How 'Out of the shadows' came about

Additional sidebars cover the statistics on bullying, advice to parents

Reporting for "Out of the shadows" began almost a year ago. It was to be an in-depth look at bullying in Palo Alto schools, the myriad anti-bullying programs used throughout the district, why some kids behave cruelly and what educators and community leaders are doing about it.

In the middle of the Palo Alto Weekly's reporting effort, however, the Office for Civil Rights investigation into the case of a bullied Palo Alto middle school student came to light -- solely due to the family's decision to share their story in hopes of focusing attention on an important local issue that otherwise would likely have remained in the shadows.

The federal report unleashed swift reactions, raised questions and resulted in a community wake-up call. Systemic reforms are now emerging.

The Weekly has interviewed more than 100 parents, children, educators, psychologists and other bullying-prevention experts for this collection of articles, some of which were published in the June 14 edition of the Palo Alto Weekly and all of which are posted here.

"Out of the shadows" is the first in a series planned over the next few months.

Out of the shadows

Office for Civil Rights: Why is it there and what does it do?

Advice to parents of a targeted child

How often does bullying happen in Palo Alto?

What civil-rights investigators found at Terman

Discriminatory harassment and bullying: a definitional sticky wicket?

Family reveals details of 2012 Office of Civil Rights case alleging discriminatory harassment and retaliation

New district policies and procedures: months in the making and still not fully baked

Christina Schmidt and Mary Vincent: Volunteering to be part of the solution

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Short story writers wanted!

The 33rd Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult (15-17) and Teen (12-14) categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by March 29. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category.

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