Paly students face suspensions for egg fight Crimes & Incidents, posted by Editor, Palo Alto Online, on Oct 29, 2009 at 10:03 am
Palo Alto High School students held a protest this morning following the reported suspension of several students for participating in an egg fight among Paly students on the Gunn High School campus Tuesday night.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, October 29, 2009, 9:52 AM
Posted by Paly parent too, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 10:35 am
Perhaps the cops were in the woods at Stanford to try and discourage this activity? That they did not succeed is not a criticism of the cops, but just a testament to the drive of teenagers to find a way to carry out a long-standing albeit messy tradition.
As a parent I am disappointed in students thinking that throwing eggs in the first place is "harmless" unless they are also committed to cleaning up the mess.
As a former teenager I understand high school (and college) kids will occasionally do stupid things. They should be held accountable to clean up the mess they caused.
They should NOT be suspended unless it can be shown they did something truly harmful; i.e., throwing frozen eggs or punches.
Posted by professorvillepop, a resident of the Professorville neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 10:51 am
Perhaps the school could come up with allowed activities for kids to blow off some steam, instead of jumping on things that students come up with themselves. Maybe rent a huge tarp and provide space for this kind of activity...
Posted by Concerned, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 10:57 am
People should be responsible for their behavior and provide restitution. Make the kids provide cleaning supplies and the labor to clean up the mess. Funds that would have been paid to Gunn janitors to clean should go to Gunn ASB activities.
That said, the administration is behaving like the gestapo asking kids to name names and creating a paranoia and fear. Just the thing fragile kids on the edge need right now. McAvoy is not available? Another leader asleep at the helm.
So, for every parent that I see breaking the law by texting while driving in Palo Alto, I will be jotting down license plates numbers and reporting to the police. Saw three moms in minivans on their way to Paly yesterday doing precisely this. Is this really the kind of society we want to live in.
Posted by MEA, a resident of another community, on Oct 29, 2009 at 10:58 am
This is why I don't live in Palo Alto.
It's tradition, it's kids, why do we feel the need to raise this to the level of suspension. "Someone could loose an eye..." Don't forget, "No running with scissors" , another classic. Parents, chill out, school officials, chill out, no wonder these kids are stressed out. Let them be kids, when my kids did this in Menlo Park, as it is tradition there to egg Freshman on one certain day each year. My son got caught, the cops called me, I went down, got my son and that was that. Cops told me they did the same thing when they went to MA. Hardly a criminal offense, just what teenagers do and I would rather have them get in trouble doing something like this than stealing cars. Or does egg throwing lead to car jacking, is it a gateway food?
Posted by alumnus, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 11:05 am
When did this "tradition" start? It must be in the last ten years, because I graduated 12 years ago and we didn't think about doing anything this stupid/possibly really fun.
By the way, what's Stanford so upset about? A "forested area" needs to be protected from eggs and eggshells? Sounds more like they are afraid of some liability, and as always lack a sense of humor unless it's in condoning the band's racist/anti-catholic antics.
Posted by Outraged, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 11:06 am
Suspended? Let the punishment be for the kids to clean it up...while all the uptight "concerned" reside can stand back and watch and try to remember a time in their lives when hopefully they had a free spirit...
Posted by M, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 11:17 am
I think the School District needs to pay attention to the suicides more than this. This is a diversion to show they can can act on something compared to the string of suicides. The suicides are the real issues.
Posted by Relax, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 11:25 am
This tradition, in some form, has been around for decades. When my dad was a teenager at Paly in the 60s they would meet every Halloween and throw rotten food at each other. I know this has been a part of spirit week at Paly for at least ten years and used to be done after float building on Thursday night. Doing it on the Gunn campus is where they went seriously wrong this year.
Posted by neighbor, a resident of the Greenmeadow neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 11:37 am
I'm with those who thought the most reasonable consequence was cleaning up. Suspension would be ridiculous and very counterproductive. Our students have too few outlets as it is. That being said, watch the frozen egg idea -- definitely destructive.
The guideline for establishing consequences is the least aversive option that gives the message, or teaching needed. School officials, please don't get carried away.
Posted by Paly Parent, a resident of the Community Center neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 11:38 am
While I can't condone pranks that injure others or destroy school property, the egg war prank does not appear to present itself in the same light. The individuals involved chose to partake in this event. But the harsh punishment of suspension is unjust.
Why not let the seniors carry on a tradition for those that want to participate? We can't expect our young students to be ALL work and NO play. If there is a mess at Gunn school, have the kids clean it up. But don't inflict a suspension on our kids that could affect their chances at getting into college, place even more stress on them and resolve nothing in the process.
Posted by sasha, a resident of the College Terrace neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 11:41 am
I don't know if suspension is the answer, but...
Cleaning up the mess....YES, they should absolutely be responsible for cleaning up the mess. All you parents who think it was an innocent prank...how would you feel if they did this on YOUR property??? Stanford had every right to stop it on their property.
Also, please don't use the recent suicides as a way to justify that it is okay to do this so the kids can blow up steam. That is VERY insulting to the friends and families of those kids, and to the students themselves.
To Charlie who admited he was involved, lost his back pack and provided his phone number online. Charlie, I hate to tell you, but if you are ever in a situation where "you have to gettie out of there because the cops came", then you ARE doing something wrong. Hopefully it won't lead you to do more serious things where law enforcement need to be involved. Also, didn't your parents ever teach you NOT to provide personel information online?
Also, we'd like to keep law enforcement freed up to fight the more serious crimes in our neighborhoods and work to keep them safe for law abiding citizens.
If someone would of lost an eye or something even more serious, then some of you would of been all over the school and authorities for "letting this happen". Luckily nothing did happen this time, and I commend the authorities to try to stop it BEFORE something does happen.
C'mon students....this is one traditional than CAN be broken. I'm sure you can come up with a more creative way to spend the 10 minutes you spent participating in this ridiculous event.
How about some volunteer community service? The rewards you get from that will far out number the few minutes of fun you had throwing eggs at each other.
Posted by Clarence, a resident of the Esther Clark Park neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 11:57 am
I've heard the entire Egg Wars story from a trusted kid in my neighborhood, beginning to end. It seems to be pretty accurately reported in today's Daily News. Details which were not fully reported may be:
1. With cops cruising around the two Stanford eucalyptus groves near Paly which are usually the sites for Egg Wars, the kids agreed on the big open field in Barron Park behind Gunn.
2. In the early going, Paly seniors held the high ground, juniors the low ground. One junior came with frozen eggs which the seniors considered unsportsmanlike; the juniors thought inspired.
3. Flashlights were seen which triggered the kids shouting ‘five-oh’ meaning 'cops,' everyone scattered, some dropping their eggs as they ran into the nearby neighborhoods.
4. It turned out no cops were in the area after all, so most of the earlier participants headed to this back field again, this time the juniors held the high ground.
5. Eggs flew.
6. Those hit with eggs needed to wash off so the outside water fountain at Gunn was used.
7. Many of the participants had parked their cars in the Gunn parking lot, so eggs were likely thrown in that area as well.
It sounds like a reasonable Egg Wars plan that got replaced at the last minute by a more-risky field plan which ultimately ended up on Gunn property. The kids who hung in there and took an egg or two were the ones washing up, and may be the ones who get fingered and take the fall for this Paly Spirit Week tradition.
Posted by James, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 12:20 pm
This is just a case of bad judgement, not intent to commit crime or damage. The Egg War is a stupid Spirit Week tradition, but in fairness it has never aspired to be more than stupid fun. Even harmless water balloons become weapons when frozen. If people insist on keeping this war as part of the tradition, then move it to laser tag and play on! Any punitive action should be from PA Police, not from Paly administration.
Posted by Johnny Cockran, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 12:36 pm
Core to actions taken here by the school is the concern over a lawsuit. PA is drenched in bloodsucking litigation proponents. The school will find itself in a lawsuit from those that get suspended. If they do not suspend someone, they will get sued because they did nothing.
Posted by Keith, a resident of the Southgate neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 12:55 pm
I think an effective solution would be to have the parents of the kids involved fined for the cleanup costs, as well as a punitive fine. We would suddenly see more kids coming forward, because those few parents who would be on the line would get pissed off about it, and demand that the costs be shared among more parents.
Spriit Week is a good thing. However, it should be contained to campus. When I was in high school, we had a rotten goose eggs tossing contest out on the grass playing field. It was great fun. We also had a lottery to select three students to plant a pie into three (volunteer) teachers' faces. Then there was the (volunteer) boys who dressed up as girl cheerleader (balloons in the right places), a girls 'powderpuff' tackle football game, with full gear, all followed by the greased pig chase. The boys always wanted a girl mud-wrestling contest or wet T-shirt contest, but it never was allowed (dang!).
Posted by Liz, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 1:11 pm
I have been told that about 100 kids, and they are just kids, participated. Does the Paly admin mean to try to suspend every single kid who participated in this relatively harmless escapade? To be fair, it seems like it should be all or none. In fact, rather than bullying the kids into snitching on their friends, let's make it easier and suspend the entire senior and junior classes. Come on Paly administrators, if you feel you must discipline the kids how about something more appropriate and constructive like a letter of apology to Gunn for the mess and 2 or 3 hours of community service?
The students picked a spot where they thought no damage would occur. They did not egg buildings or damage cars. I agree frozen eggs were a poor choice and thankfully no one was seriously hurt but I think the administration should allow kids to be kids and continue the tradition, designating a safe area that can be used each year and setting ground rules, i.e fresh raw eggs only, an organized clean up of the area afterwards by participants, and that it is restricted to Paly Jrs vs Snrs and not Paly vs Gunn as in earlier years.
Posted by Male violence, a member of the Palo Alto High School community, on Oct 29, 2009 at 1:19 pm
Funny how male violence becomes defined as "fun" or "Spirit" for everyone.
I don't think destruction and defacing and waste of precious resources are fun and young boys need to be taught what constitutes civilized behavior. There are lots of ways to have fun without following the mob.
I know there are boys who don't follow these hoodlums, but they can't speak up for fear of retaliation.
Posted by Clarity, a resident of the Palo Verde neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 1:21 pm
Unfortunately, my kids, who are both Gunn students, witnessed eggs, eggshells, and egg cartons all over the Gunn campus yesterday, and not just in the neighboring field or parking lot. The participants should definitely pay the clean up bill, as well participate in community service, since some of the cleanup, especially on the athletic fields before practice, was done by Gunn students yesterday and not part of any custodial bill.
Posted by LearnFromHoli, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 1:35 pm
Here's a win-win all the way around suggestion, folks (and I include the students, administrators, cops, etc.)
The Stanford branch of ASHA, an org that raises funds to help the poor and disadvantaged in India, hosts at Stanford every March an event called "Holi" which is typically celebrated in the north of India for the break of spring. At Stanford, adults and kids are admitted (for a fee, which ASHA channels to its purposes) and they are given water guns, all sorts of colorful powders, etc. to throw, smear, etc. others. All this happens in an area cordoned off; celebrants include those primarily from India and increasingly, folks of all backgrounds and cultures. ASHA is responsible for cleaning up after the event...
Why can't the Gunn/Paly school system and students work out an arrangement where some area is cordoned off, the students engage in their "mayhem" involving eggs or colorful powders and water guns or some such kosher thing, and they clean up after...? They have their fun, they break the ice between juniors and seniors and between schools, and they clean up later...
Posted by Parent, a member of the Palo Alto High School community, on Oct 29, 2009 at 1:39 pm
For those of you who feel the response of the school and district administration requires more creative and restorative solutions than the punitive, gestapo tactics presently resorted to, you have an option. Vote NO on the upcoming parcel tax renewal.
Keep in mind, the weekly, school district, and real estate agents will all be encouraging you to vote yes to preserve district ratings and home prices. The evil secret they don't let you in on is that scores and achievement result from family educational levels, involved and concerned parents, and core values we transmit to our children. Palo Alto High and Gunn students compete against their schoolmates for places in the most sought after universities and colleges, not against those who have strong grades from level advantaged schools in other communities. For the 97% of us with kids that have sub 4.0 + GPA's,less than a 2300 SAT score and who take less than 5 AP classes each year, we do our kids a disservice by sending them to high school in this community. Select colleges and universities set aside a certain number of places for kids from communities like Palo Alto. So if your goal is to have your kids educated in Palo Alto in order to go to the more select schools, make sure they're perfect in every way, or get off the treadmill and find a saner solution.
Posted by rkg, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 1:40 pm
Alas, much of the clean-up has already been handled by early morning walkers in Bol Park. Wednesday morning volunteers were carting large numbers of egg cartons as well as egg debris to nearby waste bins. Participants may wish to find another area to clean up after they wash down the worst of the mess. I also can't forget that eggs are food and so many are hungry.
Posted by Parent, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 1:47 pm
Just heard the school has finished with suspensions. Don't know if they stopped, because they felt they had the ringleaders, or they finally realized that it was a teachable moment that required more considered thought.
Posted by Anon., a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 1:52 pm
I am disgusted by this on several levels.
First, it is a typical mindless American cultural thing to disrespect food by throwing it around. One could understand this of infants, but would expect high school students to have more character.
This also shows in a small way the immaturity of today's kids. They think they know everything and are willing to bet someone else's safety on their own misunderstood chances.
I am really disgusted by this. While my generation was out protesting the war in Viet Nam, these delinquents are mindlessly throwing a tantrum. No wonder kids today have such confusion and problems.
Very sorry to read this. As generations go by it is up to each new generation to decide what they want to be, to find something that moves the world forward. Yes, it is hard, maybe harder than it has ever been before. That ought to be a more satisfying challenge that finding newer and more stupid ways to be disrespectful and anti-social.
I know this is a minority of kids, but how pointless is this?
Posted by Someone, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 2:06 pm
I hope some of you "egg war defenders" stop to think about how this egg war impacted the students, staff and faculty at Gunn. They are in mourning and then come to school to find it trashed. Come on, get some perspective, a heart and stop defending bad choices.
Posted by George, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 2:11 pm
Really, Anon, disgusted by today's youth and yearning for the more responsible demonstations during the Vietnam era...like sit-ins, bombings, drug abuse, trashing schools and commercial buildings. A significant amount of commercial glass was broken on the Stanford campus and in Downtown Palo Alto during the period you now wistfully remember.
Posted by Fed up, a resident of the Meadow Park neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 2:51 pm
Really? Kids decide to have an egg fight and you are blaming the school for notifying the police? Really? And you are blaming the school for "forcing" the students to go to Gunn for the "war? Really? It's not like people can make their own choices or know the difference between right and wrong. And it's not like Gunn has been the the "ringer" as of late and find other people disrespecting their school. And really, are some of you seriously upset that students are getting suspended for something that they were told that they would get suspended for if they did it? Really? One of you actually recommended to the community to vote against an up-coming school bond.
Posted by Keith, a resident of the Southgate neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 3:17 pm
I do not support the Gunn egg war, and I think that these spoiled kids should be made to pay the consequences of their choices. However, a 'spirit week' is a good thing. You seem to think that these kids should be protesting Obama's war in Afghanistan. I don't think so, after all, their own parents, and the Paly staff, are mostly pro-Obama.
High school kids, spoiled or not, should be allowed some controlled release of tensions during Spirit Week. It should just be held on campus.
Posted by Bill Schmarzo, a member of the Palo Alto High School community, on Oct 29, 2009 at 3:50 pm
Suspensions are a short-sighted and "lazy" response by the Palo Alto High School administration. Canceling Spirit Week for everyone is over-reacting. Neither are reactions that I would expect to see from so-called "leaders".
Community service would get the point across while providing a positive impact to the community.
Our school leaders should use this as an opportunity to shape our young men and women; not try to control their lives. It seems that the Palo Alto High School Administration is focused instead on getting our youth to live in the image that some administrator has deemed appropriate.
Posted by gbell, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 3:50 pm
It's best to target the punishment to the students involved and not punish the entire Paly School. Homecoming week, game and dance can be such a memory for students; don't spoil that for those not involved in the egg event. I'd like to see school clean up and no attendance to any Homecoming activities for the guilty parties.
Posted by J, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 3:52 pm
I saw the damage, it not like if it was just one egg. The entire baseball, softball,track, Tennis, pool area parking lot, school, were hit hard. Please don't even try to down play this as nothing no foul. It will need some professional help, extensive pressure washing of many of these area's. You kids should be out their with your parents cleaning this up mess! Shame on you Vikes.
Posted by JTay, a member of the Gunn High School community, on Oct 29, 2009 at 4:06 pm JTay is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
this was even worse as we were in swim unit. there were eggs in the locker room, and i found s few eggshells in our pool as we were playing inner tube water polo today. egg yolk on our track?? come on now. we had to call people to scrape the yolk off our pool deck. i will admit i would have participated if it was not frozen eggs held in an open space.
Posted by Another parent, a resident of the South of Midtown neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm
I've yet to hear one note of apology from the Paly community toward the Gunn community. Instead of defending the actions of these students, trying to get them out of trouble and protesting to get their activities back, the right thing to do would be to make amends. Until you do that it doesn't matter whether you get to have pep rallies or not, you're still in the wrong. I'm glad my children chose not to go to Paly. I would be mortified as a parent if they did this. Where is the shame?
Posted by Cecelia M. Horn, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 4:21 pm
In this time of empty food banks and families without food,why are our privileged students at Paly and Gunn completely unaware that some of their classmates' families don't have enough to fill their stomachs, no less throw away good food.
All these high achievers should be able to think of something better to do.
Posted by a Palo Alto dad, a resident of the Greenmeadow neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 4:26 pm
Egg when it dries is very hard to clean from some surfaces. Since the school district does not know all the kids involved saying that they should give community service is plain stupid. If you feel that this should be allowed to go on please offer your own FRONT YARD for it next year and post your address. Put your property where your typing is.
Posted by XX, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 4:32 pm
Palo Alto Dad- and suspending the few students that did get caught is a rightful punishment? nothing will come out of this except more angered students. what do you expect students to do with the little possible?
Posted by Paly Dad, a resident of the Community Center neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 4:35 pm
We have a teachable moment: Suppose school administrators decide that the over-spirited egg throwers require punishment. Should the punishment be proportional and constructive or arbitrary and damaging?
Posted by another Gunn parent, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 4:39 pm
For the first time, Gunn opened the school year with beautiful, brand new soccer fields, two baseball fields, a pool complex, and football field and track. We are so proud of these facilities that have been SO many years in the making.
For Paly students to vandalize, which means to deliberately destroy or damage, these new and inspiring facilities is much worse than plain old "youthful indiscretion." It reflects what happens when herd instinct takes charge and spins out of control. Of course, each Paly student knows better, so how can each student atone for this repugnant behavior, make peace with Gunn, and continue life with lessons learned.
Posted by Keith, a resident of the Southgate neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 4:42 pm
"U.S. history teacher David Rapaport was sympathetic to the protestors." (from the Paly Voice article).
I wonder if Rapaport understands that relatively low paid servants will be required to clean up this mess, caused by his spoiled students He appears to have the 'plantation' mentality of the old slave masters. Why is he teaching our kids about U.S. history? Has he no shame?
Posted by ..., a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 4:43 pm
I honestly don't know how many times it takes for everybody to understand that Paly juniors and seniors DID NOT intentionally hold egg wars at gunn solely for the reason of destruction. if anybody actually took the time to read articles they would know that it was originally set at Stanford and moved to Gunn. careless, insensitive, last minute thinking? yes. intentional harm? no.
Posted by ...., a resident of the Meadow Park neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 4:46 pm
It is extremely disrespectful to compared Mr. Rapaport's comment to the mentality of slave masters. He was sympathetic to Paly students in terms of how the administration is dealing with the situation. While many people here commenting are citing Paly students as "spoiled" remember that it is not the fault of only themselves but also the parenting skills and environment they grew up in. So parents should also take a cold hard look at themselves and how they raised their children. Do not point all fingers at students. We aren't the only reason why we have grown up to become the "spoiled brats" that we are.
Posted by Another parent, a resident of the South of Midtown neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 4:48 pm
Resident, I think we do understand what happened. When you cause harm, whether intentional or not, you are called upon to atone for it. I don't care at this point what the students who did this intended, what they might learn, or what their punishment will be. You have all shown so little remorse, so little concern for the Gunn community that I will never feel the same way again toward your school, its parents, its students. Good luck with these marvelous human beings you've raised.
Posted by another Gunn parent, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 4:54 pm
Paly students did not originally intend to go to Gunn is understood.
I hope that it is also understood that the very action of throwing eggs on school grounds whether at Paly, Stanford, or Gunn is a "prank or other illegal activity" and constitutes vandalism.
I am very sorry that this has happened. For Gunn and its beautiful facilities, and for the Paly students who got carried away. I hope the students are not suspended as in today's difficult college acceptance world that can be life-changing. Atonement, however, is important so that all can come to terms with this, learn, and move on.
Posted by Keith, a resident of the Southgate neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 5:23 pm
"And "Keith," you're overreacting. Remember when you were a student?"
Yep. I liked to have fun, too. However, I always expected to pay for the play. I never had a teacher, like Rapaport, who would come to my (our) defense, when we went over the line. We were always required to pay the price. Not so for the plantation children, apparently.
Posted by Seriously, dude?, a member of the Gunn High School community, on Oct 29, 2009 at 5:36 pm
"Yep. I liked to have fun, too. However, I always expected to pay for the play. I never had a teacher, like Rapaport, who would come to my (our) defense, when we went over the line. We were always required to pay the price. Not so for the plantation children, apparently."
He's not saying they should go unpunished, he's saying the punishments are unnecessarily harsh. Relax. This isn't the elitist "rick folk" forcing janitors to do their bidding.
The people who are cleaning it up are being paid to clean it up. I don't know why you've made this correlation with "Plantation kids" and their "Servants" but you're being absurd.
Posted by NS, a resident of the Community Center neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 5:51 pm
The Paly administration is lacking in both imagination and perspective. If they don't like egg fights, why not let the kids have a waterballoon fight on a Paly soccer field and then have them clean up afterwords? Let them blow off steam and have fun!
Yes, fighting with eggs is stupid, but suspending kids, especially when you catch only 5-10% of them is pointless. All it does is screw a few kids who will no longer get into their college of choice given what a 5 day suspension does to their GPA.
Posted by Anon., a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 5:54 pm
Keith, don't confuse of misrepresent my post please. I am not pushing any particular political agenda, and maybe you could remember that Afghanistan is George Bush's war. I don't know how you can conflate and confuse a simple statement so badly unless that was your intent. If you want to have a discussion, fine. If you want to underhandedly attack my comment, then you should at least be honest about it.
When I was a Paly student I was able to "release my tension" as you want to express it in positive ways or certainly non-negative ways. This kind of phone tradition is how generations of people get hurt or killed every once in a while and it is a completely useless waste of time.
Posted by Anon., a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 5:58 pm
George, show me any documentation where high school kids broke any glass during the Viet Nam war demonstrations? Let alone was it institutionalized or condoned in any way. I am using the protests of the war to express that that generation of high-schoolers was at least doing something useful.
Even if glass was broken, that was done by some small group of protestors ... and it comes out much later that many of those were deliberate provocateurs trying to make protestors look bad.
Posted by paly senior, a member of the Palo Alto High School community, on Oct 29, 2009 at 6:08 pm
LISTEN! Egg wars is a tradition, we're not about to stop it! Cops were in the usual forest, so we moved it to Gunn. If the cops weren't on us 24/7, then it would have been in the regular forest. Egg wars is unavoidable.
For all you worry wart parents out there: no one was seriously injured. It was a blast! My friend got hit in the face, but did she regret going? Not at all! Egg wars is soo much fun, so I don't know why you're all trippin. If someone got SERIOUSLY injured, then we would have stopped and driven them to the hospital.
We just want to have some fun, is that such a crime? The admins who wanted to suspend people...I dare you. Suspend 100 or more kids from school and see what happens.
Posted by Anon., a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 6:11 pm
By some of the twisted logic here the police ruined Charles Manson's future by catching him and putting him in prison. If this is what passes for critical thinking in this group I don't think many of those that are making simple-minded statements like that have much of a future.
Posted by Anon., a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 6:15 pm
It's comments like that from Paly Senior above that force the administration to punish and make an egg-sample of the ones who get caught. I think a misdemeanor might be in order, put them in jail for a day, and a blotch on their records, and let them laugh that off. What losers.
Posted by Keith, a resident of the Southgate neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 6:25 pm
"While my generation was out protesting the war in Viet Nam"
Those are your words, and you seem to be proud of them. You seem to be suggesting that high school kids should be out there protesting the current version, be it Bush or Obama. I say no...let the high school kids, however spoiled, have a little fun, but contain it within the campus.
If these spoiled kids protest about paying the price for their pranks, then paddle their (and their protective parents) butts. Just don't expect them to take on anything serious, like protesting the Afghanistan war. They know nothing more about it than you did when Vietnam was going on.
Posted by responsibility, a member of the Gunn High School community, on Oct 29, 2009 at 6:53 pm
No objection to having some fun, but shouldn't someone in your student body get permission to use park or school grounds before holding such events? If someone asked Stanford for permission beforehand, the cops will have no reason to ask you to go elsewhere.
If Stanford refuses, I am pretty sure you can find other places and ask for permission to hold such event, as long as you clean up afterwards.
I think kids deserve to have some fun, but they also need to learn to act responsibly as well.
Posted by Felicia Snow, a resident of the Community Center neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 7:19 pm
My son got suspended last year for coming forward and admitting he was in a group that threw eggs from a car. He threw two eggs that didn't hit anyone and he lost three precious days of school as punishment. A parent movement to seek fairness was started because we didn't see eye to eye with the views of Dr. McEvoy and the current zero tolerance administration. They really weren't fair when dealing with the individual situations. Traditions are traditions. Kids who take things too far and hurt others probably do deserve suspensions, but not all. Teaching to be responsible is a more important lesson than just banning everything that kids have traditionally had fun doing.
Posted by Another parent, a resident of the South of Midtown neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 7:30 pm
Paly Senior, If you were my daughter you'd be grounded until you figured out who was in the wrong. Tell your parents they're hosting the event at their house next year. Stay away from Gunn. Gunn let Paly use their auditorium the night of the egg fight. Hope they don't do that again.
Posted by Paly Teacher, a resident of the Adobe-Meadows neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 7:35 pm
There are a lot of mistruths in what's been reported, here and in through the media. Our administration is progressing through the normal steps a high school admin team have to go through in situations like these. Many of you are getting the information from your kids, second hand, or worse from an online student run newspaper. Our principal has sent us an update about what they've done so far. Community service is a large part of it. Most of the students suspended who took responsibility for their actions are already back at school.
I should also point out that having or throwing eggs on any campus is listed as something in the Paly handbook that can result in school consequences.
There is no need to bring Mr. Rapaport into this conversation. I've found him to be supportive of our students and our faculty, administration included.
Paly students are good kids. Yes, they make mistakes. Yes, there are consequences for these mistakes. And yes, it's the job of our administration to address these issues. I think they're doing a good job.
Posted by paly class of 2010, a resident of the College Terrace neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 7:40 pm
A LOT OF PEOPLE NEED TO UNDERSTAND SOMETHING:
Half the issue is the precedent that was set by egg wars in past years. First of all, according a teacher that has taught at Paly for a very long time, these egg wars have been going on for at least the last 20 years. Whether or not its a good or bad event, its still a tradition. The biggest reason why there is such commotion over the heavy-handed ways of dealing with this problem is the precedent that was set in the past - punishment has been minimal in past years.
You can call us spoiled students if you want, but you can't try to tell us to think better when we know that in past years everyone looks the other way towards this event. If we had known about what would happen afterward, I'm sure the entire upperclass of Paly would not have shown up. I also doubt this would be such a large and widely known tradition if the administration was always so anal about the situation. You all need to understand that the precedent that was set for this event is what contributes to the lack of better judgement by these students.
Also, according to a participant, there was an on-duty police officer stopping people and telling them that it is okay to throw eggs at other people as long as no property (buildings, houses, cars) is hit by the eggs. If you put that in perspective, you can see that the Paly administration is making a bigger deal about this than the damn police department...see a bit of a conflict here?
Another thing: I fully agree that anyone that defaced Gunn's property should be punished. However, it should not be with suspensions. It is unreasonable to jeopardize the futures of students who participate in an ongoing tradition in which they assume they can get away with this given the precedent that was set in the past. Apparently, many people have been dealt with 5 day suspensions...that means throwing eggs is five times worse than carrying illegal drugs on campus, since such a violation carries a one-day suspension...that doesn't make sense.
Posted by palo alto mom, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 7:47 pm
First - this was a rude, irresponsible act on the part of the Paly Jr/Sr class.
Second - If they want to be taken seriously as authority figures, the Paly admin needs to think before it acts. The punishment should fit the crime at least in its severity. The shoot first, ask questions later approach is obviously not working with the Paly students. Its a smart group of kids, talk to them, not at them.
Third - Actually this should be first, the Paly Junior and Senior class owes all of Gunn a HUGE apology. Intentional or not, you guys trashed the school.
Posted by Mic, a resident of the Fairmeadow neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 7:57 pm
That would be the day!!! Not yet have I seen one apology from a student or parent only excuses and thier GPA. Maybe you should of talked your your childred before and after this incident. But, as usuall the district will over look this incident once again, because its PALY.
Posted by Anon., a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 7:59 pm
The perpetrators should be forced to clean it up.
Also, many of those protesting here obivously do not understand the requirements of civilization and the need for rules. Kick them out of school. Let's save some tax money so they can be allowed to do what they want ... if they can find somewhere else to do it.
The distorted pathetic world view evidenced by the comments of a few here show they just do not get it. I hope it is not to late for most Paly high-schoolers ... or really anyone else of any age. It is stupid, costly, dangerous and anti-social to toss eggs around, whoever or whenever it was started.
I do agree the punishment should fit the crime. They or their parents should have to clean it up. Then you get the smart alec parents who will say unless everyone who participated in this can be caught and convicted in a court of law then nothing should be done. And we wonder why nothing works anymore these days?
As far as past years, these things have a way of escalating until tbey become problems. I never even heard of egg wars ... what moronic idea anyway. I went to Paly before this nonsense. No one carried guns to school either, or went berserk. What is these student's problem?
This also cannot be all Paly students, there are always some losers who want to pretend hide like terrorists among the normal population. Get rid of them, suspend, arrest, who cares?
Posted by the PA bubble, a resident of the College Terrace neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 8:20 pm
you guys need to all lighten up
you should be proud of Paly (and gunn for that matter) - paly producers incredibly successful citizens of the world.
most of you are getting all worked up about how spoiled we are for throwing a few eggs around in an annual tradition...you should be happy this isn't some other high school, where egg fights are the least of the problems. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
Posted by A Noun Ea Mus, a resident of the Professorville neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 9:11 pm
"Dangerous Frozen Eggs" Sounds like something one would see in the reject bin at Dr. Shockley's Sperm Bank.
That is just fun to say and type. Seriously I knew a young woman from the Lodi area who had an eye put out because someone threw a water balloon out the car window---it smashed the car window she was riding in.
"if you were Stanford and had to clean up this mess every year, wouldn't you want to prevent it from happening?"
If the people at Stanford had a brain (it would be lonesome) they would take advantage of this tradition. Provide free non frozen eggs, let the parents watch in the bleechers, take pictures and sell them, invite the Stanford Marching Band to join in the fun. At the same time they could return another old tradition long lost. Cars could be parked around Leland's Tomb and drinking and doing the twist to car lights. ....but Noooooooooo.
Plus as Palo Alto feels "no recession should be wasted" they can easily hire the cheapest of labor to clean up the eggs. Contract it out to the guys overseeing the strawberry street vendors.
"As a parent I am disappointed in students thinking that throwing eggs in the first place is "harmless" unless they are also committed to cleaning up the mess."
"committed" to cleaning up the mess? They spent four years in a big social pressure cooker, let 'em have some fun. My daughter did this egg fight a while back ("male violence"! more humor) and I have pictures of her right aftewards, she looked like she had a great time (and narrowly avoided the cops at Stanford). "committed to cleaning up the mess"....another fun thing to repeat until the idiocy of it sinks fully in. Yes she should have been committed to cleaning it up and I should be held accountable! This is too funny to believe people are saying this--- who then expect to be taken seriously.
"First, it is a typical mindless American cultural thing to disrespect food by throwing it around."
Hmmm they could get chimpanzee on it...throw feces! Fertilize the Farm while having fun. Return to evolutionary roots.
"George, show me any documentation where high school kids broke any glass during the Viet Nam war demonstrations?"
Ugh I was in high school during the Vietnam War. Glass breaking was among the more benign things done. The school insurance rates skyrocketed in the district. Eggs would have been a blessing.
But all this being said,
I remember my daughter (Paly) wearing a shirt showing a guy peeing on "Gunn". I think the Paly-Gunn rivalry is a bit over the top at times. So when the egg war got inadvertently "moved" to Gunn perhaps the institution then became the target.
But people shouldn't play the "suicide card" on this. On either side.
Also the school administration is damned if they do anything and damned if they do nothing. Still, like the Senior Prank with the car at Paly last year, criminal charges a bit over the top.
Anyway thanks for the chuckles all! I was glad to buy a ton of eggs for my daughter and her friends and will cherish the pictures of her for my ever.
Posted by Senior, a member of the Gunn High School community, on Oct 29, 2009 at 9:58 pm
When I first head the punishment I was not happy, but pleased to see that these kids were getting punished for their actions. A lot of people thought that it was not right for them to get suspended, but it is really the only option. It will teach kids in future grades not to do this. They knew exactly what they were doing when they came to gunn.
I was not only hurt, but so offended that they thought this would be "harmless" and "fun". A lot of my friends go to Paly and really know I question whether or not I should be friends with them.
I also have just heard that a lot of the students who were initially suspended are getting to go back to school. This doesn't show discipline at all. This basically is saying if you have parents that can talk their way out of their children getting a punishment, then you don't have to get in trouble. I find this very disheartening and I am glad that I am leaving this district in less than a year because I have no trust in the system anymore. Honestly, I thought that the administration could hold up for at least more than one day.
I know for a fact that if Gunn had had "egg wars" at Paly, we would be in so much more trouble than any of the kids at Paly. The Paly administration would probably be more harsh with student that don't even go to their school. Does this sound fair at all?
Thanks stuck up parents for getting your immature and unintelligent kids out of the trouble they deserve.
Posted by Ray, a resident of the College Terrace neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 10:04 pm
Throwing egg's in not harmless. All these students need should be punished and not with a slap on the wrist. This is wrong, very wrong and everyone from Palo Alto High, keeps trying to justify these action as nothing. Say you just remodeled your home and this happen to your property, you would be very upset.
Posted by Paly Student, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 10:24 pm
It's unbelieveable immmature of all of the parents on here personally attacking the Paly students. I can't believe what some people are saying, classifying all of the Paly students as stuck up, spoiled brats. Try to have some class.
Posted by Who are you people?, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 10:29 pm
Gunn was not directly targeted in an act of PALY-Gunn rivalry.
I myself was a PALY grad and was involved in Egg Wars 15 years ago. Egg wars is a PALY tradition, and I get the feeling that Gunn is slightly jealous that they don't have as much school spirit.
Granted, the decision to move Egg wars to the park behind Gunn was not a clever one. However, kids will be kids and some of you parents need to realize that severe punishment is not the way to teach kids to think rationally. There are many other approaches.
Posted by CCS, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 10:45 pm
You know that any of these vandals can be sanctioned by the CCS and CIF if thier were suspended. That means if they can not play in their next event until cleared by the CCS and CIF officals. Check out the CIF by laws..
Posted by Fed up, a member of the Gunn High School community, on Oct 29, 2009 at 10:48 pm
Gunn students are not jealous that Paly has a stupid tradition and we dont. Actually we do, uniting our school and having fun our own way without getting in trouble. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
Posted by Me Too, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 10:53 pm
My Gunn kid says that the parking lot was "trashed" but not much on the campus itself. He had heard that fields, track, etc. had been hit, but no knowledge how hard.
Funny how arrogant many of the kid posters come across. I guess that is a function of youth - strongly held views, not much tempered by experience. But I can see why Jackie Mac takes a firm hand to them. Tough crowd at Paly.
Posted by Paly Student, a resident of the Esther Clark Park neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 11:21 pm
Paly Teacher -- why are so many staff and administration members so negative towards the publications? They're all award-winning publications and you're just scared of them because they have every right to report WHATEVER they want as long as it follows journalism ethics. give voice some credit for the great job they did reporting immediately (paloaltoonline took much longer to report). it would be nice if the adults at the school would show some more pride about how good the student journalists at paly are... these students deserve some respect for all their hard work to report to the paly and palo alto communities while maintaining journalistic integrity.
also, someone mentioned earlier that they should just punish/suspend all paly juniors and seniors -- that is the WORST idea i have ever heard. i am a senior and am about to send in my early decision application to my dream school and i had ZERO involvement with egg wars this year. i don't want my future screwed up in any way and i think it is ridiculous that you even considered this to be a good course of action. suspending innocent students as a warning to the underclassmen and as a way to perpetrate a punishment is in no way ok.
Posted by alright, a resident of the Green Acres neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 11:26 pm
if you were not involved "paly student" then you have nothing to worry about
i think what that person was trying to say is that the people who were involved should et suspended, not everyone, cmon use your brain.
if people who were involved and get away with it is ridiculous, because people who are applying to college should have this on their record. like if they think they can do something wrong like this and not get in trouble, then they should not deserve to get into the college they want
honestly i think what gunn is looking for, which they have not gotten yet IS AN APOLOGY
i have not heard one apology from any paly student and i think that is what is pissing off the students at gunn
Posted by Fed-Up Mom, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2009 at 11:40 pm
It is more important that the kids involved understand why throwing eggs, especially frozen ones, at a public area where others deserve to use, is not just for fun. Suspension may not be the answer but all the kids should be pay for what they did, monetary or otherwise. Those who used frozen eggs should get extra punishment like community service which they have to clean up messes others made.
Now, to all the parents and adults who say that we should just let kids "have fun" because they are just "blowing off steam". Please, do not make excuses. I have a few kids of my own, a high school student included. I will never make such excuse for behavior like this. Whether they are kids or not, they need to understand how their action affect others. You cannot just brush things off and pretent that their action is acceptable because they are kids. Admit that these kids made a mistake; help them understand that they made a mistake; teach them to be responsible in the future. When we start making excuses, we end up raising irresponsible adutls or worse yet, criminals. Let's go through the following examples. If you still think it is okay to allow kids to have "fun" that is destructive, then I understand why our jails are over-crowding.
1) the three teenagers who started fires in garbage cans around PA with their latest incident that almost burned a school building at Hoover Elementary. They probably thought it was for fun. But do you??
2) the unknowns (probably kids) who broke windows at Briones Elementary. They probably thought it was for fun. But do you??
3) the 15+ kids who watched a 15-year old who got gang-raped and beaten at a Home Coming Dance in Richmond (not too far from here) and did nothing. They probably thought it was fun. But do you??
Have the kids do a sport, take karate, sing karaoke...plenty of ways to blow off steam.
Posted by Gunn Senior, a member of the Gunn High School community, on Oct 30, 2009 at 12:19 am
It's JUST an egg war. No one was seriously hurt, so don't get your undies in a bunch. It's a stupid punishment made by the stupid administration for a stupid tradition brought on by a bunch of stupid kids. Once again: NO ONE WAS SERIOUSLY INJURED, AND NOTHING WAS DAMAGED.
Eggs....are biodegradable. "OH MY GOSH, NO...WAY...!"
And can we PLEASE stop connecting the deaths of our friends with these COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT events?
I'm pretty sure there are IMPORTANT issues going on around California, yes? Yes.
Posted by xman, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Oct 30, 2009 at 12:28 am
Fed-up mom is right! and lets stop all of this. Paly kids did wrong and their parents are ok with it. That's just the Paly way and the PAUSD is ok with it. Paly will alway's have their way no matter what!!
Paly will alway's get thier way on getting thier kid's out of trouble no matter what is said on this form. It's the Paly way!!!
Posted by A Noun Ea Mus, a resident of the Professorville neighborhood, on Oct 30, 2009 at 12:46 am
Eggs----various protein (albumin), lecithin, calcium, cholesterol......I imagine the worms, ravens, and various other critters would take care of them long before they had to decay...that is if in Stanford land. Attached to buildings may be another thing.
Posted by Mojo, a resident of the College Terrace neighborhood, on Oct 30, 2009 at 1:16 am
Paly needs a form to help our kids know about what they did. Kids. No one stepped in to stop anything like the rape in Richmond. Don't say it not the same. You didn't see the damage!! If we Gunn did this, you would feel the same. That's the problem, you paly person don't care and give a &^%$.
Posted by paly alum, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Oct 30, 2009 at 1:47 am
Gunn Senior: "I know for a fact that if Gunn had had "egg wars" at Paly, we would be in so much more trouble than any of the kids at Paly. The Paly administration would probably be more harsh with student that don't even go to their school. Does this sound fair at all?
Thanks stuck up parents for getting your immature and unintelligent kids out of the trouble they deserve. "
Posted by Palyalum90's, a resident of the Professorville neighborhood, on Oct 30, 2009 at 3:05 am
At least we were smart back in the day used police scanners and didn't get caught. Oh and the 24hr carwash in menlo park was a great thing when the egg fight went mobile. In retrospect the mobile part was much more dangerous (and criminal) than just facing off in the grove at Stanford. We did have enough sense not to freeze eggs, hit buildings or other non involved vehicles.
Stupid - yes but most of us grew up to be good members of society.
Posted by Gunn Alumni, a member of the Gunn High School community, on Oct 30, 2009 at 3:23 am
[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.] The students involved should get punished and I think the administration is going a great job. If people are so worried about the "ruined futures" of these so called students has anyone bothered to think that their old enough to know right from wrong? And i dont believe that the baseball field is off the Gunn campus since it does belong to the school.
Posted by Paly09, a member of the Palo Alto High School community, on Oct 30, 2009 at 5:57 am
Other posters have commented that Paly should facilitate something like a water balloon fight between the juniors and seniors. However, I think that misses the point. Juniors and seniors in Palo Alto are faced with enormous expectations, and as a junior or senior, sometimes it feels like you are just trying to make everybody else happy--be it your friends, your parents, or your school. Many people at Paly are unhappy with the current administration because it seems like they are trying to control too many aspects of students' lives and are making changes that they don't think are necessary. While I don't think that egg wars is a good tradition, I can understand why students want to get involved with something that the school, parents, or other authority figures don't have any control over. The rest of a student's life is so regulated, and egg wars is one way for a student to feel any sort of autonomy. I only wish that students could be part of something that wasn't destructive. Unfortunately, this incident will only cause the Paly administration to become stricter.
Posted by formerkid, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Oct 30, 2009 at 6:46 am
There wouldn't be a problem if the kids used soft objects that can't cause serious injury. Eggs however, even when not frozen, can easily cause the lose of eyes and even serious brain damage and death. This society already worships an extremely violent sport- American "football", which leaves many of its players crippled and brain damaged by the time they reach middle age, so there's no need for teenagers to participate in another gladiator activity.
Posted by response to Paly Student, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Oct 30, 2009 at 7:14 am
"on campus" means every palo alto school campus, not just Palo Alto High School. Also, tons of your "facts" are wrong. my son did not attend but is good friends with someone who did and has served their suspension and will be back at school. The honesty shown by my sons friend was rewarded. it was not five days of suspension.
Posted by Chris Zaharias, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Oct 30, 2009 at 8:05 am
I say let the kids have their tradition, even if a few of them get hurt. Other cities have tomato fights, runnings of the bulls, etc; Palo Alto needs tradition, and this one sounds fine to me.
For those who haven't been in Palo Alto for many decades, I can assure you that Palo Alto students are up to far, far, far less dangerous activity than was the case in the 70's & 80's - let's not go too far in the other direction, as rights of passage are important to teenagers. Deprive them of those and *you're* the problem.
Posted by A Gunn parent, a resident of the Ventura neighborhood, on Oct 30, 2009 at 8:34 am
After looking at these photos on the Paly Voice website, Web Link
it is obvious the attack was meant to hurt Gunn students (eggs thrown on scoreboard, on the new pool facility)...
There is a great opportunity to repair the hurt feelings and volunteer at the Nov. 14 Gunn Beautification Day:
Volunteers Needed Saturday, November 14, 9:00 to Noon
Spend the morning gardening, cleaning and sprucing up the Gunn campus. No previous experience required! All students are welcome and will earn 3 hours of community service in addition to free pizza lunch for all their hard work. If you can't work with our students that day we are also looking for food donations to feed our hungry workers. To sign up to help out please contact Lori Shaffer at email@example.com or 650-494-7008.
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Oct 30, 2009 at 8:54 am
Teenagers are not adults, even almost 18 year old teenagers, and have not matured enough to behave rationally.
Ask any of these teens beforehand if they thought what they were doing was in any way wrong and the answer would be no. Ask them now, and they will see that even though they had no wrong motives at the time, the outcome shows that it was indeed wrong. In other words, they are still immature, making immature decisions.
Being immature is not a criticism of teenagers, it is a fact of life. Teenagers are still children and their full development of rational thought will not come for a few more years. That said, it doesn't mean that they shouldn't be made to pay for putting to rights the outcome of their behavior, that is something they learn to do as toddlers. So working at the beautification day at Gunn is a great idea.
But, the point still stands. Teenagers are still not rational thinking adults. This was known in the past when the voting age was 21. Reducing the age to vote was done for political reasons due to the draft, not because it was proven that 18 year olds could behave as mature as 21 year olds.
For this reason, the drinking alcohol age is still 21.
So when we expect our teenagers who may actually have reached the age of 18 are adults what we mean is that they should act more mature than their physical bodies have arrived at. Coupled with the fact that most teens when they turn 18 are still in high school, haven't earned any more than a few dollars spending money and have very few life experiences, our expectations for 18 year olds are much too much. My personal view is that we should increase the age for voting to 21, increase the driving age to at least 18, and start remembering ourselves how insecure, immature and irrational we were ourselves at that tender age.
I am not trying to excuse the behavior, but I am trying to remind us all that even though these kids knew the difference of right and wrong, it was not a black and white issue, rather a cloudy shade of gray.
Posted by Facts, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Oct 30, 2009 at 9:08 am
Eggs are the arsenal of choice for vandalism due to the almost irreversible damage they cause to painted surfaces if not dealt with immediately. House paint, car paint, painted signs, mailboxes and any other painted surfaces of value are all susceptible to damage caused by eggs.
The egg white (also referred to as the albumen) is made up of 15 percent of proteins. Its main purpose is to protect the yolk while providing nutrients to the embryo. Because of its protective composition, egg whites are used for several purposes, including waterproof glue, so it's easy to understand how this part of the egg can dry and then stick to the surface of car paint. If it is not dealt with quickly, it can become extremely difficult to remove from the surface of the car without wet sanding and repainting the damaged area.
The egg yolk is suspended inside the egg by the egg white. The yolk contains fatty acids and is responsible for the fat, cholesterol and most of the calories found in an egg. Egg yolk was once used to make paint because of its natural ability to harden and stick to almost any surface. The chemical composition of the egg yolk will eat through clear coat on the surface of car paint--in addition to staining the paint--if not removed from the surface of the paint immediately.
Egg shells break relatively easily, and when thrown at high velocity, the shells will shatter into sharp shards. The shards of the shells can cause superficial scratches to the surface of the protective clear coat on a car and, in some cases, penetrate the clear coat, scratching the paint.
Egging and the Law
Anyone who has ever had their car egged knows how difficult it can be to remove. Most vandals attack under the veil of night to prevent being seen or caught. Since most victims sleep at night, they find the unpleasant surprise in the morning, long after the egg has had the time to cause permanent damage. Laws against the crime have been stiffened in the past few years, and the punishment to those caught in the act of egging cars and houses is much more severe than it used to be.
Posted by Me Too, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Oct 30, 2009 at 9:54 am
Walked by dog over by the Gunn fields. Steam cleaners still cleaning up the walks and fences by the ball fields. About 5 guys on the job that I could see. They were individually steam and pressure washing each egg dropping.
Posted by Bad egg, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Oct 30, 2009 at 10:39 am
What a dumb and destructive tradition. Even if an egg war is held in an open field it's still a horrific mess for someone else to clean up. It's my guess that each of the 100 students had at least 1 dozen eggs - that's 1,200 eggs smashed on the school grounds. If each kid had two or more cartons there were probably closer to 3000 eggs smashed on the Gunn campus. If I were a Gunn student the sight of smashed eggs on my campus first thing in the morning would not have been pleasant - especially at a time of grieving for the loss of a student. How heartless. This is one dumb tradition that needs to stop. Paly students are supposed to be intelligent - I'm sure they can start a new tradition that is less destructive. If they want to continue with this dumb tradition, how about having the next egg war at the home of the student with the largest yard. The parents can be responsible for the clean-up and lawsuit from the kid injured by the frozen egg.
Posted by Egg-zasperated, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Oct 30, 2009 at 12:30 pm
What is all this business of the kids needing an outlet to "blow off steam?" There is an entire week of sanctioned homecoming activites that would seem to serve that purpose. Or is vandalism the only outlet for these kids? Admit it, people, this is another example of privileged rich kids with too much time on their hands and inadequate supervision. Most of the my kids' teenaged friends in Palo Alto are not expected to help out around the house at all, either because they have hired help for that "dirty work" or because the child is so pampered and coddled en route to a perfect SAT score that to ask the little darlings to empty the dishwasher or vacuum the living room would be unthinkable. Trust me, if your kids were a little more involved in family life, they would have much less time and inclination to participate in such asinine stunts. If they ever had to clean up their own messes (or yours), they would think twice before leaving a huge mess for someone else to clean up.
Posted by bru, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Oct 30, 2009 at 1:12 pm bru is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
Gosh ... some of the comments that seem to be coming from the High-School students, really show quite remarkably why they need to be in school ... and continue learning. Some of them sound quite unteachable though.
One post, not by the "female friend" said that a female friend was hit in the face by a flying frozen egg, but did not regret taking part in the prank.
There are those who say that "it is just an egg fight". Do you know how hard a regular egg is, let alone a frozen one? What does it cost, and how does it look to have dried egg on the wall of a building or anything over a period of many years.
The Paly campus looks so bad these days, maybe they really don't know the idea of pride in your school building and campus. I was at Paly the year they opened the "new" buildings,and they look like a bombed out wreck now.
There is quite a bit of immaturity and "relax" it's just a prank ... those people I hope are in school and still teachable - and that something can get through to them.
Posted by Parent that lives in Barron Park, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Oct 30, 2009 at 1:18 pm
This is so sad! I went to Gunn 20 years ago, and yes Gunn does have Fun..............!!! But since I've lived in Barron Park for the last 20 years and grew up on the Standford Campus, and now my Daughter is a Senior at Gunn and My other Daughter is in College. Why doesn't a wonderful parent from paly have a egg party at their house? like the comment someone else wrote! Times are tuff now ! So the naughty boys or girls that did the trashing to Gunn from Paly why don't you try blowing steam off in another manner? like not just thinking about yourself? and your problems? Try paying bills, and better yet pay for your own College! and try doing something constructive like volunteering to help this town! volunteer to programs that help people, like the seniors, or people with MS or other needs, like homeless people. High School teens are so narciscic, its all about them? Please pick a park around Paly then here in Barron Park, and I'm glad the kids at Paly got their punishment!