News

Renaming schools committee to host town hall on Nov. 7

Divided committee seeks to find consensus around renaming protocols

To many in Palo Alto, names matter -- especially the names of their schools.

The namesakes of three schools in particular evoke strong responses from people who have split into roughly two camps in the wake of a proposal to rename them: those who believe those namesakes' promotion of the now-condemned social philosophy eugenics is antithetical to the mission of a public school district, and those who want to preserve the local history tied to the names.

A committee convened by the school district this spring to study this issue has been grappling with very complex questions raised by this proposal: historical significance, racism, identity, diversity and educational opportunity.

The committee, set to host its first public town hall meeting this Monday, Nov. 7, reflects a community still strongly divided over whether to rename the schools in question.

This summer the Renaming Schools Advisory Committee spent its first few months in subcommittees, researching the names of all 17 schools in the district. The group determined most names were uncontroversial and did not merit renaming, save three. The committee has focused on Jordan and Terman middle schools and Cubberley Community Center for their namesakes' leadership in the eugenics movement, an early 20th-century philosophy that promoted the reproduction of genetic traits of particular races over others.

David Starr Jordan, well-known for his capacity as Stanford University's founding president, was a prominent eugenicist. He was chair of the Eugenics Section of the American Breeders Association starting in 1906, an "incorporating member" of the Human Betterment Foundation and an advisory council member of the Eugenics Committee of the American Eugenics Society, according to Lars Johnsson, whose petition to rename Jordan led to the creation of the committee. Jordan also authored "The Blood of the Nation: A Study in the Decay of Races by the Survival of the Unfit," a 1902 publication that promoted eugenics.

Lewis M. Terman, a psychologist and Stanford faculty member known for creating an IQ test, and Elwood P. Cubberley, a professor and later dean of the Stanford Graduate School of Education, were also eugenics proponents.

Over the course of several months, the 13-member committee -- made up of parents, community members, one teacher and one student -- has struggled to find common ground between two entrenched viewpoints, though more members support renaming than not. At their Oct. 17 meeting, committee members took a preliminary vote on their positions. Six supported changing the names, two wanted to keep them and three wanted to modify the names in some way (such as preserving "Jordan," but removing the full name.) Two members were not present.

Those that support renaming argue that men who believed in a philosophy that promoted the sterilization of certain races and saw educational achievement as predetermined by race are unfit namesakes for public schools that espouse values of inclusion, diversity and equity.

"Our responsibility as a public school is to ensure that all children are afforded equal access to a high quality education in a safe and welcoming environment," one committee member wrote in anonymous summaries of their positions, solicited last month by the district administrator facilitating the committee, Associate Superintendent Markus Autrey.

"Naming our institutions for men who actively sought the subjugation of people based on their race, ethnicity, gender expression, sexual orientation and learning differences is an abrogation of that fundamental responsibility," the committee member wrote.

"Only the actual renaming of these schools will set the lasting reminder that there was a debate so significant that it warranted new school names," another member wrote.

Those against changing the names, many of them district alumni and longtime Palo Altans, defend their place in local history and tradition.

"Jordan has been in Palo Alto for 80 years, and there are many two- and three-generation families who share this common history," one member wrote. "This link with the past is important, and there are many people who want to preserve it."

Another member wrote: "I came into the group thinking there needed to be a compelling reason to offset change school names. I have not found a compelling reason to offset continuity and stability of the community."

A few committee members who oppose renaming the schools do so with the caveat that the district must put in place a comprehensive educational effort to teach students about the full histories of Cubberley, Jordan and Terman.

Those who support renaming have countered: "And what is your answer when they (students) ask you why is my school named after this person?" Johnsson asked at the Oct. 3 meeting. "Why do we need the name of this school to teach that?"

While most committee members have held onto the perspective they came into the group with, at least one parent's opinion has shifted over the course of their work.

Ben Lenail, the father of a Palo Alto High School graduate and current senior, said he joined the committee planning to insist on keeping the names to honor local history and tradition. But then he spent time on a subcommittee with two African-American mothers who both have children at Terman and "find it deeply unsettling that the school is named after somebody who was such a strong advocate of eugenics, sterilization (and) very much a race-based view of society," Lenail said in an interview with the Weekly. He's now in favor of renaming the schools in question.

Johnsson said the group has also yet to agree on a clear, objective "renaming rationale" that could help guide their final decision.

"We're trying to find out if there is common ground where you could say, if a school was named after a person, what does it take to have that name changed? Is it because the political views have changed and we're not aligned with his philosophy anymore? Is that already enough of a reason, or does it have to be more?" he said.

The committee is aiming for a consensus recommendation, Johnsson said, but the two camp's opinions on the answers to the above questions make that or even a compromising "middle-ground recommendation" challenging. Stan Hutchings, one of the five members who oppose renaming the schools, said the group plans to submit a "minority report" to the board along with the broader group's final recommendation.

There is, however, "widespread agreement" that eugenics and its local history should be more fully included in Palo Alto Unified's curriculum, Johnsson said. Many students, parents and alumni were unaware of this history until Johnsson's petition started circulating last fall. (He himself did not know about Jordan's beliefs until his son, then a seventh grader, brought home a book report on Jordan.)

About 400 people signed the petition last fall. It was also officially endorsed by several parent groups in the school district, including Parent Advocates for Student Success (PASS), which represents parents of minority students; the Palo Alto chapter of the Community Advisory Committee (CAC), which represents families of students with special needs; and the Palo Alto Council of PTAs (PTAC). The Terman Site Council has also written an official statement in support of changing the school's name.

The renaming committee hopes to solicit public feedback on renaming at the Nov. 7 town hall, as well as educate community members by providing historical and other background.

"This will help the committee members to ensure that the community is aware of the issues, and that the committee is aware of the community views," Johnsson said.

The town hall will feature four panelists with professional expertise relating to eugenics, ethics, race and other topics. The panelists will "look at eugenics in the context of its time, how names and messages impact the inclusiveness of a school's environment, how students' sense of respect and belonging might impact their academic achievements, and what opportunities and difficulties a school renaming might create," an event description states.

The panelists are Joseph Brown, associate director of Stanford's Diversity and First Generation Office and graduate diversity recruitment officer for the university; Mary Rorty, a clinical associate professor at the Stanford Medical Center and fellow at the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics; Milton Reynolds, senior program manager for national educational nonprofit "Facing History and Ourselves;" and Tony Platt, a longtime professor who writes about race, inequality, and social justice in American history.

The panel will be moderated by Ken Yale, a facilitator the district has hired to support several committee efforts in recent years. The panelists will make short presentations based on their respective expertise and take questions from the audience. The entire renaming committee will also be present and available to answer questions.

The meeting will run from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the Media Arts Center at Palo Alto High School, 50 Embarcadero Road.

The committee is expected to present a final recommendation to the school board in December. The group's meeting schedule, agendas and minutes are posted at pausd.org.

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Comments

46 people like this
Posted by Granny Grifter
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Nov 3, 2016 at 3:35 pm


In the early 20th, eugenics was the darling of the Progressive Movement.

If Al Gore, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Hillary Clinton had been active politicians a century ago, they would've supported Margaret Sanger and the other eugenics proponents.

Leave the school names alone.


32 people like this
Posted by OMG
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Nov 3, 2016 at 3:48 pm

PC has gone too far. None of the students care about the name or idolize Jordan. Ask any student, and no one knows who he is. Keep the name for historical purposes. Wilbur should have never been changed to JLS. Palo Verde changed to Sequoiah for a few years after Ortega closed and joined them, then reverted back to Palo Verde. At the time, none of us kids even cared and wondered why the name needed to be changed but the adults thought it would welcome the Ortega students! Duveneck used to be Green Gables.

If they are going to change names, don't name it after a person. Simply "Palo Alto Middle School #XXXX" is best. It states the location of the school and no skeletons can be dug up later.

Just change all the elementary schools to "Palo Alto Elementary School #XXXX" so we never waste our time on this again.

We might as well have our city listed in the name for branding since our mortgages are so high.


34 people like this
Posted by what's it cost?
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 3, 2016 at 5:40 pm

My efforts to find out if anyone on the board or on the renaming committee is doing a thorough analysis on the costs, time commitment, resource impacts etc. of renaming schools has been been met with shrugs and passing the buck. No where can i find any mention of it in the committee charter or meeting agendas.

Web Link

Hopefully someone will do the proper due diligence and publicly disclose their analysis and findings. In light of our current budget mess I really question if this is a high priority project.


16 people like this
Posted by time well spent?
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Nov 3, 2016 at 6:00 pm

this caught my attention

"A few committee members who oppose renaming the schools do so with the caveat that the district must put in place a comprehensive educational effort to teach students about the full histories of Cubberley, Jordan and Terman."

so instead of teaching our kids reading, rwriting and rithmetic they will be taught about Cubberley, Jordan and Terman. What a waste of time.


47 people like this
Posted by OnceAgain
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 3, 2016 at 6:20 pm

Judging people from the past using today's ideals is a fools errand.

Lets take a recent medical/social change: smoking. How many of the wonderful folks spearheading this charge had parents that once smoked? Grandparents? Perhaps they smoked around kids. Perhaps they smoked when pregnant. They may very well have caused enduring physical harm to children. Should their names be besmirched today for their past smoking?

Some of the founding fathers owned slaves. Is Jefferson now a verboten name?

We have real problems to address within PAUSD. This issue really should be near the bottom of the list in priorities. That it is not is surprising and disappointing. Why didn't more thoughtful adults help the kids see this issue within its historical context.

Please move on.




10 people like this
Posted by keep the name
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 3, 2016 at 6:32 pm

I'm all for keeping the name if the school includes lessons on life's work. Eugenics is obviously an important part of 20th century world history, but many Americans don't know its history in this country (instead of just Germany). If the city's teachers can't think of a way to teach this history in a middle school, then changing the school's name is a good idea.


Posted by HUTCH 7.62
a resident of Portola Valley

on Nov 3, 2016 at 7:14 pm


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8 people like this
Posted by 6yth
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Nov 3, 2016 at 7:43 pm

[Post removed.]


19 people like this
Posted by kill 2 birds
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 3, 2016 at 7:46 pm

let's allow corporations to sponsor a school in return for an annual fee. Thus we deal with the budget issues and we get to rename schools. My kid is a honor student at Facebook Middle School!!


23 people like this
Posted by Luis Alviso
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 4, 2016 at 6:32 am

Leland Stanford wasn't all about benificence and equality. Where is that committee?


25 people like this
Posted by Barron Park
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 4, 2016 at 9:17 am

If renaming schools is the most pressing problem facing PAUSD, then I think I am living in a great world. Seriously, I don't think anybody cares about those names least of all the kids. Wonder how much money,resources are being spent on this issues. Can PAUSD route some of those resources to address school bullying, better teachers, more activities and then list goes on.....


2 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 4, 2016 at 9:33 am

@kill 2 birds, seems I recall one of our council hopefuls advocating that same fundraising process of a naming-auction for everything in Palo Alto. Trying to remember who it was and the quote. Probably at a candidate forum.


9 people like this
Posted by MoveOn
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 4, 2016 at 10:57 am

I agree with OnceAgain
We have better things to focus on.

Else (re-)number them all! P.S. (public school) 49
E.S. #3 (elementary school)
M.S. #2 (middle school)
H.S. #1 (high school)


11 people like this
Posted by sunshine
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 4, 2016 at 11:03 am

Rather than wasting time and money renaming schools, the schools should incorporate the name of the school into the learning program. School is the best place for children to encounter things that may challenge them intellectually. In a school environment they can learn and discuss each of these ideas at a grade appropriate level. Some may wish to to further research and/or write a paper on the subject, thus expanding the learning to other areas of study.
I hope that students would also discuss such issues with their parents who at best will suggest a trip to the library for further research.
When children are too shielded from challenging ideas, that is how they develop into persons who are too innocent for their own good. This can lead to being caught by the first con artist who may be one of their peers. Extrapolate yourself to possible extensions of this.


20 people like this
Posted by 38 year resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 4, 2016 at 11:09 am

Just another case of political correctness run amok. A small number of "squeaky wheels" trying to impose their morality on everyone else. It's the progressive way of doing things. Why not ask the tax paying citizens if they want this change by having a vote. It'll cost a bit to do it but my guess is that the overwhelming majority of voters would say no to name changes.


22 people like this
Posted by old school palo alto
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 4, 2016 at 12:44 pm

huge waste of money.
might as well change the name of the city - the historical reference to Spanish colonization makes me uncomfortable.


14 people like this
Posted by Headline i don't want to see
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 4, 2016 at 2:30 pm

"PAUSD facing self-inflicted budget crisis and looming program cuts earmarks funds to rename 3 schools"


2 people like this
Posted by Jonathan Brown
a resident of Ventura
on Nov 4, 2016 at 3:14 pm

Where can we send written comments about whether to pursue renaming (for those of us who won't be able to attend the Town Hall on Nov. 7)? The renaming proposals raise important issues that deserve critical reflection and thoughtful input from a diversity of perspectives.

One of the issues is how to engage in civil discourse and make decisions even on topics on which we may disagree. I think we're off to a solid start in that regard, and I hope we can model good behavior for our students throughout the discussion. Hopefully in the end the people who would have preferred that another decision be made will be able to disagree and commit, understanding that the process was fair and that their voices were heard.


8 people like this
Posted by John Polanski
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 4, 2016 at 3:23 pm


How about a contemporary new name:

Donald J. Trump Middle School!

New motto:

"The place where if you can dream it, you can achieve it."

j


1 person likes this
Posted by Lucky us
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 4, 2016 at 3:59 pm

We are so fortunate to live now and not at the beginning of the 20th century, when the white majority, whipped into a racist frenzy by the likes of David Starr Jordan, imposed their 'morality' onto all those they feared to dilute their supreme Anglo-Saxon/Nordic stock, and did so by means of forced sterilization, segregation, exclusion and internment.

Cost aside for a moment (that's a big aside in a broke district), what's so wrong with finding role models who have dedicated their lives to helping others, so the district can replace the the current namesakes we honor, who dedicated a substantial part of their lives to hating others?


13 people like this
Posted by animal farm
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 4, 2016 at 5:56 pm

"The group determined most names were uncontroversial and did not merit renaming, save three. "

So this group has set itself up and decided which schools are named after "good people" and which schools are named after "bad people".

Come on! If you are going to do this, do it right. Stop with the half-measures and change the names of all schools that are named after people instead of sitting there in judgement deciding which people are "good" and which are "bad".


6 people like this
Posted by 38 year resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 4, 2016 at 8:17 pm

@Lucky us....those same people you denigrate also did much good in the world. You and those who promote the "white privilege" platitudes are getting tiresome. Put it to a vote. My guess....you and the name change proponents lose by a landslide.


4 people like this
Posted by OnceAgain
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 4, 2016 at 8:24 pm

Instead of wasting resources on renaming, it is easy to enumerate many more important topics that should be discussed, resolved and lead to concrete change. NPR's Morning Edition had a discussion yesterday on the health benefits of a later school start time. Web Link

It is not far fetched to suggest that a later school start time is likely to have a far greater positive impact on a larger number of kids in PAUSD.

Instead we're wasting resources on something that will barely register on anyone's radar other than as a new big cost item.



11 people like this
Posted by 38 year resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 4, 2016 at 8:30 pm

@Jonathan Brown...do you honestly think the children care what the name of their school is? There is a very small group of people who are pushing this idea. Put it to a vote. Let the taxpayers decide....my guess....it loses by a landslide. The majority of people are fed up with political correctness run amok.

@old school...thanks for the laugh. Made my day.


4 people like this
Posted by This Is Crazy
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 5, 2016 at 3:52 am

If anything, the names of these schools can be used to teach young students that ideas change over time.


Like this comment
Posted by American
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 5, 2016 at 8:07 am

[Post removed.]


4 people like this
Posted by Max go back to Deerfield
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 5, 2016 at 8:28 am

Another thing Max screwed up. I would really like to know what that guy does that ISN'T a mess?


4 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of another community
on Nov 5, 2016 at 10:05 am

"Palo Verde changed to Sequoiah for a few years after Ortega closed and joined them, then reverted back to Palo Verde. At the time, none of us kids even cared and wondered why the name needed to be changed but the adults thought it would welcome the Ortega students!"

I remember when the Principal (Elliot?) used a live metaphor for combining the grade schools together. He mixed color liquids To make another color (yellow +red =orange?). I knew right then and there that I was not in Kansas anymore! Most the students thought that this guy was out of his mind. Leave the name alone.

BTW, on another note, guidelines, in regards to naming of public places usually requires that the person that the place/ building/street is named after should be deceased.

Emily Rentzel park, Enid Pearson park, Nancy Pelosi blvd. in Golden Gate Park should have never been named.....Yet.

Just Say'in


7 people like this
Posted by AlexDeLarge
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 5, 2016 at 10:10 am

Palo Alto Middle School. It's innocuous, inoffensive, dull and surly to piss somebody off for unknown reasons.


6 people like this
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 5, 2016 at 10:55 am

john_alderman is a registered user.

PA-1
PA-2
PA-3

The truth is that each one of is guaranteed to hold some view today that will be looked at negatively in 100 years. Maybe it will be eating meat, maybe it will be that we worked for a corporation, maybe we had an illegal house cleaner. Who knows. but I hope that we are all judged with a little more perspective, and holistically, than the naming committee seems to be.


3 people like this
Posted by Who cares
a resident of Mayfield
on Nov 5, 2016 at 2:20 pm

How about naming them after things instead of people? Cherry Blossom Academy, Loma Vista Elementary, etc. Is this really an issue we need to wrestle with?


3 people like this
Posted by stanhutchings
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 5, 2016 at 4:06 pm

stanhutchings is a registered user.



@what's it cost? The question was raise at an early meeting, but the RSAC was told that is not relevant to the issue. The School Board must decide which of the many already-identified issues will be sacrificed if they decide to accept a recommendation to rename. One estimate is $500,000 and up per school renamed.

@Jonathan Brown - send comments to Max McGee and the School Board: board@pausd.org (or phone, or attend meetings) if you have comments pro or con.

@animal farm - indeed this is the logical conclusion. Those names are That would include HERBERT HOOVER ELEMENTARY, JUANA BRIONES ELEMENTARY, LUCILLE M. NIXON ELEMENTARY, WALTER HAYS ELEMENTARY, DAVID STARR JORDAN MIDDLE SCHOOL, JANE LATHROP STANFORD MIDDLE SCHOOL and HENRY M. GUNN HIGH SCHOOL. Just remember, it costs upwards of $500,000 to rename a school, and renaming will cause a cummunity uproar and outcry. Indeed , Walter Hays was a Presbyterian minister; this would be an affront to most other religious groups. Like the Eugenicists, Presbyterians believe they are the pinnacle of creation. They are the only ones predestined to enter Heaven.

@OnceAgain - absolutely right. I completely agree. The issues already identified that need to be fixed as soon as possible are:
Enrollment, class size, Homework load, AP class load, Student phone use in and out of class, Excessive progress/grade reporting, Cheating/plagiarism, Proper handling of special-education issues (has resulted in turmoil and lawsuits), Develop relationships between students and teachers and school connectedness as "protective factors" against suicidal ideation. (Includes student depression.), Develop strategies to reduce and eliminate drug use, including alcohol and tobacco, Hire new "wellness outreach workers" who will lead and coordinate wellness efforts. Support current Wellness Centers at Paly and Gunn, Create and maintain a safe nurturing environment: no bullying, racial slurs, discrimination, etc. Making people more friendly and accepting, Allow each student to perform to their best by appropriate challenges, learning and teaching strategies. (Includes slower as well as faster learners), Operate the school system within its budget to achieve the goals, Discretionary money for teachers to implement enrichment and extracurricular activities, Classroom aides, Specialists in reading, math, science and the arts, Student guidance; college and career counseling; a rich array of electives ranging from music to industrial tech, Smaller classes, more aides for full-day kindergarten; cost estimated at more than $700,000


5 people like this
Posted by Roger
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Nov 5, 2016 at 4:43 pm

Just one thing to remember.
No David Starr Jordan , no Palo Alto , no schools to rename, none.


2 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 5, 2016 at 5:05 pm

@stanhutchins,

Juana Briones was someone to admire, so no renaming there. Jordan is even strongly suspected of playing a role in the murder of Jane Stanford. It's time to rename the school for a positive role model.

The district could easily save the money by promising to always only put together necessary voter funding proposals and only put them on regular election ballots so they save up to near a million dollars just by not having to play the special election game anymore. This community has shown strong support for schools, the special elections are expensive and unnecessary if people do their jobs. Problem solved. That will pay for two school renamings just from the first election.

Another way to cover costs us volunteer efforts. Motivated volunteers who aren't repeatedly disrespected by administrators who can't collaborate with families can do a lot.

I like Redwood Middle School.


6 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 5, 2016 at 6:05 pm

"Jordan is even strongly suspected of playing a role in the murder of Jane Stanford."

Nice civics lesson here for the students: "Suspicion = Guilt"


5 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 5, 2016 at 7:48 pm

I hope you aren't teaching that to students you know even though you think equating suspicion with guilt is okay to say here.

There is no question that Jordan inappropriately interfered with the inquiry into Stanford's murder. The evidence of potential involvement in the murder itself is also strong enough to add to the long list of other reasons, like eugenics, etc.

Rename the school. Let the kids raise volunteers and money so it's not a financial burden. They will for something they care about. Let it be something positive and let them have a hand it making it so. If it's no skin off your nose, there is no reason to be so nasty and controlling, even if you are a curmudgeon.


4 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 5, 2016 at 10:16 pm

"I hope you aren't teaching that to students you know even though you think equating suspicion with guilt is okay to say here."

You missed my irony. I am calling out the rename crowd for their pushing of the "Suspicion = Guilt" mantra.


Like this comment
Posted by what's it cost?
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 6, 2016 at 7:35 am

@stanhutchings,

i haven't seen the $500,000 estimate per school in any meeting minutes. If you have seen a public link to that number please respond.

If it really is that high i think the board or whoever makes the decision would find it hard to justify this cost and resource commitment given our budget issues.

If certain citizens feel so strongly about this find a way to pay for it without using tax payer money


2 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 6, 2016 at 7:42 am

It is very relevant to ask how much money it will cost to rename schools. PAUSD has a very complex attitude to money. We waste a great deal of money on studies, experts, committees and sending school officials on fact finding trips to expensive destinations. It is about time that PAUSD was more accountable with our money.

I am very against naming schools after people, but I am even more against renaming a school in a situation like this. Modern morals change all the time and it is now very unPC to speak about many things. It makes the question of what morals may change in the future and how soon it may be that other schools including the renamed schools may suggest a change. Is this the start of a precedent we may regret?


1 person likes this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 6, 2016 at 9:40 am

@Curmudgeon,
I didn't miss what you call irony. I was choosing to put the responsibility for equating suspicion with guilt on your doorstep where it belongs. Take responsibility for your own jumping to conclusions and exaggerations.

The suspicions are not idle suspicions, and the evidence that Jordan at least interfered with the murder investigation is incontrovertible. The other reasons the kids may wish to rename the school for something or someone more indisputably positive are legion and stand on their own anyway. Again, if the kids and their parents want to do this, and they are willing to mitigate any financial costs such as through volunteerism or fundraising, it's no skin off your nose. I'm sure there are other ways to be more constructively curmudgeonly today than raining on a group of kids' attempts to learn about making what they feel are positive changes in their schools.


1 person likes this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 6, 2016 at 10:29 am

We are all guilty of something. Only once did that ever stop people from casting stones.


Like this comment
Posted by Jerry Underdal
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 6, 2016 at 10:44 am

Jerry Underdal is a registered user.

Dear Town Square community,

The Town Hall forum is an opportunity for the community as well as RSAC committee members to hear experts speak to the topic of renaming schools. The original plan was to have this event in late September to lay the grounds for informed public discussion as the committee carried on its work. For various scheduling reasons that did not happen. Please join us tomorrow from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Media Arts Center at Palo Alto High School, 50 Embarcadero Road.

Reminder: All committee meetings are open to the public.

Jerry Underdal, member
Renaming Schools Advisory Committee


3 people like this
Posted by what's it cost?
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 6, 2016 at 11:17 am

@jerry Underdal

with all due respect the meeting looks like a stacked deck to convince us why schools should be renamed and i can see the decision is a fait accompli based on comments from the committee already. I just want full disclosure on costs so all of us can be informed on the impact to other programs if this gets approved

will there be "experts" on how much this will cost at tomorrow's meeting?


3 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 6, 2016 at 12:49 pm

"The suspicions are not idle suspicions, and the evidence that Jordan at least interfered with the murder investigation is incontrovertible."

OK, you admit they are only suspicions. We are making progress. That is good.

But in our legal system, suspicions remain suspicions until they are documented and challenged by competent counsels in a process called a trial, and the jury returns a verdict. Surely they teach that at, ahem, Jordan Middle School.

I know your way is much easier, but it makes way, way too many mistakes.


3 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 6, 2016 at 12:57 pm

"the decision is a fait accompli based on comments from the committee already"

Do they plan to recall the old diplomas for updating? We cannot leave the (name TBD) alums burdened with diplomas besmirched by the name of a newly-disgraced hero, can we?

Is that cost included in the project?

Hmmm, maybe they can update their mascot to the Maseratis, or Teslas, while they're at it.


1 person likes this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 13, 2017 at 9:26 am

I really thought that this was going to be a non-issue, but it seems not.

What does the Palo Alto public feel about this? The students will probably be out of PAUSD before anything can be decided since there is no criteria for how to choose new names. Is this anything more than making a lot of noise to drown out the real issues in the District.

We can't sit back and let this happen while PIE and the PTAs are busy asking for more and more money.

Time for a petition that really shows how we feel.


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

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