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Paly principal's streaker response portends problems

Original post made by Paly Parent, Duveneck/St. Francis, on Aug 15, 2013

Paly's Principal sent out this email today:
August 15, 2013

Dear Parent/Guardian,
We're reaching out today for help and assistance in putting an end to a student behavior that has made many people in our school community feel uncomfortable and unsafe; student streaking.

During today's lunch, two Palo Alto high school seniors streaked through our campus. Typically this type of behavior has occurred during the end of senior year prior to graduation, and in my six years at Paly, it never has happened on the first day of school. This action creates a negative school environment, and this is not the way we would have liked to kick-off the beginning of the school year.

We need to work together to end this unsafe and educationally disruptive "tradition." Staff, students, parents, and visitors have all complained about this activity and the effect it has on the educational environment. As Principal, my top priority is ensuring the physical and emotional safety of every student and adult on our campus. When students run through our campus without clothing in the spirit of fun, whether they realize it or not, they are creating a hostile work environment for the many employees of Palo Alto High School, but more importantly, an emotionally unsafe environment for students.

Seventeen or eighteen year-old students may not think of their behavior in this context and the unintended consequences of their actions. Over the years, consequences for this type of behavior may not have been applied consistently nor made clear to students, which has only made the situation worse over time. So, to be absolutely clear - the consequences from this point forward will include suspension from school and a conference with our Palo Alto Police Department School Resource Officer.

I firmly believe we have the power to do great things at Paly. Engaging in thoughtful dialogue about creating a safe and welcoming school environment with our students is of the utmost importance at this time. I know that if we work together, we can educate our students and resolve this issue.

Moving forward, we will be working together with our senior class, and all students on campus, engaging in conversations about respect for others, personal safety, and the school-wide unintended consequences of the actions of a small group of students. It's time for us to put an end to this "tradition" and channel our energies in a more positive direction. In the spirit of our working together, I ask you to have a conversation about this topic with your student sharing your support for our efforts in this regard.

As always, thank you for your support,

Kim Diorio
Principal, Palo Alto Senior High School

Comments (150)

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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 15, 2013 at 5:19 pm

[Post removed.]


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Posted by another parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 15, 2013 at 5:35 pm

[Post removed.]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jack
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 15, 2013 at 5:53 pm

[Post removed.]


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Posted by Paly Alum
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 15, 2013 at 6:04 pm

This was always an occurrence at Paly, but as noted, not until the end of the school year. Why did these kids have to ruin the tradition by doing it at the start of the year? Paly turned a head at the end of the year because the school year was winding down. I think the principal had no choice but to put a stop to this, being it was the first day of school. What idiot students for ruining a tradition.


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Posted by Paly parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 15, 2013 at 6:25 pm



i have zero issues with streakers, but the posting of this letter really bothers me!

Dear Weekly,

I'm going to press the "report objectionable content" in the hope that you will consider the implications of posting the daily communications of our school community. These type of letters I consider as more personal, than broad district issues.

I want my Principal to feel comfortable talking to me, writing to me, even if it's a mass letter, without thinking this will land here.

More than streakers, I think the violation of reasonable space in communication is really unsafe.

This is not a fed investigation, it's stuff between parents, the kids, and our Principal.

Please remove this letter, and consider some boundaries whereby we allow our Principals to say things like this, whether we agree with them or not.

That is the safe thing to do. They are on the ground and we need to have uncomplicated communication between parents and school staff.





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Posted by Not an issue
a resident of Community Center
on Aug 15, 2013 at 6:33 pm

This a letter from a public school official, whose salary I am paying. There is no reason to keep the letter a secret. The recipients had no responsibility,y to keep this letter private. I am glad this letter was published, though I am not sure why innocuous comments have been removed.


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Posted by Thank You Ms. Diorio
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 15, 2013 at 7:09 pm

Thanks to Ms. Diorio for addressing this thoughtfully and with open communication. Now one need feel ambushed when the rules are upheld. Last year, naked 18 year-olds were brushing up against and in some cases, grabbing bystanders as young as the freshmen. That's not ok/or just a joke by any measure, legal or otherwise. We need to be careful with the "lighten up"/cavalier attitude on this matter--the school is obligated to uphold the law. Do what you want at your home or on your own time, but the school needs to be neutral territory...students and staff shouldn't have to put up with anything illegal because it's someone's idea of a rite of passage.


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Posted by Thank You Ms. Diorio
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 15, 2013 at 7:10 pm

2nd sentence should read *Now NO one need feel ambushed*


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Posted by Jack
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 15, 2013 at 7:28 pm

Why do students need to wear clothes? If Paly becomes a clothes-optional campus, what is wrong with that? Is there a Constitutional issue, either way, or is it just tradition?


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Posted by Paly parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 15, 2013 at 7:35 pm



Not an issue,

Must be rough walking around with the big head counting all the salaries you pay.

My taxes pay a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the school budget, so I look at it as a collective kitty with room for collective input.

Anyway my appeal was to the Weekly, not to you or all taxpayers. But now I will appeal to parents, really? we have to post our school communications here??? for what

to show off that we are not prudes, to welcome a new Principal with stupid comments that their letter on streaking "portends" problems?

While I think the streaking is fun for some of the kids, more important is the reminder that some traditions don't have a place. t's a little bit like spreading religion, not for everyone.






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Posted by Not an issue
a resident of Community Center
on Aug 15, 2013 at 7:44 pm

Paly parent says :
"Must be rough walking around with the big head counting all the salaries you pay."

Thanks for your insightful comments. Very nice, indeed.
I thought one of the issues that has upset residents is the actions of the school board and skelly for not beng open about about things.
Anyway, I pay the principals salary.any communication she makes on company time should be made available to the public


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Posted by former Paly parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 15, 2013 at 7:51 pm

there used to be a tradition (that I admit, I didn't understand...) of Castilleja girls rushing onto the Paly campus (dressed, but in some sort of special garb which I can't recall) and doing something -- harassing? some of the Paly students once/year.
I don't get this stuff. Streaking is way old school, anyway.


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Posted by another parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 15, 2013 at 7:51 pm

I actually think this does need to be made public, not necessarily the full contents of the letter, but certainly what happened today on campus and also the principal's action.

As parents, we are often the last to know something that has happened on campus. We hear from our kids, on Facebook, overhear other parents talking, or other means of rumor mongering. At least this time the principal has contacted the parents, but that only means contacting the Paly parents. There are other schools in town, particularly the other high school, where the kids know what happened. It is about time the parents were told as a matter of course about things that happen on campus. I would rather hear from the principal, or read about it in the Weekly, than depend on kids' gossip for my news.


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Posted by Paly parent
a resident of Community Center
on Aug 15, 2013 at 7:55 pm

another parent,

If you read your emails, you would have known!

No need to find your school news here.


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Posted by another parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 15, 2013 at 7:58 pm

And if you read my comment, you would have seen that I meant that all parents could find out what happens on our campus, not just Paly parents.

Yes, I did see my email and before I read about it here.


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Posted by another parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 15, 2013 at 8:01 pm

Yes, I do think it is important that parents of the feeder schools into Paly also know about what problems exist and how the principal is dealing with it.

JLS and Jordan parents as well as some of the elementary schools all feed into Paly. Therefore it is important for all PAUSD parents to know about it.


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Posted by Jim H.
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 15, 2013 at 8:35 pm

If there are naked people running around at my child's school, I sure do want to know about it. If I live near the campus, I also want to know about it.

Yes, it's a prank, but in this day and age, school safety has come to the forefront. I don't see a problem with the letter being posted.

I also support Ms. Diorio's response. It was widely known that Principal Winston looked the other way on these types of "events". Nice to see that Ms. Diorio plans to have a bit more control of the student body. (no pun intended)


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Posted by Parent
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Aug 15, 2013 at 8:59 pm

Hey, I see no panic here. This is clearly a shot across the bow.

Sounds like this principal is going to have some heads rolling around there and she doesn't want anyone to come to her complaining about 'we didn't know', 'its too harsh', 'our precious wonder kid can't afford to have a suspension on their record for college', etc etc etc. Hope she kicks some butt over there and cleans up what has clearly been the patients running the asylum.

Apparently the Paly culture has a little bit of trouble keeping their clothes on, maybe she'll clean up their act.


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Posted by A Paly Student
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 15, 2013 at 9:31 pm

I realize that I am a student saying this and I do not see it from a faculty or parent's perspective but I am a student who has formed their own opinion after hearing cases from both sides (supporting students and un-supporting parents).
In a school community which is extremely stressed, students consistently studying for tests during lunch and devoting their weekends to SAT prep this is a way for some to enjoy their high school experience. High School is supposed to be fun, spirited, and people are supposed to do crazy things every once in a while, even when it means running through campus naked. While I do agree that naked students touching other students while running through campus is wrong, and while this act should not be supported it should neither be banned. Ms. Diorio was right in sending a message (even though it was harsh) that is part of her job as a principle to discipline students. But I do not think it is wrong for a couple days at the beginning of school and a week at the end of school for several students to run through campus naked.
High School is a stressful time and this is their way of having something to look forward to at the end of the year (or in this year's case the beginning).

I agree that running through campus is crazy, but honestly students could be doing a lot worse.


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Posted by Concerned parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 15, 2013 at 9:31 pm

The principal has every right to be panicked, this type of activity leads to a culture of rape and mysogyny already prevalent at Paly according to a well-researched student article. This is no joke.


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Posted by New Paly Parent
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 15, 2013 at 9:59 pm

My (male) freshman thought it was no big deal–he was much more concerned about what he considered the small portion size of his lunch entree. OTOH, I don't have a problem with Ms. Diorio notifying the parents and warning the students that there will be punished if there's a repeat performance.


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Posted by PA Parent
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Aug 15, 2013 at 10:04 pm

If I worked at Paly and I had to see naked 17 and 18 year olds during my work day, I would file a sexual harassment claim and unsafe working environment against my employer.

I support the principal for finally putting a stop to this inappropriate behavior.


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Posted by Jack
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 15, 2013 at 10:16 pm

"If I worked at Paly and I had to see naked 17 and 18 year olds during my work day, I would file a sexual harassment claim and unsafe working environment against my employer."

Why, if they do not specifically harass you? Naked people are not a threat, in fact they are probably less of a threat than clothed people, because they are not hung up on traditional values.


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Posted by ReactiveSchools
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 15, 2013 at 10:44 pm

My child saw the streaker and was not seriously harmed; and I appreciate the letter.

But I wonder when will the school get ahead of these problems? They seem very reactionary, slow to grasp the issue and unable to see a path FORWARD.

The streaking comes at a bad time - the Feds are investigating Sexual harassment, the Verde exposed the Rape Culture 5 months ago, the board (do any of them have daughters at Paly?) is secretly trying to resist fed OCR.

Yet nowhere has any elected official taken a decisive stand!! Nobody at the district has shown leadership in this crisis. We have rapists, streakers and bullies running the halls. And the response is totally inadequate.

Would someone at the school or district please write the letter we really need to see:

"Parents, Students, community members,
It has become clear that our school suffers a crisis of culture, behavior, and leadership. For too long have the issues of bullying, intimidation and sexual harassment gone unaddressed.

I will, starting tomorrow immediately focus my efforts on changing the culture of our school. Students will be informed that there are expectations of good behavior. This does not include rape, sexual harassment, intimidation or bullying.

We will work jointly with the OCR, Palo Alto Police, and outside training consultants on the issue of harassment. The students will be informed of exactly what is harrassment, what are protected categories, and that NO means NO.
The will be informed of the legal consequences of breaking the law, and we will be establishing a zero tolerance policy toward any such behavior - on or off campus; in person or social media. Students found in violation will be expelled.

They will receive this information at the start of each semester, and they will be informed that it is my I tension to do everything possible to make this a safe, tolerant environment for ALL students.

Staff will receive similar training, in line with cooperation with OCR, so that they can identify and deal with this behavior when brought to their attention.
I encourage you to discuss this with your child, and assist by looking for signs of bullying. Together we can make Paly a safe place for our children to learn.

Sincerely, __________"

Now all we need is a signature and some action to bring these hooligans in line.
Today would be good. Ms DiOrio ?

(actually, this should have been the day after the Verde article, and should have all board members and Skelly's signature. But that will never happen)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jack
a resident of Mayfield
on Aug 15, 2013 at 10:56 pm

"I will, starting tomorrow immediately focus my efforts on changing the culture of our school. Students will be informed that there are expectations of good behavior. This does not include rape, sexual harassment, intimidation or bullying."

You might want to start with a naked/clothed option at Paly. Naked people are less likely to rape, because they are not hung up on traditional values that mystify the other gender.


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Posted by Paly Alum
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 15, 2013 at 10:59 pm

"Seventeen or eighteen year-old students may not think of their behavior in this context and the unintended consequences of their actions."

Unintended consequences of seeing a naked person run past? Poor Suzy the Freshman might see a penis? Poor Johnny might see boobies? What a crock of bologna. And here I thought Palo Alto was enlightened, silly me.


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Posted by Tea Parties are not just for little girls
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Aug 15, 2013 at 11:29 pm

Now because of the over-intrusive federal government, telling the local schools what they can and cannot do, we can no longer have naked students, rape, or any damn thing we please. What is the world coming to? I say, PAUSD should secede.


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Posted by Deja vu
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 16, 2013 at 12:12 am

The Mercury News reported on Principal Diorio's letter regarding streaking and the decades long tradition of streaking at Paly. It is posted in the Mercury's "Weird News" section; "Palo Alto High: School principal says streaking tradition must end".
Web Link
Diorio seems to be following in the footsteps of Principal McEvoy, who was principal during Diorio's first three years at Paly. McEvoy's punitive discipline style resulted in the threat of a lawsuit against the district and numerous complaints from parents that ultimately led to her resignation. Web Link
I hope that Diorio is not headed down the same path. She lost the trust of many students today, something that will be difficult to repair.




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Posted by Paly parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 16, 2013 at 12:36 am

Paly student,

It's good to hear a student voice, and I imagine most kids were not hurt. Actually, it sounds like it was some adults that felt unsafe.

You brought up the big reality which is that today was stressful for everyone. Expectations abound, and some of the pressures to do well are much scarier than a couple of naked kids.

I'm against this type of letter being published here as open season to go after the Principal or the kids. But since the letter is still published here, I will say the adults which felt unsafe with the streakers need to lighten up.

Where is all that talk about being kinder to our teens? Not that I am encouraging breaking rules, but I hope the kids involved will not be given too much of a hard time. At their own personal risk, I think they did bring levity to the quite regimented process of the first day of school.

For at least 1 minute, somebody was not worried about their schedule, teachers, grades, making a sport team, making new friends, fitting in, or the success and near perfection that is demanded by our big schools.











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Posted by Paly Senior
a resident of Professorville
on Aug 16, 2013 at 1:50 am

Streaking is a time-honored Paly tradition. The reason Z and N streaked was because they would be 18 by the end of the year, and thus at legal risk. We need to replace this madwoman with someone the students actually like, such as Jerry Berkson. Phil Winston was incredibly popular among the students, and while it will be hard for the new administration to live up to Winston's incredible standards, fascism is uncalled for. Diorio obviously wants to show that she has "authority" and will dominate Paly with an iron fist, ready to crush any and all insubordination. Winston was loved because he honored Paly's traditions, and, as a result, used not force, but rather respect and reason to go about his daily affairs.


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Posted by Paly Grad
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 16, 2013 at 2:05 am

Not one who would ever strip off my clothes in public, I'm perplexed as to how this tradition creates a negative campus atmosphere. My year, nearly 50 students decided to partake in this tradition and I can't recall a single student being bothered or inconvenienced because of a couple of students streaking across the quad at brunch. In fact, it seemed to alleviate the tense mood that often grips campus. Whenever a student began streaking across campus, literally the entire student body would appear from thin air to watch and cheer on. If anything, the greatest danger was that posed by the administration toward the streakers. In one instance, a girl had to run naked across a busy El Camino Real as an administrator ran behind trying to grasp her exposed body parts.

Streaking is a tradition deeply engrained into Paly's history. Stricter enforcement will not easily extinguish this phenomenon. It might reduce the number of incidences of streaking, but there will surely be a "brave" few who will decide to overlook the rules. (Why? First, so that they can brad to their friends. Second, many students have grown up hearing about pranks and traditions their parents and ancestors participated back when "there weren't so many rules") All that this firm stance on streaking will do is make it more dangerous for the few who decide to partake in this tradition in the future.


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Posted by Bravo Diorio!
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 16, 2013 at 6:22 am

Kudos to Principal Diorio for her level-headed approach! Cries of fascism are just hyperbole and besides, this gives teenagers an opportunity to practice another time-honored "tradition" sorely lacking from the "Chill Phil" tenure: whining whenever they're told "no" even when it's for a good reason. But really, thanks Diorio.


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Posted by Work
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Aug 16, 2013 at 6:24 am

I support the teachers. I don't want to work somewhere where I'll be exposed to underage nudity. This is the very definition of an unsafe working environment. The lawsuit by a teacher could be huge.

Some traditions are not good traditions.


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Posted by Rules are rules
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 16, 2013 at 6:26 am

Diorio did what she is paid to do, which is uphold our district's policies.

If you don't like them, appeal to the board to change them but don't criticize administrators for upholding the rules until you've convinced the board to erase them.

PAUSD policies and rules:

Dress Code: "...shirts must be worn at all times. Appropriate tops and bottoms are to be worn at all times."

Pranks: "Activities that are ...disruptive,
or demeaning are not acceptable on campus. This includes 'streaking'...Students should be aware that even if they intend no harm, if they are involved in such activities, they are subject to disciplinary action, which may include suspension."

Sexual Harassment: "....no student shall be subjected to sexual overtures or conduct...which is ... offensive, or unwelcome. Such conduct ... will not be tolerated by the school district... Examples of Conduct which may be Considered Inappropriate:...displaying sexually suggestive objects...The Board of Education considers sexual harassment a major offense. Violation of this policy will constitute cause for disciplinary action."

Paly Senior, before dropping trousers they probably should have reviewed:

- The district's policy on suspension (allowed for "displaying sexual objects" and streaking), and

- The Common Application question requiring that disciplinary action taken by your school must be disclosed to colleges you are applying to. Web Link

If releasing stress is what these seniors were seeking, they should consider yoga instead.


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Posted by Rules are rules
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 16, 2013 at 6:51 am

ReactiveSchools,

A few OCR complaints spanning years - some quickly resolved or dismissed - and Paly's 2 streakers and 2 girls who were taken advantage of at off-campus alcohol-infused parties does not make a 12,000+ student district that is in "crisis" or one that has "rapists, streakers and bullies running the halls."


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Posted by ReactiveSchools
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 16, 2013 at 6:55 am

So the question is: Are the streakers a bunch of free-spirit hippies who are communing with nature? Or are they aggressive students who have run amok?

Given that nothing was done about the Rape Culture, we as a community are stuck - now without clear expectations on students you have to use each incident to set an 'Example'. It's reactive, and capricious. It's poor management. Perhaps you let the streaking incident go, and soft-pedal the discipline. Okay, but then where do you draw the line? Sexual assault? Harassment? Where?

When is the school going to set clear boundaries on the students?
What will these boundaries be?

(and please don't feed me the bull about this is the parents job - I already told my kids not to Rape, but clearly not every parent has, or will)

Fine with me if they exercise leeway and judgement in a prank like streaking, ONLY after they have set clear expectations for general behavior.


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Posted by ReactiveSchools
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 16, 2013 at 7:13 am

@Rules: paying too much for a used car is " taken advantage of"

Sex without consent is Rape.

Your euphemism shows you to be a rape apologist.


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Posted by End the rape culture
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 16, 2013 at 7:13 am

Naked children for your viewing pleasure. Maybe a few could frame this as some sort of natural expression, but when combined with the recent revelation of a rape culture, the continuing issue of child molestation in the the schools, and that pesky law against child pornography, there is simply no defense for this supposed tradition.

The superintendent Kevin Skelly is being forced to grow up and consider this a tiny victory against the myth of site-based control. The bad part is that he will give no support or loyalty to principal Kim Diorio as her first act of the school year cements her unpopularity. Think of all the principals who have taken the fall alone for his incompetence. This was Diorio's first day and Skelly's signature is nowhere to be found. Our children nude in public is in no way a good thing in today's climate. This is a district issue and Skelly should have led on this instead of putting Diorio in the bullseye.


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Posted by Gunn Parent
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 16, 2013 at 7:25 am

Paly is not the only school with this tradition. My two daughters came to see the first penis at Gunn when they where 9th grades, when students ran naked with paper bags on their heads. The principals know this happens every year. It happens every year. I am surprised that your children have not told parents about it. I brought it up at some meetings, but it was brushed out. Good for principal's at Paly. Finally someones addresses this issue. Hope that they do something about it.


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Posted by David Cohen
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 16, 2013 at 8:15 am

First of all, why are most of us only willing to express opinions anonymously here? That always bugs me. If there's anyone out there who knows me and disagrees with this post, it's okay. We can disagree on an issue and still get along just fine, can't we?
Secondly, I fully support our principal's handling of this incident, and the broader goal of ending streaking. I completely understand and appreciate the sense of silliness and free-spiritedness that the streakers intend and that many people take away from the streaking. However, the school has an absolute responsibility to protect and respect *all* students (and staff). Paly's seniors, whether they like it or not, share the campus with thirteen and fourteen year olds, and with adults and children who have diverse viewpoints and backgrounds. I don't think there's any ambiguity in laws around exposing oneself to children, no exceptions in statute that says it's okay as long as you're running, or doing it in a place where it happened in the past. If we get into labor law, I don't think the school has the option to tell staff members they just have to put up with naked children (or young adults) at work now and then. It also puts staff members in a terrible bind, with a responsibility not to ignore streaking, but walking into a minefield of potential problems in approaching or dealing with a naked student. The total number of streakers and their parents represent a small minority of each class. Surely among them we can find enough good will and understanding to move towards a safer and more respectful way to indulge those lively and bold spirits. I love Paly, its students and community, and its overall school spirit, but we need to evolve on this issue.


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Posted by Deja vu
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 16, 2013 at 8:23 am

The reason that prior administrations did not impose suspension for streaking is that district policy and the state education code prohibits this form of discipline for streaking. The principal may apply other forms of discipline but not suspension in the case of a first time streaker.


AR 5144.1 states:
"The Superintendent, principal, or designee may suspend a student for any of the acts listed in "Grounds for Suspension and Expulsion" above. A student may be suspended only when the Superintendent or principal has determined that other means of correction have failed to bring about proper conduct in the student." (Education Code 48900.5)
See: Web Link

There are five exceptions to this policy but streaking is not one of them. That is reserved for more serious behavior such as acts of violence or brandishing a weapon.


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Posted by Ed Code?
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 16, 2013 at 8:51 am

Penal Code 288 listed as the 4th exception cites exposing genitals to minors.


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Posted by Deja vu
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 16, 2013 at 9:33 am

@Ed Code?
I assume your reference to the item 4 exception is from the district's AR. If so you are incorrect.

Penal Code 288 is listed under item 14, not item 4, and is not one of the exceptions allowing immediate suspension per the district's administrative regulation. Item 4 that is a legally allowed exception covers the sale of controlled substances.

Furthermore penal code 288 states that in regards to public display of genitals the person must be "motivated by an unnatural or abnormal sexual interest in children". I don't see that definition applicable to teenage streaking.
"288.4. (a) (1) Every person who, motivated by an unnatural or
abnormal sexual interest in children, arranges a meeting with a minor
or a person he or she believes to be a minor for the purpose of
exposing his or her genitals or pubic or rectal area, having the
child expose his or her genitals or pubic or rectal area, or engaging
in lewd or lascivious behavior, shall be punished by a fine not
exceeding five thousand dollars ($5,000), by imprisonment in a county
jail not exceeding one year, or by both the fine and imprisonment."


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Posted by PA Prarent too
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 16, 2013 at 9:49 am

So, if the staff decided to reduce their stress and streak just for some good old fashioned hi-jinx it would be okay? You all would be up in arms and want those staff members fired, arrested, etc. So why is it okay for the students to do so? School is a place of work and learning. Some pranks are fine, and expected, but streaking has no place at school. I support the principal in this situation and thought her letter was informative, direct and addressed openly a true concern.


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Posted by Paly alumnus
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 16, 2013 at 10:04 am

Too bad Kim Dorio's first issue is so trivial. I hope she feels welcome despite all of the debate.

Streaking is pretty harmless and I can't buy into the concept that it creates a hostile work environment. Ruining kid's lives with a suspension and police record for such activity is overkill in my opinion.

Posters above who confuse streaking with "rape culture" are doing more harm than good.


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Posted by Paly Alum
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 16, 2013 at 10:59 am

Diorio is damned if she does, damned if she doesn't, so she is probably appeasing the parents who complain about everything, and who threaten lawsuits vs. being unpopular with students and liberal parents. Whether or not she enforces streaking, at least she has stated the rules to discourage streaking so students can't claim they didn't know the consequences.

As one poster noted, streaking is a bit passť. And the streaker nearly knocked down my daughter in the panic run.

"Deja vu" insults Diorio by calling her similar to Principal McEvoy. Diorio is a much better choice than McEvoy.

Wonder what will happen with the Egg Wars, which does more harm to property and should definitely be ended. Didn't they change it to water balloons and just have them clean up the balloons?


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Posted by Deja vu
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 16, 2013 at 11:21 am

@PA Parent too
The administration can discipline streakers, they just don't have the authority to suspend them for a first time offense of streaking.
The prospect of staff streaking is very interesting. I'm not sure if that is covered under PAUSD union contracts or employee agreements.

@ Paly Alumnus
I agree with your posting. It's unfortunate that this event has marred Principal Diorio's first day and even more unfortunate that her letter has gone viral in the mainstream media. It was first reported yesterday by the Mercury News and was picked up this morning by ABC news. This morning they reported live from the entrance to Paly. Web Link

@ Paly Alum
I want Principal Diorio to be successful and to be a trusted adult on campus. Her letter raised a big red flag for me, reminiscent of Principal McEvoy's administration. I hope that was unintentional on her part.



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Posted by Midtowner
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 16, 2013 at 12:37 pm

Meanwhile, we are not discussing the REAL issues at Paly at the beginning of this school year, such as understaffing. Understaffing is such that there is only one AP Physics class, with 40 students in it, and a brand new young teacher teaching it, not to mention a waiting list of students who wanted to take AP Physics but are out of luck.

What is going to be done about this Ms Diorio, and why no letter to parents on this?


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Posted by Suspension
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 16, 2013 at 12:39 pm

You can suspend a student for anything as long as you have made prior attempts to inform and fix the behavior. Given that these students are seniors and have had a Paly handbook for the past three years AND have seen other students been suspended in the past, they CAN be suspended for streaking yesterday.


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Posted by 70s redux
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 16, 2013 at 12:45 pm

We went through this at high schools, colleges, places of business, etc, etc, etc forty years ago. It went away on its own, tho a few streakers spent the night in jail.

This too shall pass. I have a needlepoint of this in my living room to remind me.


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Posted by Parent of two
a resident of Community Center
on Aug 16, 2013 at 12:50 pm

I read the Ed Code link provided by De javu and the code seems pretty clear.
Aside from the other debates going on in this thread, it appears that Kim has violated the Ed Code with these immediate suspensions. For someone who claim a high allegiance to the students adhering to rules, it is troubling that she would not reflect on her own obligations more strictly.
McEvoy committed similar violations while making comparable rationalizations for her punitive actions. I sincerely hope the Kim is not reverting to a that mindset.


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Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 16, 2013 at 12:58 pm

I don't mind the letter getting out there. It's already available via "The Voice" (i.e., published), on Facebook, etc.

Hardly walking in the footsteps of McEvoy. It's called CYA.

What the kids need to realize is that some conservative kid/family could very well sue PAUSD for creating a "harmful" school environment for allowing streaking to go on unabated. Now the school is on record of telling students and families to not do it.

Will that happen? Who knows. But at least Diorio has executed a smart tactic by covering PAUSD's collective rear end.


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Posted by Thank You Ms. Diorio
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 16, 2013 at 1:11 pm

@Crescent Park Dad: Agreed. I would add that in addition to offending conservative families, there were streakers last year that actually did grab and thrust themselves (with contact) at by-standers.


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 16, 2013 at 1:50 pm

> there were streakers last year that actually did grab and thrust themselves (with contact) at by-standers.

Amazing ...

If that is not indecent I don't know what is, and my first comment on warning these students beforehand that if they do this they might be charged with a sex-crime and have to register as sex-offenders for the rest of their lives was deleted in seconds.

Whose side is Palo Alto Online on anyway?


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 16, 2013 at 2:05 pm

I agree with those who would give kudos to Principal Diorio for trying to be proactive on this, and if this is happening:

> Posted by End the rape culture,
> The superintendent Kevin Skelly is being forced to grow up and consider this a tiny victory against the myth of site-based control. The bad part is that he will give no support or loyalty to principal Kim Diorio as her first act of the school year cements her unpopularity. Think of all the principals who have taken the fall alone for his incompetence. This was Diorio's first day and Skelly's signature is nowhere to be found. Our children nude in public is in no way a good thing in today's climate. This is a district issue and Skelly should have led on this instead of putting Diorio in the bullseye.


I would agree with "End the rape culture" and ask Kevin Skelly to quit playing around, do his job, and back up his staff.


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Posted by Midtowner
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 16, 2013 at 2:29 pm

Amazing to me that, rather than discussing class sizes of 40 and wait listed students this week at Paly, parents would rather spend their time talking about streaking.


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 16, 2013 at 2:36 pm

Midtowner, no one posted an article about class sizes of 40 ... are there really class sizes of 40? Most of the classrooms at Paly cannot even handle 40 people can they? If you have the documentation write an article about it and post it?


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Posted by Midtowner
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 16, 2013 at 2:52 pm

@ CrescentParkAnon

There are 40 students in the only available AP Physics class. They are in the largest room in the science bldg. One student did not have a desk the first day. The teacher is brand new and young. Finally, there are students, presumably seniors, wait listed.


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Posted by palo alto parent
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 16, 2013 at 2:58 pm

Classes without enough desks (aka too many students) are all too common at Paly and have been for years.


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Posted by Paly Parent
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 16, 2013 at 3:17 pm

So I have one question...

When a naked boy brushes against my 14 year old daughter, can I have the boy arrested for sexual assault, indecent exposure, statutory rape, or all three at once?

I think we all need to remember that this tradition is mildly to severely illegal.

If a naked boy fell on my daughter (as evidently happened to someone's daughter last year) I would sue the school and have the kid arrested.

And I'm a pretty laid back parent (esp by Palo Alto standards).

So let's get some perspective. These kids are breaking the law and upsetting some students, parents and teachers.

So explain to me why the "but it's a tradition" position trumps the "but it's sexual assault" argument??

Oh, and one last point...

These guys broke school rules on the Principal's first day on the job. See (or you, if you were in that position) would have to rise to the challenge and send a message. So even if she were over-reacting, she had no other option.

All that said... congratulations to the new Principal. Skelly, for whatever you think of him, seems to have made a good decision.


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Posted by Paly Alum
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 16, 2013 at 3:19 pm

What if they run in nude colored, women's bikinis so it would appear they are nude but they aren't actually streaking? Still keeps the tradition and it's not illegal.


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Posted by resident
a resident of Professorville
on Aug 16, 2013 at 3:23 pm

Surely those of us connected to Paly personally can understand that no principal, teacher, or administrator to 2,000 students can please everyone. All staff members are going to bring their own experience and style to their position and they deserve our support and appreciation far more than they get. Of course it is okay to disagree, but to do so in such a harsh anonymous manner on this forum is "hitting below the belt" in my opinion and certainly not setting a good example for our kids!

Secondly, I take great offense to one parent above referring to Paly as having "a crisis of culture". The number of students I know who are caring, kind, and genuine while juggling the challenges of high school, are abundant. Referring to streakers in the same sentence as rapists is beyond irresponsible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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Posted by Paly Parent
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 16, 2013 at 3:27 pm

Hey Deja Vu...

A Principal's job is not to be liked by the students. It's to provide a safe environment for these kids to learn as much as they can. And sometime that means protecting the rights of staff and even a minority of students from being exposed to indecent exposure.

Let me guess... you want your children to by "your friends," right?

And Paly Student...

What is so stressful about the opening day of school that these children needed to "let off steam" and "do something crazy"? They broke the law. If they did this on University Ave they would have been cited or arrested. These kids only got suspended.


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Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 16, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Quite a few traditions happened on the PAUSD grounds that I don't see today.

Racing a fiat 500 and an NSU compact down the halls ( both are an easy fit and explained the tire tracks in the halls ).
Another noted prank: setting off timed stink bombs in the waste baskets at the end of the school year. These people are respected members of their communities and no permanent emotional and physical trauma resulted.

Punishing and alienating the student by policy makes you look like a" Dean Wormer " dealing with an Animal House student body.

Not an effective way to start a SHORT career and a BIG black mark on your professional career. I can say this because Palo Alto On-Line has been given the details on where I get my information. From a Special Ed Teacher start to retiring as an Assistant Adminstrator WHO HANDLED DISCIPLINE ISSUES SO WELL THAT AN OFFER WAS MADE TO BE A JUDGE HANDLING CHILD WELFARE ISSUES AT $400/day! ( turned down,BTW )
Handling OCR issues properly was one of many things done, with " advice " given to the Superintendent who was boss.

If you had a proper system in place, you would have had to run this issue before your bosses before this notice got sent out. If a principal kept being a " rogue " that didn't " work well with others ", getting demoted back to a teacher would be in your future. No Front Office duty for you! ( yes, that was done previously )

Your job is to help children GET AN EDUCATION, not pander to emotional issues. Being a DICTATOR is not going to get you any farther along your ( possibly short ) career path.
Getting an education is stressful enough; don't add to that stress.

( p.s. your log-in system is broke ( again )


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Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 16, 2013 at 4:56 pm

In the interest of equal time here...

It is not uncommon for female Paly students to streak as well.


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Posted by Paly Culture
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 16, 2013 at 5:09 pm

I think a lot of these problems could be avoided with some clear discussion with the kids - both for mild problems like streaking, to the more severe issues discussed in this thread.

The school should spend more time preparing these kids for the real world - where streaking, intimidation and worse will get you in a LOT of trouble.

And setting these expectations up front, with clear description of the Ed Code consequences will eliminate the surprise and community upset when it comes time to enforce this.

Then the community can argue about the policy, whether streaking deserves suspension, and we spend less time about any one incident.

Also, this may actually serve to prevent problems, if the kids know the consequences up front.

just my 2 cents.


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Posted by Paly dad
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 16, 2013 at 5:16 pm

There has been a lot of hyperbole and accusations of law breaking on this thread. Only Deja vu has provided citations that indicate that the principal is in violation of district policy and state law. The streakers broke a school rule but I have searched and cannot find a state or federal law that they have broken. I think the law has changed substantially from when I was in high school.


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Posted by Truth
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Aug 16, 2013 at 5:51 pm

I work in another school district. The principal can absolutely suspend the students. All she has to show for 1st time 48900 offenses outside of (a)-(e) is that there had been communication or efforts in the student's past educational tenure that informed said student of the disapproving behavior.

If two freshmen new to PAUSD streaked on the first day of school, it would be tricky.

Two seniors who have heard past warnings and such? Valid and legal.

No laws broken. Kids are lucky they weren't cited and the school district sued.

What does it say about a community that allows and promotes this behavior? Perhaps the same community that publishes articles on extreme hazing and date rape amongst their kids. Connect the dots.


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Posted by sigh...
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 16, 2013 at 6:36 pm

Can we please not connect the dots for once? Pointing to a "paly culture" or predicting that one decision (especially in light of a gracious communique) "portends problems" is not only hyperbole, it's destructive.

Two students streaked. The new principal communicated with parents and students - clarifying the rules, establishing some boundaries and promising to engage directly with students about this.

I have faith in the student body and I appreciate a principal's duty to consider what's in the best interest of all students and staff.

Let's give them both some time before we connect any more dots, please.






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Posted by Paly dad
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 16, 2013 at 6:41 pm

@ truth
The Ca Ed Code is clear that corrections must be applied after the event. If that does not correct the behavior then the student can be suspended.

School districts do not have discretion in this. The code lists numerous examples of legal corrective actions.


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Posted by es
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 16, 2013 at 7:13 pm

The kids were testing Ms. Diorio to see how she'd respond. With enlightened teachable instruction or .....Ms. Diorio responded in the fashion she did so now everyone should know where they stand.


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Posted by Truth
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Aug 16, 2013 at 7:25 pm

Paly dad - you are incorrect.

It's my job to know school law. Not only could you suspend under 48900(a) because it is easy to say that students were in danger from someone running through the quad naked (because they may run into people, because it may cause a stampede like saying Fire in a crowded movie theater, etc), you can also suspend for this behavior because of the students' knowledge and past attempts to correct the behavior. The clock doesn't reset on the first day of the school year for a student. All you need to show (and the burden lies with the student to prove it not to be the case) is that you have shared the handbook with students (check), have been consistent with behavior in the past (check), and school policy supports the consequence. All of this is valid here.

You are welcome to disagree but since you are "Paly dad" and I am a school administrator who works day in, day out dealing with high school students for the last twenty years, I'm not sure who may have a better sense of school law here as it applies to high school situations.


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Posted by resident
a resident of Professorville
on Aug 16, 2013 at 8:21 pm

Sigh is right on target !!

Two students streaked, the principal sent an appropriate letter. Let's not make a mountain out of a molehill. It's time to move on.


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Posted by Another parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 16, 2013 at 8:36 pm

This reminds me of the egg wars scenario a few years back. We are going overboard on this ridiculously juvenile issue. Egg wars caused emotional outrage and was perhaps understandable due to the property damage.

But look, a couple of irresponsible students did something silly on the first day of school. They were naked (perhaps their pictures are all over Facebook by now), but no one was hurt, no property was damaged, no one had their civil liberties taken away or saw anything that even high school girls probably haven't seen before (although maybe of a different age) - a couple of naked male adolescent bodies.

I agree that some discipline may be necessary to prevent copycats all through the school year. But what is the big deal?

When egg wars happened, property was damaged and food was wasted. Here, a few kids saw something to laugh and cheer and the rest of the school were disappointed that they missed out.

OK, no damage. No need for all the tv coverage, no need for parents worrying about rape, no need for condemnation for the new principal and the administration.

If this is the only thing we as parents have to worry about when other schools are worried about guns and knives being taken into school and similar scenarios, then we are ever so fortunate. Let's get this into perspective, nobody has been maimed for life. Nobody has their future jeopardized. No property has been irrevocably damaged.

Please let's move on to something that really matters.


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Posted by Parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 16, 2013 at 10:19 pm

Umm....didn't slavery used to be a tradition, too? Just because a group of people do something year after year doesn't make it ok.


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Posted by Teacher
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 16, 2013 at 10:28 pm

I applaud the district and Kim Diorio for finally taking a stand on this "tradition." The kids can find another tradition -- one that isn't illegal and doesn't put students, teachers, and administrators at great risk of being accused of sexual harassment or worse. Naked students on campus is a lawsuit waiting to happen. Mr. Winston's lackadaisical attitude toward things of this nature created a culture at Paly where students think they can do whatever they want and under his reign this "tradition" grew from an occasional joke to a frequent disruption that students are carrying out more boldly each time. It needs to stop. I bet you won't find a single teacher or staff member on campus who doesn't agree with Ms. Diorio's action on this.


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Posted by End the rape culture
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 16, 2013 at 10:54 pm

This letter, this stand is long overdue, but it only happened because of the OCR complaints and the rape culture article. The lawyers have been running the show for over a year and this letter also has the mark of the $150,000 PR wannabe administrator (at some point fix the latest press release: it's led, not lead). Diorio may ruffle the feathers of some students and parents, but not the teachers or their union, the PAEA, and as long as she doesn't cross them, she'll be in no career danger.

As for the idea of child nudity, or worse adult nudity in front of children, at a public school, the defenders of this supposed tradition make me cringe as when I heard Sandusky defend horseplay in the shower at Penn State. I just would never be okay with sanctioning this sexualized behavior at a public school. If it is such a good prank, how would Castilleja parents feel about their students trying this out on Monday? Those parents, who are paying nearly $40,000 per year, would have a lawyer in the office within minutes.

That Di Salvo had it right: this is one sick place.


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Posted by Nick Marquis
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 16, 2013 at 11:23 pm

I am the husband of a Palo Alto High School teacher. Palo Alto High School is my wife's WORKPLACE. I find it offensive that some Paly parents and students are defending a tradition that creates a hostile work environment for the teachers that have dedicated their lives to educating you or your children. I am amazed at the sense of entitlement and self importance displayed by those who defend public nudity at Paly as a sacred tradition or rite of passage. Here's an idea kids... keep your clothes on at school. Not everyone enjoys seeing your junk, and no one should have to be subjected to unwelcome actions "of a sexual nature" (read exposing one's genitals) at their place of employment.


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Posted by Paly parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 17, 2013 at 12:38 am



Mr. Marquis,

I'm not sure Paly streaking is intended as forced acts of a sexual nature, or even that these kids are trying to enjoy showing off specific body parts. Maybe a former streaker could clarify.

Yes nudity is related to sex, but are 17 year old streakers really doing this with an intent to arouse, tease, or force teachers or classmates into actual sexual something or other? I think they would probably say gross to that.

And for those "connecting the dots" to rape, my personal belief is that sexual repression leads to animalistic reactions, and actions, and some of the "nicest" guys end up in mug shots. What about what some priests do?

I'm not saying streaking should continue, or that it's not offensive to some people. But I completely disagree with equating it to a real sexual offense, and if the laws are such that it gets the same treatment as child abuse, then somebody needs to change those laws.


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Posted by Old PAUSD Connection
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 17, 2013 at 12:41 am

Ms. Diorio was put in a difficult position early in her reign as the new Paly principal. She was right in making the community aware of her concerns and her intentions. However, it sounds like the district's communication guru (aka PR generator and Skelly apologist) had a hand in at least some of the wording of the letter: "We need to work together to end this unsafe and educationally disruptive 'tradition.' .... When students run through our campus without clothing in the spirit of fun, whether they realize it or not, they are creating a hostile work environment for the many employees of Palo Alto High School, but more importantly, an emotionally unsafe environment for students."

These words sound like legalese that is intended to prevent a law suit from happening, not like honest concern for all employees and all students. Now she can tell the lawyers, "I did warn them!"


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Posted by Paly parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 17, 2013 at 1:01 am

Old,

I don't think this is the type of harassment the Office of Civil Rights handles, they seem to be more interested in violations that hurt powerless groups, or when someone is hurt for something they can't help (race, religion, gender, disability).

Streaker harassment would likely have to go to the police and go to the regular courts with a real jury and so forth.




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Posted by Paly parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 17, 2013 at 1:05 am



Mr. Marquis,

I should say that while I think the laws should not be too harsh on a one-time streaker, I would draw the line, obviously, on repeat offenders.


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Posted by End the rape culture
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 17, 2013 at 7:00 am

Schools begin warning students about sexual harassment around the 4th grade. A teenage student exposing his or her genitals to other students or staff doesn't border on sexual harassment, it is sexual harassment, and I would guess that every single student knows that if they are doing this before they turn 18 because of the risk of breaking the law. When teachers get a new principal, one of the first things to happen is the union lobbies the principal for power and influence. This was one of the easier issues to choose to make a stand, this is what the Paly math department should have been writing a letter about, not about the threat of VTP kids, but the real danger of of sexual harassment approved by a school board that acted like it didnt exist. Only the power of the OCR violation (only one so far!) and complaints have forced the district to clean up its act. I had posted in June that the former Director of Secondary Education Michael Milliken should have publicly spoken out against the rape culture. This letter seems to do just that. But where is the public backup from Kevin Skelly and Charles Young. Would the public be upset with Skelly because he promoted it by permitting it for over six years with his superficial system of site-based management? Have the lawyers told him not to involve himself? Are the lawyers the real leaders in this district? Isn't this all really the fault of the newspapers and parents who asked for public information? Whew, what happened to our district? How did we get to this point?


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Posted by Sally
a resident of Southgate
on Aug 17, 2013 at 9:21 am

Isn't streaking in public a crime? Why is PAUSD handling this as an internal matter subject to an administrative punishment.

Where is the line between criminal behavior and internal policy matters? Is the punishment for murder on a PASUD campus suspension? Probably not!

Are we teaching our kids that they are above the law?


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Posted by Gunn Parent
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 17, 2013 at 9:56 am

Now that I am thinking,this is very unfair: a student defends himself when he is bullied, calls for help and does not get it on time, defends himself with the only thing he had on hand (a stapler, police gets call, charges are brought up against him, goes to jail; these students exposed themselves, force others to see them naked,and police is nto called, no punishment, suspension or charges are brought up against them. Maybe is because the stapler student was Latino, and the ones who were running naked were not. The physical damage student B got was not more than the emotional damage they caused to my daughter the day she saw naked at Gunn. She felt embarrassed about the incident. Of course this is not going to district is not even cooperating with OCR, and are doing everything they can to keep them off campus, except for the first investigation, when they did not really took the parents and OCR seriously


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Posted by Paly Parent
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 17, 2013 at 10:11 am

Another Parent... the biggest thing about Egg Wars is that it happened at Gunn just 2 days after yet another suicide. The grieving kids came to school to find their school apparently vandalized.

Yes, there was property damage and wasted food, but there was a far more emotionally vulnerable student body that left to wonder why someone would abuse them at such a fragile time.


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Posted by mom
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Aug 17, 2013 at 10:26 am

It is interesting that the "streaking" being discussed is being discussed as if it is a gender neutral practice. But I seriously doubt (someone can correct me) that the streakers are girls. It is very unlikely that a bunch of girls are running across campus butt naked. That would suggest some very confident adolescent girls. Rather I am sure it is boys exposing themselves. Senior boys are 17. Freshman girls are 13 or 14. Do you want your 13 or 14 year old daughter to be drinking her juicebox on the first day of school and have a look at the junk of a nearly-adult male? Not to be a prude but that seems like it's just wrong. You can call it sexual harassment (and that might be an overstatement) but it's not good clean fun either. And it's not acceptable. In fact, what the hell is wrong with parents who think that makes sense or is just a fun prank? You're probably the same parents who think it's fine to serve my kids alcohol or let them smoke pot at your your home because "they're going to do it anyway." You want to be the "cool" parents. Exposing your penis and testicles to my 14 year old daughter is not cool. It's gross and disgusting. Set some limits will you?


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Posted by Deja vu
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 17, 2013 at 10:37 am

@truth
We have plenty of examples of districts and administrators out of compliance with state and federal law. In some cases OCR (Title IX and disability harassment) and ACLU (school fees) step in to correct these violations. When Principal McEvoy overstepped her authority in applying suspensions the district was threatened with a lawsuit which caused her to expunge the students' records.

I have no issue with a rule against streaking and measures taken to stop it as long as they are within the law and clearly stated in school policy.

In regards to the legality of streaking, it is only illegal if it can be proven that the purpose was either for sexual gratification or to sexually offend someone.

While many find teen streaking offensive it does not rise to the definition of indecent exposure.


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Posted by Midtowner
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 17, 2013 at 10:59 am

@ mom

Yes there are girls streaking. As a matter of fact my Paly alumna remembers the girls that did it rather than the boys. One time there were five girls doing it together.

As to my current Paly student (a senior who does not streak ever), he's seen girls do it as well.

People who say they are "not prude but" are just that, prudes. I do not condone streaking but it is not sexual harassment.

Now, can we discuss serious issues such a overcrowded classes?


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Posted by mom
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Aug 17, 2013 at 11:04 am

If it is actually the case that there are naked teenage girls on campus then that makes it even more likely that it is a sexually hostile environment. Female nudity would almost certainly be treated as an opportunity for highly sexualized comments by males, objectification of females, and would make other females feel vulnerable and possibly even frightened by the heightened level of sexualization of female students.

So, that's a serious problem.


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Posted by Bravo Diorio!
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 17, 2013 at 11:14 am

Sexual Harassment as defined by California Ed Code:

212.5. "Sexual harassment" means unwelcome sexual advances,
requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, visual, or physical
conduct of a sexual nature, made by someone from or in the work or
educational setting, under any of the following conditions:
(a) Submission to the conduct is explicitly or implicitly made a
term or a condition of an individual's employment, academic status,
or progress.
(b) Submission to, or rejection of, the conduct by the individual
is used as the basis of employment or academic decisions affecting
the individual.
(c) The conduct has the purpose or effect of having a negative
impact upon the individual's work or academic performance, or of
creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or educational
environment.
(d) Submission to, or rejection of, the conduct by the individual
is used as the basis for any decision affecting the individual
regarding benefits and services, honors, programs, or activities
available at or through the educational institution.

I find it unwelcome and resent being consigned to my classroom during my breaks. It shouldn't be a condition of my employment that I have to tolerate nudity on a school campus.


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Posted by Paly parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 17, 2013 at 11:18 am


End the rape culture,

I think you are so wrong to equate this streaking to sexual violence. I wasn't here since the 4th grade, and I was not aware how deviant streaking is considered to be. Being part European does not help understand this issue. It's nuts to go after these kids so harshly and connect this to "rape culture". Alcohol and teen drinking is more connected to rape than streaking once a year. Some parents think it's no big deal for kids to drink, and turn a blind eye to drunk kids, regularly.

I looked up the laws and apparently the California indecency laws have been around since 1872.

Things are really mixed up if people are making a silly act into deviance or violence. Especially the violence. I would like to hear an expert, doctor, school counselor, reconcile this specific streaking activity to rape.

THe law also appears to work that in order to prosecute a streaker, the offended victim needs to press charges, to get the streakers registered as sex offenders. Again, cannot believe an act like this carries such punishment, but then it was 1872 when these laws were drawn.


mom,

It's obvious it's not about bad boys wanting to show their willy. Per the recent Merc story

"end of last year brought multiple incidents, including one that had about 20 female students dressed in the barest of Native American accouterments who bolted across the grounds, letting out whoops and hollers."

Now this maybe the OCR could have taken on, in case it offended a Native American. But regular feeling "unsafe" by streakers and nudity is a matter they would refer to your local police station or a regular court.


Gunn parent,

Wasn't it through the police and courts that the student involved in the stapler incident was prosecuted? The student went to jail because he was arrested.

Streakers can also be arrested if they are caught, or charges are pressed by the victims. I could see your point if in the history of streaking an arrest was made only because the streaker was black or Latino.

I am not a Skelly fan, but I'm glad that his first day of school letter is not making some moral or political call about this incident.


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Posted by move on
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 17, 2013 at 11:20 am

I thought, all things considered, the Principal's reaction was appropriate, the letter measured and respectful. I laid out the reasons why and asked for cooperation, with consequences clearly spelled out if not.

We have a diverse community with people of very different backgrounds and cultural norms. Me, I have no problem with the end-of-year prank, but I understand the concerns. Those who are uncomfortable with things like that are also not going to be comfortable complaining publicly, the above discussion is a demonstration of why. The principal has a responsibility to everyone, and I feel dealt with it in the most appropriate way.

Can we move on to more important things now?


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Posted by move on
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 17, 2013 at 11:22 am

Whoops, these devices make mistakes at the worst places (one wonders if there's any rhyme or reason to it sometimes)!

I of course meant:

I thought, all things considered, the Principal's reaction was appropriate, the letter measured and respectful. IT (the letter) laid out the reasons why and asked for cooperation, with consequences clearly spelled out if not.

(The principal has taken enough flak, I don't want anyone to think this post is in any way from her!)


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Posted by I'dStreakToo
a resident of University South
on Aug 17, 2013 at 11:29 am

The chance to be naked AND earn two additional days of summer vacation in August? Sign me up!


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Posted by Mom
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 17, 2013 at 12:53 pm

I support the principal and the teachers and students who just come to school to do a job. This is not a tradition, it's narcisism of a few who think their fun supercedes the best interest of all.


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Posted by another concerned parent
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Aug 17, 2013 at 12:59 pm

mom: I couldn't agree you more. Your take on this is the best I have read. I am sick and tired parents whose values drive the behavior of many of the students in this district. The parent who think their jock son deserves a free pass for exposing his genitalia to the entire population on the campus. I am so disgusted with parents who teach no values to their children in this community. It's OK to do just about anything in this district as long as you drive up the test scores and appear to be headed for an Ivy League education. It really sucks that this district's population has come to believe that this behavior is acceptable.

I applaud the Principal for setting very clear boundaries but I do agree with one of the people posting that her letter sounds as if it was coached in part by a legal team or the PR officer (did that expensive "spin control let's save Skelly's rear end at any cost) person actually get hired?


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Posted by Brendan
a resident of South of Midtown
on Aug 17, 2013 at 1:27 pm

Brendan is a registered user.

The bigger the deal that is made of this, the more enticing this will be to the majority of students. Psych 101...something the principal should have learned years ago. By deciding on this sort of extreme reaction, she has backed herself into a corner. A corner that I really don't think she wants to be in during her first year.

Also I, as a middle-aged man, don't react well to draconian, "letter of the law" policies and I seem to recall that I was even more put off by them as a teenager. :-)

I do think it was silly for these seniors to do this at the beginning rather than end of their final year, but I don't think "coming down hard" on these kids is going to help matters. I think the opposite. It will cause unnecessary "drama" above and beyond what the streaking itself is doing and has done for years.

All that being what it is, I will have a talk with my senior and make sure it is understood that "it's not worth it"...at least not now.


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Posted by Paly parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 17, 2013 at 1:34 pm



move on,

My initial post was to ask the Weekly to take the letter out of this forum. Parents posting letters like this bothers me. I prefer the Principal writing letters like this to me, or students not the press. If I had to judge the letter itself, I think it's perfect, and is nothing but an act of responsibility. This despite my not being against the once a year streaking prank.

It was interesting to see what comes out of the woodwork though. People equating this open act of silliness and of a prank nature (in a HIgh School nonetheless) to violence and deviance. That nudity is what causes rape. Or the original poster who thinks normal disciplinary actions "portend" problems. Or those wanting to make this about the OCR violations, and hearing that adults are feeling unsafe and that the schools can be sued for this.

By posting this letter here, the person who thinks it's not a big deal, made it a big deal.


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Posted by Chris Zaharias
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 17, 2013 at 1:42 pm

KTVU interviews students after the horrific ordeal they endured at the hands of the streakers: Web Link


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Posted by Paly parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 17, 2013 at 1:49 pm


another concerned parent,

"It really sucks that this district's population has come to believe that this behavior is acceptable."

My understanding is that this goes at least three generations. A population who was here way before many of us, those elders that could be living next door may have started it. In this respect, it is actually a tradition.






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Posted by Sally
a resident of Southgate
on Aug 17, 2013 at 2:22 pm

@ Dejavu - So you are saying that it is perfectly legal for me to walk stark naked into a PAUSD School Board meeting and it's not indecent exposure as long as I don't mean to sexually offend anyone and I am not experiencing sexual gratification. What about walking into the Palo Alto Police Station? What about a stroll down Cal Ave?

Somehow I think your definition is not supported by law.


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Posted by Paly parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 17, 2013 at 4:03 pm



Sally,

You're right that my definition is not supported by California indecency laws apparently in place since 1872, which is why I think these laws should be somewhat amended to reflect the diverse views nudity and that intent probably does matter.

Intent matters to me. Isn't murder looked at by the law if there is intent or not?

Accusing high school pranksters of sexual misconduct is extreme for me (for me) when there are far more serious sexual or gender related aggressions today that go unnoticed. And NO, one streak event does not lead to other crimes, in my opinion.

I'm not suggesting everyone wear birthday suits, I'm actually not a nudist or like nudity per se. Creepy if someone showed up at the board meeting or police station, or the dry cleaner's with no clothes on. Kids streaking once per year, not creepy (for me). Illegal, and I would not encourage it, but it's not something to shame kids about (for me).

Anyway, I think I've made my personal opinion clear enough, so I am moving on!




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Posted by End the rape culture
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 17, 2013 at 6:52 pm

Its funny that the pro-streaking crowd thinks that it is progressive and others who don't agree are prudes. Perhaps they haven't paid attention to the reality around us: sexual scandals in our schools (as in our former middle school teacher convicted of sexually abusing students), violation of civil rights in our schools and an active investigation into the Paly rape culture as reported on in the Verde magazine, and a recent suicide of a Saratoga student caused by the shame of being violated by a couple of high school students who were just having some innocent fun according to their parents.

It's no use debating a Palo Alto parent who is above the law. Suffice it to say that they haven't read the memo that any basic sexual harassment course will explain that blocking another's path or even staring at them too long may be interpreted as harassment. Deliberately exposing oneself to another unwilling person, especially at a school or workplace, is more on the assault continuum. One need not shed tears for our youth who are exposing themselves. Our Paly students are smart kids. They know the law. They also know that Skelly will cave the moment he is confronted by a lawyer. He's done that for six years, he did that while throwing McEvoy to the wolves. Diorio is on her own in this case. She also had no choice. Despite those on this forum who claim that exposing oneself to high schoolers is innocent, in this day it is downright creepy.


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Posted by former Paly parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 17, 2013 at 8:00 pm

It seems that a reasonable person would conclude that another person might be offended by a nude person in this underage high school environment, therefore one should err (if you will) on the side of NOT streaking and possibly offending others. That is the reasonable course of action.


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Posted by Paly parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 17, 2013 at 8:01 pm

End,

For the Saratoga case, I would want tougher laws against kids who slut shame. And I hope there are enough laws to send the perpetrators to jail and try them as adults for taking pictures of the girl they painted, abused while she was unconscious, and disseminated pictures of her. I do not find this stuff "fun" or silly at all. Don't equate my comments on streaking to mean I condone actions like these.

Same for rape. rapists of any age should be fully tried under the law. This is as serious as a heart attack, and not at all like streaking in my view. I wish an expert could opine on how there would be a connection.

Your "assault continuum" is not mine obviously. I would not even put streaking under assault and compare it to these atrocious behaviors you list. I'm not calling you a prude, I have not used that word because generally I'm actually a prude.

Reminder: For the civil rights violations, it is the board of education that is trying to re-define bullying so that it falls under freedom of speech. That is creepier than streaking.

Streaking "in this day and age" is not different than streaking 20 years ago. I am not suggesting to be "above the law". I'm suggesting to change the law so a one-time act and prank is not so punitive.

Not sure why I got into this discussion, I do not have a Senior, I don't know kids who streak, but the kids at Paly are overwhelmingly GOOD kids.

The student community deserves better than this picture you want to paint all over.


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Posted by Yet Another Paly Parent
a resident of Triple El
on Aug 17, 2013 at 8:22 pm

Wait, isn't there still an area in SF where people are sitting around naked?? Last year I know some kids phoned the Universities they had been accepted to and asked about what would happen if they were caught streaking - "make sure you bring clothes to college" was the response - kids that were caught last year, still attended their top choice school, which included Ivy Leauges. This is sooo non sexual! STREAK ON!!!!!


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Posted by Sara
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 17, 2013 at 9:01 pm

@ Paly Parent

I'm grateful that all of this information has been made public, including items in the posts, (girls participation, etc). It's important for all of us in the community, regardless of if we have children of high school age or not, to be informed about what's going on at the local schools. I want to make the right choices for my family, and for that, I need information.

It's a PUBLIC school, so the information should be PUBLIC.


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Posted by End the rape culture
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 17, 2013 at 9:03 pm

I think I hear Sandusky defending his horseplay.


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Posted by Sally
a resident of Southgate
on Aug 17, 2013 at 9:36 pm

Is streaking legal or not? If not, then why are the police not involved?


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Posted by Paly Parent nonsense
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 18, 2013 at 10:04 am

So, by your logic, if my kids aren't attending Paly, I shouldn't need to know? What if I'm deciding between Paly and a private school, should I know? Not to mention Freedom of Information issues!

Your lack of logic is astounding!


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Posted by Parent of two
a resident of Community Center
on Aug 18, 2013 at 11:11 am

Several posters have argued that a primary reason for severe enforcement and punitive action against streaking is because it is against the rules. Many rules, and even laws, exist where we generally expect the penalty to fit the crime and we have a general sense of how strict enforcement will be. We don't generally expect arrests or even tickets for jaywalking or a slow roll of a bike through a stop sign if no one is present. Good agencies, if they decide to change enforcement, give forewarnings reflecting an outlook that respects the civil importance an understanding of the rationale and a notification of the change in enforcement or penalty.
Paly had lax streaking enforcement and penalties in recent years. Withat notification Kim has gone to the opposite.extreme. If the intention was to estabkish an autocratic and pumitive administration ala McEvoy, then this would be the right approach. However, Kim's letter raises some issues claiming a hostile work environment and "unintended consequences". Although her letter does not mention consequences other than the penalty of suspension, I suspect that there may be considerations of the sensibilities of students from cultural and religious backgrounds. These would be useful discussions to have with the student body, wieghing what is perceived by many students to be a decades long cultural tradition at Paly against other cultural traditions and values that co-exist in our community today. These discussions could be a valuable learning experience for students rather than Thursday's response which is simply more likely to breed resentment and defiance. Hopefully, the administration will reflect on the issues and provide thoughtful leadership rather than reactionary heavy handedness going forward.


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Posted by Sara
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 18, 2013 at 2:38 pm

@ Paly Parent

you said you were unhappy with the posting of this letter - and I'm saying it's a public school and the community has a right to know what's going on at the public school. I said nothing about private school.

I was thinking about my middle school child - and thinking that I should have a conversation with her about what goes on at the high school -- i want her to hear it from me first -- not through the grapevine. I want her to be informed and to think about how she wants to handle the situation when she's there.

My logic is solid. It's PUBLIC SCHOOL.


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Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 18, 2013 at 4:44 pm

Mountain: meet mole hill.

Equating streaking to a "rape culture" is such a stretch. Does anyone seriously believe the streaking students said to themselves, "Let's promote the rape culture, it's our way."?

It was a prank. A bad prank. A prank that was unappreciated by most people.

Anybody remember the Academy Awards and David Niven? He seemed to have handled it very well if I recall...

Web Link

At the same time, every person has their opinions and/or limits --- so I respect those who don't want their children to see a streaker.

The school principal put out the letter. Notice has been given. What is done, is done. Next time, if caught, there'll be some consequences, at the discretion of the principal --- which is her job.

So how about everybody take a couple of deep breaths and let the school administration do its job?


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Posted by sigh...
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 18, 2013 at 5:44 pm

Parent of two: In reading Principal Diorio's letter to parents, it would seem that you two are in agreement - as she made it clear, many times, that the intent is to engage "all students on campus" in discussion, thoughtful dialogue, conversation about this campus issue. And she appealed to parents to please be a part of that beginning conversation.

Beginning conversation. Working together.

This was not a McEvoyian dictate. This was a thoughtful, respectful letter from a Leader - with a commitment to work on this as a school community. So far so good. And since the school year is only 48 hours in - certainly worthy of granting some more time to see how this ultimately gets handled - or at least giving the letter a second read?





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Posted by End the rape culture
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 18, 2013 at 6:44 pm

I know that the alleged rapists of Paly students quoted in the Verde article probably didn't say, "Let's promote the rape culture, it's our way" either. As far as the prank defense, I think the parents of the young men, or children if you want to call them that, who were writing on a half-naked Saratoga High School girl who eventually committed suicide, are also trying to defend their innocent sons from a prank, a bad prank, a prank that was unappreciated by most. Exposing your genitals is a big deal, and pragmatically, it's a huge liabiity for the taxpayers. Kevin Skelly, our superintendent, allowed it for six years. He is under the microscope right now and he has no choice but to do the right thing, but only now that lawyers and the OCR are supervising him.

Those of you who want to play the seriousness of this offense down are usually the first ones to march on down tor 25 Churchill the minute your child loses his cell phone or gets a B minus. This pervasive, persistent Palo Alto sense of entitlement and above the law attitude is so old-fashioned. Read up on sexual harassment training of the last few decades. Exposing your genitals is high on the list of offenses. Students are compelled to attend school and the school must provide a safe environment. That is great for you if you want to flash your genitals around. If you do it in front of my child, let alone the adult members in my family, I am going to call the police. I do support your right to flash them among your family behind closed doors. I do not agree with it, though.


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Posted by Paly parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 18, 2013 at 8:27 pm

[Post removed.]



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Posted by Reason
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 18, 2013 at 9:10 pm

[Post removed.]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 18, 2013 at 9:50 pm

[Post removed.]



 +   Like this comment
Posted by End the rape culture
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 18, 2013 at 10:06 pm

[Post removed.]


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Posted by Down to Earth
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 18, 2013 at 11:18 pm


Streaking is not a sexual offense, in the sense that it is not done for purpose of sexual gratification. It's a way in which kids want to show that they can rise above, and free themselves, from the day-to-day pressures of high school life in Palo Alto, which are extreme, and far more abnormal than nudity.

Streaking is intimidating and offensive to some of the younger kids, so it should be stopped. But to vilify those who've done it by comparing them to sex offenders is ridiculous.


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Posted by OP
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 19, 2013 at 8:46 am

I posted this letter because it is full of unsubstantiated rhetoric; for example:

Streaking "has made many people in our school community feel uncomfortable and unsafe"
Streaking "creates a negative school environment"
Streaking is "unsafe and educationally disruptive"
Streaking has a negative "effect...on the educational environment."
Streakers "are creating a hostile work environment for the many employees."
Streakers are creating "emotionally unsafe environment for students."
Streaking has "unintended consequences"

After all this discussion, over 120 posts, I still have seen no evidence of any of Principal Diorio's claims.

Streaking is nothing more than kids having a little fun, blowing off some steam. I would conjecture that it is actually beneficial to the student population as a whole, allowing steam to be blown off in a harmless way. Goodness knows the students at Paly (of which I was one, but not a streaker) are in a highly competitive and stressful environment. A little harmless steam blowing is exactly what they need.

Still, if someone would like to address Diorio's claims, I'll give it a go, but please don't give me that song about feeding the rape culture unless you have evidence of such.


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Posted by marla
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 19, 2013 at 11:00 am

I saw a streaker on my block this weekend - maybe he read all the articles and decided to give it a go - oops wait he was only about 5 or 6 so probably cant read yet - better get this kid - he may become a delinquent


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Posted by Midtown Guy
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 19, 2013 at 11:16 am

Why should kids have all the streaking fun to shed some stress?
Teachers experience the multiple of every student's stress and
all the overly involved parents as well. If stress reduction is the
rationale for students, and nudity is ok, let's see teachers run the quads!
[Portion removed.]


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Posted by Paly Alum and Diorio fan
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Aug 19, 2013 at 11:32 am

@OP You sound like you are definitely male and you obviously don't "get it". You don't think a girl should be able to choose whether she wants to look at male genitalia on her first day of school at 13 or 14?

I went to Paly and my girlfriend and I saw a man exposing himself at T and C. We saw his equipment for probably fewer fractions of a second than the girls who withnessed the streaker. We went to the counselor's office and they called the police. The police were bringing in books of mugshots of sex offenders for a few weeks after that. We wished we hadn't reported this guy because we were really clueless about what he looked like. We averted our eyes very quickly.

I'll bet everyone knows who the girls or guys were who streaked (I am not sure that it has been revealed in the things I have read). I would be willing to bet that they are jocks who may even be headed to Ivys. I would be willing to bet that their buddies are even looking at them as heroes.

I think that they need to be taught some manners at least. It is not appropriate to expose your junk to someone without their permission. Plain and simple.

Come on parents, quite coddling your spoiled brats. Give them some values and teach them some manners.

Kevin Skelly, you need to man up and condemn this behavior. Will you be announcing this at the School Board meeting in your introductory remarks or "Accomplishments" at the beginning of the next school board meeting? Knowing your past behavior, you will probably just ignore the whole incident.

If you are willing to "man up" and address this, may I suggest an appropriate script? Or you could have your PR people or attorneys draft a script for you,

"Our new Paly principal has had the guts to step up to the plate and set a boundary that will provide safety for all of our students. Streaking will no longer be tolerated. We are very happy that she has taken the initiative to address this issue in the forthright way she did. We would like to publicly commend Principal Diorio for taking this action"

Thank you Ms. Diorio for standing up and doing the right thing.

Shame on all of you parents who are poo pooing parents who feel that they deserve a school environment that is safe for their daughters.


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Posted by Paly Alumnus
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 19, 2013 at 11:41 am

@Paly Alum and Dorio fan:
They ain't headed for the Ivies if the extremists have their way...
"Off with their heads!!"
Suspension and a police record will ruin their lives. Way to extreme a response.


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Posted by Parent
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 19, 2013 at 12:12 pm

That's not going to be helpful when the streakers apply for college in the next few months. Guess which seniors won't be getting into a good college! Very foolish behavior.


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Posted by Chris Zaharias
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 19, 2013 at 12:12 pm

Dear Paly Alum and Diorio fan,

So you're saying our kids are spoiled brats, we're child coddlers, Paly's an unsafe environment for kids, and anyone who dares disagree with you is unmanly.

I guess we had better just be done with it and put you in charge of *everything*.


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Posted by palo alto parent
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 19, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Most colleges won't care if you've been suspended for streaking, drugs or weapons, yes, streaking, not so much.

I feel bad for Ms. Diorio having to deal with this so soon - the kids should be ashamed of themselves...


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Posted by Shhhh - it's a secret
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 19, 2013 at 1:52 pm

Bravo to Ms. Diorio. Winston never drew a line [portion removed], hence bye-bye. Skelly could do everyone a big favor, announce his resignation, invent an excuse, and go teach part-time somewhere else.

Easing the stress of the first day of school? Not really valid. Usually a fun day to reconnect after summer vacay & no possibility of overdue homework. It was disruptive because it intentionally disrupted the day & diverted attention from what kids should be paying attention to on the first classes of the year, when teachers present their performance expectations & semester outlines.

The "child?" streakers were sophisticated enough to anticipate a possibility of greater consequence if they waited until they are 18. Maybe their parents are attorneys.

The pro-prank crowd appears to ignore the religious & cultural sensibilities of minority, in this town, students to whom public nudity is highly offensive. Muslim parents of girls are just one example of a group to whom this is offensive beyond belief.

Also, nudity on the campus of a public school might be considered "public". PAPD patrols & tickets parking offenders on campus, so can't they also cite nudity? Streaking is pretty juvenile form of disrespect & attempted humor, but save it for non-academic situations. Kids could streak through their church services, synagogues, kingdom halls, mosques, wedding receptions, family reunions and other gatherings not considered public & see if they get some laughs. [Portion removed.]


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Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 19, 2013 at 1:59 pm

@ Shhhh. Unless you have proof - which you don't, because it is not true - you should retract your statement that Winston resigned as per your first sentence. The public statement was that he had to resign due to personal health issues.


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Posted by Truth x 2
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Aug 19, 2013 at 5:55 pm

If you believe that Winston resigned due to health reasons, you are so disconnected with what's going on at Paly that you really shouldn't post on this forum.

And scroll up, OP, to David Cohen's post above. He is a teacher at Paly according to Paly.net. He clearly supports Diorio's letter and "claims" as you call them.

And as a PA parent who volunteers daily at Paly, I'm very happy with the change to Diorio. She gets how to run a school that's best for ALL kids, not just the trust fund babies who have cabins in Tahoe.


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Posted by End the rape culture
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 19, 2013 at 6:27 pm

So true about offending members of various religions. Paly parents, at least the ones posting here in favor of child nudity, are coming off as so intolerant of anyone who disagrees with them. Exposing your genitals is illegal in California whether you are an adult or a minor. It doesn't matter if a victim doesn't speak up. Think of the workplace where you post a centerfold of a nude man or woman in the break room. You can be fired for doing that and the company is liable for damages. And those are private entities. When it comes to public schools, there is simply no defense in modern America. All the assertions that exposing oneself to children is innocent or a prank won't change that.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 19, 2013 at 7:14 pm

[Post removed.]


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Posted by Paly Alumnus
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 19, 2013 at 7:16 pm

@end the r ...culture
Intolerant? Really? Because we don't agree with turning Paly into a repressive police state to appease a few conservative extremists?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by former Paly parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 19, 2013 at 8:30 pm

Posted by former Paly parent, a member of the Palo Alto High School community, on Aug 17, 2013 at 8:00 pm

It seems that a reasonable person would conclude that another person might be offended by a nude person in this underage high school environment, therefore one should err (if you will) on the side of NOT streaking and possibly offending others. That is the reasonable course of action.
- Ever heard of respecting others and being reasonably sensible and polite and CARING about the reputation of your school?! Sheesh. I am not a "conservative extremist," I am a sensible member of the community.


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Posted by End the rape culture
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 19, 2013 at 9:02 pm

Intolerant, really.


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Posted by Way to go, Kim!
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 19, 2013 at 9:09 pm

Public nudity is illegal. It does not belong in the workplace, and it does not belong in a school. I strongly support Principal Kim Diorio for taking a clear stand on this.
As parents, let's support our principal in doing her job.


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Posted by neighbor
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Aug 19, 2013 at 9:26 pm

Couldn't have said it better, resident. "Two students streaked, the principal sent an appropriate letter. Let's not make a mountain out of a molehill. It's time to move on."

What do I take away from all this rhetoric?
1. High School students sometimes do dumb things (I certainly did). It's not the end of the world.

2. Limits and possible consequences need to be communicated clearly (the letter).

3. Some people (e.g., parents) bristle when someone sets limits on their behavior or the behavior of there child and accuse the person in authority of being harsh. Harsh would have been getting the students arrested for indecent exposure. Clearly addressing concerns, clarifying/reminding students and parents of rules, and informing in advance that the behavior may not be worth the consequences is not harsh. It's leadership.
4. We sometimes make mountains out of molehills. This appears to be one of those times.


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Posted by Bob
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 19, 2013 at 10:13 pm

Suppose someone were to have made a video of these two, or kids streaking in the future, and posted it on Youtube? Would the kids, or parents, be within their rights to demand that Youtube take the video down? Would the kids, or their parents, be within their rights to sue for some sort of child endangerment, or defamation, if the streakers' identities were to become known?

And would the school be within its rights to suspend/expell these students, if their identies were to be determined from the video? Should the school Administration pay a reward for the names of those involved?

These are just a few of the possibilities that could result from this irresponsible behavior.

If this is the best that we can expect from these students--why are they taking up space in this school system?


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Posted by Paly Alumnus
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 19, 2013 at 10:23 pm

Why was Sharon's post about Sharia law censored? It raises a good point about how far we should kow tow to the fringe.


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Posted by Cop out
a resident of Gunn High School
on Aug 19, 2013 at 11:05 pm

Streaking as a dress code violation I can see. Punish it accordingly.
That's about it. Community service, service to the student body, etc...
Suspension is a cop out. Schools resort to it because they don't know how (or are too lazy) to embrace the offenders (when clothed) and talk to them. Instead we turn an incident like this into an opportnity to screw up the academic performance and records of the offenders as we turn them out rather than supporting them.
Suspension is a cop out when there is no danger to others. Educators, do your job.


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Posted by End the rape culture
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 19, 2013 at 11:16 pm

Videos or photos of nude teens? Once again, this isn't possible child pornograhy, it would be the real thing. Of course this is happening, based on the number of cell phones at Paly. How could a community defend teen nudity in a public school? just read past issues of the Weekly online. This is public information. Check this paper's website to refresh your memory of August, 2006, when a victim of Giordano sued PAUSD (that's us), alleging that district officials "knew or should have known" about the sexual abuse because Giordano had allegedly been "engaged in prior acts of sexual abuse" with another student at Jordan. Superintendent Kevin Skelly and the board have mismanaged and weakened this district to the point where we are getting sued on a regular basis. A lawyer can simply use the Giordano lawsuit as a template. They have more than enough to work with.


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Posted by getting old
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 19, 2013 at 11:47 pm

End,

Look back at your posts, you are the only one that repeatedly uses the words genitals, nudity, abuse, sexual, acts, and now pornography.

Repeating all these does not make it so. You've said nothing new in all your posts.

Principal's letter was necessary, your including Paly streakers in the same leagues as Sandusky, and Giordano is gross.

Go wash your mouth.




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Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 20, 2013 at 5:20 am

I think this comment thread has gone off on a life of it's own, so I apologize for not reading the whole thing.

What I wanted to add was the possibility of alternative techniques to discourage the behavior. (My daughter is a student at Paly and I suggested these to her, much to her dismay.)

First, is with the convenience of cell phone cameras and easy access to the Internet, why let the event die in that fleeting moment? Snap and post my friends.

Second, why not start a statistical study to determine the prevalence of circumcision among Paly streakers. Station a few participating students around campus, establish a system to eliminate duplicate data points and gather data. Perhaps the results could be published in the student paper.

My point is that if a student puts it all out there, they have no right to expect privacy AND even more importantly, for those not interested in participating as a spectator or otherwise, it gives them POWER against the offenders.


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Posted by Another Parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 21, 2013 at 8:06 am

I don't condone the streakers, but we really have to put this into perspective.

Those of you who are over concerned about the slight possibility of your freshman accidentally seeing a naked body should start thinking that Paly is a public school of approximately 2000 students. Generally speaking there are relatively few streakers at the end of the school year and although "everyone" knows it happens, very few actually see a full frontal naked body for more than a fleeting glance. I don't think it will harm them for life.

The perspective is that in a public high school there are more dangers of them being influenced by drugs, alcohol, smoking, promiscuity, teen pregnancy than a fleeting streaker. There is very little outcry about these realistic problems in Paly. They are all illegal and are all much more damaging to our youth.

A naked body is something we all have under our clothes. Exhibitionism by minors is a lot less of a nuisance value than those who are smoking pot on campus, drinking alcohol, making out, and enticing others to do the same.

I hope that to put this into perspective, the same outrage and prohibition is put into these activities. I don't approve of the streaking but don't overly worry about it. I do worry about my kids getting involved with teen drug use, teen smoking, teen drinking and teen promiscuity.


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Posted by concerned parent
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 21, 2013 at 9:26 am

The key issue is suspending students when the law requires an intervention unless the conduct falls in an enumerated category. They are using a provision of the law that deems the student a "danger" in order to impose the suspension and not do an intervention. Public policy is to keep children in classrooms, and not suspend without good reason. Saying they are a "danger" to return to school does not make them so, and we cannot permit this provision to be used to exclude students from school (your child is next for any conduct they label a "danger") unless they actually pose a legal physical danger, in accordance with law. For everyone who might have an opinion about "danger", please note that what matters here is a legal determination that the continued presence of the student (clothed) somehow presents a physical danger, and that the district acted appropriately in light of the legal standard, whereas this is nonsensical. Parents of these kids should challenge this and get it off their student's permanent record.


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Posted by End the rape culture
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 22, 2013 at 6:50 am

I think a student who plans out exposure of his or her genitals to hundreds of Paly minors, including those who are offended or annoyed and unwilling, is a far bigger danger than a student who impulsively tosses a stapler at Gunn and gets kicked out of school and the country. I think a couple of days of suspension for the former under section k of the Ed code is appropriate.


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Posted by another Paly Parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 22, 2013 at 11:40 am

I think Ms Diorio responded correctly given all the circumstances.

Maybe the students were rebelling against going back to school so early?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 22, 2013 at 6:43 pm

Crescent Park Dad is a registered user.

I cannot agree with the comparison of streaking towards a willful act of violence upon another student. And if you're going to correctly refer to the incident, it was a hardly a toss - it was thrown with purpose. As a result the student victim had to receive medical attention.

Do we know if anyone has had to receive any medical or mental health services due to the streaking event? Are there any victims that are pressing charges? The only documented student remarks was via a KTVU-2 news report...and none of the students interviewed were upset, violated or offended.

Don't get me wrong - the kids shouldn't have done what they did. But I'm still not buying that streaking can be included as an equitable issue such as what surround "rape culture", over consumption of alcohol, date rape and other similar & serious issues.

And, for the record (again), I support the Paly principal for laying down the law. Simply stated - here is the line, don't cross it without expecting to face serious consequences.

This dead horse is tired of getting beat.


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