Bill Giordano sentenced to four years in prison. Here's how he was known prior to his arrest: "After more than 25 years in the school district, he had developed a reputation as a teacher who went out of his way to help his students."
There's also a lot of praise for Lisa Swagerty, a Palo Verde 3rd grade teacher who along with her husband were cited last Saturday by the police for contributing to the delinquency of minors. Clearly, she is well liked and by all accounts a respected teacher.
But just like Giordano, she is just another problem staff member on the PAUSD payroll. Being a teacher means you have to lead students by example, not only in the classroom but also in everyday life. Parents of the students who were invited to her home probably thought to themselves: "That is one safe place for my child to spend an evening." I don't know how many parents were shocked when they were called to pick up their drunken teen. At least no one got hurt, thanks to the police who arrived on the scene before anyone could commit DUI. So, Swagerty won't be arrested or sentenced to prison. And I doubt any parents will sue her for anything.
But there has to be some consequence for Swagerty. Life can't just go on as if nothing ever happened. What kind of message would that be? That it is ok for teens to go to a party and drink themselves in the presence of adult host? As long as nobody got hurt? What's the big deal?
With all the problems already faced by PAUSD, one has to wonder if the party is over for Palo Alto Schools. While other school districts are catching up, this one is slipping on all fronts. Pretty soon, people might use past tense to describe how great PAUSD was. "Which high school did you go to?" "Paly." "Used to be a good school. What happened?"