News


Palo Alto High School student accused of on-campus sexual assault

Superintendent: Investigation into allegations is 'ongoing'

Editor's note: This story has been updated to clarify information about the male student's juvenile court conviction.

A male Palo Alto High School student is facing at least three sexual assault allegations, including that he forced a female Paly student to perform oral sex on him on campus in October, local TV news station KTVU reported on Wednesday night.

According to KTVU, the 14-year old freshman victim's family says the unnamed male student was convicted in juvenile court of oral copulation by force, violence, duress, menace or fear in a campus bathroom. Juvenile court proceedings are sealed and the Weekly has been unable to confirm the charges filed or how the case was adjudicated.

Superintendent Max McGee, however, said Friday afternoon there was no felony conviction of forced oral copulation on campus nor with a Palo Alto Unified student. A notification the district received in late January from the juvenile justice department about the student stemmed from an off-campus incident, McGee said.

KTVU reported two other allegations against the same male student: a 15-year-old who said he forced her to perform oral sex on him in a Palo Alto church bathroom in 2015 and another alleged victim who said he sexually assaulted her at a house party in Redwood City in January 2016.

KTVU said that the Paly freshman reported the campus assault to school administrators shortly after it occurred. But school board President Terry Godfrey said that the October incident was not characterized at the time as a sexual assault by the reporting parties nor school staff and was "handled as a discipline case."

The male student still attends Paly, Superintendent Max McGee confirmed to the Weekly.

One of the other two sexual assault allegations about the male student, reported by a person outside of the Palo Alto school district, Godfrey said, triggered the opening of a Title IX investigation in March. The Law Offices of Amy Oppenheimer, which has conducted previous Title IX inquiries for the district, is leading the investigation, McGee said.

McGee declined to answer questions about the allegations, citing the fact that students involved are minors.

He declined to say why an investigation hadn't started months earlier related to the alleged on-campus assault. Under federal law, the district is required to immediately investigate reports of sexual violence, make findings and share those findings with the complainant, as well as determine if an incident created a hostile educational environment.

McGee also declined to comment on any disciplinary decisions, although the district's communications coordinator told KTVU that "administrators took appropriate disciplinary action." In a message sent to parents and staff on Thursday evening, McGee wrote that the district's "investigation into these allegations is still ongoing."

He told the Weekly he has asked staff to prepare a detailed "timeline" of events going back to the first report in October.

Godfrey said the board has also "asked staff for clarification on the timelines and communications flows to better understand their process.

"The primary concern now," she added, "is keeping kids safe and completing a thorough investigation to understand if this has affected other students. And if it has, supporting those students and restoring a safe environment at the school."

Vice President Ken Dauber said that to his knowledge, the district has not yet completed a Title IX investigation on this case.

"This case underscores the importance of improving the district's Title IX compliance," Dauber told the Weekly. "I'm concerned that the required timeline and investigation may not have been done in a timely manner."

The female student, whose identity is concealed in the KTVU story, said she had a class with the older student. "Innocent flirtation" evolved into "unwanted physical touching, stalking behavior and Snapchatting nude pictures of himself," according to KTVU. In October, they met in a bathroom at Paly, where kissing turned into a sexual assault.

Paly Principal Kim Diorio also declined to comment, directing inquiries to the district’s communications coordinator. She told student news outlet the Paly Voice Thursday, however, that the administration could not alert students about the allegations due to the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, which protects student privacy.

"There's a lot of information we can't share because of confidentiality and privacy," Diorio told the Paly Voice. "But we do everything proactively behind the scenes to make sure that that person doesn't pose a risk to anyone on the campus."

She also said that if a student is convicted of a crime but is not in juvenile hall, "They have the right to be here and we have the right to educate that person and make sure that they are not a danger or threat to anyone else on this campus."

McGee said he reported the allegations on Thursday to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, which is currently monitoring the district for its failure to properly investigate several cases of sexual misconduct and violence involving both students and staff at Paly and Gunn high schools. McGee said he is unsure if other staff notified the Office for Civil Rights earlier.

The federal agency launched its investigation in Palo Alto Unified in 2013 in response to Paly student publication Verde Magazine's investigation into "rape culture" at the school. The story detailed anonymous accounts of off-campus sexual assaults and students' attitudes around rape and victim blaming.

In his message Thursday, McGee urged parents and students who have "been harassed or threatened or even feels unsafe or at risk" to immediately notify a counselor, administrator, teacher, wellness worker or him personally at superintendent@pausd.org.

"We're putting the safety and wellness of our kids first,” he told the Weekly. "As we hear of victims, again, not only are we going to be sympathetic but we are committed to providing and assuring a full range of supports for any and all victims."

Related content:

School board to meet on Paly sexual assault case

• View a timeline of events in this story here.

For immediate in-person crisis assistance and counseling services, contact the YWCA of Silicon Valley's 24-hour Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking Support Line at 800-572-2782. For more information, go to ywca-sv.org.

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Follow the Palo Alto Weekly/Palo Alto Online on Twitter @PaloAltoWeekly and Facebook for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Comments

214 people like this
Posted by Carla Marshall
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 12, 2017 at 12:07 am

Why in the hell is this just now being reported to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights? I'll tell you why! They were hoping it would just go away and they would not have to do anything about it. This should have been reported IMMEDIATELY!! Shame on you Max McGee for not looking out for our children. You should be ashamed of yourself.


162 people like this
Posted by Jerry Thompson
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 12, 2017 at 12:42 am

The headline should say "assaults" not assault. There were THREE assault victims here! Shame on you Paly High School.


176 people like this
Posted by JW
a resident of Mountain View
on May 12, 2017 at 6:36 am

Why is this boy still at Paly?! For the girls sake, at least during the investigation (or lack thereof, it seems), he should be removed from campus. 3 reports aren't just a smear campaign IMO. That's just horrible. What a disgrace.


36 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Gunn High School
on May 12, 2017 at 6:43 am

I think McGee has been quietly doing the best he can to turn over staff, but unfortunately not the one most responsible for the coverup culture in administration.

I hope the victim js getting help.


67 people like this
Posted by HMMM
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 12, 2017 at 6:43 am

The Paly Voice has more information, including the fact that the young man continues to play on a sports team.


165 people like this
Posted by Kathy Jordan
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 12, 2017 at 7:04 am

These events are deeply, deeply troubling. It is hard for PAUSD to be credible in suggesting that a student should contact a counselor, administrator, teacher, etc. if they have been harassed or threatened or feels unsafe when Paly's own Principal, Kim Diorio, neglected to pass on [allegations] of 25 [reports of] sexual [harassment] over the course of three years. How can we believe your statement that "Sexual harassment and sexual assault are unacceptable in our schools," when those who have not shown a commitment to combating sexual harassment occupy senior positions?


178 people like this
Posted by MikeT
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 12, 2017 at 7:12 am

The district, the school board, the superintendent, and the Paly principal failed on their most basic responsibility - keeping our kids safe at school. There are at least 3 known victims with who knows how many more girls who haven't come forward. We have a sexual predator at school, and the district took the most cowardly route possible which is to hide behind lawyers and do nothing. How many of our girls would have to be attacked before they would take action?

Thank you KTVU for breaking the story, and thank you to the victims who stood up to protect others when our adults would not.

Max McGee and Principal Diorio...time for your resignations!!!


133 people like this
Posted by Brcause he is an athlete
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 12, 2017 at 7:52 am

If a non-athlete was caught smoking pot on campus instead of assaulting a child, he would be at an alternative high school such as Alta Vista. The District is required to educate him, but it doesn't have to be at Paly.


121 people like this
Posted by So wrong
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 12, 2017 at 8:30 am

Sexual predators still study in PALY, still play in the school sport team - is it a wrong message to the kids that it's no big deal for sexual assault as long as you are a minor. There are no punishment, they are protected by the nonsense laws.

Here's the palyvoice:
Web Link


136 people like this
Posted by Disgusting
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 12, 2017 at 8:31 am

This is absolutely disgusting. Kim Diorio and McGee have let down the students that attend Paly, and are basically telling the victims that this is okay, that their sexual sanctity doesn't matter. This is proof of rape culture, and Diorio and McGee are rape apologists. He is preying on FRESHMEN. I hope their resignation letters are ready [portion removed.] Absolutely disgusting. This school system is a joke.


50 people like this
Posted by Sarah
a resident of College Terrace
on May 12, 2017 at 8:37 am

The facts of this case are not known to the general public. We need to trust our professional educators to handle such cases in a dispassionate way.


134 people like this
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 12, 2017 at 8:50 am

john_alderman is a registered user.

Please, if he is convicted, it is no longer an allegation. It is a disservice to the victim to call it an allegation at this point, as if it there is some sort of he said/she said uncertainty.

As for PAUSD, and Kim Diorio (very disappointing lack of action for a female principal), it is just shocking that after a sexual assault on campus, and conviction, that the perpetrator is not only still allowed on campus, allowed to participate in varsity sports. Meanwhile the victim had to move out of the area to get away from the sex offender.

The FERPA stuff is just a distraction and cover for the PAUSD inaction. Convicted of sexual assault on campus? Expel the perpetrator. No second, or third chance. You want rape culture here? Coddling the criminals and punishing the victims is how you get it.


100 people like this
Posted by Get rid of them all
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 12, 2017 at 9:15 am

The Paly administrators, the football and baseball coaches, and any teachers that knew about any of the 3 offenses or the boys behavior towards females in general are guilty of non activity.

PAUSD has so many issues and problems at all levels - some uncovered and many more covered unfortunately.
PAUSD leaders have not shown us that they are capable of handling any of them at all. Paly may have its glorious theatre, media center, athletic center, and stellar academic performers but that doesn't make up for such a terrible climate.

Jordan and Paly are out of control because the right actions aren't taken, the schools are to big, the system protects anyone who can claim IEP, and our leaders are not qualified to prevent the mess, let alone clean up the mess.
Can our board help?....show us your stuff


96 people like this
Posted by outsider
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 12, 2017 at 9:18 am

Was he really still on Varsity for two sports? Really? The victim had to leave in shame and he is playing with accolades? I must be reading this wrong. No school admin would allow a person who was convicted to wear their school Jersey and represent the spirit of the school. I must have read this wrong.

If he was convicted, then isn't that an outside record? doesn't Ferpa only pertain to school records?






21 people like this
Posted by Kathy Jordan
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 12, 2017 at 9:28 am

[Post removed.]


99 people like this
Posted by Jim
a resident of Midtown
on May 12, 2017 at 9:28 am

Paly has rules for its sports teams. If you break them, you are off the team. A number of years ago, the baseball team's best pitcher let his grades slide and he was suspended from the team until he improved in the classroom. By allowing this predator to remain on an athletic team, the administration is not only condoning his actions but is sending a message that no team rules were broken. Seriously? You would think people in education would know better than to empower negative behavior.


163 people like this
Posted by Stephen Stedman
a resident of Stanford
on May 12, 2017 at 9:34 am

At the school board meeting this past Tuesday night, Kathy Jordan, a Paly parent of a senior, very courageously called public attention to one of the most important revelations of the Dept. of Justice Office of Civil Rights investigation into rape culture at Paly. It was discovered by the Office of Civil Rights that Kim Diorio, the then assistant principal, had received 25 reports [portion removed] about [alleged] sexual harassment [portion removed] by the then principal, and for three years did nothing about them. For this violation of Title IX and failure of leadership to protect victims of sexual harassment and misconduct, she was promoted to principal of Paly.

A key point that Kathy Jordan made at the Board meeting is that in a recent article by Verde, the Paly High school magazine, Diorio is presented somewhat sympathetically in part because she ultimately came forward and notified superiors of the complaints. She said that she was afraid of retaliation and did not know that she was under obligation to report. But here is the second damning revelation: she only came forward with the spread sheet of TWENTY-FIVE [allegations] OVER THREE YEARS immediately AFTER the Office of Civil Rights investigation began.
Moreover, as the Office of Civil Rights investigation made clear, she was indeed legally obligated to report any complaint about sexual harassment.

Personally I find her defense for inaction -- fear of retaliation by an "old boys network" -- loathsome. At least 25 teachers, staff and students screwed up their courage to report the principal to her. She abused their trust and courage by doing nothing. In fact, since the complaints accumulated over three years, her inaction likely meant that more students and staff at Paly were harassed.

So between this current case of sexual assault (actually three cases) and the response of the School (whatever the disciplinary action, he still is allowed to play a varsity sport and is still a student at Paly), and the history of concerted inaction in the face of sexual harassment and misconduct (and now assault), Diorio and the Superintendent have a real problem: their integrity is in tatters on this issue. And that matters since both have sent out messages to the students assuring them that if anything happens, they should report it as it will get a prompt response. Why should parents and students believe them?

There is a comment above that states that the school district's professionals should be given the benefit of the doubt, and that they know best how to deal with the situation. Their record suggests otherwise.

As for the Board, it is going to have to decide whether its legacy will be that it ended rape culture at Paly, or its legacy will be that it allowed it to continue and fester. If it is to be the former, then several of the Board members are going to have to stop mimicking the line, "our school professionals know best." This is a strange thing for elected board members to say in any case, for were it true, then we wouldn't need a school board. But that aside the report of the Office of Civil Rights lays out clearly that with regard to Title IX issues, our school professionals have not known what is best, and have not performed in ways to protect our students. Would that our board members, school professionals, and superintendent show as much courage as the victims who reported the crime.


52 people like this
Posted by Concerned mom
a resident of Community Center
on May 12, 2017 at 9:41 am

Everything around this situation is tragic. The school's secrecy and non-response and limited disciplinary action. However, many of us know this boy and his loving family. His parents are kind and supportive people whose hearts must be breaking about what their son has done.

Let's find a way to HELP him so he doesn't continue down this black hole where he becomes an adult assaulter. He needs to have consequences for his actions but let's help him as a community to ensure he can be a productive society member instead of a sex offender for life. I know he has the kind of family who will help him through it.


33 people like this
Posted by Trouble
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 12, 2017 at 9:52 am

From what I saw in the news clip, FERPA prohibits disclosing the convicted student's information and the school can lose funding if they refuse to educate the sexual predator. They have a gag and the trouble on their hands.

The family of the predator has probably threatened to sue if the school, coach or anyone prevents him from staying at Paly----

Alta Vista or any other educational environment is not safe with the predator either.

How does Title IX square with these laws?

Maybe Jeff Sessions and Trump would like to take this one on.


64 people like this
Posted by Reality
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 12, 2017 at 9:56 am

If this boy has committed three separate sexual assaults, then he is a serial predator. He is beyond redemption. Without being brought to full justice in an adult court, there will be many more victims in his future.


24 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 12, 2017 at 9:59 am

"KTVU reported two other allegations against the same male student: a 15-year-old who said he forced her to perform oral sex on him in a Palo Alto church bathroom in 2015 and .... "

Which church? What did the clergy there do about it?

Palo Alto's rape culture and Santa Clara's treatment of rape victims vs the perpetrators are disgraceful.

Isn't sex education supposed to curb these types of abuse?


23 people like this
Posted by Reality
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 12, 2017 at 10:01 am

@ConcernedMom
"However, many of us know this boy and his loving family. His parents are kind and supportive people whose hearts must be breaking about what their son has done."

You don't know what goes on behind the closed doors of their house. You certainly don't know what's in their hearts and minds. [Portion removed.]


27 people like this
Posted by Trouble
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 12, 2017 at 10:04 am

[Portion removed.]

If you know the family- ask them to think of others, the victims, and to end this now. There must be treatment options and other ways to get his diploma.And consider letting the kid know that there are consequences for his actions.


55 people like this
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 12, 2017 at 10:07 am

john_alderman is a registered user.

@Trouble - There are grounds for expulsion in accordance with the California Educational Code, including, obviously, sexual assault, also the texting photos of his penis which would fall under cyber sexual bullying.

PAUSD is hiding behind FERPA, pretending their hands are tied, but it is not true. The only reason FERPA enters the discussion is because PAUSD allows the perpetrator to stay on campus, and PAUSD can't warn other students.


33 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 12, 2017 at 10:14 am

This is shocking to me but I doubt very much that this is a new phenomenon. In the old days (when I was in high school in the dim distant past) this would probably have occurred and the administration turned a blind eye at youthful "rites of passage" or some such nonsense.

However today, we understand that this type of situation is not acceptable and has to be dealt with at the highest level. McGee is correct that he has a legal right to be educated in PAUSD, but at the least he should be transferred to another school (Gunn, logically) with no sport privileges.

It is the young girl's right to be able to attend school without having to encounter this 15 year old. It is his right to be educated. Both have the right to anonymity not only because of these rights but also due to their young age.

I hope that the church involved has been informed and are doing whatever they need to do to insure that this type of activity never happens again, exactly as Paly should.

However, the public should respect the fact that anonymity in this case is crucial to both parties and their families fully recovering as well as in the 15 year old male's case, that he gets his full punishment by the law. We have to have a society where it is viewed that a 15 year old can learn from his mistakes and indeed mature into a worthy adult who knows the difference between right and wrong. He needs this now so that in 10 years or so he can look back on this as part of his past that he has paid his debit to society in full and can go on with his life.


56 people like this
Posted by mom of 3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 12, 2017 at 10:16 am

You all WILL probably say i should BE ASHAMED of myself...but you do realize one of the victims started giving oral sex then suddenly changed her mind. I think we need to teach our daughters, YES I DO HAVE ONE, NOT to be manipulated by jocks into doing sexual acts for a relationship. I think we need more facts. My child attends Gunn and he stated that the girls are VERY sexual. they do things everywhere on school grounds. He refused to date ANY girl at that school. We need to teach our daughters as well.


15 people like this
Posted by Trouble
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 12, 2017 at 10:17 am

J alderman,

Something is off then - why would PAUSD *not* do something?

Cyber sexual bullying sounds right and that was reported to the school! So they could have done something with that information.

Now there is public information that the same student is a predator so the counselor who took in that report should re-visit the situation and recommend expulsion.


20 people like this
Posted by Reality
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 12, 2017 at 10:21 am

@Resident
"We have to have a society where it is viewed that a 15 year old can learn from his mistakes and indeed mature into a worthy adult who knows the difference between right and wrong."

If at age 15 he does not yet know right from wrong, he will never know right from wrong. Our society would be better off without him. There will be other women he will rape as an adult if he is not removed from society for a long time, ideally until he is old and infirm.




38 people like this
Posted by Trouble
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 12, 2017 at 10:24 am

mom of 3

OLD girls are no different and the issue is not "the girls" the issue is that the predator (male or female) does not know the word "no" - as in...you get convicted 3X there are consequences.

Sorry but the majority of kids are not getting convicted 3X for assault and the issue is not the victims.


58 people like this
Posted by Sex Education
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 12, 2017 at 10:25 am

Why should the victims and the repeat-offender rapist / predator have the same rights? He's a repeat criminal who's started [portion removed] abusing girls at a very young age.

Get him off the sports team and OUT of the school system before he preys again. Start mandating the teaching of consent in sex education as early as possible, NOT moving to restrict education since the repeat [offender] is just out of Middle School!

Remember how Brock Turner's mother kept blaming the victim and claiming her darling son shouldn't have HIS life ruined. That's nonsense. [Boys] need to be taught they are consequences otherwise there's no reason why they shouldn't keep victimizing girls.


21 people like this
Posted by al munday
a resident of another community
on May 12, 2017 at 10:28 am

I raised two great daughters that are 32/30...in the public school system the mgmt staff and sometimes the non mgmt staff will sweep things "under the carpet"...many times the only way a parent will find out anything serious is
because parents comminicate with each other.

do applaud PA mgmr or even say they are trying to do their job. Unfortunely we cannot give them a lie detector test to see when they found out about this.

worst part is, this guy (predator) is getting away with it....I do not care if it stated out as just kissing because NO is NO and wrong is wrong....


82 people like this
Posted by Joe
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 12, 2017 at 10:35 am

Max McGee and Kim Diorio should be fired, for not doing there jobs , This young man should be expelled ,this is a another Broock Turnner in the making come on PAUSD get your heads out of your ,have some responibilty to the students who are not sexual pretors I can't believe this is even happening . The Parents might be kind and supportive but come on this kid was what 14 ,15 , 16 Years old really do the Paly female students a favor, get out of the school.


2 people like this
Posted by Samuel L.
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 12, 2017 at 10:38 am

Samuel L. is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


25 people like this
Posted by lets be clear
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 12, 2017 at 10:48 am

Let Me Be Very Clear Here:
THE STUDENT/ATHLETES SPRING COACHES OF SPORT HE PLAYS KNEW NOTHING, NOTHING, OF THE SEVERITY OF THE SITUATION OR THE FACTS UNTIL THIS STORY AIRED ON KTVU ON WEDNESDAY AT 10:30PM.

***His participation now, because of laws etc..is now in the hands of Paly Administration according to people in the know.


79 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Midtown
on May 12, 2017 at 10:54 am

From the Student Handbook, the Principal and administration could have expelled the sexual predator for a number of violations:

"Students who violate district or school rules and regulations may be subject to discipline including, but not limited to, suspension, expulsion, transfer to alternative programs, referral to a student success team or counseling services, or denial of participation in extracurricular or co-curricular activities or other privileges in accordance with Board policy and administrative regulation. The Superintendent or designee shall notify local law enforcement as appropriate.
Students also may be subject to discipline, in accordance with law, Board policy, or administrative regulation, for any off campus conduct during non-school hours, which poses a threat or danger to the safety of students, staff, or district property, or substantially disrupts school."

"GROUNDS FOR SUSPENSION AND/OR EXPULSION (Education Code §48900)
A pupil may be suspended from school or recommended for expulsion if the principal of the school in which the pupil is enrolled determines that the pupil has committed an act as defined in §48900, subsection (a) to (q), (s) or §48900.2,
§48900.3, §48900.4, §48900.7.

A pupil may be suspended or expelled for acts that are related to school activities or school attendance, including, but not limited to, acts that occur at any time while on school grounds, going to or coming from school, during lunch, whether on or off campus, and during or while going to or coming from a school sponsored activity. §48900(r))

A student may be suspended and potentially expelled for participating on the following acts:

* Caused, attempted to cause, or threatened to cause physical injury to another person.
* Willfully used force or violence upon the person of another, except in self-defense.
...
* Committed or attempted to commit a sexual assault as defined in Penal Code §§261, 266c, 286, 288, 288a, or 289
or committed a sexual battery as defined in Penal Code §243.4.
* Harassed, threatened, or intimidated a pupil who is a complaining witness or witness in a school disciplinary proceeding for the purpose of either preventing that pupil from being a witness or retaliating against that pupil for being a witness, or both.
...
* A pupil who aids or abets, as defined in §31 of the Penal Code, the infliction or attempted infliction of physical injury to another.
* Committed sexual harassment, as defined in §212.5. (Grades 4-12)"

"MANDATORY SUSPENSION & MANDATORY RECOMMENDATION FOR EXPULSION (§48915)

* Caused serious physical injury to another person, except in self-defense
..."


3 people like this
Posted by Samuel L.
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 12, 2017 at 11:09 am

Samuel L. is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


99 people like this
Posted by Unbelievable!
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 12, 2017 at 11:14 am

Long before I had kids attending Paly, I had heard about its rape culture. After my first child, a girl, was sexually harassed at Jordan, we removed her and put her in a private school. We knew the situation would only worsen at Paly.

Our son is very athletic, but we have decided not to let him attend Paly. He will be starting a private school in the Fall. We don't want him to spend time with the Paly jocks, where the rape culture seems to be centered.

The Paly principle should be fired immediateltly. If she had any pride, she would have resigned.

The perpetrator should have been expelled from the district-- let his parents figure out what to do with him! Chances are good he'll be in Juvenile Hall!


28 people like this
Posted by Former Paly Parent
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 12, 2017 at 11:15 am

@concerned mom - if you are truly friends with the family of this young man, I would urge them to get help for their son by sending him to another school or a wilderness program. There are many ed consultants that would help them find an appropriate situation, the student does not have to agree with the placement. The parents have legal influence over him until he is 18, after that he is an adult.


12 people like this
Posted by Sex Education
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 12, 2017 at 11:16 am

Here's a link to the KTVU report explaining the law on why school administrators can't comment even though the rest of the student body remains at risk and detailing the abuses, including stalking and sending nude pictures of himself to the victim(s)

Web Link


25 people like this
Posted by No Excuses
a resident of Downtown North
on May 12, 2017 at 11:19 am

@Resident - You say he is "15" three times, as if to excuse his behavior as a youthful indiscretion. The Paly victim was 14, and a freshman, he was 2 years older, abusing his power is a male, as an upperclassman, and as an athlete. It is not unusual behavior by a predator. The only 15 year old in this story is the second sexual assault victim. You can see the pattern of seeking out younger, more vulnerable girls.


48 people like this
Posted by Marj
a resident of Midtown
on May 12, 2017 at 11:20 am

Why has this young man not been suspended or sent to alternative school? He should have been removed immediately from the school premises pending the investigation to make sure this didn't happen to anyone else. He is the one that should be punished not the young ladies who have been attacked. How many more girls have been victims and not reported the crime because of fear that he may do this again since he is still at school. These ladies need to be protected. PALY has been negligent as well as the school district and have not followed their own rules and regulations as listed in the above post by the midtown resident. They are just as guilty as the offender of the crime for allowing this to happen again. Both the young man and School Officials deserve punishment and removal for their actions.


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Professorville

on May 12, 2017 at 11:22 am

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Professorville

on May 12, 2017 at 11:24 am

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


34 people like this
Posted by Betsy
a resident of Stanford
on May 12, 2017 at 11:25 am

My thoughts go to the victims of this predator and I hope justice is served.


37 people like this
Posted by Why not
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 12, 2017 at 11:26 am

Rape culture is entrenched and difficult to change, but mandatory rape education for student athletes seems like a good place to start.


40 people like this
Posted by Concerned
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 12, 2017 at 11:32 am

What would have been the outcome if this boy were not an [portion removed] athlete? This perpetrator needs to learn a lesson. Let's not coddle him because his family is caring ... he's not ... and he needs to pay the price for his actions.
He should be gone from Paly, period.
And as for the administrators, if they don't know how to do their jobs, especially regarding the law and proper procedures, then they need to be gone! We don't need amateurs minding our kids.


27 people like this
Posted by No Excusues
a resident of Downtown North
on May 12, 2017 at 11:32 am

@Sex Education - We all understand that FERPA gives the kid privacy rights, and that the school shouldn't be putting out his name. FERPA doesn't give immunity to punishment when you are convicted of sexual assault on campus. The school should have held a hearing and expelled the assaulter. Maybe he would have taken the punishment, and tried to better himself and move on at a new school. Now by trying to sweep it under the rug, it is blowing up and becoming a big story. His name is now floating around, the victim had to move. It is a disaster for everyone, but a massive injustice was done to the victim. [Portion removed.]


5 people like this
Posted by what
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 12, 2017 at 11:34 am

[Post removed.]


29 people like this
Posted by Sex Education
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 12, 2017 at 11:44 am

@No Excuses. I am NOT making excuses for the boy or his "nice" family in any way, shape or form. They need to take responsibility for their son's actions, unlike Brock Turner's family who kept blaming "alcohol" for their son's conduct. I hope the girls' families sue the boy's family to make them pay for their daughter's therapy. The family of the other victim who felt forced to move should also sue them for moving expenses and anything else they can get.

I think he should have been expelled and/or at the very least kicked off his athletic teams. Even if he couldn't be identified, the student body should have been warned that they had a repeat offender among them.

I'm disgusted by the increased tolerance for rape and sexual assault in Santa Clara County and confused by why seemingly educated parents would want to limit sex education that could have forestalled this trend.


17 people like this
Posted by outsider
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 12, 2017 at 11:48 am

Getting emails with messages about the admin. "Being there " is really something. That is the trouble with emails. You can not take them and rip them up. I am sorry that this cloud will hang over our awesome seniors who have endured way too many scandals and tragedies. I hope we can honor them and hope for a change for the next ones.


8 people like this
Posted by Sarah
a resident of College Terrace
on May 12, 2017 at 11:54 am

I called a couple of friends who are very familiar with Paly events and situations. [Portion removed.] Our school administrators are professionals, and we should trust them to do the right thing.


8 people like this
Posted by No Excuses
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 12, 2017 at 11:54 am

@Sex Education - Sorry, I was reading too much into your post. I think it is important to avoid any appearance of tolerance for this behavior, for this crime! Being 14, or 15 isn't an excuse, but that the assaulter was actually two years older make it even worse.


70 people like this
Posted by 38 year resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 12, 2017 at 11:55 am

McGee and Dorio should tender their resignations and should be fired if they don't.


40 people like this
Posted by James
a resident of College Terrace
on May 12, 2017 at 12:04 pm

@Sarah - "trust them to do the right thing"? They had their chance back in October. It's only being addressed because it became public. How many others are they hiding?


25 people like this
Posted by Scotty
a resident of Green Acres
on May 12, 2017 at 12:10 pm

The same rules that apply to funerals should apply to this case. If you ever wonder whether you should go to a funeral or not...you should probably go. If you are a school administrator and in charge of the well being and safety of 1600+ students and you are morally debating whether you should notify parents and students of an alleged sexual predator on campus...you probably should. This is an egregious offense which I believe will be difficult for current administrators to recover from.


55 people like this
Posted by Disbelief
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 12, 2017 at 12:13 pm

Does it strike anyone as wrong headed that Sex Ed is under threat in our PA middle schools? They teach about situations like these along with how babies are made. Male and female students need to be informed about consent and possibly be taught self defense.


46 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 12, 2017 at 12:25 pm

I'm looking more at the big picture. So many people, both in the USA and around the world, are aggressively trying to become Palo Alto home owners, or at least renters, as if it was the greatest place on earth, and living in Palo Alto a panacea. There are so many things that are terribly wrong in and with Palo Alto. It is anything but a panacea. There is so much less in PA than meets the eye. There is an entire generation of young people willing to completely change, or rather ruin this town, deprive other generations of their quality of life and chosen lifestyle, just to have a Palo Alto zip code. Local corporations are backing groups that are very aggressively pushing for hyper development, and all that for what? A town that has lost its way, where hyper-competitiveness and "only the strong survive" mentality dominate, where kids aren't safe from bullying and sexual aggression even at school, a town that is, frankly, morally bankrupt. Why would anyone even want to live in Palo Alto?


11 people like this
Posted by Sarah
a resident of College Terrace
on May 12, 2017 at 12:28 pm

@ James: There are a number of issues involved in this case, which are not being made public. It is up to our professional educators to make a balanced judgment.


10 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 12, 2017 at 12:41 pm

I called the male in this case by his age, because the article does. I won't call him a young man because legally he is not a man. I won't call him a boy because that indicates generally that he is a child. He is a minor, he is male, he is a teen, and he is definitely old enough to know better, but obviously doesn't.

However, I won't write off someone who is under the age of 16 as being unredeemable.

The point I was trying to make is that he needs to do whatever punishment is necessary but more than that he needs to be moved from Paly, asap.


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of College Terrace

on May 12, 2017 at 12:45 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


39 people like this
Posted by Fact checker
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 12, 2017 at 12:46 pm

@Mom of 3

No, means no. Seventh graders at Jordan have this in their curriculum. It's time the rest of the world got up to date.

If I walk up to a diving board and decide not to jump off, I don't have to jump.

Do not blame the victim.

But, you have also missed the point. PAUSD has a duty to keep its students safe, all of them, regardless of their attire.

In my opinion, a school district should be held to a higher standard than a private business. It's got the safety of our children in its hands. If PAUSD were a school district, every person who failed to report claims would have been terminated or at the very least demoted and trained.


37 people like this
Posted by James
a resident of College Terrace
on May 12, 2017 at 12:46 pm

Sarah you put far too much faith in the decision making skills of the PAUSD administration


32 people like this
Posted by Handmaiden's Tale
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 12, 2017 at 12:54 pm

I'd like to hear from the 1600 or so parents who think eliminating / sanitizing middle school education is such a great idea! Shame on them.

If the boy was a regular churchgoer, I'd like to know what his church teaches about sexual assault, women's rights. blaming the victims, etc.


61 people like this
Posted by Paly alum
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 12, 2017 at 12:54 pm

"...the October incident was not characterized at the time as a sexual assault by the reporting parties nor school staff," yet the boy was then found guilty in court of exactly that. The district was informed, and months later he is still on campus, apparently with full privileges. Why?

-- The superintendent is asking for a timeline of events. Why?
-- The school board is asking to have protocols explained to them. Why?
-- The students know who the predator is, and now their parents will, too.

The school board has no good options. Expel the predator. Fire the principal. Fire the superintendent. And, do whatever else is needed to prevent future failures of the district to detect and appropriately discipline perpetrators of sexual misconduct, be they staff or students.


7 people like this
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 12, 2017 at 1:00 pm

john_alderman is a registered user.

@Resident - You have misread the article, it is the second victim who is 15, not the perpetrator. The age of the perpetrator is not mentioned in the Palo Alto Online article, but the KTVU article said he was two years older than his victim, making him 16 or 17 at the time (not sure which victim they were referring to).

This is the quotation that confused you:

"KTVU reported two other allegations against the same male student: a 15-year-old who said he forced her to perform oral sex on him in a Palo Alto church bathroom in 2015 and another alleged victim who said he sexually assaulted her at a house party in Redwood City in January 2016."

Note that the 15 here is the victim, who said he forced her..

@Paly alum - Those all sound like pretty good options to me at this point.


37 people like this
Posted by Unbelievable!
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 12, 2017 at 1:00 pm

If Trump makes good on his promise to repeal the capital gains tax on real estate, we will put a for sale sign in front of our house an instant later!

We have hated this community long enough: the traffic, the arrogance, the corrupt city council and school board, [portion removed.]


21 people like this
Posted by So wrong
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 12, 2017 at 1:00 pm

Girls need to be taught how to protect and empower themselves. Also I agree with "Mom of 3", the girls need to learn how to behave in front of boys and dress themselves. I have a 6th grade girl in Jordan now. I saw some of the older, 8th grader Jordan girls dress so sexy to school. They are sending wrong messages to everyone! Unfortunately,the dress codes were removed by principle and PAUSD because of it's sexist(mostly against girls). It's totally nonsense.


12 people like this
Posted by Handmaiden's Tale
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 12, 2017 at 1:01 pm

I asked about the church and whether it warned the congregation because one of the assaults happened at his church. The victim evidently only admitted guilt after he was caught on video.

"Just one year prior, it was the same scenario, but this time against a 15-year-old, in a Palo Alto church bathroom. The victim in this case says she first argued against performing oral sex, then after a few minutes she acquiesced.

"About less than five seconds into it, I changed my mind decided in no way did I want to do this," she told us from the living room of her home. "And that's when he started pushing my head down. When I tried to pull away, he started pushing my head down more forcefully."

This case also went to juvenile court, after the victim says, she recorded the student athlete admitting his actions."


13 people like this
Posted by outsider
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 12, 2017 at 1:07 pm

I do not think mixing rape and sexual assault in with "sex ed" is a good idea. Putting them together will send a very bad message to teens. Be careful with the labels. Sex or human growth and development is not rape or abuse. There is no way any "class" or missing class excused the behavior. There needs to be separate curriculum that give sources to legal representation, reporting and real self defense classes at this point in time unfortunately. Parents all need to do this for their own kids earlier now it seems.


18 people like this
Posted by Concerned Citizen
a resident of Menlo Park
on May 12, 2017 at 1:22 pm

There is obviously a lot happening here and there clearly needs to be a fundamental change in how situations like these are handled.

That said, one clarification I can make after speaking with a PAHS student-athlete in my neighborhood - the accused student-athlete in question apparently did not play or practice with the football team after this incident came to light in October. I'm not sure if the player was suspended, injured, quit, etc, but given the timing, I would imagine his absence is related to the incident.

I'm not trying to say that kicking him off the team (if that is indeed what happened) at all fulfills the punishment for the acts that this young man is accused (and in some cases, convicted) of. However, considering much of the discourse surrounding this story suggests inaction from the athletic teams and preferential treatment for a "star athlete," I think it is important to note that the football team appeared to follow proper protocol in this case.


8 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 12, 2017 at 1:26 pm

@outsider, if you don't want Sex Education courses to teach boys not to rape nd about consent, where do you want it taught?

DO want it taught somewhere?

Or maybe bot not since some cultures still subject rape victims to public whippings and prison terms. Check today's news.


9 people like this
Posted by jimmyh
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 12, 2017 at 1:27 pm

Maybe the teachers can simply refuse to teach if he ever sets foot in their class. Part of their job is also protecting the students, right? The administration certainly isn't.


10 people like this
Posted by Trouble
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 12, 2017 at 1:27 pm

outsider,

"I do not think mixing rape and sexual assault in with "sex ed" is a good idea. Putting them together will send a very bad message to teens. Be careful with the labels. Sex or human growth and development is not rape or abuse. There is no way any "class" or missing class excused the behavior. "

Agree 100%

like stealing is not because of failure to know how to read


13 people like this
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 12, 2017 at 1:27 pm

john_alderman is a registered user.

@Concerned Citizen - Yet participation was allowed to continue in other varsity sports. Regardless, expulsion was the necessary punishment, not temporary suspension from one sport.


96 people like this
Posted by shocked by the hypocrisy
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 12, 2017 at 1:30 pm

The same principal and superintendent who believe putting weighted GPAs on transcripts will hurt student wellness have absolutely no compunctions about letting a convicted sexual predator continue at school even as his victim is so traumatised she has to move away.

The same principal who hid repeated reports of sexual harassment (25) over three years because she feared retribution (for herself) but not continued sexual harassment (for others) wants to be perceived as the champion of student wellness? She invites students to report sexual harassment to her. WHY? So, like in the past, and like in the present - she can ignore it?!

This time, a male student athlete was CONVICTED in juvenile court in OCTOBER 2016. Kim Diorio and Max knew about this - in October! It is now MAY. And they have done - what? NOTHING. The predator is allowed to play varsity sports, to attend classes - no abrogation of privilege. His victim had to continue to be in the same class as him. How is this acceptable? To anyone?

How can any student or staff member feel safe with such a principal in charge? How can any parent feel this superintendent has student safety top of mind? What message is this inaction sending to our students? That sexual harassment is less egregious than vandalism? That girls are less valuable than school property? Because, for vandalism - there would have been punishment. For sexual harassment, if seems, males at Paly get a pass from Kim and Max. For shame!

We have a school board. It should act. Failure to do so would be an abrogation of good sense and of moral, as well as elected, responsibility.


5 people like this
Posted by outisder
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 12, 2017 at 1:36 pm

@online name. I think both topics are important, but should be separate and taught earlier especially with media coverage. thanks.


15 people like this
Posted by on the inside
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 12, 2017 at 1:37 pm

The head coach of the team that this kid plays for is a real good man who runs a tight ship, classy and professional ship and until two days ago he had NO IDEA of any of this stuff going on.

Administration is handling this kid now and what to do next, it is completely out of head coaches hands because of libel issues etc...

This situation that has come to light has no bearing AT ALL on the other 20 kids on the team or the coaches, who have for the last four years under this coach, the program, handled themselves with class and represented Paly well on and off the field.


4 people like this
Posted by Trouble
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 12, 2017 at 1:39 pm

outsider,

"I do not think mixing rape and sexual assault in with "sex ed" is a good idea. Putting them together will send a very bad message to teens. Be careful with the labels. Sex or human growth and development is not rape or abuse. There is no way any "class" or missing class excused the behavior. "

Agree 100%


44 people like this
Posted by knew the vitctim
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 12, 2017 at 1:41 pm

the fact that he did this to her and the other victims, and is still playing sports as if nothing happened is sad, did any of you know that it happened the day after her 14th birthday in october. She had to leave in shame, and to make it worse someone put graffiti in the bathroom stall about the situation, she was my friend, i still go to paly and see him walking around [portion removed.]


24 people like this
Posted by Agree with Mom of 3
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on May 12, 2017 at 1:52 pm

#fact checker

Mom of 3 is not saying blame the victim. She's saying everyone needs to be accountable for their actions. I think that's an important message that's lost in this discussion. Going into a boy's bathroom alone with a frisky 15 or 16 year old boy is putting yourself in harm's way. His behavior is not excusable, but there are lessons on both sides.

The real blame, in my opinion, lies with the adults who foster a culture where this is possible, namely the coaches and school administration. Believe me, he's not alone.


23 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Professorville
on May 12, 2017 at 1:55 pm

When are these "administrators" going to be arrested and denied pensions - they knew it was wrong and allowed that predator to continue at the school. They have made themselves a big part of the problem. Someone else needs to step up and start outlining some solutions or give Palo Alto families vouchers for their kids to attend private schools at a reduced rate.


19 people like this
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 12, 2017 at 1:56 pm

john_alderman is a registered user.

@ Agree with Mom of 3 - Clearly the administrators deserve some blame for the culture at Paly, but the parents have now seen this happen 3 times, and gone through two court convictions. The problems starts at home.


22 people like this
Posted by Disbelief
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 12, 2017 at 2:05 pm

@Outsider-

I respectfully disagree. Educating students on boundary setting and consent is an important part of Sex Ed. Does it eliminate sexual assaults on high school or college campuses? No. But it might eliminate a few which could have been avoided, which is worth it.

My main concern is why is this 3-peat offender still on campus? The foremost responsibility of administrators at Paly is the SAFETY of all students. Why was the victim compelled to move instead of the offender?


4 people like this
Posted by horrible
a resident of South of Midtown
on May 12, 2017 at 2:07 pm

[Post removed.]


16 people like this
Posted by gender neutral bathrooms
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 12, 2017 at 2:09 pm

We worry about gender neutral bathrooms and locker rooms for exactly these types of things.

Keep girls in girls bathrooms and locker rooms. Keep boys in boys bathrooms and locker rooms. Never, ever let a situation arise when it becomes acceptable for different genders to share the facilities!


33 people like this
Posted by Former Paly Parent
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 12, 2017 at 2:11 pm

I think the parents are to blame in that their child was convicted twice of sexual assault, yet they continue to let him stay in the same community, school and I imagine, church. He needs a fresh start and the Paly students need to know he is no longer there. I would urge his parents to look into wilderness programs for their son, there are some that specialize in sexual predators and their misconduct. Do the right thing for your child while you still can. If money is an issue, there is a local non-profit that helps with the cost of wilderness therapy programs Web Link.


32 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 12, 2017 at 2:13 pm

@gender neutral bathrooms, with all due respect, what do bathrooms have to do with the topic at hand which is sexual assault.

Rape happens in all sorts of places, not only in bathrooms.


20 people like this
Posted by k
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on May 12, 2017 at 2:15 pm

@disbelief -

she was compelled to move because she was afraid to be around him and apparently all the school could do was move his schedule. Bullying and victim blaming were a factor too


12 people like this
Posted by Carlos
a resident of Downtown North
on May 12, 2017 at 2:19 pm

MONEY TALKS. MONEY TALKS.... Another sexuel case that Palo Alto turns their head on. Smh smh


16 people like this
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 12, 2017 at 2:19 pm

john_alderman is a registered user.

@Online Name - What do bathrooms have to do with the topic? Well, it is where the perpetrator took both his victims to sexually assault them. I assume he has found a lightly used, out of the way bathroom or else the presence of a girl in a boy's bathroom would draw attention. Gender neutral bathrooms would certainly help enable this behavior.


21 people like this
Posted by @john_alderman
a resident of Mountain View
on May 12, 2017 at 2:23 pm

"I assume he has found a lightly used, out of the way bathroom or else the presence of a girl in a boy's bathroom would draw attention. Gender neutral bathrooms would certainly help enable this behavior."

And the prize for the most tone-deaf comment goes to...


15 people like this
Posted by Disbelief
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 12, 2017 at 2:25 pm

@k

That is horrible and shameful on the part of Paly. PAUSD heads should roll over this. If a friend who knows the victim and would like to set up a GoFund me account for the victim and her therapy, legal or any other needs, please post. I would be happy to contribute. I would hope that she could get the message somehow that we all care about her.


33 people like this
Posted by Trouble
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 12, 2017 at 2:26 pm

Cannot believe that the victim is on attack to "take responsibility"

She did. She said NO

A 13-14 year old girl was doing what could have been a non-assault encounter. She had no idea anymore than grown person would when their own partners commit rape - it is NOT the clothes you wear!

She said No and she was then was ASSAULTED. The perp has been convicted.

I am sorry for all the families involved but MOST sorry for the young students who had no idea the giy was a SERIAL perp.

The danger is the perp, and he and his parents are responsible.


5 people like this
Posted by 5th Generation
a resident of Mayfield
on May 12, 2017 at 2:35 pm

How much you wanna bet it was a jock, specifically: a football player?

The odds are with me.


4 people like this
Posted by Another another
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 12, 2017 at 2:38 pm

@ Reality, Another palo alto neighborhood,
I recently viewed a public television episode (Frontline or Independent Lens, perhaps) in which the entire premise was sympathy for convicted KILLERS under age 18! Aw, they shouldnt have long prison terms. Not fair. Hey, what about protecting the public?-- Little interest/mention of that. The goal of the show was downplaying the victims. This was also accomplished in the recent Stanford sexual assault case with Judge Persky.
This also falls in line with the current beliefs and actions of influential politicians like CA Governor Jerry Brown, where prioritizing releasing offenders rules the day, not protecting the public...much less protecting and prioritizing minors in high school (peers to the offenders).
There ought to be more charging more prosecuting, but we the general public are lower priority to people like former state Attornet General Kamala Harris, now Senator (who declined to prosecute various criminal cases in San Francisco).
I dont know why people are so surprised at THIS case in view of soft on crime Democratic politicans/officials in CA --- and apparently, officials in Palo Alto schools..


13 people like this
Posted by Deborah
a resident of Evergreen Park
on May 12, 2017 at 2:39 pm

In Peggy Orenstein's book, "Girls and Sex," she squarely puts the bulk of responsibility for rape culture on the fathers of daughters and our cultural refusal to acknowledge female sexual desire and pleasure. Girls get themselves into situations where they get assaulted because they are having to figure out on their own about desire and pleasure and having to hide that. Both parties are victims. If we want to change "rape culture", we are going to have to look at the big picture. Reading Peggy's book is a good place to start.


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of College Terrace

on May 12, 2017 at 2:45 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


12 people like this
Posted by Beyond PAUSD
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 12, 2017 at 2:46 pm

It can be a blessing in disguise when you experience the corruption of PAUSD. It can be a blessing when you begin to wonder just how unethical and hypocritical PAUSD employees can be, beginning in elementary. Because you might start wondering if there are better alternatives for students. There are. For those who are disgusted enough to start looking for better educational alternatives, it's not too late. You do not have to send your student back into a corrupt school system in the fall. Do your research. There's better out there.


38 people like this
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 12, 2017 at 2:47 pm

john_alderman is a registered user.

@ Deborah - Even if you buy into the dubious position that " the bulk of responsibility for rape culture on the fathers of daughters and our cultural refusal to acknowledge female sexual desire and pleasure," there is still only ONE victim. To suggest "Both parties are victims" is just grotesque.


35 people like this
Posted by Sandy
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 12, 2017 at 2:47 pm

At Palo Alto High School in 1996, 3 senior female students pulled a nasty prank which was totally hurtful - they printed up flyers naming other female students as whores. They passed the flyers around school. These 3 students were punished - they were not allowed to walk at graduation or go to grad night. What punishment does this student get - NONE! He is still at school and participating in sports. Something is not right here.


32 people like this
Posted by Trouble
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 12, 2017 at 2:48 pm

Deborah

Sorry but that is such BS, that the father of the victims are the reason for the girls "getting assaulted.".

You realize that there are many countries where the culture is such that you can even go around naked but assault is still a statistic.

The culture (fathers included) acknowledge sexual deaire and pleasure and there are still rapists.

The Peggy O apparently has made up stuff and it sells. Totally dumb.


Like this comment
Posted by #CYA
a resident of Professorville
on May 12, 2017 at 2:51 pm

See this CYA note just sent by Kim Diorio [Portion removed.]:


Dear Paly community,

Thank you for the e-mails and calls that I have received regarding the news media coverage about our school. I apologize for responding to you through this mass e-mail, but I want to make sure that everyone who has contacted me within the last 24-hours receives a response.

First, let me share with you that our priorities are student safety and promoting a positive school climate. The Paly administrators, faculty, staff and wellness team are taking your input and concerns seriously and providing support and follow-up.

We also feel it is important to share that several details in the news media coverage are inaccurate and these inaccuracies have heightened concerns on campus and in our community among our students and families. The repercussions of erroneous information has led to assumptions about the school’s response and the safety of students at Paly that are not accurate.

While we are working to address any dissemination of false information regarding our students and/or schools, we want you to know that student safety and climate are our first priority.

We also want to reiterate that school districts have an obligation to protect the privacy rights of all students and their families under numerous federal and state laws, and the District will continue to respect those rights and implement those laws for all.

Please forgive me for this very brief message as I return to support our school during this challenging time. I look forward to our next conversation and will update you with more information soon.

Take care,

Kim


45 people like this
Posted by Paly parent
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 12, 2017 at 2:56 pm

As a parent of a current female sophomore at Paly I am disgusted and appalled at these revelations of sexual assaults perpetuated by a Paly student. It seems that the only reason this has surfaced is due to the KTVU investigative report because the administration has been sweeping this all under the rug under the guise of FERPA laws/protection. As another commentator had indicated there were numerous grounds for expulsion of this student and yet he continues to remain on school grounds, an obvious threat to the female student body population. My daughter was also incredulous as to how this student can remain on campus whereas the victims are the ones that seem to suffer the negative consequences (most notably moving out of the area). How can I respond to her frustrations? "Sorry honey, the world is a dark place and oftentimes things in life aren't fair or don't make sense."? This is yet another instance of victim shaming/blaming and protecting the sexual predator. I'm no psychologist but it seems that this rape culture in no small part hinges on the Palo Alto rich kid phenomenon of entitlement. I say bravo to the brave victims who came forward. Let's make sure that collectively as a community their trauma was not suffered in vain and that significant and meaningful changes in policy, procedures and administration in the district are effected. Also, I don't think blame should rest squarely with the administration...parents and students also have a role. Let's educate our daughters to value their self worth instead of pursuing popularity by dressing provocatively or dating upperclassmen. And let's educate our young men to respect girls and demonstrate that actions have consequences.


93 people like this
Posted by #SpeakUpSpeakOut
a resident of Atherton
on May 12, 2017 at 3:19 pm

I'm the Mother of one of the ( Survivors). Victims are people who don't Speak Up . I'm very upset as to why [name removed] is still at Paly. I spoke to so many staff at that school . Principle, Vice principal, football coach, and etc. Football coach pulled him off the team after I spoke to him. I'm very upset to learn about him on the baseball team after he was found guilty. This makes me sick to the core of my heart. I hurt so bad for not only my child but for the others girls that haven't Spoke Up. The school was informed about [name removed] actions and they did nothing before this happened. I fought the school about kicking him out they told me he has the right to go there even with the cases hanging over his head. My daughter is very strong Thanks to her Big Support Team. So many girls at that school are so Scared [portion removed.] I just want everyone to keep there eyes open for stuff like this.
#SpeakUpSpeakOut
Anyone that's been assault at Palo Alto High School Speak Up


38 people like this
Posted by Disbelief
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 12, 2017 at 3:21 pm

@CYA

I just received the same email from Kim Dorio. It's a little hard to stomach, her talking about her concern for "erroneous information" from the news media. It seems her idea of protecting the victim is switching the offender out of one of the victim's classes yet doing nothing about those bullying or harassing her. Similarly, her idea of protecting the student body is just radio silence on the issue...


65 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Midtown
on May 12, 2017 at 3:26 pm

1) Principal's recent e-mail says there are inaccuracies in the news reports. She needs to provide specifics - what is inaccurate? If the principal can not provide specifics, I will assume it is an attempt at the typical PR Deflection strategy.

2) The legal requirements to protect the minor's identity does not excuse the lack of enforcement of the penalties outlined in the Student Handbook of conduct for Suspension and Expulsion. The Principal needs to provide details on the why the sexual predator was not expelled. If the principal can not provide specifics, I will assume that the principal was motivated by the same reasons she did not report the more than 25 cases of sexual harassment when she was an Assistant Principal, and she lacks the moral fiber to be Principal of Paly.

3) The Superintendent is in charge of the Principal, and in my opinion, the handling of this situation has not met the minimum job requirements of a principal. The Superintendent by his in action becomes culpable, and will deserve equal responsibility for his lack of action and supervision.


25 people like this
Posted by Salem
a resident of Barron Park
on May 12, 2017 at 3:48 pm

Reading these comments one is reminded of the Salem witch trials. I feel this community has summarily judged the situation, the student and his parents without access to all the facts, and made a conviction. This could be described as a form of cyber bullying.


18 people like this
Posted by Sarah
a resident of College Terrace
on May 12, 2017 at 3:48 pm

There are issues which are being avoided here, including [portion removed] stereotypes, intellectual challenges, expecting coaches to administer justice beyond actions that administrators judge to be fair and legal, sexual desires of post-pubescent girls ( I know I had strong desires as a 14 year old girl, and I took risks). It is fair to say that Palo Alto is in a real pickle on this one, since most do not really want to deal with most of these issues. This is why I say that educational professionals should be trusted, since they have the experience and judgment.


37 people like this
Posted by Jason
a resident of Greenmeadow
on May 12, 2017 at 3:48 pm

How does FERPA have anything to do with why this offender was not expelled from school or banned from football/baseball? The incident happened on school grounds, during school hours and both the perpetrator and victim were students. Only later did the courts find him guilty. High school athletic programs have long had codes of conduct. GPA under 2.00 = ineligible. Break the no drugs/alcohol team agreement = off the team. Miss too many practices = off the team. Sexually assault a freshman in the bathroom = good luck in the playoffs today! Unreal. [Portion removed.] Would someone over at Paly be the adult in the room and make this right. Today!


20 people like this
Posted by district survey
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 12, 2017 at 3:51 pm

The district just emailed the end of school year survey to the families who have kids in PAUSD. I urge all parents to participate and speak out. Deadline to fill out is May 26. Check your email and spam folder.


19 people like this
Posted by Mom
a resident of Midtown
on May 12, 2017 at 3:55 pm

The administrators have not acted in service of any of these students.
This inaction makes me disheartened.
The School administration could have served both the victims and the perpetrator but chose to protect themselves with what seems like a cover up.
They have ignored the victims and driven one victim from the school campus by not providing her a safe environment. [Portion removed] he might have the right to education but that could have been provided through home schooling or in a highly supervised educational setting [portion removed.] With no consequence, when he continues to assault, as an adult, he will be in jail.


19 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of College Terrace
on May 12, 2017 at 3:58 pm

Sexual assault is a crime. Where is police in all this?


26 people like this
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 12, 2017 at 4:14 pm

john_alderman is a registered user.

@resident - According to the report, two of the cases were adjudicated in Santa Clara juvenile court. Unless those are the facts that Diorio disputes, then the police/courts have weighed in, and it is PAUSD that then failed to act.


29 people like this
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 12, 2017 at 4:17 pm

john_alderman is a registered user.

@ Sarah - You are both saying "trust them" and "most do not really want to deal with most of these issues." Those are incompatible. Clearly the fear of dealing with the issue outweighed any compassion for the victim, or for future victims. Since PAUSD chose the punish the victim route, they don't deserve trust at this point.


18 people like this
Posted by Please Kathy
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 12, 2017 at 4:21 pm

Kathy, let's step back for a minute. Based on the document that were released about Principal Winston, about 24 of those complaints were about him staying inanely irresponsible things in public. Likely to be "cool" in front of the kids. Let's not make these out to be gropings and inappropriate contact. Phil was a fool who used words like "boobs" and "dong" around staff and students. And typically among groups of witnesses.

To that end, it sounds like well over 25 people witnessed these things. None of them reported anything to HR. But Principal diorio did. It's a false argument to suggest that she was the only one who could have reported. Even the only administrator. Best I can tell from the documents, she came forward when the allegations started getting serious (not just comments about "boobs").

And she stoppped the streaking culture. No more 14 year old girls getting run over by naked 17 year old boys.

So I don't think it's fair to make her out to be the villain here.

Let's wait to see what the board investigation reveals before we start saying things we later regret.


18 people like this
Posted by Mom
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 12, 2017 at 4:22 pm

The administration does care about our youth, that is why they are keeping these issues out of the public and away from the parents. They understand that the kids do not want this to be the focus of their school day, especially the Seniors who are excited about graduation. It is disruptive and insights anger on campus. Please allow them to work with these two young people to sort out the facts and decide on the discipline based on the facts.


33 people like this
Posted by PaloAlto_HIGH
a resident of Professorville
on May 12, 2017 at 4:22 pm

@#SpeakUpSpeakOut

Madam sorry for what your family has been through. some of my friends do stay away from this guy [portion removed.] he has got one more year to go at paly so watch out y'all who are still on campus next year. he might have come from a family of lawyer and teacher. guess if they are not teaching him well they would defend him like crazy.

yeah there are indeed more [portion removed] like this happening at school, bullying, sexting what not. popular kids do it, those who wanted to be popular do it too. and they all get away from principals and teachers. sometimes i see girls suffer and struggle too on campus; it is hard to help'em out as a kid myself, you know. so yeah speak up and speak out.


40 people like this
Posted by Palo Alto resident
a resident of College Terrace
on May 12, 2017 at 4:33 pm

To the "mom of 3"

You put the blame squarely on the women. You call into promiscuity of the other girls at GUNN, as per what your SON says. And you say cause a girl STARTED something.. and changed her mind.... it's her fault.

Do you even HAVE a girl in your group of 3 children? Sounds like you don't given you lack of alarm at how the girls must not be feeling safe with this boy around... and how you want to put the responsibility on the girls... and educating the girls. What about educating the boys? You think HE COULDN'T have stopped himself?

Perhaps all the girls and women should wear burkas so that the men do not feel sexual temptation as well!!!


22 people like this
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 12, 2017 at 4:38 pm

john_alderman is a registered user.

@Mom - "Please allow them to work with these two young people to sort out the facts"

The district inaction forced the victim to move out of Palo Alto, so too late.


31 people like this
Posted by PAUSD parent
a resident of Midtown
on May 12, 2017 at 4:42 pm

I think there is something entrenched within PAUSD. Whether it's sexual assault predators or bullying behaviors... they seem to have a culture of hiding things and shoveling it under the table... quietly hoping the matter will disappear. Oftentimes, the victim of these incidents, after escalating these issues, are removed from the school or the district and put into private school, due to the inaction of the PAUSD board and superintendent.

Truly if every single parent who pulled their child out of a PAUSD school and the PAUSD school board, and shared their experiences online on a common forum, I bet there would be a repeating and glaring pattern of inactivity at the teacher level, principal level, school level, and board level, resulting in absolutely frustration on the victim's parts and the victim's parents parts. Ultimately resulting in a 2nd victimization experience.

To cloak and hide and protect and condone these problem behaviors, while nothing is done to accommodate how the victim may feel is outrageous.

This is a PAUSD entrenched policy of inactivity and coverup.


5 people like this
Posted by Sarah
a resident of College Terrace
on May 12, 2017 at 4:50 pm

@ john_alderman: No, you missed my point. I am talking about Palo Alto at large, not PAUSD. We, as a liberal city, want to avoid the issues at large, including race [portion removed.]


12 people like this
Posted by Dad
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 12, 2017 at 4:51 pm

It is sad that so many parents keep insulting the kids that are athletes and the coaches that make so little money and spend countless hours with your children. Do you realize the coaches only make about $1,500.00 per season and work so hard to teach our youth. I wish the parents would act like adults here. Well, I do hope the parents leave this topic to the administration. Remember the kids do not want this to be the focus of their school year - leave it alone!


57 people like this
Posted by outraged
a resident of College Terrace
on May 12, 2017 at 4:55 pm

Why was this boy not pulled off the varsity teams? Since when can you attack another student, and display such horrific behaviors that are not good sportsmanship, and still continue to have the privilege to play on these teams? At what point is the victim's rights protected?

Why was the boy not forced to change schools if not expelled altogether?
Hiding behind laws is just cowardly. Their hands were not tied. They could have expelled him. The could have disciplined him to ensure he lose his privileges of playing on the sports teams.

It does not matter if he comes from a wonderful loving family, with wonderful, kind compassionate parents. They are not attending PALY .. his son is. THEY didn't commit the assault (THREE TIMES), their son did. How involved and wonderful the parents and family are, should have no impact on pulling his privileges (expulsion or revoking varsity team membership).

It is so clear that their son needs help. Pretending it doesn't exist and calmly continuing on as before is not the solution to addressing such cries of help from the boy.

The Principal of PALY and Max Mcgee should be fired immediately for their inaction. When does the victim have rights? This is incredulous that this happened and was dealt with in this manner (or not dealt with).


2 people like this
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 12, 2017 at 4:55 pm

john_alderman is a registered user.

@Sarah - I'm not missing your point, it applies even moreso to administrators than the city at large.


26 people like this
Posted by No more streaking
a resident of Evergreen Park
on May 12, 2017 at 5:04 pm

@ Please Kathy,
Great job by Diorio stopping the streakers. As you say, "no more 14 year old girls getting run over by naked 17 year old boys." Now the 17 year-old boys force the 14 year-old girls to orally copulate them. I don't see an improvement.

Diorio and other Paly/PAUSD administrators knew of this back in October. The football coach knew of it and kicked him off the team, evidently. However, the administrators continued to allow him to remain on campus. This is NOT a FERPA issue as Diorio wants to make it out to be. Under her reasoning, no one could ever be expelled for any infraction. Simply not true. She needs to read her own handbook.

Allowing him to stay on campus and participate in sports sends the message to others that sexual assault is accepted. Same as the case as when Winston was principal and Diorio and the administration took three years to do anything about it. [Portion removed.]


29 people like this
Posted by @ so wrong
a resident of College Terrace
on May 12, 2017 at 5:11 pm

Dear "so wrong"

You wrote: "Girls need to be taught how to protect and empower themselves. Also I agree with "Mom of 3", the girls need to learn how to behave in front of boys and dress themselves."

You are putting the responsibility of the sexual assault at the victim's feet.
Let's keep ensuring our boy-children never grow up into fully responsible male adults who take FULL responsibility for their actions. Let's teach them to continue to blame anyone BUT themselves.

You write that the dress and behavior of the girl is wrong, and hence insinuate that the girls/victims are actually causing the sexual assault to happen.

Let's all not fly and travel.... because flying clearly causes terrorists to attack the airplanes and cause massive death.

[Portion removed.] I highly doubt you are a parent of a girl, because if you were a parent of a girl attending PAUSD, you would feel utter disgust at how the situation was handled, as you imagine it's your own child having undergone this situation. You wouldn't be writing a comment stating, "girls need to learn how to behave in front of boys and how to dress themselves."

Those are words of a parent raising a boy-child who will always never learn how to grow up and take full responsibility for himself.

[Portion removed.]


24 people like this
Posted by The Facts
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 12, 2017 at 5:13 pm

@ Concerned mom
@ mom of 3

Thank you both. I agree.

To the mob above . . . Calling the boy a convicted sexual predator and accusing him of being on his way to becoming a serial rapist, without clear facts and all sides of the story, is irresponsible. Mob mentality! Adults should know better.

I would like to see some empathy on all sides of this terrible situation. Smart teens, good kids, both boys and girls, do stupid, impulsive things. And one day it might be your 'perfect' teen who surprises you so be careful before you judge. A good chunk of high school parents don't know the half of what their kids are doing in terms of sex, drugs, drinking, and risky behavior (according to my own Paly student and my personal observations).

Yes, there seems to be some history of coercion here - but it doesn't make this boy a lost cause to society or a serial rapist. Start from a place of empathy and help instead of lynching. I'm sure his parents love him as much as you love your kids and are hurting. Yes, the school should take the alleged victim's claims seriously and quickly address the issues keeping the law and her well-being at the forefront. This may be traumatic for her and her parents. We should not blame a victim. At the same time, there appears to be culpability on all sides. For example, why is no one is discussing why the third alleged victim was in the Paly boy's bathroom, a location where no girl should be? Clearly, she was violating school rules too. There appears to be some accountability lacking and we don’t have all the facts. So please stop jumping to conclusions, judging, and calling for everyone's heads (firing, expulsion, jail, etc) without all the relevant information. We can do better as adults.


7 people like this
Posted by Sarah
a resident of College Terrace
on May 12, 2017 at 5:18 pm

@ john_alderman: The PAUSD administrators need to obey the various federal laws, which can be at cross purposes. PA citizens, on the other hand, can shoot from the sidelines, without restraint, while ignoring their own biases and beliefs. [Portion removed.] Let the professional educators deal with the issues, because they know the circumstances, and they have the experience.


46 people like this
Posted by @ THE FACTS
a resident of College Terrace
on May 12, 2017 at 5:21 pm

The girl's dress
The girl's geographic location
The girl violating the school's rules

Did you not learn a "no" is a "no"? Apparently not. Her location (boy's bathroom) could have been forcible pushing, verbal threats and/or coercion leading to wrong location.

The girl's dress. Have you attended a dance recital? How about a beach? In Europe the women go topless. Do males have no self control? No moral code?

Re: other kids doing regarding sex at school
Really? If it's rampant sex culture at school, that condones a boy's behavior to assault a female? That is one slippery slope of an argument my friend. A weak one at that.

Empathy doesn't mean looking the other way. It means getting help for a boy who seriously needs it. That means, also consequences in real life. You don't continue on varsity sports and pretend everything is fine. BECAUSE.... it's NOT fine. HE assaulted 3 girls. 3 victims. 3 different locations. THAT is a pattern of assault.

But lets pretend we are being "empathetic" and look the other way.


47 people like this
Posted by Disbelief
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 12, 2017 at 5:25 pm

BTW my sophomore son says he thinks there are more victims, whether or not they will come forward he doesn't know. He and a lot of his friends are upset and frustrated at how the district is handling this. How is this okay?


24 people like this
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 12, 2017 at 5:30 pm

john_alderman is a registered user.

@The Facts

Fact 1: The only person who said "serial rapist" in any comment is you, so drop that strawman.

Fact 2: You preface a comment with "We should not blame a victim" then go directly to blaming the victim: "why is no one is discussing why the third alleged victim was in the Paly boy's bathroom, a location where no girl should be? " and "Clearly, she was violating school rules too" and "there appears to be culpability on all sides". Guess what, that IS victim blaming, that IS condoning RAPE culture.


28 people like this
Posted by common sense
a resident of Midtown
on May 12, 2017 at 5:32 pm

Here's the principal's message from the Paly Voice publication about this matter:

"While some students are against allowing the student to continue attending Paly, Diorio explains the legal obligation Paly has as a public institution.

“All students have the right to a free, public education,” Diorio said. “So if there’s a student who’s convicted of a crime, any crime, and they are not in juvenile hall, they have the right to be here and we have the right to educate that person and make sure that they are not a danger or threat to anyone else on this campus. We do this regularly and we follow through and we handle things to make sure that that’s always the situation.”

The Student Handbook clearly states grounds for expulsion and/or suspension - and this three time repeat sexual predator, who has been before juvenile court two times should be expelled. But based on the Principal's VALUES, she decided to protect the sexual predator rather than the victim.


26 people like this
Posted by Paly Community Member
a resident of Downtown North
on May 12, 2017 at 5:35 pm

Speaking from experience in working with kids in these kinds of scenarios, we administrators want to do everything we can to support all of our students. Principal Diorio is very well regarded as a competent, caring principal. Heavy is the crown to be a principal in PAUSD, as evidenced by the consistent heavy turnover we've seen

Regarding this specific case, a school cannot necessarily keep a kid from attending because of things that happened outside of the school day and off school campus. It's tricky. A blanket expulsion for things that happened off site and does not directly involve the school would be an instant lawsuit. The laws protect all kids, even the ones you may want to just "go away".

Based that this altercation happened on campus, I can guarantee that there is more to this story than we know. In the investigation, the PALY admin team must have found something that disputed the girl's (or her parents') claim about the altercation in the bathroom that day.

Because, and I know this as fact, any administrator would have used this incident as a clear path to an expulsion. The fact that this did not happen means that there is something WE don't know, that the facts say something different. I'm pretty sure the PALY admins did a thorough investigation. Who knows what they found on his cell phone or her cell phone... who knows what any witnesses said.

Point being, we don't. And we don't necessarily get to.

Because if it were your kid involved in either side of the bathroom incident, you would want their privacy rights provided.

And really, in seeing how much Principal Diorio has done to work through the OCR and Civil Rights Complaints at Paly, do we really think she isn't going to follow every necessary step here?

As I said earlier, Diorio is a fantastic administrator who cares deeply about her students. She does not shy away from assigning consequences to students if she is legally able to... just as she dealt with the streakers at the beginning of the year a while back.

We don't have the full story... and it is a horrible story, no matter how you look at it. I guarantee the PALY administration team would have gladly assigned every consequence they could have for the bathroom incident. The fact that there wasn't an expulsion clearly indicates that we don't have the full story.


11 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 12, 2017 at 5:36 pm

If I was a parent of a girl at Paly or any other high school (I'm not) I would be telling her to never go into a boys bathroom or anywhere else with presumed privacy with a boy. Reading between the lines, it sounds as if bathrooms are no longer out of bounds to the opposite gender. Is that where our liberality is taking us?


13 people like this
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 12, 2017 at 5:49 pm

john_alderman is a registered user.

@Paly Community Member - The history of OCR and Civil Rights Complaints at Paly may also have the unintended effect of deterring action in this case because all parties are potential complainants. Unfortunately, inaction (I'd argue it was cowardice) punishes the victim much more than the perpetrator.


26 people like this
Posted by Wow
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 12, 2017 at 5:58 pm

I just got the superintendent's email. Is it just me, or does anyone else find that huge gaping smile of his incongruous at the top of a newsletter discussing rape at his high school? Tone deaf bumpkin. Where did we find this guy?


21 people like this
Posted by Mom of 2
a resident of Downtown North
on May 12, 2017 at 6:02 pm

Need I remind everyone that there is also the small matter of the predatory biology teacher at Paly, now convicted, and how the district handled that matter. My daughter and her friends at Paly feel belittled, unsupported, and patronized by Diorio. For a school so obsessed with "wellness" and "stress" perhaps they might consider removing a known assailant from campus.


11 people like this
Posted by Trouble
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 12, 2017 at 6:04 pm

Paly community member,

What we DO know however is that there is a pattern of "situations" with the student who assaulted others, they are relatively similar stories.

It is quite possible that a 13-14 year old girl may have said or done something which was then made to look like nothing was amiss (with the guy) but the school clearly missed THE BIG PICTURE.

It's not what we don't know, its what we know.

It is anyway a bad message that 3X assault (or your suggestion it was only 2X) lets you stay in school.

Hope the young lady who had to deal with Paly's blind spots and this guy is happy somewhere else and she was good to report this - to prevent this from happening to others.


24 people like this
Posted by Disbelief
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 12, 2017 at 6:06 pm

@Paly Community Member

[Portion removed.] I hate to say it, Dorio is at best "Out of Touch". She has a history of sweeping EVERYTHING under the rug. Her students are upset and she has her hands tied? I think we need a more effective and protective Principal at Paly. And just as a side note to Paly parents, who wants a 3/4 to full page letter to all of us telling us every school break what fantastic things her her underage elementary kids are doing all the time? Myopic and inappropriate.


20 people like this
Posted by paly student
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 12, 2017 at 6:06 pm


I go to school with this kid, and he's in my graduating class. In all honestly I do not think the school would let him back in if they thought he was an actual threat.. However I do not condone the actions he did on and off school groundsPeople need to calm down, Diorio is doing everything she can, she should not be blamed for not being able to release information..... everyone at PALY knows who he is anyways (basically).


26 people like this
Posted by samantha
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 12, 2017 at 6:07 pm

Paly students should stage a walk out in protest of the way the district is handling this matter. Teachers should join them.

Paly supported the march downtown after the elections promoting love and acceptance. I would hope they would also support a march supporting safe schools.


18 people like this
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 12, 2017 at 6:17 pm

john_alderman is a registered user.

@paly student - People aren't, and shouldn't be blaming Diorio for not releasing the name, that is clearly against the law. Diorio should have expelled him though. Because she failed to act, the victim was forced to leave the school while the perpetrator got to continue at the school, play sports, etc. That's double punishing the victim while letting the perpetrator off.


6 people like this
Posted by paly student
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 12, 2017 at 6:20 pm

@john_alderman
Yes people are.. If you look up in the comments some people think she should resign... Also we cannot just expel him.. we need to make sure he is in a program where it will help him sort through his problems so that hopefully in the future he won't repeat the past.


20 people like this
Posted by samantha
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 12, 2017 at 6:26 pm

You've stated the bigger issue very clearly when you said, "I do not think the school would let him back in if they thought he was an actual threat."

That's the problem. Students are to assume that the the school is looking out for them and keeping them safe. This is the third time he's been caught doing something like this. Others say they suspect there are more. It is the school's duty to protect its students from this happening again. By not expelling him, it sends the message to all students that on-campus sexual assault is not that big of a deal. Let the adults sweep it under the rug and you'll still get to play sports and go to school.


13 people like this
Posted by Concerned Parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 12, 2017 at 6:30 pm

Get tested for HPV. Several strains are linked to cancer.
Throat cancer / cervical cancer.
Teens are now getting abnormal cell growths in the back of their mouths (near the tonsil area).
These students go to Gunn and Palo Alto High School, then they are off to spread the virus once they leave the area.

HIV is also still very present.
Be careful.


15 people like this
Posted by Paly Community Member
a resident of Downtown North
on May 12, 2017 at 6:35 pm

@Trouble

A school administrator is limited in what they can do about out of school arrests. A 16 year old with a pending DUI may still be allowed to drive to school and take your freshman student out to lunch in their car. The administrator can't involve themselves in the outside actions of their students, especially without a nexus to school.

And when they investigated, they don't get to assign consequences based on "what they don't know", not if they don't want a major lawsuit on their hands.

We don't know the male student's story. We don't know what the female student said to her friends the next day. We don't know the facts. The administrators do... and based on those facts, they do whatever they can to support the kids and uphold ed code.

This is such a strange community. We rally against the inappropriate actions of our president and then turn around and do the same thing to our school administrators.

If you know the full story and have full insight into what an administrator can do in these situations, I would love to hear your thoughts.

But we most likely have neither the full story nor ed code experience a school administrator has... so feel free to raise your pitchforks but point them where they need to go (at the behavior of the male student) and not the administrators who have their hands tied on what they are legally allowed to do.


20 people like this
Posted by Confused
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 12, 2017 at 6:47 pm

How does transferring this guy from one school to another address the fact that he is still a threat to the safety of those around him?


24 people like this
Posted by The Facts
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 12, 2017 at 6:48 pm

@ paly student:
"we need to make sure he is in a program where it will help him sort through his problems so that hopefully in the future he won't repeat the past."

You are a wise high school student. This is the empathy I was hoping to see from adult posters above, instead of the majority mob mentality. The adults could learn from you.


11 people like this
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 12, 2017 at 6:54 pm

john_alderman is a registered user.

@Confused - #1 most importantly it protects the victim, and she gets to stay at Paly #2 he goes to continuation school which is setup for troublemakers.

@The Facts - Adults are more concerned about the victim than the perpetrator.


15 people like this
Posted by Reality
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 12, 2017 at 6:56 pm

[Post removed.]


4 people like this
Posted by Trouble
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 12, 2017 at 6:59 pm

Paly community member,

You missed my original post which pointed out the limiatations the schools apparently face with FERPA - scroll up.

I have made other comments but more recently what bothets me are the "pitchforks" aimed at the victim by implying "we don't know."

We DO know enough that there is a lot going on and not the fault of the victims.

I disagree with pointing any pitchforks at the perp either - no pitchforks towards anyone. The people who need to step up are the adults, the parents, get the kid help away from regular school where regular kids will kiss (even in bathrooms) and not expect to be assaulted.


7 people like this
Posted by Hard Headed Conservative
a resident of Midtown
on May 12, 2017 at 7:00 pm

[Post removed.]


24 people like this
Posted by Reality
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 12, 2017 at 7:06 pm

@Hard Headed Conservative:

I am a flaming liberal. But there is no rehab for a three time (at least) sexual offender. Show me the statistics that show otherwise. Put him away for the good of society. If you are concerned about cost, perhaps we could outsource to a Mexican prison.


12 people like this
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 12, 2017 at 7:17 pm

john_alderman is a registered user.

@Trouble - You are wrong about FERPA - it doesn't protect students from expulsion, and in the California education explicitly allows expulsion both for sexual assault and cyber sexual bullying.


Like this comment
Posted by macy
a resident of Fairmeadow
on May 12, 2017 at 7:50 pm

[Post removed.]


17 people like this
Posted by Advocate
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 12, 2017 at 8:12 pm

Mom of 3:

While the story was not clear about this, the victim in the first case (2015) did not consent to performing oral sex at all. As mentioned in the KTVU story, she argued against it for a full minute and finally agreed under duress. Then she revoked consent (which had never really been given at all) - so it would have been an assault either way.


42 people like this
Posted by Paly parent
a resident of Midtown
on May 12, 2017 at 8:39 pm

The majority of people defending the convicted juvenile and/or the PAUSD administrators on the basis of the public not knowing the facts but trusting PAUSD is utterly ill-based. PAUSD does NOT have any facts: both McGee and Godfrey clearly state that they were notified by the juvenile justice department of the October incident in January and did NOT investigate as REQUIRED BY LAW, despite the OCR "currently monitoring the district for its failure to properly investigate several cases of sexual misconduct and violence". They have learned nothing from the past mistakes and continue this pattern of failing to act, and are only claiming to be supportive and do "everything" possible AFTER being exposed by the TV report. Why doesn't PAUSD have any procedures or common sense?

I'm so frustrated with the principal, superintendent, and school board. We're constantly bombarded with surveys with little or no results, as well as endless cycles of rehashing bell schedules, school calendars, math curricula (not even having any whatsoever in middle school), and problems that never get fixed (curricular/grading inconsistency, lack of counseling/mental health, test stacking, etc. etc.)

Oh, Paly has some new buildings--yay. (Unfortunately, my senior won't get to use it because of the years-long bureaucratic delays.) But the school won't fix the old, broken fire alarm/protection systems. I don't trust PAUSD to do right and seriously question their ability to keep our kids safe.


22 people like this
Posted by PaloAlto_HIGH
a resident of Professorville
on May 12, 2017 at 8:46 pm

lmaf reading some of the paly teachers' posts. as nice as kimmy is, she is ineffective to say the least running our school during her tenure. other than stop streaking, what else is accomplished, nothing. [Portion removed.] who cares-so out of touch. some of the teachers she hired last year are awful in class and lots of my friends suffered.

[Portion removed.] wondering whether it is worth her while to be sticking around. this is probably mcgee's last job anyway.


3 people like this
Posted by friend with victim
a resident of Barron Park
on May 12, 2017 at 9:19 pm

[Post removed.]


37 people like this
Posted by Paly Parent
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 12, 2017 at 9:40 pm

Paly principal should resign. She did not do her job to protect our kids!!!h9kPa


12 people like this
Posted by Kathy Jordan
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 12, 2017 at 9:48 pm

@Please Kathy
You say: "Kathy, let's step back for a minute. Based on the document that were released about Principal Winston, about 24 of those complaints were about him staying inanely irresponsible things in public." Do you have the document? Because the publisher of the Weekly hasn't seen it and it isn't available publicly. Only Kim Diorio is likely to have it. Please release it.

You say: "Let's not make these out to be gropings and inappropriate contact." A parent witnessed Phil Winston inappropriately touching 3 female students in the spring of 2012.

You say: "To that end, it sounds like well over 25 people witnessed these things. None of them reported anything to HR. But Principal diorio did. It's a false argument to suggest that she was the only one who could have reported. Even the only administrator. Best I can tell from the documents, she came forward when the allegations started getting serious (not just comments about "boobs"). District policy and Title IX law require prompt, immediate reporting. You were the high level staffer. District policy requires reporting to a supervisor, Principal, Superintendent or District officer. It doesn't mention or require reporting to HR. The District holds sexual harassment training. A simple google search reveals the District policy. The policy didn't call for you to report when you deemed the allegations started getting "serious." You came forward only AFTER a public investigation was opened.

You say: "So I don't think it's fair to make her out to be the villain here." Ok, so if you have more information, please report it so we can keep our students safe.

You say: "Let's wait to see what the board investigation reveals before we start saying things we later regret." Ok, fine. Let's see what we can do to keep our students safe. It's about the students' safety, after all.


13 people like this
Posted by Kathy Jordan
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 12, 2017 at 10:12 pm

@Please Kathy -
You say: "Best I can tell from the documents, she came forward when the allegations started getting serious (not just comments about "boobs")." Kim - no one has the documents available, but you. Please release them.

I suggest many people would find the following comments said by Phil Winston to students serious: "You​ must be getting a lot of pussy," "To get your boyfriend to do what you want, sit on his face and whip your legs around..," and "Do your boobs hurt while you're streaking?"
Was there ongoing harm to students while you failed to report? It's about our student's safety after all.


7 people like this
Posted by Paly student
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 12, 2017 at 10:12 pm

@reality I did not mean imprisonment oy vey.. what the hell is wrong with Palo Alto parents smh. Rehabilitation is the key to his long term success


8 people like this
Posted by Hard Headed Conservative
a resident of Midtown
on May 12, 2017 at 10:16 pm

"I am a flaming liberal. But there is no rehab for a three time (at least) sexual offender. Show me the statistics that show otherwise. Put him away for the good of society. If you are concerned about cost, perhaps we could outsource to a Mexican prison."

They say a conservative is a liberal who's just been mugged, and a liberal is a conservative who's just been arrested.

Step back from those flames and simmer down. Emotions too often occlude good judgement.


4 people like this
Posted by Tsk
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 12, 2017 at 10:31 pm

[Post removed.]


44 people like this
Posted by #Resign
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 12, 2017 at 10:48 pm

Both Paly principal and superintendent should resign. They did not do their job to protect our kids !!


7 people like this
Posted by Town Square Moderator
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 12, 2017 at 10:55 pm

Town Square Moderator is a registered user.

Due to the sensitivity of this story and the comments, we have closed the topic to commenting until 7 a.m. Saturday morning when a moderator will re-open the thread. Thank you for your understanding.


9 people like this
Posted by common sense
a resident of Midtown
on May 13, 2017 at 7:25 am

Mercury News article has more details:
Web Link


59 people like this
Posted by #SpeakUpSpeakOut
a resident of Atherton
on May 13, 2017 at 7:51 am

This will be my last comment about the situation on this post Palo Alto Unified School District does not want anyone to know about this matter this matter was brought to their attention in October. All staff at that school was very aware. I spoke to the principal personally numerous of times about my child thoughts and feelings. For the school to send all parents email regarding this matter now it's ridiculous and devastating I spoke to the principal right after this and ask if she could send all the parents a statement regarding this sexual assault that occurred on campus and you know what she said she couldn't share this information with other students and parents. I'm highly upset now the school finally wants to make a statement after all these months why now because it's in the media makes no sense. To this community I feel like Palo Alto Unified School District let me down not only myself my child too.We as parents fight so hard for are kids to go to good schools expecially schools in the Palo Alto School District. I never had the privilege to go to any schools in Palo Alto Unified School District I wanted to give my daughter a life that I never had. But to find out now that I pulled her out of the school because it didn't seem like anyone was listening to me nor my daughter nor her feelings and someone tells you that they are suicidal and they're having panic attacks I feel as if Palo Alto Unified School District should have stepped up my daughter came out she spoke about it she went to counselors she did everything she was supposed to do no one helped . Before making final decision about moving her out of that school I called the principal I spoke to the principal and I did let her know I'm going to be removing my child out of the school. School officials thought that if they switch those classes that they had together everything will be ok when in reality it wasn't my daughter still was getting bullied she still was getting tonic by this sexual predator he gets no love from me I have no respect for someone that goes around and sexually assaulting anyone and walking around like he's invisible. Also the school says they didn't know anything about this incident that happened in October he was served with restraining orders on school campus in front of principals so you tell me how the officials didn't know that he was a predator. I'm done with Palo Alto Unified School District I would never ever put any of my children in one of these schools again. I feel let down disgusted and distraught about him still being able to be on campus around others kids and putting them in danger. It breaks my heart for all the other kids that's at the school and then the school officials just starting releasing statements this is ridiculous I believe you guys should have been informed when this first happened. Thank you to all the people who called sent texts well wishes and concerns . This is a very hard time for us so please give my daughter time to recover after all this aftermath. Also please use
#SpeakUpSpeakOut
Please help stop sexual assault all over the world.


10 people like this
Posted by Alphonso
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on May 13, 2017 at 8:08 am

Alphonso is a registered user.

This is a very poorly written story - either the "attacker" was convicted or was not convicted and either at least one of the incidents either happened on campus or some other place. It seems that in a rush to make Paly look bad the writer did not bother to check the facts.


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Posted by SJ MERC ARTICLE
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on May 13, 2017 at 8:20 am

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


11 people like this
Posted by TruthPlease
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on May 13, 2017 at 8:43 am

When will the administration realize and admit that transparency is the way to go?

Now that it's all over the news, how did they expect us parents to react? Of course we are going to be angry and ask questions. Please give us some real answers take immediate actions to remedy the situation. The letters sent out by the Supe and principal so far have provided parents with no real information. If the media was inaccurate, then tell us which parts? What are you doing to change the situation?

The anger and distrust is only deepening as we wait. In the mean time, students and parents are passing around the name and picture of the offender. The goal of protecting his privacy failed as well.

This is sad and painful. We want answers. Max and Kim, please provide us with real answers. Treat this as if your own daughters are at Paly now.


17 people like this
Posted by esther warkov
a resident of another community
on May 13, 2017 at 9:00 am

As Co-Founder/Executive Director of Stop Sexual Assault in Schools, a national non-profit, we are deeply dismayed by the reports. Here we read that the victim reported the assault but it wasn't characterized as an assault. So she went to report consensual sexual activity? Such tactics on the part of schools are clearly self-serving. I have personally invited the superintendent to watch, post, and implement Sexual Harassment: Not in Our School! at ssais.org/video. San Francisco Unified has shared the video on its website--please, demand that your district do the same. Watch what a Title IX Coordinator should do in the video, and much more. We're ready to partner with your district and donate our services to end this cycle of sex discrimination and violence. info@stopsexualassaultinschools.org


21 people like this
Posted by unethical
a resident of Community Center
on May 13, 2017 at 9:07 am

In the midst of all of this I receive a request to pledge a donation to PIE for next school year - raising funds for PAUSD. I will not donate to a non profit that supports an organization that I cannot trust.

I wish it wasn't that way but it is.

My heart goes out to all the victims, past present and sadly future if this is not handled the way it should be.

PAUSD you have spiraled out of control at many levels.


12 people like this
Posted by Dustin
a resident of Midtown
on May 13, 2017 at 9:09 am

Sarah,

You are either naive or ignorant. The EDUCATORS failed so many times to protect our kids and you are asking the public to trust them even more. I do not think you would think the same if your kids are among the victims. By the way, how did you know all the information that's not known to the public? Did the EDUCATORS told you in private so that you can advocate for them? Look how many times they failed to follow proper procedure through the report from government.

Summary of the report below. Notice at end of each paragraph, it says the district FAILED TO FOLLOW PROPER PROCEDURE!!!!

1. A Paly student reports an alleged off-campus assault to the school. In response, the school assisted her in filing a police report, provided her with a list of counseling resources and temporarily excused her from school. Though the student’s mother says she believes the principal called the alleged-perpetrator and a witness in for questioning, no documentation or results of this were reported to the mother nor the OCR. OCR said the district failed to follow proper procedure.

2. In June 2013, Paly’s then-assistant principal met with the district’s then-Title IX coordinator and voiced concerns about the conduct of the then-principal, disclosing allegations collected over three years from 25 staff members who shared reports accusing the principal of inappropriate behavior. In August, the principal was reassigned within the district. OCR said the district and former assistant principal failed to follow proper procedure.

3. Two students reported to a school counselor and an assistant principal that over the weekend a male student locked a female student in a bathroom at a party and told her he would not let her out unless she performed oral sex on him. OCR said the district failed to follow proper procedure.

4. A Paly teacher was accused of socializing with a student several times while she was still in high school, although he maintained he did not have a sexual relationship with her. The student’s ex-boyfriend, also a former Paly student, later sent a letter to the principal alleging that the teacher engaged in “grooming” while the girl was still in high school. OCR said the district failed to follow proper procedure.

5. In December 2015, a teacher told an assistant principal at Gunn that a classified employee and the student were dating, and that there was a “hazy line between students and staff with someone like [the classified employee].” An outside investigator concluded that the two were not in a romantic relationship. However, two staff members knew the student and employee had driven together in the student’s car on multiple occasions. Preliminary reports suggest the district appeared to have handled this correctly.

6. A female Gunn student broke up with her boyfriend. Following the breakup, the male student allegedly began stalking her, waiting for and following her between classes and to her home. One day, the male student followed her as she walked home from school and grabbed her by the hair, pulled her head down and hit her with his other hand. Subsequently, the male student was arrested by the Palo Alto Police Department and placed temporarily in juvenile hall and the female student was issued a restraining order against him. OCR said the district failed to follow proper procedure.

7. On June 16, 2016, a Paly science teacher asked a female freshman student to come to his classroom after school where he allegedly put his hands under the student’s clothes and placed one of her hands on his clothed groin area. The student notified her parents and the teacher was arrested. OCR said the district failed to follow proper procedure.

8. On Jan. 14, 2016, the district learned that an Ohlone Elementary School teacher was criminally charged with sexual abuse of a minor for conduct that allegedly occurred in 2003, before the teacher was a district employee. The district immediately placed the teacher on administrative leave and provided counseling resources to the school community. OCR has a concern about the district’s handling of the case but the investigation is ongoing.


6 people like this
Posted by Elena Kadvany
a resident of another community
on May 13, 2017 at 9:19 am

To #SpeakUpSpeakOut: My name is Elena Kadvany; I'm the Weekly's education reporter. Thank you for your post. If you would be willing to talk with me further, please feel free to contact me at ekadvany@paweekly.com.


14 people like this
Posted by Trouble
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 13, 2017 at 9:30 am

The bullying which happened to the victim at Paly is inexcusable.

Accommodating the perp to change classes was not an appropriate way to handle this.

The victim and the family needed support and WE all failed to provide that, clearly.

PAUSD - an apology to the bullying victim is due. To all looking to play games about the he said/she said - that is how kids bully with no consequences, because adults are on the fence about standing up or not.


11 people like this
Posted by Alphonso
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on May 13, 2017 at 9:34 am

Alphonso is a registered user.

As I read this article and The Mercury article I read the following. There was a 2015 incident which was resolved in Juvenile Court in Dec 2017 and that resolution included a felony conviction. The school district was notified about the 2015 incident and the Dec 2016 resolution in Feb 2017. Meanwhile another incident happened in Oct 2016 and that case was also resolved in Dec 2016, but there was no conviction in that case. People are suggesting the School should have warned the students about the alleged perp. but the school did not know about the first incident until four months after the second incident happened. Nobody seems to care about the real timeline or the facts. Perhaps the notification process (police/courts to school) should be changed and perhaps there should be less privacy protection - that should be the focus of the angry mob.


5 people like this
Posted by Alphonso
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on May 13, 2017 at 9:37 am

Alphonso is a registered user.

"There was a 2015 incident which was resolved in Juvenile Court in Dec 2017"

Sorry the resolution was DEC 2016 not 2017


15 people like this
Posted by Trouble
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 13, 2017 at 9:42 am

Excuse me - sounds like PAUSD knew enough by February 2017 and the student felon is still on the varsity baseball team?

Is this true, is he on the Paly varsity baseball team?


3 people like this
Posted by Justice
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 13, 2017 at 10:10 am

[Post removed.]


4 people like this
Posted by Justice
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 13, 2017 at 10:13 am

@Trouble
Yes, he is on PALY Varsity baseball team.


5 people like this
Posted by Too Bad
a resident of Community Center
on May 13, 2017 at 10:35 am

[Post removed.]


24 people like this
Posted by Insider
a resident of Barron Park
on May 13, 2017 at 10:36 am

You would be amazed how systemic non transparency is from ALL levels. The Palo Alto brand name first and foremost must be protected and god forbid if you start to ask questions. You will get nice polite emails that talk all around an issue. It's hard being an upstander in this district- because you are treated like you are the crazy one interrupting the flow of the Palo Alto MYSTIQUE.


5 people like this
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on May 13, 2017 at 10:44 am

[Post removed.]


67 people like this
Posted by Perspective from a student
a resident of Duveneck School
on May 13, 2017 at 11:42 am

Perspective from a student is a registered user.

I am a 14 year old girl who is returning to the Palo Alto school district next year. I have met the junior who committed these crimes, I have friends who take classes with him. Even though he seemed nice and he plays varsity sports does not give him an excuse to return to school and continue his everyday life like nothing happened. Thursday morning at Paly, the day after the video was released on KTVU, there were boys waiting outside of the boy's classroom waiting to beat him up. He doesn't show up at class, but then he returns to school to play varsity sports like nothing happened. I don't know how he can show his face. As a two varsity sport, he could have gotten scholarships, but he ruined it for himself. The fact that these girls have to walk around campus worrying about the length of their shorts because of stories like this is unacceptable. I know that next year I don't want to have to be worrying about that instead of worrying about things that matter, and the reason I am at school, LEARNING. Without these "good teachers" and campus, Paly will be an unsafe environment for students. If for some reason the district can't understand this, I will say it: If over 50% of your students need to be focusing on their clothing and not getting raped, then those grades that the state sees are going to suck. And you will be disappointed. So if you want to keep the reputation of amazing education then you're going to need to report things like sexual assault, and report them right when they happen, not when you are called out for hiding them. I don't understand how Principal Diorio, as a woman, values her reputation over the safety of these girls. Please keep in mind that I am 14 YEARS OLD and I'm not even at Paly until next year, yet I still have more common sense than my principal. I understand that not everything is public yet, but from what is public it's obvious that the district handled the situation inappropriately. PAUSD used to be an amazing district and I would like to be a part of that district, not one that has to budget cut important things like music, and on top of it all not report things like sexual assault. I love Paly but how are they going to handle the class of 2021 with 600 students if they can't handle a class with 400 kids. It would be great if I could not need to worry about controllable things like this and instead focus n my learning in an already stressful environment. I still think it's ridiculous that I have more common sense than some of these authority figures and adults who think it's not a big deal. Sexual assault is a big deal and you need to face reality. I hope that the boy gets the help that he needs because he really had a lot of potential.


20 people like this
Posted by Anon5
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 13, 2017 at 1:01 pm

Anon5 is a registered user.

Here's what we can do as a community:

- contact the Baseball coach. His name is Pete Fukuhara, and his email is listed in the link below. Urge him to remove this student from the team, just as the football coach did. Web Link

- attend the next PAUSD Board Meeting. It is on May 23 at 6:30pm at the District Office. Again, urge to have this student's name released and have him expelled from the district. Web Link

- Contact your representatives about amending FURPA to exclude felony convictions!

- The next varsity baseball game is on May 17, time TBA. Show up and protest this student if he plays - I think we all know who he is at this point. Web Link


1 person likes this
Posted by whitepine
a resident of another community
on May 13, 2017 at 1:49 pm

whitepine is a registered user.

@Anon5

Don't understand your reasoning...if parents are concerned about coverup, shouldn't they be writing to the board instead?


24 people like this
Posted by Stay-at-home Mom
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 13, 2017 at 1:50 pm

Stay-at-home Mom is a registered user.

Why were Phil Winston (Principal), and Ronnie Ferrell (science teacher) pulled immediately from their positions (even without being convicted) and this boy was still allowed to be on campus when he was already convicted as guilty? His actions were much worse than what the named adults did. There was no direct skin contact with the adults. Do people really think this "minor" didn't know right from wrong?


34 people like this
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 13, 2017 at 2:59 pm

john_alderman is a registered user.

This paragraph from the Mercury News is very telling. Diorio has no sense of perspective, and no understanding of the seriousness of the crime committed on her watch. She is treating this like he stole a cookie, or cut class, or cheated on a test. It was felony sexual assault, "progressive discipline" is not an appropriate response. She should definitely be fired. Note that "goal" is keeping the perpetrator of felony sexual assault in school. What was Kim's goal for the victim? Drive her out of town quietly?

---
The Palo Alto school district’s policies on student discipline center on a “progressive discipline” framework in which the least punitive methods are tried first. The goal is to keep students in school, according to the guidelines, so methods such as community service, outreach to parents and a loss of extracurricular privileges are implemented before suspension or expulsion.
---


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Posted by Because
a resident of College Terrace
on May 13, 2017 at 5:27 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


41 people like this
Posted by 2009 Alumni
a resident of Gunn High School
on May 13, 2017 at 6:06 pm

His education does not take priority over the safety of young women - not now, not ever. He should be expelled immediately.

All high schools in the area need to double-down on their efforts to prove that they do believe, support, and protect victims of sexual assault. It is inappropriate and deeply disturbing that Paly's failure to protect that young girl made her disrupt her education and displaced their family.

Do better. Protect girls. Hold irresponsible predatory boys accountable for their actions, and EXPEL HIM.


20 people like this
Posted by Keith Ferrell
a resident of Southgate
on May 13, 2017 at 6:35 pm

On the first day of school back in 2013, Kim Diorio's first day on the job, two boys streaked across campus. This was during the OCR investigation and after much publicity that some parents, teachers, students and staff were bothered by the tradition. If I'm not mistaken, Diorio and others went from class to class and told students that if they streaked they were subject to being charged with a sex crime. And, on that day, Diorio sent out a lengthy email explaining the event that occurred on campus. I have added it below. Yet, when a student is forced to perform oral sex in a campus bathroom, we don't hear about it until it becomes public knowledge 6 months later. As you read the letter, simply replace the words "student streaking" with "sexual assault". Informing the community about streakers due to making "an emotionally unsafe environment for students", but not informing the community about a sexual predator on campus is reckless and inexcusable. We have still not heard from Diorio as to why she did not inform us of this incident.

August 15, 2013

Dear Parent/Guardian,

We’re reaching out today for help and assistance in putting an end to a student behavior that has made many people in our school community feel uncomfortable and unsafe; student streaking.

During today’s lunch, two Palo Alto high school seniors streaked through our campus. Typically this type of behavior has occurred during the end of senior year prior to graduation, and in my six years at Paly, it never has happened on the first day of school. This action creates a negative school environment, and this is not the way we would have liked to kick-off the beginning of the school year.

We need to work together to end this unsafe and educationally disruptive “tradition.” Staff, students, parents, and visitors have all complained about this activity and the effect it has on the educational environment. As Principal, my top priority is ensuring the physical and emotional safety of every student and adult on our campus. When students run through our campus without clothing in the spirit of fun, whether they realize it or not, they are creating a hostile work environment for the many employees of Palo Alto High School, but more importantly, an emotionally unsafe environment for students.

Seventeen or eighteen year-old students may not think of their behavior in this context and the unintended consequences of their actions. 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. 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.

I firmly believe we have the power to do great things at Paly. Engaging in thoughtful dialogue about creating a safe and welcoming school environment with our students is of the utmost importance at this time. I know that if we work together, we can educate our students and resolve this issue.

Moving forward, we will be working together with our senior class, and all students on campus, engaging in conversations about respect for others, personal safety, and the school-wide unintended consequences of the actions of a small group of students. It’s time for us to put an end to this “tradition” and channel our energies in a more positive direction. In the spirit of our working together, I ask you to have a conversation about this topic with your student sharing your support for our efforts in this regard.

As always, thank you for your support,

Kim Diorio
Principal


11 people like this
Posted by Advocate
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 13, 2017 at 6:40 pm

john_alderman:

I completely agree. Similarly, his attorney stated in the Mercury News article that the goal of juvenile court is rehabilitation, not punishment. That's fine if a kid shoplifts or smokes weed or vandalizes a building, but this guy raped three girls. Rehabilitation and "progressive discipline" are not appropriate in cases like this.


2 people like this
Posted by Well...
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 13, 2017 at 6:42 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


32 people like this
Posted by a friend
a resident of Barron Park
on May 13, 2017 at 6:46 pm

@well... thats right you dont know the full story you only know of what the victims feel comfortable sharing. you obviously dont know how this traumatic incident has effected the youngest victim. She was my bestfriend before she had to pack up and move becuase of paly poor way of handling this situation. she isolated herself from everyone that she knew on social media from paly. Not to mention this happened the day after her 14th birthday, thats soul sucking and horrific. Know your facts or atleast be sensitive about what you say. dont speak on something when you clearly dont know the whole truth.


31 people like this
Posted by F.Y.I
a resident of Downtown North
on May 13, 2017 at 6:47 pm

This is sad and heartbreaking. I just cant believe Palo Alto High Staff didn't do what they was supposed to do in this matter. There has to be some type of chain of command.I know the person he did this to. She is a very smart respectful and loving person. Her whole world has changed she has the to live with this for the rest of her life.Keep in mind she was only 13 when that boy started sending naked pictures of himself. He waited until the day after she made 14 to make his move on her.Nobody seems to understand that he has a pattern and the victims are getting younger and younger that he assaults. I spoke to the mother and she is devastated by the way the District failed to do their job. Theres gonna be another story airing on a major talk show soon exposing Palo Alto Unified School District. The victim in her mother will be on there.


7 people like this
Posted by Sarah
a resident of College Terrace
on May 13, 2017 at 7:38 pm

I simply do not understand how the Palo Alto public can be so insensitive on this issue. [Portion removed.] We should not be allowing a punishment culture to take over our ethics and compassion. Frankly, it shocks me that so many in PA want punishment over compassion.


27 people like this
Posted by oml
a resident of College Terrace
on May 13, 2017 at 7:42 pm

@sarah- are you kidding me? compassion over punishment, after what he did to those girls? [Portion removed] the fact that he violated their bodies and took soemthing so precious away from them that they'd never be able ti get back, the fact that the youngest one had to walk around in shame and in fear, the fact that he installed fear into the first and and youngest victim, he deserves no commpassion becuase he obviously didnt have compassion to stop when they said no.


10 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Barron Park
on May 13, 2017 at 7:57 pm

I do not condone sexual violence. But I agree there seems to be a mob mentality towards this student, and it is important to know all the facts before jumping to conclusions. It seems like he is being brought to bear for crimes I would imagine have been committed by others far more frequently than anyone knows about, especially in male sports culture, where girls are frequently sexually objectified.


Of course there must be consequences, but also of course redemption is possible for someone who is not even an adult.


5 people like this
Posted by Fact checker
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 13, 2017 at 8:51 pm

Yes, #standupspeakout.

But, even if you have not been a victim or are not the parent of a victim, don't we want to be the District in which No means No and in which Bullying is not tolerated. If you are the parent of boys, don't you want your boys to learn the right lessons from the adults in their schools? If you are the parent of girls, don't you want your girls to learn not only the right lessons, but also how to defend themselves and speak up. Don't your want your girls to feel safe in their learning environment.

Our District at the bare minimum owed it to the victim to follow its own policies see Web Link. Go to the next Board meeting, write to the Board and demand change.

If you do not want to click on the link key excerpts follow:

"Under California law, 'Bullying' is defined as any severe or pervasive physical or verbal act or conduct, ..., and including one or more acts committed by a pupil or group of pupils that constitutes sex harassment, hate violence or creates an intimidating or hostile educational environment, directed toward one or more pupils that has or can be reasonably predicted to have the effect of one or more of the following as per 48900(r)..."

The District had a duty to engage in "Prompt and reasonable investigation of alleged acts of bullying" and the Principal "site-level administrator" had the duty to "take action reasonably calculated to stop the bullying, stop it from reoccurring, and provide interim interventions, as needed, to support the alleged target."

"Consequences and appropriate remedial actions for a student who commits an act of discrimination, intimidation, harassment, or bullying may range from behavioral intervention and education up to and including suspension or expulsion. This policy applies to all acts related to school activity or attendance occurring within a school under the jurisdiction of the superintendent of the school district."


18 people like this
Posted by common sense
a resident of Midtown
on May 13, 2017 at 8:57 pm

Sarah @ College Terrace & Anon @ Barron Park,

Read the Mercury News article about this matter; it has more details, and goes more into the timeline.

This sexual predator was scheduled to appear in Juvenile Court in December 2016 (for the incident in 2015), when he decides to attack another girl in October, 2016, just two months before he is to go on trial for another similar attack. This shows me that he has any remorse for his actions, nor is he likely to change. The sexual predator's attorney says they are appealing the verdict, so that means the sexual predator doesn't think he did anything wrong.

The Paly principal never addresses her decision not to expel the student, as the Student Handbook states can be the result of a student who commits acts of violence, sexual assault and sexual harassment.


10 people like this
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 13, 2017 at 9:08 pm

john_alderman is a registered user.

@Fact checker - shame on you for lumping felony sexual assault in the bullying policy. What level of crime would it have to be before you'd support expulsion? Do you think Brock Turner is a bully, or a rapist?

@Anon - the key fact is known, felony conviction in court. There is no rush to judgement, the judgement literally happened already. Now it is simply a matter of finding a sane punishment, and much more importantly, supporting the victim, who you never mention, and seem to have no concern for.

@Sarah - the thing you seem to care about should have no bearing on this. It is completely irrelevant. The punishment needs to fit the crime, not the person.


14 people like this
Posted by Skeptical
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 13, 2017 at 9:16 pm

To be clear - the felony conviction appears to be for the out-of-school incident, not the one in school. Not sure the school can expel for a crime committed out of school.

The in-school incident sounds like a he-said/she-said, which was investigated and adjudicated by the school before it knew anything about the out-of-school incident. Not sure they can change the discipline they gave him based on finding out months later than he did something else bad, a year earlier, outside of school.

Not saying any of this is ok, but not sure what's the schools options were.


Like this comment
Posted by Fact checker
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 13, 2017 at 9:24 pm

@John Alderman, I am not equating this to bullying. I am saying that at the barest minimum for an in-school incident (for all the victim blamers and those doubting the facts), the bullying policy was not even followed. And, by the way, sexual harassment by a student is part of the bullying policy.


17 people like this
Posted by Roy M.
a resident of Downtown North
on May 13, 2017 at 9:28 pm

Roy M. is a registered user.

Anyone commenting should read or watch the KTVU story and read the Daily News story (via the Mercury News) first.

There are two separate things very troubling about this case.

1) Everything about the first incident at the church from the school not being informed to the fact that the boy was convicted of a felony yet got only probation. I don't know where to begin on this one, and it really deserves its own thread.

2) The entire reaction of the school to the incident that occurred at the school in October of 2016. Bullying and graffiti against a victim is hardly anyone's definition of a safe environment. Neither is letting the boy stay in school given what the school knew about the incident and the restraining order and especially after they found out about the first conviction.

While I wait for more of the facts of the situation to be revealed, please tell me what the school is doing to keep a safe environment? I am now thinking about middle school options for eldest girl, but why would I want her to continue in this district if this is how her future high school treats a victim of sexual assault? I am open to any informed answers that anyone posting in this forum may have.


8 people like this
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 13, 2017 at 9:33 pm

john_alderman is a registered user.

@Fact checker - Yes, but my point is that crimes like felony sexual assault, rape, battery, murder, drug dealing are so far past bullying, it is disrespectful to the victim to even raise it. We aren't asking whether Brock Turner violated Stanford's bullying policy.


2 people like this
Posted by Sarah
a resident of College Terrace
on May 13, 2017 at 9:46 pm

[Post removed.]


21 people like this
Posted by Ms.Brown
a resident of Community Center
on May 13, 2017 at 9:51 pm

Palo Alto Unified School District you guys should be ashamed of yourselfs the victim is due for an apology I haven't heard any apologies to the victim it's sad that now you guys want to start speaking about this in from what I hear this happened six months ago why hasn't the victim received any apologies from Palo Alto Unified School District you guys failed to do your job you guys did not handle this properly I think the victim is due for an apology. Shame on you Palo Alto Unified School District shame on you. This has to be unreal. You guys let the victim move to a different school knowing that she was in danger knowing that she had fear and her heart to be on campus with this particular person my only question is did you guys provide her and her family with any funds to up and move did you guys provide the victim with any type of counseling, Compassion or anything. Someone needs to contact the victim or her mom so we can set up a GoFundMe account I can't believe this is happening in our community.


8 people like this
Posted by Fact checker
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 13, 2017 at 10:52 pm

@John Alderman, I agree that Bullying is a very low bar, and unacceptable, but PAUSD did not even hit that bar. And, there are many folks posting who keep blaming the victim. At a minimum, even they must admit this is at the very least bullying. Can even @Sarah accept this?

How can the Board accept the principal's and superintendent's lax treatment of such a serious matter? How can we as a community continue to look the other way?


3 people like this
Posted by Beyond PAUSD
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 13, 2017 at 11:12 pm

@Roy M.,

"I am now thinking about middle school options for eldest girl, but why would I want her to continue in this district if this is how her future high school treats a victim of sexual assault? I am open to any informed answers that anyone posting in this forum may have."

One suggestion is to look at well-established charter schools serving Santa Clara county. These are non-religious, public schools. There are older threads on this site about public charters and homeschooling options. They're not as fringe-y as people might think.


8 people like this
Posted by Advocate
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 14, 2017 at 12:16 am

Correct me if I'm wrong, but here's what I'm getting:

- October 2015: he assaults a girl in a church bathroom. This girl is not a Paly student.

- Early 2016: he assaults a girl at a house party. Unclear whether or not she is a Paly student.

- October 2016: he assaults a girl in the Paly school bathroom.

Now, as for the convictions:

- October 2015 assault resulted in a conviction of oral copulation by force, duress, menace, or fear. It sounds like this is a more serious felony according to CA law, because this was the only case his attorney was allowed to talk about (according to the Mercury News article). Could his name be released/are court records more open in this victim's case?

- Early 2016 assault has resulted in no charges filed.

- October 2016 assault resulted in a conviction of sex with a minor, which seems to be a lesser felony (although it sounds like his assault of her was just as forceful as the first, so I'm not sure why he wouldn't be convicted of the forceful charge as well).

So what about the girl from the church bathroom in 2015? If she got better results in court, and if she also filed a Title IX complaint with PAUSD (according to Mercury News), can the school do something about that? Wouldn't the nature of the "force" conviction in her case change anything about FERPA?


50 people like this
Posted by What about his parents
a resident of Midtown
on May 14, 2017 at 12:40 am

I have a daughter at Paly and am enraged by this situation and the administration not being transparent as usual. Perhaps what bothers me the most (other than the actual crimes) is that the boy's family obviously still thinks its acceptable to send their son to high school with other students. His track record shows that he cannot be trusted around other students. Have his parents no concern for the safety of other children in the community?


25 people like this
Posted by Church too
a resident of Barron Park
on May 14, 2017 at 1:08 am

Is the boy still an active participant in the youth group of the church [portion removed] where he sexually assaulted a fellow youth group member in 2015?? How is the church keeping female members of their youth group safe from this predator?


11 people like this
Posted by Oldster
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 14, 2017 at 1:14 am

I recall the knifings in the Jordan girls bathroms in the early 1970s. It was so bad, every girl who could walked home to use a bathroom during school hours. The principal said he could do nothng since he and his staff couldn't be everywhere at all times.

Looking forward to the talk show mentioned above with one those strong young ladies who are longer victims but warriors to stop this criminal behavior in our schools.

And kudos to the studunts who are standng up and demanding no more crimes on our campus. If the adults can't make the schools safe, the kids must. Now, unlike the 1970's, with social media school staff and our district board can hide their failures to keep schools safe.


4 people like this
Posted by Anonymous Student
a resident of Barron Park
on May 14, 2017 at 1:18 am

@Church too

I appreciate your mention of the church assault. We should be focusing a lot more on that one and the house party assault than we currently are.

The article did say "a Palo Alto church", so I don't think it's MPPC. I attend the youth group there and I'm pretty sure that's not where it happened.

[Portion removed.]


3 people like this
Posted by Tsk
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 14, 2017 at 1:20 am

[Post removed.]


Like this comment
Posted by reader
a resident of Green Acres
on May 14, 2017 at 1:23 am

[Post removed.]


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Posted by Advocate
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 14, 2017 at 1:38 am

[Post removed.]


21 people like this
Posted by Take Action
a resident of Downtown North
on May 14, 2017 at 2:49 am

The headline here is misleading, it should be something like "Paly student convicted of on campus sexual assault; compliance with district policies questioned." Mercury news article seems to be better organized about the facts.

Here is the playbook for the administrators:

Call out opponents for creating fake news
Say you are investigating
Wait for newscycle to pass and student graduates
Announce new policies
Back to business as usual

For residents, activism is needed here. You either let McGee and Diorio run that playbook, or you ask tough questions and demand their termination. What do people want?


28 people like this
Posted by Dustin
a resident of Midtown
on May 14, 2017 at 6:10 am

Sarah, I just do not understand either. Where is your compassion towards the victims? Where is your compassion towards hundreds of PALY female students? Keep in mind this is not the first time, but third! It is the people like you, the attitude like yours that helped this criminal get away again and again. [Portion removed.] You are not only hurting the victims, but also ruining the criminals life by helping him commit more crime!


16 people like this
Posted by Viewer of the Community
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on May 14, 2017 at 8:09 am

Sarah ( resident of College Terrace) wrote: "The facts of this case are not known to the general public. We need to trust our professional educators to handle such cases in a dispassionate way."

Sure. I think people of your opinion enjoy abdication to the elites of society. This is moral insanity. Suppose it was your daughter? They already tried it your way by leaving it to the "professionals" at places like Penn State.

I only pray you are not *another* member of the professional educational elites.


6 people like this
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 14, 2017 at 9:07 am

[Post removed.]


27 people like this
Posted by Friends with Mother of the victim
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 14, 2017 at 10:10 am

There's there's so much to the story that you guys just don't know most of it is confidential that's why you guys haven't heard of it I'm sure real soon you guys will hear of it once the TV show airs. There's more that Palo Alto Unified School District failed to do on their part. [Portion removed.] Most details are shocking heart-wrenching. The victim mom is out of thousands after paying for lawyers making sure her daughter is safe that's something Palo Alto Unified School District is not thinking about not taking into consideration wake up people. Some people are saying the reports are inaccurate common sense can tell you in any case to find anyone guilty of any type of charges the district attorney must have some type of evidence or someone had to admit to the crime.


7 people like this
Posted by Fyi re Expulsion Law
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 14, 2017 at 11:25 am

It is unclear to me whether PAUSD has followed the Education Code regarding expulsion. Under the law, there are circumstances where the expulsion MUST be recommended (mandatory), MUST/UNLESS (expulsion expected), and MAY (discretionary). The main drivers under the law are whether the acts occurred on campus and the severity of said acts.

Based on the news reports, it appears that there were assaults both on and off campus. If that is the case, expulsion should be MANDATORY for the on-campus assault, for "Committing or attempting to commit a sexual assault as defined in subdivision (n) of EC 48900 or committing sexual battery as defined in subdivision (n) of 48900."

For those who want to pursue this with the district, this seems to be the key issue: why no expulsion recommendation?

Here is a link to a CDE matrix about expulsion if you want to understand the law:
Web Link

I don't know anyone involved in this, it's a very sad situation.


16 people like this
Posted by Which Church?
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on May 14, 2017 at 11:26 am

I don't understand why the moderator is removing the name of the church where one of the assaults happened. Presumably the church isn't a minor needing protection.

I want to hear from the officials of the church about the assault and what their stance is generally on assault and women's rights since too often these days some churches are at the forefront of victim-blaming and against women.

We have a right to know which neighborhood church it is and what's being done to protect their parishioners and the community especially since the churches are tax-exempt.


8 people like this
Posted by Town Square Moderator
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 14, 2017 at 11:55 am

Town Square Moderator is a registered user.

@what church,

We remove this type of comment until we can verify it. Otherwise we allow Town Square to be a conduit for unsubstantiated rumors, which in cases like this can be very harmful. We are actively working on this story and will posting an updated story soon with additional information.


8 people like this
Posted by Very amused
a resident of College Terrace
on May 14, 2017 at 12:20 pm

TSM- very amusing explanation. On the thread in response to your editorial about the city council, where you complained about the activities of certain members, you had no problem in leaving posts that contain unsubstantiated allegations about certain council members. Obviously you Have no problem in the harm that may cause.


6 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 14, 2017 at 12:33 pm

@Town Square Moderator, thank you. I'm looking forward to your update and to hearing from the church officials.

Re the complaint about the editorial about the city council members, I don't recall any unsubstantiated claims and those CC members were always free and welcome to respond to the community. Instead, they continue to ram their policies through in ways that avoid oversight and remain unresponsive to community concerns.

In fact Fine and Wollbach recently killed a motion to assess what effect their ADU proposal would have on school enrollment, a major concern since the schools are already over-crowded. That's totally irresponsible and they should at least have the courage to defend their actions. Instead, they hide behind sloganeering without regard to the consequences of their actions.


8 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 14, 2017 at 1:01 pm

I read comments about churches made by commenters as well as one which mentioned a possible name of the male.

I think it is right that information is given by the Weekly, but I want them to check accuracy before that information is given to the general public. We can all speculate, but rumor spreading is not the purpose of Town Square. Instead when names are named by the Weekly, we must expect that they have verified their information as correct.

I also look forward to reading the follow up article, but rather than rushing to meet the presses or to be ahead of their competitors, I would like to think that they will take their time to maintain accuracy and journalistic standards.


23 people like this
Posted by CFSC
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 14, 2017 at 1:43 pm

@What about his parents

Spot on ! What are these parents thinking by pushing this boy into the community as a healthy, functional teen, student and athlete. He's a sexual predator. Do the right thing - take him out of the Paly community and get him and your family help.

Clearly, the PAUSD administration has proven repeatedly that it isn't equipped to deal with the complexity of student/family situations with varying combinations of educational issues, family dysfunction, psychological problems, legal rights, state & federal oversight... while educating our children.

I'm angry at the administration for allowing this predator to remain at Paly. But every family needs to think about what their impact is on the community and if it's harmful - fix it or get out. PAUSD certainly isn't the solution provider.


18 people like this
Posted by Terminology
a resident of Downtown North
on May 14, 2017 at 2:25 pm

As of 2013, the FBI defines rape as "Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim."

This means that we can, indeed, say that what happened in these incidents was not only sexual assault but also rape. Just thought that was interesting.


43 people like this
Posted by Enough is Enough
a resident of College Terrace
on May 14, 2017 at 3:27 pm

At Jordan, my 7th grade daughter was pushed into the Boy's Bathroom by a different "scholar-athlete" with a crowd of boys behind him, He started to pull off her clothing and touched her breasts. Years later she is still struggling with depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and fear about being unsafe in the world in a girl's body. At Jordan it led her to avoid drinking water during the day so she wouldn't have to go anywhere near the bathrooms, and rapidly to an eating disorder. At Paly even though the boy did not enroll there, she looked at boys at school and wondered if they had been in the crowd of boys watching. This assault was only interrupted by the school bell-- none of the bystanders attempted to stop this. It took almost two years of therapy for her to fully disclose this act and her paralysis and fear at the time of the attack. I applaud the young women who have been brave enough to speak out and it is incumbent upon us to do everything we can to support them and provide a safe environment for all of our children. I have always felt the high schools are dealing with problems that were created earlier. And as we know from the Brock Taylor case, this continues on to colleges- watch the documentary "The Hunting Ground" or read Jon Krakauer's book "Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town." A disproportionate percentage of sexual assaults are perpetrated by so-called scholar-athletes. We need to address the conditions that lead these young men to feel emboldened to press their desires on unwilling (or in some cases, unable) victims but also the fact that people, like the boys who watched my daughter's attack, did not say "STOP IT RIGHT NOW" and did not show the bravery these young women did in reporting it to the authorities.


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland

on May 14, 2017 at 4:21 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


9 people like this
Posted by Mary
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 14, 2017 at 4:29 pm

Over on the Mercury News, there's a lot of reader commentary on this story to the effect that the perpetrator is being protected by the school because of his race in addition to his star athlete status. Does anyone have anything that might corroborate this allegation, which if true, seems to me to compound outrageousness of the totally inept handling of this by the school and school district.


20 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 14, 2017 at 5:28 pm

I don't believe that the perpetrator is being protected by the school district because of his race. I believe that just like in so many cases in this school district, other districts and in college athletics, he is protected because he is a "star" athlete.

I am politically progressive, but for those who believe that liniency and counseling would reform this sexual predator: The odds of that happening, based on vast research data, are slim to none. The odds of him carrying on with sexual attacks against women if he is not punished severely are extremely high.


20 people like this
Posted by Beyond PAUSD
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 14, 2017 at 5:58 pm

@Mary,

Many PAUSD parents have heard some version of what you describe. It boils down to this: The district is afraid of potential lawsuits [portion removed.] This fear of litigation silently drives decisions of teachers and administrators, and it can end up providing leniency to students who should be facing consequences instead.

These comments are not meant to put down or blame protected categories of students and their parents, because such families are too often mistreated by PAUSD and end up leaving. However, if the district does primarily view parents of students in protected categories as potential litigants or threats, dysfunction and injustice will likely ensue. Perhaps that is what we're seeing in this Paly case.


1 person likes this
Posted by Pretty Clear
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 14, 2017 at 6:12 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


8 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 14, 2017 at 6:44 pm

@Enough is Enough, so sorry for your daughter and you and horrified that bystanders just stood there! Unfortunately there are way too many reports of rapes and assaults by "scholar-athletes" and their lenient treatment (Brock Turner by Stanford and the Santa Clara DA) for their assaults.

Your comment reminded me of all the news reports on the rapes by 3 or 4 scholar-athletes in Steubenville, Ohio, where the police tried to cover them up until a student videographer offered undeniable proof of the assaults. I remember being horrified that his sentence for unlawlful fiiming of students (or somesuch nonsense) was twice as long as the pitifully small sentence the group of rapists got.

The Stanford grad students who stopped Brock Turner and held him until the police arrived were heroes but the comment by "Enough is Enough" makes me wonder what Palo Alto students (middle school and high school) are taught to do and whether the bystanders who witnesses his/daughter's assault were ever encouraged to intercede.

Anyone know what the bystanders have been and are being taught to do? Are they ever reprimanded for not stepping in?


94 people like this
Posted by Senior of Paly
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on May 14, 2017 at 8:10 pm

Palo Alto High School Students will be doing a protest tomorrow. We will be wearing white in honor of the victims. Please join as we stand as one to get this right. No more secrets. We are demanding answers.Stop sexual assaults


Like this comment
Posted by Sarah
a resident of College Terrace
on May 14, 2017 at 9:42 pm

[Post removed.]


2 people like this
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 14, 2017 at 9:46 pm

john_alderman is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


14 people like this
Posted by Bystander
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 14, 2017 at 9:46 pm

To prove that paly isn't doing their job, students are screenshot around a meme. "Bullying" and teasing the victims. It says "when she tell you she's 14 but you're the star athlete on the baseball team" . Tell me if that isn't bulling and if the victim See's this. And does something .. that's a lawsuit waiting to happen. Max and Kim you need to step up. You really owe a huge apology to the victims. Most definitely the former student you failed to protect


1 person likes this
Posted by Reality
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 14, 2017 at 9:47 pm

[Post removed.]


29 people like this
Posted by Not Okay
a resident of Community Center
on May 14, 2017 at 10:27 pm

This is way the family moved their daughter away.It's not okay that people are making jokes about this assault. [Portion removed.] Nobody should be making fun of this situation.Her mother made a statement regarding the bullying and to know its still going on after the victim was removed out of the area its sicken. People need to put their self in the victims shoes. How would you feel if your body was violated.Cryed out to school staff no one listened so the mother took matters into her own hands.


2 people like this
Posted by Trouble
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 14, 2017 at 10:32 pm

[Post removed.]


4 people like this
Posted by BillyBob
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 14, 2017 at 11:03 pm

BillyBob is a registered user.

Having been on the Paly campus recently, I wonder if the bathroom assault took place in one of the "All Gender" bathrooms. These new All Gender bathrooms are basically very large (ADA compliant), very private, lockable rooms. Easy for two teens to slip into for privacy, and probably easy for one person to push another into and have a secure and private room for assault. Did the bathroom assault on the Paly campus take place in one of these private, All Gender bathrooms? Maybe the church assault took place in a similar type of bathroom?

I'm not opposed to the "All Gender" bathroom concept, but maybe we need to find a better way to implement it than these totally private and lockable rooms that can easily serve a second and unintended purpose as "sex rooms" or "rape rooms."


21 people like this
Posted by Former Teacher
a resident of another community
on May 15, 2017 at 12:24 am

Former Teacher is a registered user.

As a former teacher at Paly, I can only say that I'm glad that I'm not there any more. Thankfully I never saw any of this happening, but it makes me sick to think that I might have been able to stop something terrible. I have good memories of Paly, but things seem to have gone downhill.


44 people like this
Posted by fifteen
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 15, 2017 at 1:29 am

fifteen is a registered user.

I know there's been some debate about his age, so here's what I can tell:

- he was 15 at the time of the first assault, in the church. October 2015.
- unknown if he was 16 yet by the time of the second assault, early 2016.
- he was 16/17 at the time of the third assault, October 2016.

You guys, a 15 year old knows right from wrong. Sure, the teenage brain isn't developed, so kids might make bad decisions, like stealing stuff and doing drugs and driving recklessly.

Sexual assault is not a "bad decision". It is a conscious choice that somebody makes to violate another person. In that moment, when each one of those girls said NO and he forced them anyways, he went from "typical teenage boy" to "rapist". That's real life.


27 people like this
Posted by Samuel L.
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 15, 2017 at 8:12 am

Samuel L. is a registered user.

@Senior of Paly - Good for you. Keep up the fight until the administration makes changes. Walk out. March downtown. Attend a board meeting and speak up.


25 people like this
Posted by Rebecca White
a resident of Greenmeadow
on May 15, 2017 at 8:56 am

@So Wrong...you are sooooo wrong. This isn't about how girls behave or dress. It never is.


14 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 15, 2017 at 9:33 am

[Portion removed.] I am appalled by the comments that address the young person's race and disabilities - and also the references to student athletes. I guess we do live in a prejudicial community - it is so disturbing and it is amazing that these are parents that are contributing. Leave this issue to the authorities and refrain from commenting if you can not be adults. So sad on all fronts...


19 people like this
Posted by Accountability for Admins
a resident of Downtown North
on May 15, 2017 at 10:41 am

@Parent - the problem is that the authorities/administrators in charge are perpetuating the problems by their inaction (to put it mildly) - willfully blind / criminally negligent is probably more accurate. There needs to be real administrator accountability. Sitting on this kind of thing for months and putting the kids on campus at risk is just not ok.

If we can afford crossing guards, can't there be bathroom volunteers?


13 people like this
Posted by Disturbed parent
a resident of Downtown North
on May 15, 2017 at 10:53 am

[Portion removed.]

The reality is there are two sides to each story. They are both young and before you go making these assumptions about what happened you need to abide by the law, keep the privacy and allow the families, administration and authorities work out the details.

[Portion removed.]


28 people like this
Posted by Mary
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 15, 2017 at 11:07 am

Disturbed parent: I am sure you are correct that the perpetrator of these horrendous acts is in need of help. (Whether someone who can do this kind of awful thing multiple times to younger, weaker young women can be described under any circumstances as a "sweet boy" is, however in some doubt.)

You express concern about the impact this might have on the child's life and suggest we allow the authorities to do their work. I'm more concerned about the impact this has on the victims of this troubled soul - and with protecting the potential future victims in our community when the in-charge administrators allow a repeat sex predator (troubled young man or not) to roam the hallways and classrooms of a local high school.

I understand your compassion but I'm sorry: it's clear that as between the perpetrator and the victim, the needs of the latter take clear precedence. By all means help this young man to mend his ways, but take him someplace where he can't ruin another young woman's life with his obvious sickness.


28 people like this
Posted by Upset by all of this nonsense
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 15, 2017 at 11:32 am

I would recommend that all of these parents have a discussion with their kids about what goes on at parties (off campus and away from the administration and parents eyes). I bet most of them would be quite surprised. I would also suggest that they ask their kids if THEY have put themselves in situations that at the time seemed okay, but may have later regretted. I would guess that most of them would say, yes. This could include drinking to excess, drinking and driving, smoking and sexual behavior. If you don't believe that these situations go on at this age and that each kid learns how and what to do differently to survive adulthood then you are extremely naive. The administration is not to blame, nobody is - mistakes are made at this age by young men and young women. We need to help our children understand the consequences of all of their behavior on both sides.


37 people like this
Posted by Former Paly Parent
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 15, 2017 at 12:09 pm

@ Upset with all this nonsense -

Sexual assault is not nonsense, it is a crime.
Two assaults did NOT take place at a party, one took place at school and one at church, places that should be safe.
This "child" is a convicted, repeat sex predator and needs to be in a program ASAP. And NOT at Paly or Gunn.
The administration is totally to blame for allowing this student to remain on campus. Title IX prohibits sexual assault, violence and harrassment. The victims were subject to all three.

I agree that we need to talk to our teens and that many do things that put themselves at risk, I don't think going to school or your church youth group meeting falls into those categories.


15 people like this
Posted by disturbed parent
a resident of Downtown North
on May 15, 2017 at 12:30 pm

I hope that nothing happens to your perfect children as in this community and many other affluent college campuses, the offender is guilty before proven innocent. Hopefully none of your kids will be arrested for drunk driving, stealing, bullying, for drugs and other very common things in this community. When it happens, maybe you'll change your approach when you have no friends or community to help you through it.

We need to have discussions with our children about the realities of what kids are doing at parties and other public places that could be misconstrued in the wrong context.


28 people like this
Posted by Sick of the victim blaming
a resident of Barron Park
on May 15, 2017 at 1:31 pm

@Disturbed Parent - you're right, there are two sides to each story. But the perpetrator literally admitted to his actions in a recorded phone call in the church bathroom case. There are two sides to each story, and in BOTH he sexually assaulted her.

Firthermore, sexual assault is not something we should "expect" at parties. It is a crime and the responsibly lies on none other than the [perpetrator.]

Sexual assault happens anywhere, as seen by these cases. [Portion removed.]

The victim blaming has got to stop.


21 people like this
Posted by Oldster
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 15, 2017 at 1:35 pm

Convicted in a court of law and a restraining order issued! [Portion removed.] How that teen could stay on any sport team or any after school activity much less stay on 'his" campus of "his" convenience boggles the mind.

Again, my hearty congratulations to the students who've been attacked yet come foward so bravely, and also to the students now standing up and saying this PAUSD failure to follow its own rules on student safety stops today.

I don't expect PAUSD to do what's right. The students themselves will have to do it.


14 people like this
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 15, 2017 at 1:35 pm

john_alderman is a registered user.

@distubed parent - Felony sex assault conviction is not "misconstrued in the wrong context." You are staking out a position as a rape apologist. When you drive drunk, or steal [portion removed] you don't say "something happened to my child" - your child DID something, and there needs to be accountability for it. [Portion removed.]


17 people like this
Posted by Sick of the victim blaming
a resident of Barron Park
on May 15, 2017 at 1:59 pm

[Post removed.]


15 people like this
Posted by WriteToBoard
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 15, 2017 at 2:04 pm

Wrote to PAUSD school board over the weekend. Heard back that there will be a closed session to review the performance of McGee and Diorio.

Concerned parents should write to the board and express your opinions, especially since the PTA is shutting up everyone.


8 people like this
Posted by Action
a resident of Fairmeadow
on May 15, 2017 at 2:09 pm

@Write To Board and everybody else:

go to the school board meeting on May 23 at 6:30 pm.


6 people like this
Posted by Appalled
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 15, 2017 at 2:29 pm

It is absolutely unforgivable how [the] victims have been treated and disrespected, not just by the student body of Paly, but especially by the staff, principal, superintendent and other administrative people!

My guess is that what the offending adults have done is on equal par with what that predator has done.

[Portion removed.]


18 people like this
Posted by More than one school
a resident of Gunn High School
on May 15, 2017 at 2:45 pm

Parents be aware...this is happening at more than one school. We need to protect our girls. My daughter was recently groped at Gunn. We reported it and Gunn administration was right on it. Granted, our story isn't as horrible as what the victims in these stories went through, but we need to ensure the school board knows what is happening and what we stand for as a community. It's frustrating because the "wheels of justice" (legal, police investigations, school investigations, etc.)work too slowly for our preferences. For me, I just want to protect my kids/our kids in the community. Let's write to the school board or show up to the next school board meeting.


24 people like this
Posted by A Disgrace
a resident of Professorville
on May 15, 2017 at 2:47 pm

This is an abhorrent disgrace, from the [portion removed] negligence of Kim Diorio and Max McGee to the way this athlete [portion removed] was allowed to stay in school to the way the student body, principal, teachers and superintendent ALL bullied and mistreated the victims!

Complete incompetence all the way around!

[Portion removed.]


20 people like this
Posted by Skeptical
a resident of Fairmeadow
on May 15, 2017 at 2:53 pm

Regarding the letter sent by McGee:

The letter he sent was very telling and worse than sending nothing. The administration is basically saying:

1. we were really hoping this wouldn't come out. And now that it has...we have no idea what the to do;

2. So we are going to pretend we are spending "just enough time" gathering "new information"...to make it look like we didn't have all the facts.

3. then they are going to say, "after doing deeper research, we have found new information that leads up to expel the perp from school."

I promise that is how this is going to go. And they'll likely throw in a few more letters between now and the end of school to push any decision or accountability into summer break.


1 person likes this
Posted by Fact checker
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 15, 2017 at 3:02 pm

Does anyone reading this online thread know if tomorrow's Board meeting (4-6 pm) is about this meeting? The meeting is closed, but comments are allowed prior to the beginning of the meeting (not sure what time that would be) and the topic is vague, but reads "Public Employee Performance/Evaluation pursuant to Government Code §54957 - Superintendent, Principal, Title IX Coordinator."

Thank you for your attention to this question.


22 people like this
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 15, 2017 at 3:05 pm

john_alderman is a registered user.

@ Skeptical - I totally agree, it appears they were counting on the victim to be too shamed to speak up, so they could sweep the crime under the rug instead of dealing with it properly. Sadly, it appears the girl was victimized twice, one sexual assault, one virtual assault by Kim Diorio and PAUSD.


17 people like this
Posted by Comment
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 15, 2017 at 3:15 pm

If it is a closed session, the public can come at the beginning of the meeting and provide comments prior to the board going into closed session. I hope the public appears and expresses their outrage that these folks in these three positions are still on the payroll, that they need to be put on leave IMMEDIATELY and removed of their responsibilities, and that the Board needs to immediately appoint interims to handle this mess.

Also did anyone happen to see what just got posted on May 15th at the high school website - Web Link


16 people like this
Posted by Reach out and..
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on May 15, 2017 at 3:41 pm


"Any person who believes that she or he has been a victim of sexual harassment or sexual assault shall bring the matter to the attention of the site administrator or the school district's Title IX Coordinator to faciliatate appropriate action."

They're kidding, right? Who reports sexual harassment to a web site administrator?? The least they could have done was to provide live email links to administrator and the coordinator!


33 people like this
Posted by Do not renew Glenn's contract
a resident of Gunn High School
on May 15, 2017 at 5:02 pm

Absolutely, positively do not renew Glenn McGee's contract for another year or two. He must still have one or two years on his contract, which will add up to an expense of nearly $1,000,000. Max Mail just doesn't warrant that kind of money. Glenn was a good follow-up to Kevin Skelly, but he was not great in any way. The board made a mistake, well they made many mistakes, but they specifically made a mistake in 2012 and later in granting extensions to Skelly's contract. This is the moment to not make that same mistake with McGee, who simply cannot get the job done of protecting students, which is actually worse than his fiscal mismanagement. Conduct the search for the new superintendent in January, 2018, and send him on his way on June 30, 2018. Kim Diorio is just as easy, reassign her now, or let her finish out the 2017-2018 school year. We can do better, that is for sure, but right now it is just not good enough.


28 people like this
Posted by Barron Park
a resident of Barron Park
on May 15, 2017 at 6:02 pm

So far we KNOW of three victims. There are likely more. Many women, and definitely girls, do NOT report rape/sexual assault. These three victims are very brave to have come forward, but I am certain that there are likely many others who have not come forward out of shame, fear or grief. And the victim is not at fault. The victim blaming on here is terrible. This boy has sexually assaulted [portion removed] at least three teenage girls and he remains at school, playing sports?!

Disgusting PAUSD!


20 people like this
Posted by Tsk
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 15, 2017 at 6:33 pm

[Portion removed.]

Release Diorio and Max, as they care much more about the school's reputation than the students and this is clear to me from over the years of experiencing their administration. I think neither care about student stress or they would have made some positive changes. Instead, it's offering research to a select few to boost the reputation of the school, etc. There has been nothing done to address student stress! The new bell schedule doesn't even allow the students more sleep, with is the root of the stress.


13 people like this
Posted by Sick of the victim blaming 2
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 15, 2017 at 6:43 pm

@Sick of the victim blaming, I second your comment. Plus I am also really sick of the censorship (disguised as moderation) at this site.
I propose that all thinking people who are interested in frank discourse on this and other topics, drop this site and find another forum somewhere where we can discuss Palo Alto issues freely and for real...


12 people like this
Posted by BH
a resident of Fairmeadow
on May 15, 2017 at 7:29 pm

These girls have some fault too. They agreed to do what ever they did and then changed their mind. The boy should have stopped when asked to stop, but the girls have some fault too.


39 people like this
Posted by fifteen
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 15, 2017 at 8:14 pm

fifteen is a registered user.

@BH... consent is revocable. If one person revokes consent and the other does not stop, that is rape/sexual assault. And only the rapist is to blame. I am so sick of the rape culture and victim blaming on this thread.
Consent is freely given (without coercion)
Consent is revocable at any point during the act.
Consent is not transferrable (consent to one thing, ie kissing, is not consent to another, ie oral sex)


4 people like this
Posted by More than one school
a resident of Gunn High School
on May 15, 2017 at 8:46 pm

Just saw this article posted on the internet:

Web Link

Worth a read...come to your own conclusions.

We need to protect our girls.


17 people like this
Posted by Samuel L.
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 15, 2017 at 10:05 pm

Samuel L. is a registered user.

All of those looking for a change in leadership at PAUSD and at PALY, come to Tuesday's meeting at 4pm. The board is holding a closed session from 4-6 to discuss McGee, Diorio and Holly Wade (Title IV Admin). Public is allowed to address the board prior to them going to a closed door meeting.

Let's end the silence.

Stand up, Speak Out


4 people like this
Posted by From "Girls and Sex," by Peggy Orenstein
a resident of Barron Park
on May 15, 2017 at 10:31 pm

Here is part of chapter two of Peggy Orenstein's 2016 NYT best-seller, "Girls and Sex."

The author's language is frank, and the truths she discusses may shock some parents. But these passages may provide some useful context to these current, troubling incidents, as well as guidance for our district discussion of what sex education should be.

Ms. Orenstein writes:

"By the end of ninth grade, nearly one in five children has engaged in oral sex; by age eighteen about two thirds have.". . .

"I wondered, though: If teens didn't consider oral sex to be "sex, how did they perceive it? What did it mean to girls to give or receive oral sex? Did they enjoy it? Tolerate it? Expect it? One evening, shortly after her graduation from a suburban Chicago high school, a young woman named Ruby allowed me to join her and four of her friends for a chat. We met in Ruby's bedroom, one wall of which she'd painted midnight blue. Leggings, T-shirts, and skirts tumbled out of half-open dresser drawers. The girls sprawled on the floor, across the bed, on a beanbag chair.

"When I asked about oral sex, a girl name Devon school her head. 'That's not a thing anymore,' she said, waving a hand dismissively.

"'So what is it, then?' I asked.

"Devon shrugged. 'It's nothing.'

"'Well, it's not that it's NOTHING,' added Rachel.

"'It's not sex,' Devon countered.

"'It's like a step past making out with someone,' said Ruby. 'It's a way of hooking up. A way to have gone farther without it being seen as any big deal.'

"'And it doesn't have the repercussions that vaginal sex does,' Rachel added. 'You're not losing your virginity and you can't get pregnant, you can't get STDs. So its safer.'

"That, unfortunately is not entirely true—through again, because oral sex is ignored by parents and educators, there is a widespread belief among teens that it is risk free. . . . Avoiding STDs, though, isn't really why girls engage in oral sex. Th number one reason they do it, according to a study of high schoolers, is to improve their relationships. (Nearly a quarter of girls said this, compared to about 5 percent of boys.)

"What, though, did 'improving a relationship' mean exactly, especially since so many also told me that oral sex, at least where fellatio was concerned, was a way to emotionally distance themselves from their partners, protect against the over investment they feared would come with intercourse.

"For years. psychologists have warned that girls learn to suppress their own feelings in order to avoid conflict, to preserve the peace in friendships and romantic partnerships. Was performing fellatio another version of that? Whether they hoped to attract a boy's interest, sustain it or placate him, it seemed their partner's happiness was their main concern. Boys, incidentally, far and away, said that the number one reason they engaged in oral sex was for physical pleasure. . .

"For both sexes, but particularly for girls, giving oral sex was also seen as a path to popularity. Intercourse, would bring stigma, turn you into a 'slut'; fellatio, at least under certain circumstances, conferred the right sort of reputation. 'Oral sex is like money or some kind of currency,' Sam explained. 'It's how you make friends with the popular guys. And it's how you rack up points for hooking up with someone without actually having sex, so you can say, 'I hooked up with this person and that person,' and increase your social status. I guess it's more impersonal than sex, so people are like, 'It's not a big deal.'" . . .

"Discussions of sexual assault and consistent, enthusiastic consent are, thankfully, becoming more common on college and some high school campuses, yet if teens think of fellatio as not-sex (or not 'anything'), if it's thought of as an entitlement or considered an appeasement, then both girls' right to say no and boys' obligation to respect that are compromised, and the lines between consent an coercion and assault risk becoming blurred."

Again, the above is from chapter two of Peggy Orenstein's very useful book "Girls and Sex."


22 people like this
Posted by Parent-mother
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 16, 2017 at 12:42 am

In regards of the post about Orenstein's book and not at all the assault, I believe the most important element of sex education is teaching/instilling self-respect in our daughters. How on earth are we still in a place where girls use their sexuality to curry favour with boys?? In regards to the assault, I am embarrassed, horrified that such a thing could befall girls in our community. I am disgusted by Diorio's hypocrisy, threatening to have children arrested for streaking and then allowing a sexual predator free roam of a campus. Once this story hits the national media, Palo Alto's reputation as a bastion of liberal enlightenment will take a serious ding. Add this to the suicide clusters and a clear picture of neglect emerges.


15 people like this
Posted by whitepine
a resident of another community
on May 16, 2017 at 1:02 am

whitepine is a registered user.

@From "Girls and Sex," by Peggy Orenstein

Can't believe you are quoting a book to muddle the rapist-on-campus situation. A quick lookup reveals that this author is neither a medical doctor nor a law specialist. As popular a writer as she is, her book has no relevance to the situation that our community is furious about. Rape is rape, and he is still on campus, period.


9 people like this
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 16, 2017 at 2:02 am

john_alderman is a registered user.

There is nothing wrong with Peggy Orenstein or her book. I'm sure she'd be absolutely horrified to find rape apologists twisting her words to support their cause.


8 people like this
Posted by BH
a resident of Fairmeadow
on May 16, 2017 at 5:30 am

@whitepine

The point of the book info is so all the parents can see oral sex as your kids see it. Most kids are doing it in high school and that that they don't consider it a big deal. So if your son or daughter are popular in school, you know how they got that "popularity". This does not excuse anyone from not stopping when asked to stop. Sex in schools is not like when we in high school.


5 people like this
Posted by Trouble
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 16, 2017 at 6:24 am

The Peggy O book is concerning

If you would ask girls young or old why they do anything ( from coloring their hair to joining a school club) - it would yield the same response "to improve their relationships"

That does not mean that girls do xyz by with blanket consent. Just like teens can choose to change their hair color or what to wear they can chiose to not do stuff at any time.

Kids kiss, make out and try stuff consensually, some already have actual boyfriend/girlfriend relationships at 13 amd 14. It's a time of experimentation but the majority are doing things they want and chiose to do.

The last thing a 13 year old who is fooling around with a peer expects is to be FORCED to do something she does not want to do.

If Peggy O had asked her teen friends if they thought being forced to do perform oral copulation was "nothing" they would have said no, that's like really bad, it's rape and not ok.


26 people like this
Posted by New Resident
a resident of Barron Park
on May 16, 2017 at 6:55 am

Firstly Orenstein's book was not peer reviewed research or published in a scientific Journal. It was simply a book on the best seller list, and it probably made onto that list just because of the provocative title.

As one poster noted, the passage from the book is describing how insecure girls seek popularity and favor by performing "Service" for a boy. How can someone suggest that that is normal or OK

For anyone to suggest that the passage quoted is representative of what ALL girls think about oral sex is absurd. The girls this boy forced did not see it that way.

It is unfortunate that Orenstein did not include a section in her book on how girls view being forced to perform these acts unwillingly.



37 people like this
Posted by Father
a resident of Gunn High School
on May 16, 2017 at 9:24 am

Yes, #standupspeakout.

Teaching our daughters not to be victims is important, of course, but we must also teach our sons to be protectors, respecters, and advocates of women.


23 people like this
Posted by A not so naive parent
a resident of Professorville
on May 16, 2017 at 10:16 am

Again, these parents are so naive... Not my child is the typical attitude here. This has been happening on our campuses and at parties forever, and even on the middle school campuses. Among our youth this is a very common first sexual encounter. So do not assume that your child is not participating. And yes, the interpretation of consent could be misconstrued, so you better sit down and talk with your children so they are not the next ones that end up in this mess because yes, it could be your son or daughter next. [Portion removed.] And if your child gets themselves in trouble, you better realize that they will be ostracized by this community because the adults in Palo Alto who supposedly are highly educated, DO NOT act as such. Unbelievably sad for all.


16 people like this
Posted by Newt
a resident of Green Acres
on May 16, 2017 at 10:17 am

If oral sex is such a nothing, they should never have tried to impeach Bill Clinton.

So what if Orenstein's book is at the top of the best seller list? So are Bill O'Reilly's and all those preaching that "rape is a gift from god" while they reduce health care for women and declare rape and domestic violence pre-existing conditions as an excuse to deny girls and women health care.

Stop blaming the victims. Start teaching ALL the kids and adults that sexual assault and domestic violence is wrong. Enough ridiculously short sentences for the Brock Turners and giving the repeat offender CEO wifebeater


12 people like this
Posted by Dig Deeper
a resident of Barron Park
on May 16, 2017 at 10:24 am

Do all of you understand the real law? That in the state of California if you are a minor that it's illegal to have consensual or non consensual sex period. How many kids at Paly are breaking law? At any point a girl can claim victim and the same thing can happen to their son. [Portion removed.] The media wasn't in the courtroom. They can't check what was said. [Portion removed.] Know the facts before you start pointing fingers. Dig deeper.


2 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 16, 2017 at 10:47 am

[Post removed.]


24 people like this
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 16, 2017 at 11:04 am

john_alderman is a registered user.

@Dig Deeper: consensual sex between minors may also be illegal, but it is not in the same category of vileness as sexual assault or rape. And because this case wasn't about consensual sex, I'm not sure what value you think it add to the conversation to bring it up other than to deflect from the awfulness of the act, and that the victim was forced out of school, and the perpetrator got to stay and play varsity sports.


8 people like this
Posted by Oldster
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 16, 2017 at 12:32 pm

Am horried to be reminded many think fellatio is not "sex" or can't be criminal rape but then we all know what a VIP male said about it and a lady in a blue dress. "I never had sex with THAT woman!!"


6 people like this
Posted by Mom
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 16, 2017 at 4:40 pm

I don't think the passage from the book about is fellatio sex or not, but that some girls don't really want to do it, but they do it to make someone else happy because they want to be popular or loved. If they are really border line, the line of consent is very fuzzy, and turns into a he said, she said.


4 people like this
Posted by Not Again
a resident of Greenmeadow
on May 16, 2017 at 6:21 pm

Here is the full copy of the victim's impact statement:
Web Link


8 people like this
Posted by Good to know
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 16, 2017 at 6:43 pm


The Daily News is reporting that the assailant is leaving school

Web Link

not staying on campus....one hopes it's not any campus at all, and that instead he is going to treatment.


Posted by Mom of Girls
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood

on May 16, 2017 at 7:10 pm


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11 people like this
Posted by GrandmaKK
a resident of Midtown
on May 16, 2017 at 7:30 pm

The most egregious thing here is that Palo Alto school district mentality hasn't changed in at least 30 years since I observed repeated physical abuse by a teacher in a special education class. I was a temp classroom aide on my first day of work. When I went to the principal, she REALLY didn't want to report it. She did, eventually, and the police were called. One officer called me days later - he kept repeating that I had "done a number on them." I was never called to work again.

PAUSD wants to appear to be Disneyland - things like this don't happen 'here.' If they disciplined (in the true meaning of the word) those in their charge and kept the community informed of wrong-doings, the carefully groomed image of PA, and their property values, might take a hit. I'm sure this is drummed into the principals/teachers/administrators by the powers that be, controlling behind the curtain.

Otherwise, how could the same attitude be still here, thirty years on?


4 people like this
Posted by Cynthia
a resident of College Terrace
on May 16, 2017 at 7:33 pm

[Post removed.]


8 people like this
Posted by K
a resident of Barron Park
on May 16, 2017 at 7:36 pm

[Post removed.]


5 people like this
Posted by WriteToBoard
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 16, 2017 at 8:04 pm

[Portion removed.] McGee is the source of all troubles--think district budget and the wGPA mess--with his impotent principals. They messed up our schools. McGee should be the first to go. He is probably throwing diorio out to cover his own ass.

Shame on those parents singing praises of McGee or his AAR. They are serving Churchill Street, not parents.


46 people like this
Posted by invlovedteacher
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 16, 2017 at 8:19 pm

As a teacher in PAUSD I feel compelled to write something. To the youth that are posting here-YOU are our main focus. You keep us strong. You keep us returning to our classrooms everyday. Please know that there are teachers and staff out there that believe you, are here for you and want only what is best for you. I sincerely hope that you have at least one person on your school campus that you know is on your side.

To the parents and families that are posting here- I understand your pain and anger. I feel it too. Teachers in this district work with your students everyday and many truly try to make every child feel important and safe. I am genuinely sorry that not everyone has had this experience or felt this. I would ask that while you express yourself that you take a moment and think about all the staff members in PAUSD. Please-before you dismiss all of us know that we have cried over this situation. We are angered by this situation and we vow to keep being their for all of our students. We have spoken and stuck our necks out to be advocates for the children we work with and will continue to do so. If no one has said it, hear it from me- I care about those we serve in this district.


3 people like this
Posted by More than one school
a resident of Gunn High School
on May 16, 2017 at 8:27 pm

@Good to Know:

Thanks for the update. Glad to hear he's leaving campus. Unfortunately, too late for the Paly victim.

But I'm still nervous. Due to federal/privacy laws PAUSD cites, we won't know where he's going. Will he be finishing his last year at Gunn since PAUSD is supposedly required to provide him an education?

One of my daughters graduate this year. My younger daughter will still attend Gunn for 2 more years. Will she need to try to tap into the student underground to know who this Paly boy is? Will she need to be on her guard for another year with new students (since the Paly boy is a rising senior)? I wish I could have more confidence in the system to know that I'll be informed some way, somehow (whether through the student underground or parent network because we know it's not coming from the school administration).

The other frustrating thing is Paly posted a "Learning Environments Free from Sexual Harassment". There is no mention on Gunn's website. Shouldn't ALL schools in PAUSD be free from sexual harassment? I know there is site-based decision making, but "infrastructure" items such as equal employment, no discrimination, special ed services, learning environments free from sexual harassment, should be DISTRICT-WIDE. But bell schedules, etc. can be site-specific. So bottom line, I disagree with how silent Gunn has been on this subject (even though in my case, they handled it better than Paly).


3 people like this
Posted by Fact checker
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 16, 2017 at 8:56 pm

All,
Does anyone know if the sole outcome of the Board meeting was as reported in the Mercury News? They are going to investigate with the help of a defense law firm and conduct Dr. McGee's review as planned? There is no mention of an evaluation of Diorio or Wade (retiring anyway). How can this be? Web Link

After the closed session, it was announced that the board will continue its performance reviews with help from the San Francisco law firm of Cozen O’Connor, which will gather information on how the recent sexual assault cases were handled.

“The firm will provide a report to the board to assist in further evaluation of the superintendent’s performance, and to aid the district in addressing any Title IX or other issues,” board president Terry Godfrey said in a statement. “The board plans to conduct the annual evaluation of the superintendent in June as scheduled. Consistent with the board’s commitment to transparency, the board will share the results of this investigation to the extent possible.”


15 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 17, 2017 at 7:56 am

This serial sexual predator should be in jail, not in school or in the community or in any athletics program. The fact that he was still at Paly even after being convicted is just another nail in PAUSD long history of neglect on sexual assault investigations.


15 people like this
Posted by More than one school
a resident of Gunn High School
on May 17, 2017 at 9:58 am

I noticed a web link that has a statement from the male student's lawyer that the male student is leaving Paly. In this morning's (5/17/17) Daily Post, the same statement from the lawyer stated that the student is not returning to campus for the remainder of his junior year.

After thinking about the lawyer's statement, I realize it's lawyer speak. The student is leaving for his JUNIOR year. The rest of his junior year consists of 3 weeks. Although it is a good decision to finish his studies from home, what about next year? His senior year. Will he return to Paly campus? Will he be transferred to Gunn? Schools/District are waiting for this to die down.

We, as parents, will still not be notified by administration at the school level or district level. So remember to talk to your kids. Don't forget when the next school year starts. If they took Living Skills, remind them of what Consent means. Remind your kids consent can be revoked at any time. Remind them to remain vigilant and arm them with options if they find themselves in a situation they don't want to be in.

Apparently, someone put up posters at Paly with his name/face and words that said something along the lines of sexual predator on campus. I don't necessarily think this was called for and I don't agree with it. The posters were removed.

But I can't help but think that the District notifies us if there's a police action on campus/around campus (regardless if adult or minor), if your child was exposed to lice or whooping cough, etc. All this notification happens without identifying the name, identity, gender, religion, grade level (if applicable), etc.

Why can't the District notify us of sex offenders? I know they cite federal/privacy laws, but there's got to be a balance when it comes to public school student safety.


11 people like this
Posted by Compassion
a resident of Downtown North
on May 17, 2017 at 10:02 am

Please have compassion for all of our youth... we were all young once. We expect the adults in our society to help guide and educate us. We expect understanding for when we make mistakes. We expect that the adults in our community have our best interest at heart. We all make mistakes in life and we do learn from our mistakes...please learn forgiveness and have a heart. Approach them with love and understanding. Both families need our community support and should expect as much...


28 people like this
Posted by @ Compassion
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on May 17, 2017 at 10:12 am

Except sexual assault is not a mistake. It is a choice that this young made, to repeatedly violate girls when they said no.

Smoking pot with your friends on a Friday night is a poor decision.

Sexual assault is a conscious choice.


10 people like this
Posted by @ Compassion
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 17, 2017 at 11:30 am

[Post removed.]


15 people like this
Posted by Choice
a resident of Walter Hays School
on May 17, 2017 at 11:32 am

@ @Compassion, I completely agree.

We were all young once.

We did not all sexually assault multiple people once.


20 people like this
Posted by GrandmaKK
a resident of Midtown
on May 17, 2017 at 11:46 am

At the risk of sounding like an out-of-touch elder, I need to make an observation. Having lived through the '50's, '60's, and '70's (and beyond!), I remember what sexual repression and its overthrow were like. I believe it was for the better to change most of the attitudes and practices. However, I believe that we have gone too far with the highly sexually charged society we live in currently, especially with regard to our children. The over-sexed messages they are bombarded with on media are confusing to teen hormones and their still maturing brains. Throw in permissive, absent, over-scheduled parents and no wonder young people are confused.
I recently watched an incident at T&C that illustrates part of the problem: A woman in her sixties (hardly dotage), approached a Castilla student sitting with friends at a cafe. She reached over and pulled the girl's legs together. The students were flummoxed as to what was wrong. The girl had been showing everything that should have been covered for all to see. I watch this every day at the shopping center - Paly and Castillo students wearing clothing that is inappropriate for public consumption. I DO NOT mean that females are asking for it by the clothes they wear. Just that young males may be getting the wrong message here. If you consider something about your body to be private, keep it private. One of my own granddaughters is caught up in this cycle. Her parents are conflicted, not wanting to Body-Shame her. We have had discussions. It's a tough subject, but we are supposed to be the adults here. Discuss with girls whether they are sending the wrong message, discuss with boys if they are getting the wrong message, and what to do about it. BTW I have two sons, two daughters, three grandsons, three granddaughters so have dealt with both sides.


30 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 17, 2017 at 11:50 am

@Compassion-I seem to remember being young once, and I also remember liking and respecting women. I remember never touching a woman, be it as a hormons driven teenager, young man, or middle-aged male, unless absolutely certain the female was in full consent, and NO always meant NO, no exceptions. Sexual assault is a choice, and those who choose going down that route, and the families who enable them, if that is the case, don't deserve our sympathy and support, we deserve to be protected from them.


24 people like this
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 17, 2017 at 1:41 pm

john_alderman is a registered user.

@compassion - Misplaced compassion has certainly made this situation a whole lot worse, for everyone. Most importantly, the victim is worse off, she was forced to leave the school. PAUSD is worse off with yet another black eye. The students are worse off, feeling unsafe at school. Women are worse off as they see yet another example of not taking rape and sexual assault seriously. And the perpetrator, who is actually the only one you seem to have compassion for, is worse off as well. If PAUSD had stepped up and simply expelled him, he'd be off at Alta Vista or some other school in relative anonymity, hopefully trying to find some moral core. Now, he is out of school anyway, but now he has become a major news story as well. This is going to follow him forever. [Portion removed.]


10 people like this
Posted by Local Self-Defense Instructor
a resident of Midtown
on May 17, 2017 at 2:08 pm

Do our students understand personal boundaries?

I find it interesting that PALY, GUNN and other local schools have repeatedly ignored my attempts to teach self-defense workshops at their schools. Even PAPD officers have expressed interest in me doing this. Yet somehow the administrations of these schools have not...

One of my senior Karate students tried to set up a self-defense club at Gunn at the beginning of this school year and was turned down as well.

I have been teaching self-defense since 1989 (traditional Karate since 1984). I have quite a few PALY students in my bi-weekly self-defense classes (in Palo Alto, at Cubberley Community Center - I have also taught self-defense for the City of PA). But EVERYONE should learn some self-defense skills. Some of what we work on is physical skills but we also talk about things like boundary-setting, how to be assertive, etc. I think many of our students (as well as others) could benefit from such conversations.

And yes, I am very much interested in speaking to the macho boys as well about respect, no-means-no, etc.

Oh. And I have been offering to teach these self-defense workshops at all our local schools for FREE. Yes, I am the high end for Karate instruction on the west coast and have very limited time available yet I am offering to do this for no charge. And I'm still being turned down...

Parents- Are you also interested in turning a blind eye toward the problem? I didn't think so. Please consider signing this petition: Web Link (note the first item I mention in that petition is "personal boundaries" and how I have been pitching it to administrators at PALY and other local schools for over 4 years...)

Thank you. Your kids will thank you later. And hopefully the school administrators will thank me later as well. ;-)


29 people like this
Posted by PALY PARENT
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 17, 2017 at 2:16 pm

As a parent of three children in PAUSD, my anger and frustration is directed directly at the PALY Principal and Superintendent.

YOU both had a moral responsibility to protect our children. You had a responsibility to open up a Title IX investigation the MOMENT an incident was reported. You had a responsibility to remove the predator from the school. You had a responsibility to make the victims feel safe at school. You had a responsibility to listen to the victims and their families, and take swift action. You had a responsibility that multiple assault cases would be taken SERIOUSLY. You had a responsibility to remove the abuser from all athletic sports.

You failed. You failed our children. You failed our community. You failed our teachers. You failed our families.

I am shocked and dismayed that the school board did not terminate your employment last night, and we will now be spending our precious funds to "investigate" your neglect.


20 people like this
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 17, 2017 at 2:39 pm

john_alderman is a registered user.

I just saw Kimberly Diorio's video announcement, and was completely underwhelmed. She lacked confidence, stumbled through lackluster excuses, and failed to present the level of authority that would inspire any confidence in her ability to keep students safe or in order. She is definitely in over her head here, and it is easy to see how she gets pushed around.

You can watch it here:

Web Link


14 people like this
Posted by A few things
a resident of Fairmeadow
on May 17, 2017 at 6:43 pm

Let's clarify a few things:

The perpetrator's attorney issued a statement that read:

“Although the student in question has been in compliance with all court orders, and the fact that the district attorney’s office has declined to file anything against the student other than consensual underage sexual activity as a result of the conduct on campus, the student has elected not to complete the school year on campus.”

Remember that her job is to portray the perpetrator in the best light - even if that means messing with words.

When she says the DA's office didn't file anything other than "consensual underage sexual activity," she really means that the only charge they filed was "oral copulation with a minor". Nowhere in that charge does it state that the activity was consensual.

The same charge was filed, and not sustained, in the church victim's case. The charge of "oral cop with a minor" CAN be consensual, but not necessarily. Essentially, his attorney is relying on the public's lack of knowledge to pull the wool over our eyes and sluff off a sexual assault as "consensual". How appalling.


16 people like this
Posted by Consent 101
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 17, 2017 at 6:47 pm

@GrandmaKK

Showing is not the same as touching.

A person can consent to showing their body in public, without consenting to have that body be touched by another person.

Instead of telling girls to cover up so that "guys don't get the wrong message", why don't we teach guys to stop listening to CLOTHING and start listening to WOMEN'S VOICES? After all, clothing can't consent. Only a person can.


12 people like this
Posted by parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 17, 2017 at 7:17 pm

In 2016, the D.A. in Santa Clara County had according to the Merc Web Link 947 cases of sexual assault reviewed by that office, but threw out and did not prosecute a very high number . . . they rejected and did not prosecute 402 of the assailants out of 947 cases.

Just because the D.A. office rejected the case does not mean there was not a crime and it does not mean a sexual assault did not occur. The D.A. seems to throw about half the cases they receive according to the statistics cited in the newspaper.

Over 400 cases is a lot that they ignore. They usually state in the newspapers they are 'under staffed' but just because the D.A. did not prosecute, means absolutely nothing. The statistics in 2016 show they let 402 sexual assault victims down and did not take the assailant to trial.

In this situation, the assailant was already on trial for another similar case. And had admitted to it during a phone call set up by the police as I can recall from reports.


11 people like this
Posted by GrandmaKK
a resident of Midtown
on May 17, 2017 at 7:33 pm

"Showing is not the same as touching.

A person can consent to showing their body in public, without consenting to have that body be touched by another person."

I agree. But that person showing their body in public needs to acknowledge that doing so may confuse another young person who may act out on that confusion at some point.

Sitting in a cafe showing your crotch to the assembled patrons isn't necessary (or appetizing). A small amount of modesty and/or manners doesn't hurt anyone.


10 people like this
Posted by Consent 101
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 17, 2017 at 8:45 pm

@GrandmaKK

"But that person showing their body in public needs to acknowledge that doing so may confuse another young person who may act out on that confusion at some point."

As I said before, clothing should not 'confuse' another young person because people should be taking their consent cues from other people, not from a piece of cloth.

Sexual assault is not "confusion". People should only be "acting" when they get a clear, verbal 'yes' from the person. I don't see any "confusion" there.



Posted by Resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto

on May 17, 2017 at 8:51 pm


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8 people like this
Posted by GrandmaKK
a resident of Midtown
on May 17, 2017 at 9:39 pm

I was using the word confusion to describe someone such as a young male caught in a maelstrom of hormones not thinking, but acting on those hormones. He is responsible for his own actions, but do we need to stir the pot?

You have a lot of 'shoulds' in your posting. We should teach others to behave according to your rules of consent. I'm suggesting that if we acknowledged that it may be difficult to always do that, and by also following some rules of common sense, such as not flashing others in public, or wearing less provocative clothing, we could lower the sexual temperature for our youngsters. As I've told my son, he and his wife need to insist my granddaughter learn how to wear a dress without allowing her underwear to be regularly shown to others. It can be interpreted as a come on, intended or not. As a mature but still ten year old, she is confused about the fuss. It's the adults who should teach, explain, and insist she learn to cover herself or wear jeans.

Exposing herself in public, as you state, may not give consent, but it unnecessarily complicates things.

I do not condone sexual abuse in any way. I think we need clear rules of conduct and clear consequences for violating the rules.

As I said earlier, some manners, common sense, and a modicum of modesty have never hurt anyone to my knowledge.


15 people like this
Posted by Consent 101
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 17, 2017 at 10:45 pm

Consent 101 is a registered user.

The problem, GrandmaKK, is that rape/sexual assault is not about sex. Rape is about control, power, and dominance.

You say that "modesty never hurt anyone". You're right that modesty in and of itself is not bad. It is, however, a personal choice, and if I were your son or his wife, I would REALLY not appreciate you sending those messages to my daughter. What you're describing is, indeed, very damaging.
Web Link
Web Link

[Almost] all men get caught up in a "maelstrom of hormones" at some point. But most men do not rape people. Which shows that rape is not about hormones.

I also find it abhorrent that you would come on to this post and make such comments, without even knowing what the victims were wearing. If rape was only caused by short skirts, as you say, rape wouldn't happen in the winter. But it does. Hmm, I wonder why.

[Potential] victims have no responsibility to not get raped. The responsibility lies solely on the rapist - and that responsibility is "don't rape".


13 people like this
Posted by Samuel L.
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 17, 2017 at 11:11 pm

Samuel L. is a registered user.

@GrandmaKK - So, if I'm a gay 16 yo male, and a 14 yo male is wearing a tight shirt, or working out in the weight room w/o his shirt on, and I get aroused, then if I assault him, is he stirring the pot??? What about the boys that sag their pants around their knees?


22 people like this
Posted by Perspective from a student
a resident of Duveneck School
on May 18, 2017 at 2:13 am

Perspective from a student is a registered user.

@GrandmaKK Just a clarification about the Castilleja girl, everyone who goes to Castilleja wears shorts under their skirts, it's not like there is nothing there. Also, you don't need to look if you don't want to.


15 people like this
Posted by HMMM
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 18, 2017 at 9:23 am

@GrandmaKK

I am a fairly prudish, middle-aged parent. I often see kids wearing clothing that makes me raise an inner eyebrow. But, we don't have morality police in the US and I'm very glad we don't. It is totally inappropriate to walk up to a young woman and pull her legs together. If this woman thought that she might be helpful in any way, the polite and appropriate thing to do would have been to tap the girl on the shoulder and ask if she could speak to her privately. But, only to be helpful, not as some sort of shaming exercise, which it seems to have been.

By touting this as an appropriate/courageous action, you and she are sending the message that girls' and women's bodies are not their own. That others can touch them and tell them what to do with their bodies. That's the wrong message.


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Posted by GrandmaKK
a resident of Midtown
on May 18, 2017 at 9:30 am

Consent 101 -
I won't attempt to refute your lack of logic and putting words in my mouth that I never said. I was NEVER speaking about any victims or what they were wearing. I was making suggestions based on personal observations.

As to my granddaughter, it is her parents who have told me they are concerned about her dress behavior. My son asked me to speak with her, knowing that she might be more receptive to the information from grandma.

You have twisted almost everything I have written to fit your agenda, so I will not respond further.


Like this comment
Posted by GrandmaKK
a resident of Midtown
on May 18, 2017 at 9:39 am

HMMMM

I agree that people should not be touched without consent. I was not touting this behavior, just reporting it. In the interest of editing a longer story, I left out the part about the woman speaking at length with the girl and her friends beforehand. They stonewalled her. Later, when we were all given a view, the woman got up in exasperation and approached her. I thought the scenario was interesting and commiserated with her exasperation. I did not mean to tout or condone her actions, but certainly understood her feelings.


15 people like this
Posted by Another
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 18, 2017 at 9:45 am

Another is a registered user.

"I left out the part about the woman speaking at length with the girl and her friends beforehand. They stonewalled her."

So these girls are out at Town & Country attempting to enjoy some time hanging out with their friends, and this woman, who is a complete stranger to them, goes over and speaks "at length" with them and tells them to dress differently.

Wouldn't stonewalling be the natural response to this? Shouldn't this woman just mind her own business and not go around town walking up to strangers and criticizing their choice of clothing?


4 people like this
Posted by GrandmaKK
a resident of Midtown
on May 18, 2017 at 9:55 am

Perspective -
Thank you for the information about the Castilleja student uniform. (Autocorrect keeps messing with the school name. Excuse).
Are you sure everyone always wears their shorts? I know when I wore private school uniforms, we didn't always do so the way the school intended....

As to looking or not looking, in a small cafe, the first view is usually not intended. I can avoid a second look, but by then I've already seen and the image is in my memory.
But my concern is for the young people who might not know if this is correct behavior, or the dirty old man enjoying a full view. If that doesn't concern you, so be it.


5 people like this
Posted by 60s teenager
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 18, 2017 at 10:00 am

We seem to have gone completely off topic.

My parents back in the 60s were totally shocked at my clothes. I had to wear a school uniform and had very few street clothes, but managed to beg and borrow clothes from friends on many occasions that I changed into when I left the house.

Back in the 60s we wore short skirts and definitely did not wear shorts underneath. However, when I wore a dress I did keep my knees together and would have been horrified if my underwear could have been seen.

My parents told me often that people judge me by what I wear and girls should be modest unless they want to be "easy". Were my parents wrong?

New century, but I think I am turning into my parents. I agree that girls should be able to wear what they want, but there is a time and a place for short shorts, etc. and if they don't learn this at school how will they learn when they have to start dressing for the work place?


4 people like this
Posted by GrandmaKK
a resident of Midtown
on May 18, 2017 at 10:07 am

To the gay scenario-
If you are a 16year old and you assault a 14year old, you've broken the law and should face punishment.
Amen


7 people like this
Posted by Perspective from a student
a resident of Duveneck School
on May 18, 2017 at 10:44 am

Perspective from a student is a registered user.

@GrandmaKK

Yes, I am sure because I went there the past two years and you are required to wear shorts.


1 person likes this
Posted by GrandmaKK
a resident of Midtown
on May 18, 2017 at 10:50 am

Another -

So this older woman is hanging out at T&C attempting to have some time to enjoy with her friends when she is confronted by LOUD students in line before her. As she looks at their extremely short uniform skirts, she asks them if that is what they wear to school. A few more questions ensue. Later, when sitting at a table, the students appear to be flashing the room. In exasperation she walks over and pulls one girl's legs shut. Couldn't this student just mind her own 'business' and keep her legs closed? And not go around town visually assualting strangers?


30 people like this
Posted by Perspective from a student
a resident of Duveneck School
on May 18, 2017 at 10:55 am

Perspective from a student is a registered user.

@GrandmaKK

If you have concerns about this, this is not the place to talk about them. This is a serious article about sexual assault and not about "visual assault". A girl's body is not considered "visual assault". I am 14 years old I can tell you that that is not the way to portray a woman.


22 people like this
Posted by k
a resident of Barron Park
on May 18, 2017 at 11:32 am

whether this student athelete was convicted of the on campus incident, that doesnt change the fact that it happened, that doesnt change the fact that what he did to that 14 year old girl is rape. point blank periodt.


29 people like this
Posted by Fact checker
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 18, 2017 at 11:40 am

@Perspective from a student. Thank you.

@GrandmaKK and Moderator who is allowing these posts. These posts are not on topic. Please stop with your examples. They are demeaning to victims and potential victims. They should be deleted.

This thread is about sexual assaults (forced oral sex) and a known sexual predator on a public school campus and the administrators who did nothing under the guise of privacy even though the District and this school in particular was under OCR (federal regulator) scrutiny.

Instead of worrying about what teenage girls are wearing, shouldn't we be worried about what to do about young men who force themselves on anyone, who don't no the meaning of stop or no, who hold a girl's head to their penis until they've ejaculated despite her protests?

When all of you who are judging girls, stop judging and wake up, look around and ask yourself whether you would want your granddaughter or daughter or best friend's daughter in class sitting next to a student who was a known sexual predator?



2 people like this
Posted by GrandmaKK
a resident of Midtown
on May 18, 2017 at 11:56 am

Fact Checker -



I know what the discussion is about. As I have no direct knowledge of the events, I chose to make comments and personal observations about the societal climate in which these events happened.

No, I wouldn't want my daughter or granddaughter sitting next to a known sex offender. Especially if she was wearing titalating clothing.


5 people like this
Posted by Dudes are scared too
a resident of another community
on May 18, 2017 at 1:34 pm

Hey Fact Checker

Leave Grandma alone - cause she rocks!

And its not just girls - I'm a gay male and have been forced to do things when I've said no.


19 people like this
Posted by shocked
a resident of Gunn High School
on May 18, 2017 at 1:51 pm

@GrandmaKK

It was COMPLETELY out of line for that woman to have closed those girl's legs. If I had been that girl, I would have made a loud scene and clearly stated "don't you dare touch me".

Wearing short skirts is not a crime. Rape is.


9 people like this
Posted by vicky
a resident of Stanford
on May 18, 2017 at 2:11 pm

In case people havent seen the victim's impact statement yet... it's gripping.

Web Link


15 people like this
Posted by Midtown Mom
a resident of Midtown
on May 18, 2017 at 2:39 pm

As a mom in town, I have VERY MUCH noticed the short Castilleja skirts. I am no prude, but I wonder how the school admin and the girl's parents are letting them out of the house like that. I have literally seen the bottom of girls' arse cheeks, that is how short those skirts are for some girls. It is actually shocking and these girls are just walking around town like that, oblivious that they are wearing almost nothing from the hips down.

I think I have figured it out. These girls started as 6th graders and maybe they just keep wearing the same skirt as they grow. By the time they are 16/17, the skirts are mini mini on them.



2 people like this
Posted by may as well be naked
a resident of Evergreen Park
on May 18, 2017 at 2:59 pm

sorry but when females go out of the house with tight tight yoga pants and a short shirt it often leaves nothing to the imagination

sooooo many HS and gradeschool girls and adult women wear this attire it's amazing that they think nothing of showing it all off


18 people like this
Posted by Still Laughing at That Ridiculous Post!
a resident of another community
on May 18, 2017 at 5:23 pm

sorry but when males go out of the house with tight biking pants and a short tight shirt it often leaves nothing to the imagination.

sooooo many HS and gradeschool boys and adult men wear this attire its amazing that they think nothing of showing it all off.

sorry but when males go out of the house shirtless and a short tight running shorts it often leaves nothing to the imagination.

sooooo many HS and gradeschool boys and adult men wear this attire its amazing that they think nothing of showing it all off.

Thanks for the previous funny post. It will be the hilarious Friday entertainment at most offices tomorrow.


23 people like this
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 18, 2017 at 6:10 pm

john_alderman is a registered user.

Typical to see the petty agendas of dress codes, neighborhood disputes, and abuser rights overwhelm the story of a rape victim. Nice job Palo Alto, you never fail to disappoint.


8 people like this
Posted by terrible
a resident of Barron Park
on May 21, 2017 at 3:24 pm

"The student in question was neither arrested or convicted of sexual assault or sexual harassment on school grounds." regardless if he was convicted of sexual assualt on school grounds DOES NOT change the fact that he raped that girl, this is a total injustice to the victim(s). they're basically saying she lied and it didnt happen, dirio you need to resign asap.


13 people like this
Posted by How about the DA's Office
a resident of Downtown North
on May 21, 2017 at 4:09 pm

Someone posted above about all the sexual assault complaints that are rejected by the DAs office and/or that get only pathetically lenient sentences.

Has the DA's office commented on this?

Santa Clara County, Stanford and Silicon Valley have a sad track record in supporting the assaulted, abused, raped, harassed, stalked and beaten girls and women.


2 people like this
Posted by Concerned Coach
a resident of Barron Park
on May 22, 2017 at 11:13 am

Concerned Coach is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


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Posted by Concerned Coach
a resident of Barron Park
on May 22, 2017 at 1:06 pm

Concerned Coach is a registered user.

I just read the victims addressing of the court. She is courageous and seems to being proactive in her daily battle of the memory. He on the other hand seemed to pile on when he said "are we cool". I never know what that means anymore. With my age group we wait until the healing is completely done before 55 year old men ask friends if we are cool or not. But today's lingo is all over the map. I almost had it figured out until I heard such and such was "hella good" or "hella bad".

Palo Alto HS's season winded down the last three weeks and the lad in question was not only in school but on the team. However he was not on the team or at the CCS game versus Mitty unless he was sitting in the stands. The last time I saw him was at the home game at Paly High School vs Mountain View. He interacted with his teammates like all the other boys did. People called out to him from the stands as well as calling out to his teammates. Several Paly HS Girls cheered their hearts out when each Paly player came into the on deck circle. As a coach I always found it hard for the players to concentrate when there were nearby distractions.

On this particular warm day - the mode of dress for some of the student fans left little to the imagination as they were rooting by name for the entire team to hit the ball far and score runs.

As each generation of parents struggle to raise boys into men and girls into young ladies - it appears that we all have a ways to go. In my generation No obviously meant No. But now a day’s boys and girls seem to have to use entire sentences in order to convey their feelings. For example "No, Stop it, please don't do that again, or please do not continue to do what you are doing". Sexual assault is not about sex - it is about Power and Control.

We parents apparently need help on this journey. Our young student boys are the apple of our young daughter’s eyes and our sons gravitate towards the provocative way our daughters handle themselves especially outside of our presence. One young female fan was dressed extremely provocative while cheering in the stands. She was cheering from the heart but her mode of attire was very distracting for all concerned.

This conundrum seems to be part of the rights of passage in our high schools. Some very ugly, some not so much = yet all of it imperfect.


4 people like this
Posted by Stay-at-home Mom
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 22, 2017 at 2:03 pm

Clothing attire is less of the issue.

The issue is PARENTING. Too many busy parents these days that the children are getting ignored and disrespected more than before. This generation is overall meaner than past generations. It's the selfish ME, NOW generation due to social media. People have become blunt due to social media, hiding behind technology, mouthing-off. Students think it's fine to disrespect the Vice President and walk-out on his speech. Media promulgates Trump hatred and disrespect although he is the leader of our country. No one cares about etiquette and so many are irresponsible. If my kids try to make plans a week in advance, it's too early for the rest; a week is too long for their memory. I get reminders and confirmation calls for dentist appointments because they are so accustomed to people's brains being overloaded and forgetting their appointments. God, help us.


13 people like this
Posted by Respect 2.0
a resident of Greenmeadow
on May 22, 2017 at 2:36 pm

@Stay-at-home Mom, how ironic that you mention the students walking out on VP Pence, a noted religious fanatic who by his own admission refuses to dine alone with a woman, even someone who works for him, has set working women back decades. Pres. Trump has bragged about sexually assaulting women and grabbing them by their nether parts.

Neither man respects women; neither seems to think women can be respected workers who deserve the same access rights as their male colleagues; neither warrants respect.

Good for the Notre Dame students for their peaceful protest.


5 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 22, 2017 at 2:45 pm

Since we now digress, the office of President or VP, is being demeaned in ways that would and should not have happened heretofor.

As for the VP never dining alone with a woman, at least he will never be put into a situation where a woman can claim his behavior was improper and a "he said/she said" situation arises.

There are many occasions where public figures have been accused of sexual improprietary which have later been proved false or recounted by the lady in question. I feel sure that there are many teen girls who are capable of doing the same.

In any private setting where male and female are the only two in the room, it becomes difficult to know who to believe any more.


6 people like this
Posted by Stay-at-home Mom
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 22, 2017 at 3:58 pm

@Respect 2.0: I said nothing about the history of the VP or POTUS. I only said that it's disrespectful for people to think that it's acceptable behavior to disrespect them, as they are our leaders and should be respected. We may not all agree, but we should at least respect others but the left is not doing this; it's temper tantrums for them. If POTUS lost and was acting as Hillary has, the left would call him a sore loser. Bill Clinton is a known sexual abuser of women (while being married) but he gets a pass. The hypocrisy is pathetic. As Resident claimed, the VP has the self control to avoid dining with women other than his wife—isn't this a good role model for the nation? [Portion removed.]


5 people like this
Posted by Stay-at-home Mom
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 22, 2017 at 4:05 pm

[Post removed.]


11 people like this
Posted by common sense
a resident of Midtown
on May 22, 2017 at 7:36 pm

The difference between the first victim of the sexual predator and the third victim, is that the first victim was able to record an admission of the act from the sexual predator; that's apparently what it takes for the District Attorney to prosecute.

The school district and the high school principal are not bound by the same standard, however, and could have suspended or expelled the sexual predator.


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

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