I won't be in a retirement home.. I'm either gonna be living on a beach somewhere coasting by on interest, or (more likely) homeless. Ain't gonna be much retirement around for someone like me.
Gen-X baby... take a close look, 'cause you'll be me before you can blink.
especially if you're always thizzin...that stuff can de-motivate you for a good long while if you don't stay sharp.


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Posted by JLS Parent
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jun 8, 2007 at 7:07 am

You know reading this thread just illustrates what a bubble the kids of Palo Alto live in. The sense of entitlement you kids at Paly feel is incredible. Since our parents have been paying for everything your entire lives would you recognize $3,000 of property damage? And now you are starting a "fund" for the person that did this?

If you feel that you should be giving money for some cause, why don't you instead call the JLS Middle School front desk and donate some money to the Gagloeva family. The mother of this family died in the the accident that took place on highway 101 about two weeks ago. Her daughter is in our child's class, and the teacher and some parents are raising funds for getting groceries this summer. That is a much better cause.


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Posted by member
a resident of Community Center
on Jun 8, 2007 at 9:25 am

My impression is that there is some celebrity justice going on here. Like Paris Hilton, Mr. Marchant's supporters think because he's popular and a BMOC he automatically deserves a break. The school administrators are rightly sending the message that if they allow a prank of this nature--and I think the cost and damage are being "spun" down by supporters--then a dozen pranks are okay. Free Blaine--Free Paris!


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Posted by maybe not
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jun 8, 2007 at 10:46 am

re: celebrity justice

Not in my case. Never heard of Blaine before this, and we're in the Gunn district, besides.

For me, it's a matter of personalizing the "prank". We did stuff like this growing up and thankfully were never arrested for it.

I like to think that lack of criminal punishment didn't prevent me from becoming a responsible member of the community who tries to instill values like compassion, kindness, and loyalty to my kids. I've had the good fortune to be responsible for more than a few people's livelihoods, and I like to think that it hasn't required cut throat business practices. I don't know what arresting me as a kid would have taught me that would have helped society.

I'm not saying that Blaine shouldn't be punished, but it seems to me that it should be an internal matter to the school district. Have him do 200 hours of community service if he wants his diploma. Alternatively give him the option of splitting the 200 hours with the other participants in this prank so that everybody hopefully does 10 hours.

Maybe it's just me, but is seems pointless to process this through the criminal justice system. Why does everybody think that the county jail and legal system are free? Surely the cost of taking this in front of a judge or even having the prosecutors office think about this at all is already running up the cost of this "crime" by several times the amount of alleged damages.


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Posted by Kevin
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 8, 2007 at 11:07 am

Blaine is becoming a cult hero on campus. He's got some cute babes wearing his T-shirt (see front page of today's Daily). He's got some gullible underclassmen mesmerized ("we are the future and blaine is heroic for what he did"). Apparently, he agreed to take the rap ahead of time ("Blaine knew he was going to get caught before we did the prank and he was ok with that. Why the hell should we step up? The point of him taking the blame was so we didnt have to").

I can't figure out why his peers are feeling sorry for him. He will be the talk of every class reunion for the next 50 years. The fact that he is charged with a felony, and will need to deal with that little problem, should only enhance his future worth.

Of course, if I was his parent, I wouldn't think it was such a clever idea. How much will the lawyer fees be on this one, not to mention the cost of the damage caused? Are they rich? If not, this will be a real burden. But why bother with such trivial details, if he is the hero?

The question I have is why aren't other 'heroes' stepping out to get their recognition and cult status. All you have to do is claim equal credit for what they and Blaine did.


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Posted by jeepers
a resident of Southgate
on Jun 8, 2007 at 12:33 pm

kev, you have a point. What should have happened is an internal meeting, coming down hard on the perpetrator with fines and other discipline. the cops should not have been involved unless the perpetrator and his parents agreed to repair and replacement costs and a public apology by the perpetrator (s). that didn't happen, so it's water under the bridge.

the fact that people think that pranks like this are 'cute', or 'cool' - with utter disregard for damage to public property (your property and my property, because we pay for it with tax dollars) points to a more significant problem with the failure to instill appropriate limits to behavior, helping kids understand that their actions do have an impact. $3k is worth a summer's work - who will pay for this, really?

there's a difference between good-natured fun and destroying property and/or causing huge clean up costs as a consequence of that fun


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Posted by Wow
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 8, 2007 at 12:52 pm

First of all, would someone please hunt down the Terror Dome fool, who seems to live in every neighborhood, and cut off his/her internet access?

Secondly, this thread demonstrates clearly the attitudes of spoiled, rich, "popular" brats and their parents, who seem to make up a large part of our community in Palo Alto -- more than I thought previously. I agree with the person who raised the issue of community members who feel a sense of entitlement around here for everything. No sense of accountability. You want to have fun, go ahead, but be prepared to face the music -- like a real man. I hope Blaine isn't as sorry for himself as all these other clowns are.

While an act as described by the media certainly does not deserve a felony charge -- or even a misdemeanor (don't know and don't care, I'm not a lawyer and I don't know the kid) -- as a taxpayer who shells out extra dough every year for PAUSD and for PiE, with kids who will some day be Paly students, I support a costly punishment for Blaine and his prankster team. Make them (plural) miss graduation and fix the mess, and make them work to pay it off. Their parents should also devise a way to teach them a lesson. If professional contractors are required, so be it, make the culprits pay for it. Not the rest of us.

As for the PAPD, they need to find better ways to utilize their time. It took them three hours to respond to a call regarding an assault and battery once (they said they were stretched). Yet they have time to pick up a high school senior -- not for oral sex with a minor; not for assault on a teacher; not for dealing or doing drugs or underaged drinking; not for date rape -- but for turning over and destroying his OWN car and breaking a stupid deck that he and his cronies can just as well repair. Amazing.


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Posted by FormerKid
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 8, 2007 at 3:12 pm

I guess I'm glad this kid got into trouble mostly because so many PA kids walk around with a Paris Hilton type of attitude:since my parents are so wealthy and successful, I'm entitled to do whatever I want without ever facing the consequences. About 10 years ago, a Gunn senior plented an explosive devise in a trash can on school property and seriously injured another student. Even then, many of his spoiled brat friends were upset that he was punished. Yes, this prank was pretty harmless, although incredibly dumb dumb and no one was hurt, but maybe we, the public don't find it funny at all and we'd rather he didn't pull this kind of stuff in a public property. How about pulling this prank in his front yard and then have to explain it to his parents?


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Posted by BD
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 8, 2007 at 4:10 pm

I remember my grandfather told me about his high school prank. They took the picipal's car, took it apart, and put it back together on the school roof. They did have to take it down, and put it back together. Beyond that, nothing happened. This was in the 30s.


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Posted by A Dude
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 8, 2007 at 4:45 pm

Seriously did your parents not teach you all not to say anything, if you do not have anything nice to say? And I would not say even a fifth of the kids in Palo Alto are spoiled brats, they are out there, but there really aren't that many. I take the side that yes they are taking a "prank" too seriously, and they should have just had him clean it up, and that should haver been the end of it.


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Posted by Kevin
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 8, 2007 at 5:14 pm

"Seriously did your parents not teach you all not to say anything, if you do not have anything nice to say?"

Dude,

My parents taught me to tell the truth, even if it hurts. The truth did not need to be nice, just true. Your comment is VERY Palo Alto, so you will probably feel comfortable with it. In the meantime, Blaine is still out there by himself. No heroes, yet. I am hoping for just one.


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Posted by A Dude
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 8, 2007 at 5:26 pm

Yeah, I would turn myself in most likely unless my parents were gonna kill me...


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Posted by student
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 8, 2007 at 5:42 pm

I think it's incredibly ignorant for some people to just assume that students who attend PALY or Gunn are just spoiled rich kids with no sense of responsibility. Are you kidding? Do you realize that PALY sends a ton of students to Ivy Leagues? Not because of the "rich" factor or whatever, but because they're smart, hard-working students. PALY students have to deal with an enormous amount of academic pressure.

I think Blaine's friends have the right to be angry. Bail at $11,000 and $3000 for damages is ridiculous. I agree with the opinion that PALY's administrators should have dealt with the problem themselves and should not have involved the police.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Kevin
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 8, 2007 at 5:52 pm

"Yeah, I would turn myself in most likely unless my parents were gonna kill me..."

Dude,

So now you are blaming your parents for you being a wimp.

I suspect that you are somewhat near, if not over, the age of majoriy (18). In case you don't know what that means, it means that you are, suddenly, an adult. That concept probably shocks you. It means you need to be a man, not a dependent child anymore. It doesn't matter if your parents are going to "kill you" (they won't), but society IS going to hold you accountalbe for your actions.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Come on, Dude, lead the way, and fess up. You will be supporting Blaine, even if your parents are wimps. You will be a man, and your parents will be the true wimps.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by A Dude
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 8, 2007 at 5:53 pm

Lol you misunderstood me, if i had participated in the prank, i'm only 16 >_<...


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kevin
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 8, 2007 at 6:04 pm

Dude,

Did you participate, or are you just blowin' smoke?

Blaine needs some real support. I don't mean some sort of "deal", or some cheap public relations efforts (e.g. "Tom" t-shirts). I mean some cajones by his esrtwhile "fiends". He is out there by himself.

This thing will probably be dealt a deal, but the important thing is how YOU come out of it. It is about an old fashioned thing, something your parents might not respect: Honor. It cannot be bought, and it cannot be dealt.

Are you willing to step up and help Blaine?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by A Dude
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 8, 2007 at 6:18 pm

I'M SAYING I DIDN'T PARTICIPATE BUT IF I HAD I WOULD STEP UP!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kevin
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 8, 2007 at 6:39 pm

Dude,

OK I hear you.

Do you think that Blaine's participating "friends" should step it up and support him, by growing some balls? Or do you support their current approach of leaving him out there to hang by himself? Have you talked to Blaine to let him know what you are doing to support him? His parents are probably suffering - have your parents called them to insist that the rest of the gang fess up?

It ain't easy, Dude, but it IS the right thing to so. Stand up and make a difference. You won't be popular, but you will be free.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Eric Stietzel
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jun 8, 2007 at 7:12 pm

Eric Stietzel is a registered user.

Golly, when I was in high school (mid 50s), a faculty VW was found "parked" between two trees with only a foot or so to spare in front and in back. The eight guys who put it there, removed it and, after taking full credit and receiving considerable public adulation from the student body and some private praise as well from the with-it faculty, did a bit of detention. I'm confident that the members of the Administration, despite their stern exteriors throughout, were largely impressed by the cleverness of the stunt. And everyone knew that any damages would have had to have been reimbursed and that punishment was inevitable; such things cannot be encouraged. But legal action?! That's just absurd.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kevin
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 8, 2007 at 7:31 pm

Eric,

If that faculty member happened to need his/her car to get home after school (the VW jammed between the trees), in order to deal with the babysitter, or his/her sick parent, it might not seem so funny (as it does to you). Look at it the other way: If the faculty had decided to get funny, and lift a 56 student Chevy between two trees, the students would have been outraged.

Eric, get over it. Time to grow up - after all these years!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by G
a resident of Mountain View
on Jun 8, 2007 at 7:59 pm

FREE TOM!

Web Link

Web Link

$20 finders fee if you can get me the key to the car or can tell me where to find the wheels!

gdict@yahoo.com


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kevin
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 8, 2007 at 8:15 pm

G,

If you get your car parts, how will that "Free Tom" (Blaine, in this case).

There is no mockingbird here, and certainly no "Tom".

Are you just trying to make $$ off a supposed icon? Pathetic.

Blaine needs some real support, not just cheap shots.

Where is the CHARACTER?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by G
a resident of Mountain View
on Jun 8, 2007 at 11:32 pm

Kevin,

It's not a cheap shot against Blaine, in fact, I think the whole thing has been blown way out of proportion. What he did was utterly stupid, and he should be held accountable for damages, but felony vandalism is a bit extreme.

I painted the car black so as to not piss off the neighbors during the couple weeks it will sit in my driveway. That was when I thought is might be fun to paint "free tom" on it and share it with all his supporters. I'm not trying to profit off his misfortune. I simply purchased a scrap car in order to pull of some very valuable parts. I own a 1994 Volvo sedan and there is a lot of stuff that I will use or save for future repairs on my car. I, as opposed to many kids in Shallow Alto, understand the value of a dollar and choose not to destroy a car that only needed a new turbocharger and land my butt in jail for planting on its roof where it didn't belong.

It would be nice to have the parts that were pulled off, so that they can be put to good use instead of ending up in a landfill. The offer of a finders fee simply gives someone a little incentive to speak up and tell me where I might find them.

I'm trying to keep this light hearted, but if you choose to attack me, I will shoot right back....






 +   Like this comment
Posted by Dru
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 9, 2007 at 1:16 am

I have probably heard the word "thizz" a few hundred times and never has it been in a context referring to ecstacy.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Palo Alto is Redic
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 9, 2007 at 1:54 am

to wow and formerkid-

seriously. not everybody in Palo Alto is rich and snobby. The juniors have better cars for Christ sake. I, along with 4-5 other seniors (including blaine) drive their parents beat-up volvo, and don't even have their own car. I am too severely ticked that when a lot of these kids get their licenses, they automatically get a BMW.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

i stand 100% behind blaine. if anybody has info as to where the trial will be, let me know.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by one thing straight
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jun 9, 2007 at 2:09 am

Everyone that says that Blaine was a BMOC spolied rich kid is compeletely wrong. I have known blaine my whole life and he has worked for everything he has now, along with the car whcih was not a present from his parents. Your thought of a palo alto kid is completely off target. Blaine is the man for taking the blame, for which he had planned to do the whole time. You people that say the other people involved should turn themselves in are completely ignorant and wrong. Blaine knew what was going to happen and was prepaired for it. Everyone involeved was essentially helping blaine with this project. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by FormerKid
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 9, 2007 at 7:05 am

The comments by Paly students on this board sound eerily similar to those by Paris Hilton when ordered by the judge back to jail-"It's not right!". The shocked the Masters Of The Universe express when suddenly they have to face the consequences of their hubris and stupidity. Another aspect of this silly caper that really disappoint me is what passes for funny among high school kids these days. This prank was so not funny, unimaginative and idiotic in the worst sense of the word. It seems like we are raising, at least in Palo Alto, a generation of snottyspoiled vapid brats with no sens of humor.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by anon.
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Jun 9, 2007 at 8:46 am

Former Kid, what do you expect from students who are really only known for Robotics?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by KidNoMore
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 9, 2007 at 9:13 am

I was in high school during the Vietnam war. We would integrate the prankes that pulled with protest against the war. Now we are involved in a war at least as criminal as Vietnam and the kids just don't seem to care or give a damn. No sit-ins, marches or using humor to protest the war. Kids only a couple of years older who weren't fortunate to grow up in Palo Alto and had to join the military, are getting killed daily in Iraq. I was hoping , for example, for some Paly students to make an effigy of Bush and find a way to hang it from the Hoover Tower. That would've been funny, original and tell the world that they actually care about something other than self.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by support our school!
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 9, 2007 at 10:23 am

Mr. Lawrence, Thank you for doing the job we expect from a senior high principal. Love is tough! We need principals like you to enforce consequences and teach our kids their action does have consequences. We can all hope that they learn to be responsible and mature adults before it is too late!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Albert
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 9, 2007 at 11:09 am

Beside not having a sense of humor, Merchant is also a coward. He tried to scratch off his car's VIN in order to make it impossible to identify him, yet he and his friend are bragging now that he knew all along that he would be caught. This kid pulled this prank in order to impress girls, the reason 99.9 percent of high school boys do this kind stupid stuff now a days. Kids like don't care about anything, they are jaded, vapid, have no sense of humor and pretend to question authority only to impress the kind of girls that are just as vapid and worthless.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by KidNoMore
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 9, 2007 at 11:36 am

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
This all smacks of:"Look how cool I am, especially you cute girls". [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.] If he were really cool, he would have donated his Volvo to some poor shmoe who can't afford a car and has to take the bus to his lousy job.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by you got it right
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 9, 2007 at 12:14 pm

kudos to albert and kid-no-more
you've got it all completely right -

albert states: "This kid pulled this prank in order to impress girls, the reason 99.9 percent of high school boys do this kind stupid stuff now a days."

Impressive statistic - was this based oh your scientific research or just your own personal motivations?

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

kudos to both of you for enlightened posts.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Albert
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 9, 2007 at 12:43 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by anon.
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 9, 2007 at 1:09 pm

At the risk of being hunted down by Wow's Army: Here I Go:

when all the dust settles, what is left?
shouldn't we be thanking the "jerk" for keeping us busy?
I mean, it's not like anything else is going on around here.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sad
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 9, 2007 at 1:21 pm


What is wrong with this town ? It has no sense of humor and demands that young kids behave a little adults if not robots.

This is the impression that all the negative reactions to this story gives me... There was a time when senior pranks were an accepted tradition (as long as no one was hurt). No longer here.

I have noticed other changes in recent years in Palo Alto schools. My youngest child is 9 years younger than his oldest sibling. They all went through Palo Alto schools, the same schools. Here is an example of the changes I am talking about:

The other day, I visited my youngest child's elementary school for their reenactment of the Williamsburg Colonial days. I was struck by how serious, unenthusiastic, almost fearful those kids were. When I arrived, I walked up to various stations, and was greeting by statements that they were "not allowed to talk", that "it was not time yet", as they were taking sideways glances at the teachers and nearby adult chaperons... This even though those kids were just milling around, doing nothing else, just waiting for the green light to talk. Once they were allowed to talk, I heard bland, robotic, memorized explanations of their stations.

What a contrast from nine years ago !

When I got home afterwards, I pulled my photo album from 9 years ago and looked at my photos of the exact same event in my oldest child's fifth grade class back then. Same theme, basically the same activities and same set up.

The photos reinforced my memories although they were still vivid. Nine years ago I saw smiling kids who were enjoying the project. No prohibition to talk to visitors at certain times, no bland, robotic, memorized presentations. Kids at ease, who knew their topics and were enthusiastic to talk about them in an informal manner. People having a good time all around while learning. A happy scene as opposed to this year's stressed out, sad scene.

The spark is gone. At all levels. I am sad for our children.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by David S.
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 9, 2007 at 1:33 pm

First, thank you to sad and G, who still have positive thoughts about the youth of today.

to kidnomore/albert/gotitright:

you three are all dead wrong. blaine did not pull this prank to impress the girls, and jsut you saying that tells me you were cocky as kids.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

i know all the students that posted on here are in the class of 2007, and i don't know a SINGLE one that isn't selfish, snotty and spoiled. unlike the rest of the kids in this upscale town, we don't drive "daddy's" BMW or benz. i personally drive my mom's volvo station wagon because i don't have a car of my own, and my situation is not unlike a lot of kids in my class.

i can see where you can say that a lot of us are spoiled, because you can't go literally 30 seconds without seeing a BMW or a benz in this community, yet the assumption is dead wrong.

the adults of today better start realizing that someday this generation will have control over YOUR healthcare and social services, and WILL take into account all the negativitiy we have received in our lives. i personally want to thank Sad and G for still realizing the potential of the class of 2007, because without them, there would be even more high levels of stress.

of all things to worry about in this selfless town, we shouldn't worry about stupid senior pranks. we should worry about preventing situations such as Steven Weitheimer (sp) and Ben Tachibana, and to combat the stress that is a social norm in Silicon Valley. I thank the school for stepping up and working with us.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by questionable
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jun 9, 2007 at 1:59 pm

All you people clammering about blaine being this and that are completely wrong. Do you know blaine or anyone involved in this? please stop making accusations. Another thing, If you think that all the kids in PA are spoiled then how do you think they got that way? Kids dont become materialistic on their own they need a parents help. Quite throwing around unthoughtfull insults which do nothing but make you look stupid. Please all you burnt out hippies need to quite assuming situations that are not true. Look at the facts because that is all you know and need to know. Dont try to make this into something it is not!!!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by parents quit taking control
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 9, 2007 at 2:04 pm

Quit trying to take control of situations and turn them into something bigger that they are not. let kids relax a little bit before they have to get out there on there own when they probably wont have as much time to relax. I have seen kids struggle through so many things becuase parents pressured them into bad situations. What you are doing is completely wrong and YOU CANNOT LIVE YOUR LIFE THROUGH YOUR KIDS, get over it. I know that all PA parents are not like this, but they make up most of the population. thank you to those that do not control there kids lives.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by absurdity
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 9, 2007 at 2:30 pm

how dare people accuse blaine of being a spoiled coward. firstly, he turned himself in and took responsibility for his actions. also, being the ringleader, he refused to get others in trouble for his prank. secondly, he is not spoiled. he bought the BROKEN car with his own money, solely for the intention of the senior prank. so donating the car really wouldn't do much, would it kidnomore. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bob
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 9, 2007 at 2:34 pm

Albert,kid no more

You obviously have not spent much time with kids lately. Most of the ones I talk with are bright, generous, helpful, and kind. I can't imagine these kids speaking about your generation the way you speak of them.

Yes, times have changed. However, now is this generation's future past. All generations have good and bad things. The kids I see and know today, are really great. If you want to live in the past, do, but, stop running this genration down. Don't be so rude.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by 2006 mom
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 9, 2007 at 2:48 pm

Thank you David S, for putting things in perspective. Don't let the vocal minority get to you. There are plenty, plenty, plenty of parents and other community members who believe in their kids and their classmates. We're not all a bunch of hypercompetitive, "let's race our kids to the finish" parents. I'm a parent of a Paly 2006 grad - the class that lost Steven & Ben. I hope they will never be forgotten, and that the affects of seemingly unbearable pressures students sometimes confront will never be forgotten, either.

A lot of the pressures our students face are not worth it, nor are they even necessary.
Class of 2007, You've got our trust and faith and support that you'll be successful - on your own terms.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mac The Knife
a resident of Professorville
on Jun 9, 2007 at 3:39 pm

A coupe of points. If PA kids are pressured, it's because their parents put pressure on them to excell in school. The teachers are aware of it so they push the kids. It's up to the parents to ease up. If they do, the teachers will too. There ethnic groups that put tremendous emphasis on academic achievements which in return creates standard and expectation which in order to fulfill, puts tremendous pressure on our kids. it's up to the parents to counter that. Parents can't condone or be passive about that and then complain that their kids are under great pressure and need to blow it off by committing stupid pranks.
Another point:this idiotic prank is considered funny now? I can't think of a less funny and more lame prank. Where is the creativity, imagination, sophistication? Why don't today's kids have any sense of humor? Under too much pressure I suppose.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by 2006 mom
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 9, 2007 at 5:22 pm

"There ethnic groups that put tremendous emphasis on academic achievements which in return creates standard and expectation which in order to fulfill, puts tremendous pressure on our kids."

Ah, yes. You're referring to "the Asian treatment". Oops, am I not supposed to bring that out in the open in a public forum? Don't over-react: it's a commonly used term in both high schools. Even the Asian kids use it, my half-Asian son included.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by anon.
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 10, 2007 at 9:25 am

Well, it appears that we are arriving at the saturation point on this thread.
The young man has been releaed from his holding cell. His junkyard at Paly
has been cleaned up. We are now focusing are attention on the homeless,
and the dirty little habbit of giving them money. Things are returning to normal.
The prankster will be able to join the flock, and graduate with them this week.
Charges may or may not be brought. What a relief that this is all behind us.
Water under the bridge. The tangental threads from this topic will trod along,
as some folks ponder what has become of todays youth. It's easier to blame the
mess on the present generation. After all, Tom Brokaw and his classmates have
laid claim to being the best and the brightest of all. Unfortunately, Tom and his
pals were so busy tending to their own selfish needs that they forgot about the future.
Oh well, all empires, like castles made of sand wash to the see, eventually.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bermeistah
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 10, 2007 at 9:16 pm

I personally don't know what is true and what isn't in this case. But I can say, as a member of the class of '08, that heavy-handed tactics will only discourage the weak from pulling a senior prank. Those who actually have the balls to do something will anyways. This incident has encouraged me personally twenty-fold to pull a prank myself, and show the administration that they are the true perpatrators of this crime. Make an example out of one of us and we will make an example out of you.

I hope the publicity from this travesty will help them realize that they are at fault.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Paly parent R
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 11, 2007 at 5:29 pm

Congratulations, class of '07. I have been priveleged to get to know many of you. You are a wonderful, HUMAN mix of bright, energetic, passionate, caring, mostly hard-working, sometimes mistake-making (and mistakes are often the beginning of true learning)and talented people who are also very supportive of each other.
Good luck as you continue to grow, learn, and contribute your considerable talents to the community and to the world!
When you grow up and have kids, remember to apply restorative, logical consequences to your children's "misdeeds." Remember to keep it proportionate, humane and community-building -- not punitive. You can learn from your elders' mistakes as well as from what they do/did right.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Get a grip
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 11, 2007 at 8:39 pm

Anon from Duveneck: Tom Brokaw wrote a book entitled "The Greatest Generation" as a tribute to the men and women who lived through the Depression and fought it WWII-Mr, Brokaw was a young boy during the war. Your comment about the selfishness of that generation is not valid.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mike
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 12, 2007 at 1:05 am

Oh look at me, I go to PALY. I should be able to do whatever I want with no consequences, because I'm great! YAY!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sei l
a resident of Stanford
on Jun 13, 2007 at 5:39 pm

Look everybody, I'm a Paly student, my status as Master Of the Universe obligated me to pull a prank that will show everybody how cool, humorous and special I am and how uncool the administration is, most of whom are so uncool, they can't even afford to live in Palo Alto, where I live. It's not like I actually wanted to pull that prank-I HAD to, or people, particularly cool babes, might think that I'm not cool.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mac J J Star
a resident of Stanford
on Apr 20, 2009 at 6:22 pm

THIZZ OR DIE YOU BEEZY that is not a reference to ecstasy but a nod to the late andre hicks a.k.a. Mac Motherfuckin Dre You BEEZY


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