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Palo Alto High investigates two streaking incidents

Discipline for streaking includes suspension, meeting with Palo Alto police officers

Two streaking incidents at Palo Alto High School last week were the first since the administration, led by Principal Kim Diorio, cracked down on the student tradition in the 2013-14 school year.

A student ran nude across the football field during a Spirit Week rally last Monday, Oct. 19, and another student did the same at a night rally event on Wednesday, Oct. 22, student news outlet the Paly Voice reported.

Diorio released a statement last week, saying the administration took the incidents "very seriously." She reminded students that anyone involved in the "illegal activity of streaking will be subject to disciplinary action," which may include suspension, as outlined in Paly's Student Handbook. Seniors who are caught streaking will be suspended for two days and will meet with Palo Alto Police Department school resource officers, the handbook states.

If the streaking continues, seniors can be barred from participating in senior activities, including graduation.

"We're disappointed this happened and hope this isolated incident does not ruin Spirit Week for the majority of our school," Diorio said last week. She added that she didn't plan to send any communication home and instead wanted to focus on the efforts that went into planning a week of spirit events leading up to homecoming over the weekend.

"To that end, we hope students and staff will continue to come out and cheer on our fabulous Vikings during the rallies that lie ahead," Diorio said. "We believe this show of support makes a statement to all of our students that this incident is not reflective of what we value at our school."

The first day of the 2013-14 school year, when Diorio became principal, two seniors who streaked at lunch were suspended for two days. Diorio sent a message to parents that described the streaking as an "unsafe and educationally disruptive 'tradition.'"

"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," she wrote. "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."

There were no reported incidents of streaking the rest of that year, down from more than 100 the previous school year.

Before Diorio was named principal, streaking had grown as an end-of-year tradition, when seniors' classes were ending – a time that became known as "streak week" season. A source told the Weekly in 2014 that every school day in May of the previous school year there had been streakers of both sexes, involving more than 100 students. One staff member reported that faculty and students felt unsafe on campus because of the activity and called the school environment "hostile."

The streaking crackdown in 2013-14 was one of several initiatives Diorio launched to improve school climate.

Comments

32 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 26, 2015 at 5:28 pm

[Portion removed.]

Streaking has been around for half a century in society.

This sounds like a very Shallow Alto problem and if it is the main thing the schools have to worry about, it shows that someone, somewhere has the wrong priority.


42 people like this
Posted by No junk
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 26, 2015 at 6:23 pm

Hey guess what 14 year old girls do not want to see 18 year old boys junk and neither do their teachers. [Portion removed.] Children do not belong naked at school. Does this really need to be said ?


16 people like this
Posted by Paul
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 26, 2015 at 7:55 pm

Paul is a registered user.

Kim Diorio was brought in to clean up the fairly rancid atmosphere left behind by her predecessor. There is no fault in that. Ethical and moral lines become distended, and someone needs to pull it all back together. On the other hand, two guys streaking is hardly reason for a witch hunt. There is such a thing a killing the patient with remedies that are too extreme. If streaking is disruptive, then how disruptive is it to have police posted around the school? The police walk around with loaded handguns. Is that supposed to make the students feel more safe? It has never made me feel more safe.


11 people like this
Posted by Mamma Mia
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Oct 26, 2015 at 8:17 pm

[Post removed.]


8 people like this
Posted by BFD
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 26, 2015 at 8:48 pm

Guys in my high school went streaking. It was no big deal...

Vikings?? How'd Palo Alto settle on vikings as a mascot? Celebrate Viking spirit? Vikings raped, pillaged, and plundered! [Portion removed.]


14 people like this
Posted by freedom
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 26, 2015 at 9:27 pm

[Portion removed.] The body is a beautiful creation and if everyone thought of it in that way instead of sexualizing it then this really wouldn't be an issue.


4 people like this
Posted by Student
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 26, 2015 at 9:37 pm

[Post removed.]


17 people like this
Posted by no respect
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 26, 2015 at 10:45 pm

Impulsive, yes. Free-spirited, yes. Disrespectful, probably. Unsafe, not.


17 people like this
Posted by Put it in Perspective
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 26, 2015 at 11:26 pm

Streaking is not sexual in nature, it is an expression of freedom, using the all natural human body.

The real worry should be about kids that have never seen a naked body of the opposite sex - that creates a mystery that is far more likely to lead to trouble than streaking.

I don't want it to get out of hand, and agree the school needs to keep it under control, but let's not over-react about the true potential for harm - there really is none.

And human bodies are not "junk." That kind of restrictive thinking is what sets kids up for rebelling in far more harmful ways.


26 people like this
Posted by So creepy
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 27, 2015 at 7:03 am

"Streaking is not sexual." You could be right, it could say more about the infamous PAUSD rape culture, the recent breach of trust with one of our staff hooking up with a student after graduation, and a number of other icky, sick, and creepy behaviors that have marked the Palo Alto culture. These aren't toddlers running in the sprinklers, these are peers of the same students who said that we need to keep this in the PAUSD family. I am amazed that a few posters still want to defend young adults exposing their genitals to hundreds of kids and adults. Do we need to spend another $50,000 to fight OCR and Title IX? It's rapey when a 19-year-old guy exposes himself on our Palo Alto streets and parks, it's just as rapey when our 17-year-old guys do it.


2 people like this
Posted by wrong place
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Oct 27, 2015 at 8:28 am

Go up to San Francisco if you want to parade around naked. ANY educational/school/learning environment is incorrect for streaking or exposing oneself. While we're at it, a friendly, professional relationship between students and staff is appropriate, NOT a sexualized one (including hooking up soon after the technicality of graduation)., especially since there is a clear power imbalance in such a "relationship."


12 people like this
Posted by You must be kidding
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 27, 2015 at 1:59 pm

Please! Lets start by addressing the intellectual bullying that goes on, especially in the Math lanes. Where else in the world is anything less than AP BC Calc referred to as "dumb math"? Where else is it Ok for students to sneer at others who received 'B's" on their math tests? Where else are a students college ambitions dismissed with scorn by their counselors if they don't fit the profile of 'previous accepts'? After we deal with the intellectual bullying and intimidation lets get to Sports Team hazing . . . Its brutal. Streaking is nothing more than a silly expression of defiance and freedom . . . Wow. Imagine defiance and freedom in Palo Alto? Untighten your bum cheeks Palo Alto. Focus on the real problems in your school. And think of how well the children are served when everyone just 'lightens the hell up". Yeesh


11 people like this
Posted by outsider
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 27, 2015 at 2:54 pm

KIds exposing themselves creates a hostile environment for teachers because they have to teach the children who have exposed themselves.

My 14 year old did not enjoy seeing her classmates naked.

Kim Diorio should not have allowed 7 (yes seven) spirit rallies for homecoming. maybe1 rally, a parade and a float. So many rallies distract from just the actual homecoming and seem more like a venue for Mr Hall to feed his ego. Also, there were kids who had their own "rallies" through the week with eggs. This school likes to think of itself as a private college with RUSH week and little pretend frats and sororities.

Last spring, also I though the "no pants day was creepy" Seniors wear an oxford shirt and underwear to class. One of the male teachers at the school also joined in. I am not sure these kids are considering that others and not only other students are looking at them. Maybe a day like this would work out at an all girls school or a slumber party? not sure. my kids will be wearing pants to school every day as a precaution. I think the human body is pretty, but a brat shaking his junk is not really graceful or pretty. maybe a life drawing class for kids with waivers. mabye there will teachers that will want to pose. Would that be ok? seems creepy to me. It is difficult for kids and teachers to have a good working relationship with anyone who has, without their permission, exposed themselves. It is even hostile and considered sexual abuse in most places.

If they go to college and expose themselves and are over 18, then it is a permanent record. Leniency about the streakers probably has attracted the many, many flashers that probably think exposing themselves to children is just what is expected in this neighborhood. These kids should have a police record for this.


3 people like this
Posted by No pants at school?
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 27, 2015 at 3:11 pm

"Last spring, also I though the "no pants day was creepy" Seniors wear an oxford shirt and underwear to class. One of the male teachers at the school also joined in."

What!?!!

OK, now I've heard it all. Dare I guess which male teacher?


16 people like this
Posted by Private Parent
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 27, 2015 at 3:59 pm

Although I agree that the body is a beautiful thing, (and many other people do too), not all of the world shares this view, and their kids are required by law to be at school.

If you want to try convince with different beliefs to adopt your own, have at it, but until then, they have as much right to say what goes on in school as you.

As such, respect for their beliefs requires kids keeping their clothes on. It is simply a giant minefield for the school with nearly no benefits, and I fully support severe consequences for the streakers. Not life-ruining consequences, but enough to discourage the next one considering it.

Respect for others here is what it is about. Go all granola about the human body if you want, but forcing it on others who have to be there is morally reprehensible.


8 people like this
Posted by C
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Oct 27, 2015 at 4:40 pm

" A source told the Weekly in 2014 that every school day in May of the previous school year there had been streakers of both sexes, involving more than 100 students."
Pfft.
The record is generally quoted as somewhere in the range of 50-57 so I'm not sure where this number came from. Plus 2013 isn't even the year which can claim the title.

"Kim Diorio should not have allowed 7 (yes seven) spirit rallies for homecoming. maybe1 rally, a parade and a float. So many rallies distract from just the actual homecoming and seem more like a venue for Mr Hall to feed his ego. Also, there were kids who had their own "rallies" through the week with eggs. This school likes to think of itself as a private college with RUSH week and little pretend frats and sororities."
One rally? You realize that these lunchtime-gatherings are just old-school fun right? The thing so many posters here complain about a lack of in our schools? To list off some of the harmless activities: trying to land pool rings around the neck of a partner (inflatable, of course), name that tune (where students try to guess the song that's playing), pumpkin carving, trying to get an entire line of people through a hula hoop... the list goes on. You want to LIMIT these fun games? Why? [Portion removed.]
Also, I wouldn't say spirit week is anything like rushing. When people rush, they form cliques -- in my opinion, spirit week is one of the few things that brings down those walls (if just for a little bit). There's more interaction between people who normally wouldn't come in much contact with eachother.


1 person likes this
Posted by outsider
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 27, 2015 at 5:05 pm

I think fun all week is great but more than 3 rallies a week is too much. The dance, the floats and the rally along with class contests and a footbal game are amazing and wonderful for all the kids. 7 rallies with a night rally is asking for trouble.


17 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Oct 27, 2015 at 5:21 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

I am confused.

If someone ran naked through their neighborhood they would be arrested and charged.

Why is the school a sanctuary zone from State and local laws?

What message does that send to students about obeying other laws?


8 people like this
Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 27, 2015 at 6:10 pm

We had 2 kids go through Paly. Spirit Week happens once a year. Once. Name me another time of the year where they have any other rallies? Crickets...

Lighten up. The kids have a great time and brings the classes together.

Have you ever been to a Spirit Week event? It would take your frown and turn it upside down.


1 person likes this
Posted by no junk
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 28, 2015 at 7:20 am

[Post removed.]


Like this comment
Posted by HomecomingRules
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 28, 2015 at 1:11 pm

My students say that the best time of their high school is the Homecoming week. This is a time that allows all students to participate in one or more activities with their classmates. It does not matter what their abilities, interests and outside activities are, the can come together for fun.

They have to choose to participate and sometimes that is out of their comfort zone but parents should encourage their student to participate in the safe and legal events. We should all be celebrating when we allow students a week when staff knows they are busy socially and makes allowances academically.

Having said that I am not a fan of streaking in the day through campus, students should be more creative. No pants day, pretty funny and fun. Eggs cause permanent damage, not good. But floats, dance contests and class competitions, bring it on.


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Oct 29, 2015 at 12:03 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Perhaps parents might remind their children who are 18 or older that streaking constitutes in the presence of minors constitutes lewd or lascivious conduct under Section 272 of the California Penal Code.

California Penal Code Sec. 314. “Every person who willfully and lewdly, either:
1. Exposes his person, or the private parts thereof, in any public place, or in any place where there are present other persons to be o ended or annoyed thereby; or,
2. Procures, counsels, or assists any person so to expose himself or take part in any model artist exhibition, or to make any other exhibition of himself to public view, or the view of any number of persons, such as is o ensive to decency, or is adapted to excite to vicious or lewd thoughts or acts,
is guilty of a misdemeanor.”

California Jury Instructions -- Criminal. CALJIC 16.220 -- Indecent exposure. “In order to prove this crime, each of the following elements must be proved:
[1] A person intentionally exposed [his] [her] [person] [private parts] [in a public place] [, or] [in any place where there were present other persons to be offended or annoyed]; AND
[2] That person did so with the specifc intent to direct public attention to [his] [her] genitals for the purpose of [his] [her] own sexual arousal or grati - cation, or that of another, or of sexually insulting or o ending others.”
public nudity intended California Penal Code 314 PC prohibits the sex crime of "indecent exposure" . . . which means willfully exposing your genitals to someone else, motivated by a desire to sexually gratify yourself or OFFEND the other person."

Any Penal Code 272 or 314 PC conviction subjects you to a lifetime duty to register as a California sex offender.


Like this comment
Posted by Polly Wanacracker
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 29, 2015 at 12:42 pm

[Post removed.]


4 people like this
Posted by Kazu
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 29, 2015 at 1:18 pm

"This sounds like a very Shallow Alto problem and if it is the main thing the schools have to worry about, it shows that someone, somewhere has the wrong priority."

So they're trying to uncover the naked truth? Or maybe global warming is to blame?

"California Penal Code Sec. 314."

??

At least Shallow Alto still has a sense of humor, even if the place is really goofy a lot of the time.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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