News

ABC Nightline to air piece on Palo Alto

Co-anchor interviews Gunn High School principal, former teacher

The latest national news outlet to cover the youth suicide cluster Palo Alto experienced in 2014 and 2015 is ABC's Nightline, a national late-night television program that provides in-depth reporting on one or more major stories in the news.

Nightline will be airing its story Tuesday night at 12:35 a.m., producer Sally Hawkins told the Weekly.

A digital "written report" will also be posted to the health page of ABCNews.com in several hours, Hawkins said Tuesday morning.

Nightline co-anchor Byron Pitts, who joined ABC News in April 2013 as anchor and chief national correspondent covering national news stories and in-depth features for the network, visited Palo Alto last week to interview sources for the story, including Marc Vincenti, former Gunn High School teacher and co-founder of Save the 2,008, a grassroots school-reform group that formed in response to last year's suicide cluster. Gunn Principal Denise Herrmann and a group of students from both Gunn and Palo Alto High School who produced "Unmasked," a documentary that explores the roots of teen mental-health issues in Palo Alto, were also interviewed.

Herrmann discussed "the positive changes we have made at Gunn including the bell schedule, staff training, homework policy, and the like," Superintendent Max McGee wrote in a weekly update.

McGee told the Weekly that he was not interviewed for the piece, though he offered to be.

Related content:

Guest opinion: How to help those in crisis

Resources: How to help those in crisis

Q&A about mental health: Local experts offer their advice, guidance

Editor's note: This story was updated to correct the airing time of the Nightline piece. It will air at 12:35 a.m., not 9:35 p.m.

Comments

3 people like this
Posted by fcservices
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Feb 16, 2016 at 11:10 am

Thanks for posting. We'll be sure to tune in and see what 'Nightline' has to say.


11 people like this
Posted by Carl Thomsen
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 16, 2016 at 11:39 am

Is it 12:35am Wednesday morning? 12:35am Tuesday is already history.


63 people like this
Posted by Paly mom
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 16, 2016 at 11:40 am

All of these articles and interviews fail to recognize how academically hard our high schools are compared to many other schools. Every Paly and Gunn graduate return from their first year of college saying it was so much easier than HS. I'm so tired of the blame only on the high expectations of parents and peer pressure. It's a combination of many factors, and I hope the CDC looks into some issues at our schools too. Talk to the students and you will be surprised what they go through in some classes with their teachers compared to other teachers. They know how inconsistent the curriculum is from teacher to teacher. Obe of my sons friend flunked a class, changed to a different teacher 2nd semester and got a 95% with minimal effort. This is in the lowest Lane too. Talk to the students privately and you will be shocked at what they endure.


22 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 16, 2016 at 11:58 am

[Post removed.]


65 people like this
Posted by parent
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 16, 2016 at 12:50 pm

The high schools are why our family will be moving from Palo Alto before our kids have to "endure" anything there.


64 people like this
Posted by Lynn Brown
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 16, 2016 at 1:10 pm

This scares me, and I think it's irresponsible. As I understand it publicity creates, or contributes to, teen suicide. I hope ABC is doing this for the right reasons, and I hope no kids see it. Not just no Palo Alto kids, I hope no kids anywhere see it.

From the CDC website:

One risk factor that has emerged from this research is suicide "contagion," a process by which exposure to the suicide or suicidal behavior of one or more persons influences others to commit or attempt suicide (5). Evidence suggests that the effect of contagion is not confined to suicides occurring in discrete geographic areas. In particular, nonfictional newspaper and television coverage of suicide has been associated with a statistically significant excess of suicides (6). The effect of contagion appears to be strongest among adolescents (7,8), and several well publicized "clusters" among young persons have occurred (9-11).


35 people like this
Posted by Downtown Parent
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 16, 2016 at 1:46 pm

Apparently, many parents still don't get it. It's not about how hard our high schools are. It's about how elementary and middle do not prepare our kids for the unavoidable stress and competition at high. "A" for participation and timely submission in middle school? What kind of message does this approach send? Nothing but a misleading message that knowledge is less important than diligence. Eliminate all the homework in elementary - are you serious? Instead of STEADILY preparing our kids for the high school reality - total autonomization of the 3 levels of the schooling system.


43 people like this
Posted by Happy nerdy family - left the district
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 16, 2016 at 2:02 pm

@Lynn Brown,
You make a good point - why is it that the "contagion", if the media had anything to do with it, happened so strongly in Palo Alto, not in the surrounding communities with all the same factors or worse being blamed here? We didn't just have tgose two suicide clusters either, there were suicides not that long prior, and a terrible mental health and depression epidemic. Why Palo Alto? Simply reaching for easy explanations doesn't cut it because the communities around us are so very similar but have not faced such serious problems.

@parent in Barron Park,
I hope you will consider working to help our schools. This is a wonderful community. From where I am sitting as a parent, the problem has more been a system that is almost completely insular to being improved or allowing people with problems to solve them for the benefit of all. That can be fixed. There is a thread around here somewhere about how to do that using the city charter. If the district were forced to be more accountable to the community, they would be more accountable without being forced. That's the way checks and balances work.

I want to say very vociferously that I think the community has been libeled by all this blame, and think this is a lovely place. Just not lovely schools (now) at the high school level. Moving away or private is not your only options.


32 people like this
Posted by May
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 16, 2016 at 2:09 pm

'Downtown' I am afraid you are very behind in the research on homework for children. Yes, they play instruments and soccer and hopefully enjoy family time after 6 hours of school, but more work has been proven to get them no further.

Our high schools are very rigorous and there are many paths to take that should be encouraged based on the students interests and abilities. My child had no homework in elementary, some in Middle Schhool, took on an appropriate level of honors and AP classes for his ability and is being accepted to some of the most recognized schools in our country. And he is not atypical. We should be proud of our schools but cautious about forcing all the kids into the same high-stress track. Don't blame encouraging young children for our problems.

The pressure to succeed at very high levels for all students needs to end. Life balance, diverse interests also need to be honored so all our kids thrive. Not every student will be awarded a Nobel but you can still be proud of them.

Living on a treadmills is not a life, especially not a life well lived.


9 people like this
Posted by MadamPresident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 16, 2016 at 2:57 pm

Don't kid yourselves (no pun intended), dear parents:
- the math program in public schools (& it does include PA) is for a very average student
- to avoid pier pressure if there is any, make your kids to a) volunteer in hospitals, charity organizations b) earn their pocket money working in McD etc so they see what really matters in life & what real life is about


44 people like this
Posted by Been There, Done That
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Feb 16, 2016 at 2:57 pm

Paly Mom's posting is right on target. The teachers are the root cause, not the parents. Is it really asking too much to want our children to attend a CA state school? It's not just the homework loads and rigor, but it's also the disorganized, unclear, ambiguous teaching that is stressful for our students. Teachers who claim something will be on the test, then it isn't; teachers who don't even review for tests or give review sheets; don't teach because they know the students will find tutors; don't stay after school to help students; don't answer emails. There are many teachers at Jordan and Paly who are there for the paycheck - they don't want to teach. AND they have no problem giving C grades to hardworking students. These teachers have too much power over the futures of our students. They can tarnish a transcript with a B or C grade and they just don't care. And some of them have negative attitudes towards students who want to do well in the class because they are too lazy to help. Do teachers realize how hard our children work for their grades and college acceptances?

Look at the freshman profiles of the UCs: Web Link

UC Merced: 3.67 GPA
UC Riverside: 3.78
UCSC: 3.88
UC Irvine: 4.04
UC Santa Barbara: 4.05
UC Davis: 4.07
UC San Diego: 4.13
UCLA: 4.18
UC Berkeley: 4.19

To earn above a 4.0 GPA, at least one class must be AP.

Add to those GPAs the SAT/ACT scores that need to be in the top range too, way above the national average.

Add volunteer hours, some extracurricular, tutoring hours, and these teenagers are all sleep-deprived and overworked.

Why can't teachers keep the rigor but lower the standards for high grades? Why can't they distribute As to all who work for the As instead of making the tests more difficult so they limit the amount of As that are distributed?

This is a public school district - I guarantee the public high schools in the rest of the nation don't have the rigor and homework load of our district. The teachers expect more because they know they can.



29 people like this
Posted by litebug
a resident of another community
on Feb 16, 2016 at 3:16 pm

(former 38 year resident of P.A.)

There was a shocking number of student suicides by the time we moved from P.A. in 2008 so it isn't a new problem.

I feel I must respond to the post by "Been There, Done That": "Why can't teachers keep the rigor but lower the standards for high grades? Why can't they distribute As to all who work for the As instead of making the tests more difficult so they limit the amount of As that are distributed? "

1. How does one "keep the rigor but lower the standards"?
2. The idea that everyone who TRIES for an A should GET an A, just for trying, is [portion removed] to make grades totally irrelevant and worthless for any kind of measure. This would NOT train young people for the realities of life, where we don't get "A"s just because we want them or try for them! [Portion removed.] This mushy idea that everyone in a class should get a high grade so no one feels bad just breeds people who are very unsuited for the real world of adulthood. [Portion removed.] There ARE really winners and losers and no winner ever started out thinking that they'd automatically get an "A" just for trying or wanting one. [Portion removed.]


6 people like this
Posted by Peter Markeley
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 16, 2016 at 3:52 pm

[Post removed.]


13 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 16, 2016 at 4:31 pm

Nothing that's shown on the corporate owned mainstream media is worth watching, including this program.


21 people like this
Posted by Been There, Done That
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Feb 16, 2016 at 4:40 pm

litebug: My posting is misinterpreted. I believe in capitalism and competition, not socialism. I also unapologetically do not believe in participation trophies. I've hired tutors and private coaches for my children. Only those Palo Alto high school parents who are involved in their student's lives (call it helicoptering if you want) know what I am talking about. Many of our students would have 4.0 GPAs if they were in a different school district, but not here in PAUSD. Even some regular lane classes require tutors because of the deficient teaching or because of the difficult, in-depth concepts (math and science departments are the greatest offenders, but World Language isn't a cake-walk either). This leaves the other students (whose parents cannot or will not pay for tutors) struggling. Let me be clear in saying that not all teachers are bad. But if your child has a few of them on their schedule, they can make their lives unbearable. And those "bad" teachers should not even be allowed to teach our children because of their madness.

Simply put, there is a curriculum but it's up to teachers to interpret how in-depth or difficult they make the class. And there are teachers who make the classes much more challenging for the sake of distributing less As.


35 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 16, 2016 at 4:44 pm

I am shocked by the attitude that our elementary schools are not pushing academics enough. This is the type of thing that makes a second grader feel stress and a failure, I know I have heard them say it.

Elementary should be about teaching the 3 Rs, but also should be about enjoying learning.

I recently found my own report card for this age. My reading, spelling and comprehension were wonderful. My handwriting was poor. My arithmetic was good although I needed some help with my tables. According to my teacher I enjoyed history and nature study. I remember this age as enjoying school, feeling clever and asking plenty of questions. I also enjoyed playing outside, reading and playing with toys and did this on my own and with friends.

This is what childhood should be like. Not an endless schedule of preparation for academic future still a long time ahead.


45 people like this
Posted by Hard road
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 16, 2016 at 5:10 pm

A couple years ago had a parent look me in the eye and say "The path to the Ivies is hard as hell and quite frankly some won't survive. That shouldn't mean my daughter should be held back from getting there. I mean, that's why we're here in the first place isn't it?"

I have a feeling there is more than one parent who thinks like that. As long as there is a vocal undergroup of parents who not only like the extreme rigors, but wish for more, the going will be tough. We have no plans of sending our kids to our PA high school.


15 people like this
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 16, 2016 at 5:33 pm

The Washington Post also posted an article about the "suicide cluster" in Palo Alto today:
Web Link


2 people like this
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 16, 2016 at 5:35 pm

Correction:

The Washington Post posted an article today about the "suicide cluster" in Palo Alto:
Web Link

I apologize for my error.


7 people like this
Posted by Perez Trump
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 16, 2016 at 5:37 pm

[Post removed.]


39 people like this
Posted by Carole
a resident of Walter Hays School
on Feb 16, 2016 at 5:54 pm

I'll bet most Palo Alto parents have high hopes that their children can attend an Ivy League or elite university but when their children reach high school, they realize just how insane it is to reach that goal. Some continue to push their children while others realize it's just not healthy and they "lower" their expectations to UC colleges and out-of-state schools. Those who have not experienced high schools in Palo Alto recently ought to stop their assumptions that we're all pushing our children so hard because many students are just trying to keep their heads above water.

Many of our present and past school board members are Ivy League/elite graduates so they don't understand. Next time, I'm voting for those who don't have elite college degrees.


36 people like this
Posted by Paly mom
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 16, 2016 at 6:17 pm

@Hard Road Anyone who comes to Palo Alto so their kids can get into Ivy's is making a big mistake. The competition is too tough. Small fish in a big pond! Try a smaller town, it's worked for my friends.


33 people like this
Posted by A Parent
a resident of Community Center
on Feb 16, 2016 at 6:40 pm

"As long as there is a vocal undergroup of parents who not only like the extreme rigors, but wish for more, the going will be tough. We have no plans of sending our kids to our PA high school."

This is an interesting comment. It points out there are multiple groups of families/students with somewhat different goals. It is interesting that the poster thinks their child cannot thrive in the same school with the others; I wonder if the others think the same? Our school system is big enough that we ought to be able to accommodate more than one goal, learning style, focus, etc. At some level we do - we have Middle College, TEAM, Gunn SLC, Social Justice Pathway, 5 lanes of math, multiple AP courses, etc.

It doesn't need to be zero sum - if THOSE people get their way, MY people can't tolerate it. The schools ought to be able to accommodate multiple interests and approaches. Do people disagree?


23 people like this
Posted by Marc Vincenti
a resident of Gunn High School
on Feb 16, 2016 at 6:43 pm

Hi, Onliners,

To act on behalf of a less stressful, more hopeful life for Palo Alto's high-schoolers, please visit Savethe2008.com.

We have a six-point action plan for making commonsense adjustments to the way our schools are run.

We're a coalition of 424 parents, students, grandparents, alums, LMFTs, ministers and rabbis, Stanford professors, venture capitalists, authors and martial arts instructors, psychiatrists, attorneys, PAMF physicians, musicians and artists, a chief health strategist from Google, and more--and our proposals have so far been dismissed by the five-member School Board (except for Ken Dauber) and Superintendent McGee.

Our coalition is open to everyone; we'd be honored to have you join. We're serious about fighting for change.

Sincerely,

Marc Vincenti
Gunn English Dept. (1995-2010)
Campaign Coordinator
Save the 2,008*
savethe2008.com

* 2,008 is the number of faculty and students at our most hard-hit high school following the two student deaths in 2014.


33 people like this
Posted by It Never Ends
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 16, 2016 at 9:24 pm

It Never Ends is a registered user.

There is another Newsweek article that just came out today with some actual useful information about the CDC assessment team and the epidemiological study they will be doing.

Finally a fact and data driven approach to help get to the bottom of this problem. Is it tiger moms, helicopter parents and pressure cooker schools or traditional causes like mental health disorders, substance abuse, teen pregnancy and catastrophic life events? Or is it all of the above or something else?

I hope they share their findings.

Link below:

Web Link


9 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 16, 2016 at 11:12 pm

Gunn High School doesn't exist in isolation. The parents and students are reacting to their environment and the existing selection pressures. [Portion removed.]


40 people like this
Posted by Paly Parent
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 16, 2016 at 11:48 pm

Nightline should also consider doing a segment on academic cheating.
Investigate which high schools are reporting the highest numbers.
Compare the increase in cheating and relationship to change in demographics.
And link it with academic stress, and cheating on the SAT, ACT, GRE, MCAT, LSAT, TOEFL, etc.


36 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 17, 2016 at 8:26 am

I wonder if vocal under group of parents who not only like the extreme rigors, but wish for more realize that attending an Ivy League college does not guarantee professional success and definitely not happiness. Many such Palo Alto high school students, 8-10 years after graduation, are deeply unhappy and unfulfilled in their personal lives, and not all are doing well career wise. They will never get their childhood back either.


7 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 17, 2016 at 8:30 am

"Many such Palo Alto high school students, 8-10 years after graduation, are deeply unhappy and unfulfilled in their personal lives, and not all are doing well career wise"

That's interesting. Is there data/analysis that shows that, or is it just your impression? Of course, there are lots of people in their 20s unhappy and/or unfulfilled, so it would be useful to compare %'s against other populations.


Posted by Happy pa grad
a resident of Fairmeadow

on Feb 17, 2016 at 8:31 am


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33 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 17, 2016 at 8:50 am

@Parent, I certainly haven't conducted a scientific survey of all high schools graduates. My kids, who are of that generation, have kept in touch, mostly via social media, and they have told me how so many of their peers with "tiger parents" who were put on this fast track, are deeply unhappy, both personally and sometime professionally. I have met some of them over the years and I get the same impression. I actually had lunch with one of them a week ago, and she said, and i remember every word:Losing my childhood for this wasn't worth it.


9 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 17, 2016 at 9:16 am

On the other hand, I'm sure there are young people, from Palo Alto and elsewhere, who say, "I wish I had tried harder in school, I didn't realize it would impact my future opportunities." The grass is always greener, right? It is hard to second-guess other people's parenting strategies; I generally don't try to. Those "tiger parents" may not realize the impact of what they are doing; on the other hand, you and I may not either.


37 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 17, 2016 at 9:54 am

I don't subscribe to the notion that children to parents who aren't "tiger" parents don't try as hard in school and are somehow slackers, it's just not true. Not being extreme and refusing to give up on your childhood doesn't make you less ambitious or less likely to succeed in life. It's about common sense. Extremes are just not good, period. Obsessive ambition is not healthy either. Many extremely successful people, some of whom actually changed the world, didn't give up their childhood and didn't go to elite colleges. One can be highly successful, accomplished and fulfilled without going through what so many Palo Alto students are going through.


40 people like this
Posted by @ Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 17, 2016 at 10:01 am

If you believe that saying, you have not notice the color of the billionaires in Palo Alto

Also, that saying is a misquote from a book by a Chinese national who was raised in the Bay Area. The title is "Love is Only for White Kids". It is considered the most authoritative and definitive book on the victims of tiger parenting.


29 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 17, 2016 at 10:06 am

There have been many schools of thought on this one. Fred Rogers was most definitely of the opinion that "play" was the business of childhood. Many so called educational toys such as slinky, gyroscope, and even the rubik cube, taught scientific principles through play. The old school theory of kindergarten was to spend time in play in a more structured environment.

For a child to spend time looking under rocks for bugs, staring at the patterns the clouds make, asking adults endless questions that have no real answer, being bored and having to find something to do, and so many other childhood pursuits that are not of the modern approach by parents, it can be one of the most rewarding activities. These types of childhood pursuits could lead to a lifetime of interest in such things and quite possibly career choices and research.

Please don't take away childhood by insisting that a child be pushed in a certain direction to enable that child to end up in Harvard. Having a Harvard degree may sound good on paper, but maybe the wrong fit for a budding future genius.


5 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 17, 2016 at 11:17 am

@mauricio, I don't disagree with you and didn't mean to suggest there were only two modes (slacker and tiger). There are lots of positions in between (and even more extreme, I imagine). When you say it is common sense and "extremes" are bad, I guess that's in the eye of the beholder and I generally don't judge. You may view some parenting approaches as "extreme"; others may feel they are appropriate given their family's circumstances, goals, experience, and of course their individual children.

I agree that there are lots of ways to become successful, as well as many definitions of success, and I don't personally agree with what at least some other parents do. We focus on communicating our message to our kids (and their friends if they are interested), not so much judging what other do or trying to get the schools to enforce one approach or another.


33 people like this
Posted by Don't worry, be happy.
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 17, 2016 at 11:29 am

Have a look at Michael Moore's recent film "Where to Invade Next" and its segment on the schools in Finland. They currently rank #1 in the world, and among many other innovative ideas, they believe in paying teachers well and respecting the profession on a par with medicine and law (competition to get into teacher training programs is intense, and if you don't cut the mustard you quickly wash out), they do not do ANY standardized testing, they have very little if any homework, and their schools are all equal. Private schools basically do not exist in Finland. The kids are whip-smart, autonomous, mature, and above all, HAPPY. So are the teachers.


Like this comment
Posted by Barron Park dad
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 17, 2016 at 11:46 am

Haven't seen the Nightline piece yet. Anyone else? How was it?


27 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 17, 2016 at 11:57 am

@Resident, I think the Finnish system is interesting too, esp. the teachers - for a more detailed look, check out the book Finnish Lessons written (in English) by their former minister of education.

Some of those Michael Moore facts are not quite right. Finland was #1 in the initial PISA tests, but has been trending down over the years; most recently it was #6, trailing Shanghai, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Japan (source: Web Link), and somewhat lower than that in math.

Also, they do have one big, high stakes exam, the National Matriculation Exam (a lot about it here: Web Link). It is offered 2x a year and takes up to 18 hours to complete. It is quite different from the SAT, but it is definitely a high-stakes, standardized test that the Finns have used for over 150 years.

Finnish students are happy, yes, but then in turns out all Finns in general are quite happy in surveys. Paradoxically, they also have a high suicide rate. This has puzzled many, and the relationship is also seen among US states.

Finland is hard to compare to many US school systems, since it is small, prosperous, and homogeneous place. It also has evolved to its current state over many decades (as you can read in Finnish Lessons). If you think their education system is different, check out their correctional system! Web Link


8 people like this
Posted by Erik Jacobsen
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Feb 17, 2016 at 1:16 pm

I think it's helpful to have some contextual data for this discussion. The articles I've seen (Washington Post and CBS News) say that an average of 20 young people a year died by suicide in Santa Clara County between 2010 and 2014. That's true, but not useful information without knowing how it compares to the rate of suicide in other places.

The fact is that the rate for the county was below the national average for every year of the last 15, except 2011 and 2003, when it was on par with the national average. Here's an interactive graphic that puts the Santa Clara County suicide rates in context: Web Link


36 people like this
Posted by Celine
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 17, 2016 at 2:43 pm

[Post removed.]


25 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 17, 2016 at 4:06 pm

I have actually observed first hand the end result of what Celine described. The 28 year old former classmate of my daughter, Ivy league educated, with whom I had lunch exactly a week ago, broke down at the lunch table several times. She talked about a lost childhood, profound burnout, deep disaffection with very stressful high paying jobs, inability to form healthy relationships, deep regrets she had allowed her parents to turn her into the kind of person Celine described above. Lost childhood are two words she kept repeating and I can't get out of my mind.


8 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 17, 2016 at 6:34 pm

@mauricio, maybe "lost childhood" is a societal thing, not sure. There have always been unhappy young adults who felt pressured by their parents (or blame their parents for whatever - I know that I did).

When I googled "lost childhood", I got among other things a NY Times article from 1983 about how terribly things have changed with mothers entering the workforce in the 1970s, and now there were "children without childhood." I guess it goes to show that there are always people who shake their heads at other family's decisions, though what seemed crazy at one time seems normal at others.


1 person likes this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 17, 2016 at 7:33 pm

[Post removed.]


9 people like this
Posted by woodedcreek
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 18, 2016 at 10:05 am

woodedcreek is a registered user.

I think it would help if we had free/nominal price healthy nutritious food at Gunn and Paly...though it's easier for Paly kids to go across to Town and Country. We could have free milk and fruit available. We could cater from so many amazing caterers and they could have some business. The idea is same as at tech companies, allow kids to be a bit more relaxed (healthy) and then they can do better in life. We don't even have any reasonable hot lunch or kitchens in our schools. How sad for such a wealthy community. Even poor places provide their kids with a hot nutritious lunch. Food is very very important, more so than many other amenities. So many families are so so stressed out...give them a break...let the kids have easy access to nutritious food at school. I made lunch bags for my kids every single school day and it was a lot of effort for me as a full time working parent, but it was a priority for me as the school options were not acceptable.


38 people like this
Posted by AnjaliV
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Feb 18, 2016 at 2:18 pm

AnjaliV is a registered user.

In the light of the intense scrutiny coming to our community and schools, I would like to highlight the sincere efforts of the youth, staff and administration that I've witnessed at Gunn High School. There has been deep reflection and direct action from all parties, exploring solutions and implementing change. I have had the privilege of being personally involved with one of the significant steps to provide support and positive coping tools at Gunn - the YES! program. YES! provides students with a healthy toolbox of targeted breathing techniques, relaxation methods, and simple, powerful understanding of the workings of our mind and methods to manage stress and emotions. All Freshmen and Sophomores at GHS have now taken the YES! program. Here is some of what they had to say about the experience and what they gained: Web Link

I would also simply like to acknowledge and express appreciation for all that the GHS admin and teachers are doing to support our kids, from school structure to pedagogy, to just by being there for them. I know media often tends to highlight the negative. I hope we can all work together in supporting the positive in our kids, our schools and community.
- Anjali Vishwanath, GHS Parent & member of the YES! for Schools team at GHS


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

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