News

Another sexual assault reported at Paly

Father, daughter reveal 2015 on-campus incident and fault district for failing to properly respond

A female Palo Alto High School student who said she was sexually assaulted on the school's quad by a male student in November 2015 and reported it to school authorities has become the latest person to accuse the school district of mishandling her report and failing to immediately initiate a legally required investigation.

The female student and her father, whose names are being withheld to protect their privacy, are now speaking out about their frustrations, adding another voice to growing concerns about the school district's failure to properly respond to sexual misconduct involving its students on and off its campuses.

The male student in this case, who was a senior at the time, is not the same Paly student who has been accused of other assaults that have recently come to light.

Two weeks after the November 2015 alleged assault, the female student, then a junior, reported the incident to a Paly teacher, according to her father. The teacher notified the administration, which immediately called the Palo Alto Police Department. The father found out about the incident when police called him that day to pick up his daughter from school.

Parallels between administrators' response to this incident and to more recent accusations of sexual assault made against a now-former Paly student, which have roiled the community since they were disclosed publicly two weeks ago, seem to indicate persistent lapses in the administration's handling of sexual misconduct allegations.

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In the 2015 case, the Paly administration's primary failure, the father said, was in not conducting a Title IX investigation into the incident and not informing him of his right under district policy and federal law to file a complaint through the Uniform Complaint Procedure (UCP), a district process for investigating discrimination-based complaints.

Paly Principal Kim Diorio declined an interview request, directing questions to district Communications Coordinator Jorge Quintana. Quintana declined to answer specific questions about the case -- including whether Paly had notified the district office and whether the incident was reported to the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights, which was investigating the district at the time for Title IX violations at Paly and Gunn High.

In a statement, Quintana said that the district "previously resolved the matter, with full cooperation from the parents and students involved, as well as concerned school site personnel, to ensure that the best interests of students were served.

"If it is determined that other sources raise any new information that was not part of the district's prior review of the matter, the district will fully and promptly investigate the matter according to the provisions of the law, including Title IX and the Office for Civil Rights directives related to the district," he said.

On Nov. 10, 2015, the male senior allegedly assaulted the female student during school, according to a letter addressed to the male student that she posted on the website Medium last week.

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"In a split second, your hand was down my pants and the other one was holding onto my shirt so I could not get loose," she wrote. "Then you moved from my pants to inside me. I tried to tell you to stop weather (sic) that be hitting or yelling, but no motion or words came out."

She did not immediately tell anyone what happened, she wrote, but later "broke down crying and confess(ed)" when someone at school brought up his name.

The district's first error in its response, her father said, was a misunderstanding that the two students did not share any classes. They had a first period class together, which the father said he had to point out. Feeling unsafe after the incident, his daughter did not attend that class until the student was removed, her father said.

On Dec. 1, the father sent an email to Paly Assistant Principal Adam Paulson, copying Principal Diorio, discussing the first-period class transfer. Also frustrated by a lack of information about the incident, he requested a meeting with the administrators.

"There doesn't seem to be a lot of information for us to go on to determine how safe she really is at school," he wrote in the email, provided to the Weekly. "I have yet to get a full account of what actually transpired between the two of them. I'm not going to force (my daughter) to recount the incident another time, but I also haven't received anything from the school as to what occurred.

"Had this been a fist fight between two students, I'm pretty sure I'd have received much more detail about what transpired," he wrote.

That evening, Diorio responded. Paulson had been updating her about the situation, she wrote, and she would "be in touch soon to meet." The father said he never heard back from her after that.

Paulson informed the father that the male student was suspended the week of Thanksgiving, he said. Quintana declined to answer any specific questions about student discipline, citing confidentiality.

No Paly administrators informed the father of his right to pursue a formal process under the Uniform Complaint Procedure, he said. It was not until he met with a school board member this weekend that he learned of that procedure, which directs all allegations of unlawful discrimination, based on legally protected classes, to be handled at the district level. Under current district policy, a formal, written complaint is not required to launch a UCP investigation, however; an oral report made to any employee or administrator should immediately start the same process in sexual harassment or assault cases.

The district's 2015-16 UCP log does not show any investigation was opened in the fall at Paly.

The police department forwarded the case to the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office, according to the father, but no formal charges were filed against the male student.

Over the course of the next few months, the female student's mental health worsened, the father said. She began cutting herself and expressed suicidal thoughts. In her Medium piece, she connects the campus incident with thoughts of blame, self-doubt and suicide.

In November, the student's Individualized Education Plan team suggested that she might benefit from leaving Paly for a smaller learning environment at other local public or private schools, according to a letter a special-education coordinator sent to her parents in January. They declined this option at the time, her father said. In the fall, the district also offered a weekly regimen of specialized academic instruction, speech and language and therapy services that could be provided at Paly under Free Appropriate Public Education, an educational right provided to children with disabilities, according to the letter.

The father expressed frustration at the fact that alleged victims are often the ones who bear the burden of disruption to their educational environment. Later in his daughter's senior year, she left Paly temporarily for a treatment program. Similarly, in the most recently reported sexual assault case, the female student left Paly and moved out of the Bay Area after being unable to secure the remedies she felt she needed to feel safe at school.

It wasn't until May 17, that the family heard from Diorio, after the female student expressed an interest in having Paly student publications print her Medium post. Diorio met with the student and her guidance counselor.

They discussed with the student the "unintended consequences of disclosing such personal information online," Diorio wrote in a May 17 email to her father, "and suggested she make sure that she had people who could support her in place before she made a decision either way."

The father perceived this as a desire to sweep the incident under the rug -- "an attitude of managing the message," he wrote in a response to Diorio, with copies sent to the Board of Education and Superintendent Max McGee. In the wake of the district's handling of separate sexual assault reports, the father said he is concerned a failure to properly respond to such complaints is entrenched within the "culture" of the school.

Understanding and empathetic to the fact that schools are unable to completely prevent sexual violence, he said he's hoping for more transparency and a statement of responsibility from the district. He believes Diorio should be held directly responsible and has joined other parents calling for her firing. The school board has directed a national law firm to investigate administrators' handling of the more recent Paly sexual assault reports and will use it to inform an annual performance evaluation of McGee next month.

"I look forward to the day when (my daughter) walks across the stage at graduation and puts Paly behind her," the father wrote to Diorio on May 17. "Sadly, the memory she will carry with her forever is the day she was assaulted in the quad."

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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Another sexual assault reported at Paly

Father, daughter reveal 2015 on-campus incident and fault district for failing to properly respond

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Wed, May 24, 2017, 9:48 am

A female Palo Alto High School student who said she was sexually assaulted on the school's quad by a male student in November 2015 and reported it to school authorities has become the latest person to accuse the school district of mishandling her report and failing to immediately initiate a legally required investigation.

The female student and her father, whose names are being withheld to protect their privacy, are now speaking out about their frustrations, adding another voice to growing concerns about the school district's failure to properly respond to sexual misconduct involving its students on and off its campuses.

The male student in this case, who was a senior at the time, is not the same Paly student who has been accused of other assaults that have recently come to light.

Two weeks after the November 2015 alleged assault, the female student, then a junior, reported the incident to a Paly teacher, according to her father. The teacher notified the administration, which immediately called the Palo Alto Police Department. The father found out about the incident when police called him that day to pick up his daughter from school.

Parallels between administrators' response to this incident and to more recent accusations of sexual assault made against a now-former Paly student, which have roiled the community since they were disclosed publicly two weeks ago, seem to indicate persistent lapses in the administration's handling of sexual misconduct allegations.

In the 2015 case, the Paly administration's primary failure, the father said, was in not conducting a Title IX investigation into the incident and not informing him of his right under district policy and federal law to file a complaint through the Uniform Complaint Procedure (UCP), a district process for investigating discrimination-based complaints.

Paly Principal Kim Diorio declined an interview request, directing questions to district Communications Coordinator Jorge Quintana. Quintana declined to answer specific questions about the case -- including whether Paly had notified the district office and whether the incident was reported to the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights, which was investigating the district at the time for Title IX violations at Paly and Gunn High.

In a statement, Quintana said that the district "previously resolved the matter, with full cooperation from the parents and students involved, as well as concerned school site personnel, to ensure that the best interests of students were served.

"If it is determined that other sources raise any new information that was not part of the district's prior review of the matter, the district will fully and promptly investigate the matter according to the provisions of the law, including Title IX and the Office for Civil Rights directives related to the district," he said.

On Nov. 10, 2015, the male senior allegedly assaulted the female student during school, according to a letter addressed to the male student that she posted on the website Medium last week.

"In a split second, your hand was down my pants and the other one was holding onto my shirt so I could not get loose," she wrote. "Then you moved from my pants to inside me. I tried to tell you to stop weather (sic) that be hitting or yelling, but no motion or words came out."

She did not immediately tell anyone what happened, she wrote, but later "broke down crying and confess(ed)" when someone at school brought up his name.

The district's first error in its response, her father said, was a misunderstanding that the two students did not share any classes. They had a first period class together, which the father said he had to point out. Feeling unsafe after the incident, his daughter did not attend that class until the student was removed, her father said.

On Dec. 1, the father sent an email to Paly Assistant Principal Adam Paulson, copying Principal Diorio, discussing the first-period class transfer. Also frustrated by a lack of information about the incident, he requested a meeting with the administrators.

"There doesn't seem to be a lot of information for us to go on to determine how safe she really is at school," he wrote in the email, provided to the Weekly. "I have yet to get a full account of what actually transpired between the two of them. I'm not going to force (my daughter) to recount the incident another time, but I also haven't received anything from the school as to what occurred.

"Had this been a fist fight between two students, I'm pretty sure I'd have received much more detail about what transpired," he wrote.

That evening, Diorio responded. Paulson had been updating her about the situation, she wrote, and she would "be in touch soon to meet." The father said he never heard back from her after that.

Paulson informed the father that the male student was suspended the week of Thanksgiving, he said. Quintana declined to answer any specific questions about student discipline, citing confidentiality.

No Paly administrators informed the father of his right to pursue a formal process under the Uniform Complaint Procedure, he said. It was not until he met with a school board member this weekend that he learned of that procedure, which directs all allegations of unlawful discrimination, based on legally protected classes, to be handled at the district level. Under current district policy, a formal, written complaint is not required to launch a UCP investigation, however; an oral report made to any employee or administrator should immediately start the same process in sexual harassment or assault cases.

The district's 2015-16 UCP log does not show any investigation was opened in the fall at Paly.

The police department forwarded the case to the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office, according to the father, but no formal charges were filed against the male student.

Over the course of the next few months, the female student's mental health worsened, the father said. She began cutting herself and expressed suicidal thoughts. In her Medium piece, she connects the campus incident with thoughts of blame, self-doubt and suicide.

In November, the student's Individualized Education Plan team suggested that she might benefit from leaving Paly for a smaller learning environment at other local public or private schools, according to a letter a special-education coordinator sent to her parents in January. They declined this option at the time, her father said. In the fall, the district also offered a weekly regimen of specialized academic instruction, speech and language and therapy services that could be provided at Paly under Free Appropriate Public Education, an educational right provided to children with disabilities, according to the letter.

The father expressed frustration at the fact that alleged victims are often the ones who bear the burden of disruption to their educational environment. Later in his daughter's senior year, she left Paly temporarily for a treatment program. Similarly, in the most recently reported sexual assault case, the female student left Paly and moved out of the Bay Area after being unable to secure the remedies she felt she needed to feel safe at school.

It wasn't until May 17, that the family heard from Diorio, after the female student expressed an interest in having Paly student publications print her Medium post. Diorio met with the student and her guidance counselor.

They discussed with the student the "unintended consequences of disclosing such personal information online," Diorio wrote in a May 17 email to her father, "and suggested she make sure that she had people who could support her in place before she made a decision either way."

The father perceived this as a desire to sweep the incident under the rug -- "an attitude of managing the message," he wrote in a response to Diorio, with copies sent to the Board of Education and Superintendent Max McGee. In the wake of the district's handling of separate sexual assault reports, the father said he is concerned a failure to properly respond to such complaints is entrenched within the "culture" of the school.

Understanding and empathetic to the fact that schools are unable to completely prevent sexual violence, he said he's hoping for more transparency and a statement of responsibility from the district. He believes Diorio should be held directly responsible and has joined other parents calling for her firing. The school board has directed a national law firm to investigate administrators' handling of the more recent Paly sexual assault reports and will use it to inform an annual performance evaluation of McGee next month.

"I look forward to the day when (my daughter) walks across the stage at graduation and puts Paly behind her," the father wrote to Diorio on May 17. "Sadly, the memory she will carry with her forever is the day she was assaulted in the quad."

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.

Comments

parent
Downtown North
on May 24, 2017 at 10:25 am
parent, Downtown North
on May 24, 2017 at 10:25 am
69 people like this

Why didn't the Santa Clara County District Attorney prosecute the attacker?


Diorio a problem
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 24, 2017 at 10:41 am
Diorio a problem, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 24, 2017 at 10:41 am
117 people like this

No matter what the explanations from Diorio or district, trust in Diorio's leadership cannot be regained

Paly students should come first - Diorio should seek a new position and resign from the Principal position.


Paly parent
Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 24, 2017 at 11:03 am
Paly parent, Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 24, 2017 at 11:03 am
117 people like this

Diorio's handling of these incidents have been alarming and shameful. Our students are listening: Boys are hearing 'you can get away with sexual assault' while girls are hearing 'complaining about sexual assault is futile'.

Not in my Palo Alto.

Is there a petition for her resignation?

My heart goes out to the impacted students and families.


Another Dean
another community
on May 24, 2017 at 11:13 am
Another Dean, another community
on May 24, 2017 at 11:13 am
51 people like this

Politicians usually screw up everything they touch, except for raises and benefits for themselves, and this is another example. The school administrators are just petty politicians, no matter what many think.

These types of incidents are really police matters. In this case, the DA blew it, too, just another botched job by another politician!

.


Parent
Addison School
on May 24, 2017 at 11:19 am
Parent, Addison School
on May 24, 2017 at 11:19 am
60 people like this

What I continue to find is that knowing the full story is challenging. I keep trying to find where both parties share what happened. I am in no way saying that what was done was in anyway acceptable between the students. It is a matter of what really happened and was it consensual at the time and regret and fear later. That is what is challenging me.

Perhaps what is really going on is that the Paly Administration know the full story and are trying to protect the students. Sometimes asking "what else could it mean" is helpful versus blaming others.

It is seeking to understand and not creating stories without full information.


Gaps
another community
on May 24, 2017 at 11:23 am
Gaps, another community
on May 24, 2017 at 11:23 am
43 people like this

Why didn't the police arrest the alleged perpetrator? Or did they and it's not reported here? Why didn't the District Attorney prosecute the alleged perpetrator? Or did they and it's not reported here?


mauricio
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 24, 2017 at 11:23 am
mauricio, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 24, 2017 at 11:23 am
70 people like this

When my daughter was a Paly student several years ago, she mentioned more than once she was aware of several sexual assaults by male student athletes on female students, mostly gone unreported by the victims because they had zero trust in the school and district administrations. According to her, the victims felt that reporting it would actually made them more likely to be bullied and sexually assaulted in the future. She herself was never a victim of sexual assault to the best of my knowledge, mainly because she had studied and practiced several martial art forms from a very young age and could defend herself, but most girls are much more vulnrable.

These new allegations are very predictable and unsurprising, and very likely only the tip of the iceberg. I have believed for many years now that PAUSD should be dissolved and taken over by the California Department of Education and thoroughly reformed before it is allowed to form again.


Schreed
Stanford
on May 24, 2017 at 12:03 pm
Schreed, Stanford
on May 24, 2017 at 12:03 pm
35 people like this

"The father expressed frustration at the fact that alleged victims are often the ones who bear the burden of disruption to their educational environment."

Well, yeah but does that mean alleged perpetrators are supposed to bear the burden?

Our justice system is supposed to be based on the concept of "innocent until proven guilty." The alleged victim reported the crime 2 weeks after the event and, at least as implied by her father in the article, was evasive about the event. Sure, that is understandable considering the potential trauma but it's not clear what the District could have done beyond what was done already.


Resident
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 24, 2017 at 12:05 pm
Resident, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 24, 2017 at 12:05 pm
35 people like this

This article does not mention where this assault took place.

However, I think it is time that school bathrooms were monitored better by staff. Many students have mentioned that sex goes on in various bathrooms. This is something that should not be happening at all. Girls should not be in boys bathrooms and boys should not be in girls bathrooms. There should be penalties anytime someone is found trespassing on the other gender bathroom. School bathrooms should be a safe haven for anyone who feels they are being watched and need to find sanctuary.


snowball
Adobe-Meadow
on May 24, 2017 at 12:13 pm
snowball, Adobe-Meadow
on May 24, 2017 at 12:13 pm
88 people like this

Dear father and daughter - thank you for being brave and speaking out. Please know that we are with you, we support you, you have an entire community behind you, helping you to stand strong during this difficult time. Before this community can start to heal, changes need to be made. It is time for a change and your bravery will begin this process. Thank you.


Joe
Adobe-Meadow
on May 24, 2017 at 12:13 pm
Joe, Adobe-Meadow
on May 24, 2017 at 12:13 pm
56 people like this

What's going on over at Paly admin. What the hell does that Principal do all day ? Not what she paid to do. I can see why students don't want to come forward they don't trust the people that are paid to take care of them,and these types of situations. It sounds like it's more than the Principal and McGee not doing there jobs . If I did my job like that I would not have a job. Time to clean house and start over this is PAUSD not some BS soap opera come on


SallyAnnRudd
Downtown North
on May 24, 2017 at 12:20 pm
SallyAnnRudd, Downtown North
on May 24, 2017 at 12:20 pm
30 people like this

Thank you Parent because I agree it is really hard to know the full story here, and the reporting leaves more questions than answers. Since there were no criminal charges from the incident, was that due to lack of evidence that the police would need to proceed with a criminal case? That's what it suggests to me but its not clear that's what happened. The school should have a lower threshold for incidents of sexual violence, but was the fact they did nothing a result of incompetence or not wanting to proceed with a tricky issue, or was it because they are hamstrung by regulations? Again, its not clear in the same way its not clear in the other cases. I'm confused. I have no faith in the Paly adminstration because I haven't heard what they have to say about it and probably I never will. I wish the Weekly would dig a little deeper and try to get closer to the heart of what has happened here. The narrative is another sexual assault, another botched investigation by Paly, there has to be more complexity to this story.


Oldster
Old Palo Alto
on May 24, 2017 at 12:27 pm
Oldster, Old Palo Alto
on May 24, 2017 at 12:27 pm
63 people like this

Good for that Father and his daughter for going public with another swept-under-the-rug action by PAUSD employees who failed miserably in their minimal duties under the law to safeguard our students. That negligence has created a rape culture at Paly. The Board should be suspending immediately all the staff involved in this chain of negligence to avoid further criminal and civil liability pending their employment termination.

I hope as a taxpayer the negligence rises to gross and willfull negligence so we taxpayers are not on the hook for all the civil damages while we are now paying $100,000's more each month to ever more private law firms to continue the cover-up to protect these bad actors instead of our students and the public.


Thomas
Palo Alto High School
on May 24, 2017 at 12:34 pm
Thomas , Palo Alto High School
on May 24, 2017 at 12:34 pm
48 people like this

A common element to all the mismanaged sexual allegations is Principal Kim Diario What happened to all the promises she made to protect our children. Wake up , Ken .


Anonymous
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 24, 2017 at 12:38 pm
Anonymous, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 24, 2017 at 12:38 pm
32 people like this

Rape Culture is alive and well at Paly aided and abetted by Paly and PAUSD administrators and publications like this one which glorify and protect athletics over student safety and learning.


Midtown
Midtown
on May 24, 2017 at 12:50 pm
Midtown, Midtown
on May 24, 2017 at 12:50 pm
46 people like this

How many more of these reports need to be disclosed in the newspapers before PAUSD administrators do their jobs? They are to immediately investigate when complaints are brought forward, not delay or hide, and hope the victims go away. Shameful and illegal behavior by the administrators. I hope the Board will take immediate action to correct this behavior. If the Board doesn't, then they are as responsible as the school administrators.


Watch The Hunting Ground
Palo Alto High School
on May 24, 2017 at 1:03 pm
Watch The Hunting Ground, Palo Alto High School
on May 24, 2017 at 1:03 pm
19 people like this

A great documentary about how Title IX is tragically underutilized and why school administrators don't want to use it is well described in the documentary called The Hunting Ground. Based mostly on college campus cases, but runs parallel with what is happening at Paly.


White Elephant
Barron Park
on May 24, 2017 at 1:18 pm
White Elephant , Barron Park
on May 24, 2017 at 1:18 pm
46 people like this

The first tenant of sending our children to school for academic and social advancement is to create a safe place conducive to learning. When the administration has failed to provide the very most basic protection for our students, their safety, they no longer can be entrusted with this responsibility. They have failed not on one occasion, on this very topic, but multiple times. The community will stand together in support of the courageous father and daughter and any who have yet to come forth and speak up. When the adults hired by our tax dollars are so irresponsible as to let such a tremendous, life-long scare to form under their unwatchful eyes, our community will stand together and demand responsible, and swift action.


mauricio
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 24, 2017 at 2:08 pm
mauricio, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 24, 2017 at 2:08 pm
23 people like this

The fundamental concept of our justice system where an accused is considered innocent until proven guilty is irrelevant in Paly's rape culture, because the odds of a sexual assailant even being accused of anything are slim to none.

I've heard too many times from my daughter, who graduated from Paly 7 years ago, and several female friends of hers, that male student athletes who assail and bully female students are so shielded by the school and district administration, that victims are so certain the school and district administration would not protect them, but rather shield the aggressors, that they are reluctant to come forward, fearing they would be singled out for further attacks and bullying.

This school district must be dissolved and taken over by the California Department of Education for a very long time, cleansed and reformed.


Palo Alto
Adobe-Meadow
on May 24, 2017 at 2:27 pm
Palo Alto, Adobe-Meadow
on May 24, 2017 at 2:27 pm
17 people like this

what the hell is going on in Palo Alto high schools these days? It's one thing after another on the heals of yet another serious scandal affecting our children. So sad.


Replace the Waste
Palo Alto High School
on May 24, 2017 at 2:31 pm
Replace the Waste, Palo Alto High School
on May 24, 2017 at 2:31 pm
35 people like this

I had high hopes when Diorio became principal because she has a counseling background so I felt she would protect the students and work on school stress. She has proved to be incompetent—she doesn't answer emails, while Winston answered within hours. As someone else posted, "What does she do all day?" Might as well ride-out that six-figure salary until it ends.

I too, am discouraged that Ken Dauber has been silenced, as he sincerely cares about the students. However, if he is speaking to deaf ears continuously, why waste the energy?


Paly Quiet Mom
Crescent Park
on May 24, 2017 at 2:32 pm
Paly Quiet Mom , Crescent Park
on May 24, 2017 at 2:32 pm
34 people like this

I salute the courage of the Father and daughter. I am truly inspired, because I, and many parents and their kids, are so afraid of retaliation if we are put in light against our school admin. I guess the "fear of retaliation" is also part of our "culture" at Paly, which requires an immediate "fix" as well. Those parents who are so brave to speak out absolutely deserve our gratitude and great respect. I am so saddened to see that our school principal and admin (led by her) have been trying to cover up the truths and let the justice not served on those assailants. That is absolutely unacceptable, not only for the victims and their families, but also for the protection of our kids on campus. People should be held accountable for their actions and/or inactions. Our tax money should NOT pay to those people who are in power but have NO sense of accountability! Our school system should truly honor and enforce authority and accountability, because if otherwise, the system will be just falling and rotten from inside.


Jeff
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 24, 2017 at 2:40 pm
Jeff, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 24, 2017 at 2:40 pm
35 people like this

[Post removed.]


Kathy Jordan
Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 24, 2017 at 2:45 pm
Kathy Jordan, Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 24, 2017 at 2:45 pm
47 people like this

So sorry to hear this. It is time for a radical culture change at Paly and within our District. Just because we cannot solve all of the problems at once, does not mean we cannot attack those parts of the problem that are recognizable and solvable. Kim Diorio cannot remain at Paly. She has failed to protect our children. Max McGee should also get going. Everyone should be held accountable and should adhere to the law. Title IX is the law and informing people of their rights to file a UCP complaint is the law and Ms. Diorio has not met that test. Undoubtedly there are others who are complicit. The facts will come out and they can be held accountable at that time. In the meantime, we can take action on what we know, and attempt to make progress and attempt to protect our children.

I just signed the petition "Parents and students: Change the rape culture at Paly, one step at a time ......." and wanted to see if you could help by adding your name.

Web Link


Need more
College Terrace
on May 24, 2017 at 2:48 pm
Need more, College Terrace
on May 24, 2017 at 2:48 pm
24 people like this

Why should we believe this happened?


38 year resident
Old Palo Alto
on May 24, 2017 at 2:49 pm
38 year resident, Old Palo Alto
on May 24, 2017 at 2:49 pm
52 people like this

McGee and Diorio should tender their resignations immediately or be fired.


disgusted by pattern of deception
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 24, 2017 at 3:00 pm
disgusted by pattern of deception, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 24, 2017 at 3:00 pm
45 people like this

I completely agree with 38 year old resident.

McGee and Diorio but also the Title IX coordinator, all three, need to resign effective immediately.


john_alderman
Registered user
Crescent Park
on May 24, 2017 at 3:03 pm
john_alderman, Crescent Park
Registered user
on May 24, 2017 at 3:03 pm
43 people like this

@Need more - Who do you think is lying, the victim? The assaulter was removed from the class he shared, and suspended, do you think that was for no reason?

Kim Diorio needs to be promptly fired, one case would be enough, but that she failed multiple victims of sexual assault is disgraceful.


Stop The Insanity
Palo Alto High School
on May 24, 2017 at 3:03 pm
Stop The Insanity, Palo Alto High School
on May 24, 2017 at 3:03 pm
117 people like this

Motion of No Confidence


Deep Sigh
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 24, 2017 at 3:05 pm
Deep Sigh, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 24, 2017 at 3:05 pm
51 people like this

If Diorio, Wade and McGee don't resign NOW, we will all know they are ill-suited for their jobs, have neither pride nor dignity, put money before the safety of students and are guilty of who knows what else.

These three are apparently not to be trusted by neither students or parents-- and should be dismissed if they don't resign by the end of the school year.


john_alderman
Registered user
Crescent Park
on May 24, 2017 at 3:25 pm
john_alderman, Crescent Park
Registered user
on May 24, 2017 at 3:25 pm
38 people like this

If anyone is under the impression the Kim Diorio is competent to run Paly, just watch her poor video response to the first incident.

Web Link

She might be a nice person, but is in way way over her head here.


Another Dean
another community
on May 24, 2017 at 3:27 pm
Another Dean, another community
on May 24, 2017 at 3:27 pm
20 people like this

Actually, PERMISSIVENESS is behind this. Permissiveness on the part of the parents, as well as permissiveness on the part of the school administration, and of theschool district. There is no accountability for any of them!

It begins with the parents failing to instill responsibility in their children from day one! The government removed the discipline process of spanking, so the only things left are restriction (which only works for the duration of that restriction, if at all), deprivation, (which can alienate, causing resentment to authority, amongst other things). Each person responds to various forms of discipline, and not all forms work with all people.

Essentially, the cat is out of the bag, and it requires all parties to be together on a solution, otherwise the cat will never be returned into the bag. It will only get worse!!!


Stop the Mob
Palo Alto High School
on May 24, 2017 at 3:37 pm
Stop the Mob, Palo Alto High School
on May 24, 2017 at 3:37 pm
40 people like this

So sad and scary to see the mob mentality continuing on this thread as on the others. It would be good for folks to get the full picture before calling for heads. NOT good modeling.


cvvhrn
Midtown
on May 24, 2017 at 3:38 pm
cvvhrn, Midtown
on May 24, 2017 at 3:38 pm
30 people like this

Diorio, Wade and McGee et al should be canned and soon. This is not an isolated incident but now has become a pattern of behavior. This would allow at least the summer break to replace them.

If the Board is unwilling to do so then we need to vote in better board members and perhaps recall the ones we have.


Far Far Away
another community
on May 24, 2017 at 3:39 pm
Far Far Away, another community
on May 24, 2017 at 3:39 pm
3 people like this

I'm thinking Palo Alto High is about to experience the firehose phenomenon. Sexual assault or harassment cases often go ... drip .... drip ..... drip. .... ka-Fooosh. The trick is to make somebody else, preferably the perp, be the one who gets washed away.


Paly Alum
Crescent Park
on May 24, 2017 at 3:43 pm
Paly Alum, Crescent Park
on May 24, 2017 at 3:43 pm
41 people like this

I feel like I was trained to realize that when a story is completely one sided... You are probably not getting the whole story. In a culture where leaks and tweets are a daily occurrence I'm happy this district protects students' privacy. Until you have clear evidence of wrongdoing don't jump to anger.


Need more
College Terrace
on May 24, 2017 at 3:44 pm
Need more, College Terrace
on May 24, 2017 at 3:44 pm
10 people like this

@john_alderman

Please show the details.



hysteria
Crescent Park
on May 24, 2017 at 3:50 pm
hysteria, Crescent Park
on May 24, 2017 at 3:50 pm
44 people like this

i'm disappointed at the knee jerk reactions in this post such as "rape culture is alive and well at Paly" to a story that has little facts on actually what happened between these two students a year and a half ago.


Chip
Professorville
on May 24, 2017 at 4:11 pm
Chip, Professorville
on May 24, 2017 at 4:11 pm
37 people like this

@ Jeff - imo, what's wrong with the boys is that their parents haven't taught them, at a much younger age, about appropriate & responsible sexual behavior. They don't "learn" from Hustler or Playboy anymore - now it's internet porn which offers most of what they think they know about how to be a real guy. Movies glorify male aggression in all areas far more than they did even 15~ years ago. How many parents regularly check their kids' browsing histories?

For girls, promiscuity in films & among celebs is pretty widely accepted. Everyone knows what, & with whom, Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, and the Kardashians are doing. They're rich! Famous! Girls also need to learn that most of their BFFs will not keep the deep dark dirty secrets confided to them.

[Portion removed.]

School rules should be:
1-No unisex bathrooms. No more than 1 kid at a time from any class allowed to leave for a bathroom break;
2-Any sexual behavior, however minor, even mouth-to mouth kissing, is to be reported immediately to parents. Forget "privacy" concerns. Making out on campus even between bf & gf is inappropriate & not allowed. Call parents at work to come get their kids, asap. That's what they do if kids fight at school;
3-Parents of kids who are sexually aggressive or commit assault can be subject to a fine. Parents have been fined because kids & their friends consumed alcohol at home, when the parents were away. If they are responsible for their offsprings' actions off-campus, surely they should be for on-campus assaults;
4-Any report of on-campus sexual assault is to be reported by admins immediately to parents & PAPD;
5-Despite parental insistence on "I need to be able to reach my child at any time," ban cell phones from classrooms. That will also take care of many of the cheating problems as well as inhibit appointments for assignations. Most of us got through school just fine without having mom & dad on instant access during school hours. Leave the phones in cars or lockers. Any phone used in class should be confiscated until the end of 7th period on Friday.

Parents need to start teaching their middle schoolers about respect for their own bodies, those of others, and how to differentiate appropriate sexual behaviors. Admins need to notify parents immediately of any reported sexual abuse.

There also needs to be some consideration given to the current practice of integrating kids with already identified social problems, many of whom have been sheltered in Special Ed & are now expected to understand & navigate behavioral norms. How about mandatory Social Orientation for them for a week during the summer before freshman year? I've seen some kids who are really unable to interact appropriately with a new, bigger peer group, many of whom won't be all that sensitive to the needs of others outside their immediate & already established social groupings.


Mother of 2 girls
Downtown North
on May 24, 2017 at 4:17 pm
Mother of 2 girls, Downtown North
on May 24, 2017 at 4:17 pm
39 people like this

Can we teach our daughters to stay out of the boys bathrooms? Can we teach our sons that it isn't o'k to take girls into the boys bathrooms? Can the teachers and administrators tell students they will be suspended if they go into a bathroom that isn't theirs?

And yes- no means no, stop means stop, no comment means don't touch that person.


Fairness and Reason
Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 24, 2017 at 4:53 pm
Fairness and Reason, Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 24, 2017 at 4:53 pm
66 people like this

I have deep sympathy for anyone who has been abused or assaulted, and anyone who does such things should be dealt with severely. Victims need to be protected, absolutely. Still, our society is built on the rule of law, and the principle that accused people are innocent until proven guilty.

But here, there are so many issues of fairness and reason here, it's hard to know where to begin!

Here's a start: Parents can say anything to the newspapers, but school administrators are bound to protect student privacy, so they can't fully respond to even unprincipled attacks. And there are all too many on this thread who don't realize, or care, that they don't have access to the whole picture. Clearly, the school board did get more information in closed session, and they chose not to follow the intemperate cries for drastic action against the district personnel, regardless of evidence. For that, I commend them.

Second, this newspaper played up the sensational aspects of this, without even the appearance of fairness. At the very least, the writer should have pointed out the limits on what administrators can say in response. And the article played up the board meeting as if the administrators, including the superintendent, were about to be fired. That's a real exercise in slanting the news!

Third, these stories follow a pattern. A parent complains. The parent story is given full coverage, without any balancing information. The district response is treated as a coverup, without mention of the many restraints districts and personnel are under with regards to privacy. The paper has access to information that would normally be protected, like statements to the juvenile court by the accuser. There is a predictable outcry, and the enemies of the PAUSD flood the thread with demands for wholesale firings, and abolition of any sense that further investigation might, conceivably, be a good idea!

I don't know where all this is coming from. I could hazard a guess, though, that this is part of a campaign to intimidate the PAUSD into taking drastic action on any accusation, even without proof, of any sort of sexual assault. I hope that's not true, but questioning the possibility seems justified to me.


Alphonso
Registered user
Los Altos Hills
on May 24, 2017 at 5:07 pm
Alphonso, Los Altos Hills
Registered user
on May 24, 2017 at 5:07 pm
28 people like this

I get the feeling PA Online is promoting the Anti-Sexual Assault cause by printing stories that at best distort the truth. [Portion removed.] Why can't PA Online report the truth? Stop promoting agendas and just report the facts.


Name hidden
Community Center

on May 24, 2017 at 5:09 pm
Name hidden, Community Center

on May 24, 2017 at 5:09 pm

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


hysteria
Crescent Park
on May 24, 2017 at 5:11 pm
hysteria, Crescent Park
on May 24, 2017 at 5:11 pm
19 people like this

I agree with Alphonso. Perhaps Palo Alto Online is trying to be like Rolling Stones Magazine.


Hulkamania
Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 24, 2017 at 5:29 pm
Hulkamania, Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 24, 2017 at 5:29 pm
10 people like this

Don't bother with anyone at any level in the District. Call the police immediately. It's well beyond time to stop protecting these criminals.


Dhip
Professorville
on May 24, 2017 at 5:40 pm
Dhip, Professorville
on May 24, 2017 at 5:40 pm
2 people like this

[Post removed.]


hysteria
Crescent Park
on May 24, 2017 at 5:42 pm
hysteria, Crescent Park
on May 24, 2017 at 5:42 pm
15 people like this

hulkamania,

you obviously didn't read the article in it's entirety which is a symptom of today's twitter social media attention span and reinforces my point.

"The police department forwarded the case to the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office, according to the father, but no formal charges were filed against the male student."





Alphonso
Registered user
Los Altos Hills
on May 24, 2017 at 5:45 pm
Alphonso, Los Altos Hills
Registered user
on May 24, 2017 at 5:45 pm
4 people like this

[Post removed.]


Replace the Waste
Palo Alto High School
on May 24, 2017 at 5:52 pm
Replace the Waste, Palo Alto High School
on May 24, 2017 at 5:52 pm
13 people like this

I agree that there is some deficient parenting. If children are raised with loving care, they don't want to harm others; they respect others. However, most children aren't raised with loving care, but with disrespect and "Don't bother me, do it yourself" attitudes. People should remember that their children still need nurturing until they are adults. If a person is continually nagged, not praised, and feels uncared for, why would they care about others? Parents should realize that if they don't respect and treat their children well, they shouldn't expect their children to care about them when they are seniors. I just don't understand why people don't want to be a part of their children's lives because I really enjoy mine and hearing how their day was. Instead, teens are made to feel like they are a pain in the ass and the parents can't wait until they move out of the house. Remember them when they were newborns and the elation felt.

Off my soapbox, I think rape behavior is prevalent across the nation, even more prevalent. It's just that Palo Altans are outspoken. And realize that this behavior is limited to a certain type of student, not all students. Not blaming or condoning, but "rape culture" doesn't affect the entire student population as people seem to scream. I'd guess it's around 20%.


PAUSD Parent
Midtown
on May 24, 2017 at 5:52 pm
PAUSD Parent, Midtown
on May 24, 2017 at 5:52 pm
25 people like this

PALY doesn't even have a policy for concussions (oh yeah...there's a document the says how to handle concussions but does the athletic department actually follow it for PE...no!)...how do you expect them to have a policy about more serious issues?

Kim Diario presents herself to parents as a very sincerely interested administrator and turns around and dumps the file in the trash. She has no real interest in following up on concerns from students or parents.

[Portion removed.]


hysteria
Crescent Park
on May 24, 2017 at 6:03 pm
hysteria, Crescent Park
on May 24, 2017 at 6:03 pm
6 people like this

@replace the waste

would love if you shared your data around the 20% "guess"


GraceBrown
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 24, 2017 at 6:10 pm
GraceBrown, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on May 24, 2017 at 6:10 pm
20 people like this

Silicon Valley bro-culture - Uber, FANG (Facebook, Apple, Netflix, Google) and Sandhill VC culture come to mind, appears to be taking root in our schools - children learn what they see at home.


Replace the Waste
Palo Alto High School
on May 24, 2017 at 6:16 pm
Replace the Waste, Palo Alto High School
on May 24, 2017 at 6:16 pm
11 people like this

@Hysteria: Not saying that 20% are being raped, saying that 20% engage in high risk behavior. Perhaps that's too high of a number. How many students attend parties on a regular basis? Most are nerds who are studying or building their resumes, not engaging in high risk behavior. I'm tired of the hysteria and people thinking their student is actually UNSAFE on campus. Like their daughter will go into the bathroom and a male is there waiting to rape her. Parents need to teach their children to be wary of certain situations. But most parents these days don't know a thing about their teen's lives.

While the PAUSD teen suicides and rapes are traumatic and tragic, it's not just occurring in Palo Alto. The suicides in other schools are underreported. If parents would be engaged with their children, it would help guard the children from "bad things happening." Instead, once the are out of elementary school, parents think their job is done.


hysteria
Crescent Park
on May 24, 2017 at 6:25 pm
hysteria, Crescent Park
on May 24, 2017 at 6:25 pm
13 people like this

@replace the waste

so you went from 20% "rape culture" in your first post to 20% "high risk behavior" in your second? not even sure what that means.

My last comment and i need some rest after trying to provide some sanity to this post.......... the hysteria, high emotion and ignorance of facts of this case are unbelievable for supposedly a very educated populous like PA.

by the way i totally agree with most of your post.........Parents need to own your kids. Know what's going and and teach them proper values.


Far Far Away
another community
on May 24, 2017 at 7:17 pm
Far Far Away, another community
on May 24, 2017 at 7:17 pm
2 people like this

I have endless empathy for managers when they have to confront an assault or harassment case like this for the first time. You are a manager, you are supposed to handle things. After the first one blows up in your face you better learn to follow the procedures your organization has in place. To the letter. If it violates organization policy call the HR manager or whatever. And if it involves a crime call the DA and the cops.


common sense
Midtown
on May 24, 2017 at 7:55 pm
common sense, Midtown
on May 24, 2017 at 7:55 pm
33 people like this

The fact is that the Paly Principal (Diorio) has a pattern of HIDING REPORTS of sexual assaults, and repeatedly violating TItle IX procedures. That is an indisputable fact out of all the 25 cases with the prior principal, with the sexual predator who attacked 3 victims, and now this incident which has come out.

The board needs to take action on the principal, and determine if the district administrators including the superintendent have also repeatedly violated Title IX. If so, action needs be taken on those individuals.


Observer
Old Palo Alto
on May 24, 2017 at 8:17 pm
Observer, Old Palo Alto
on May 24, 2017 at 8:17 pm
71 people like this

Parents - take responsibility for how you raise your children! Your children are a reflection of your values. Stop the intellectualizing, rationalizing, and attacks against everyone. Step in, lean in, and tend to your own. Your kids really want you to act as parents.


AreWeDoneYet
Palo Alto High School
on May 24, 2017 at 9:30 pm
AreWeDoneYet, Palo Alto High School
on May 24, 2017 at 9:30 pm
14 people like this

How is that site-based management working out for everyone so far?

Can we FINALLY all admit this was a terrible, terrible decision to allow the board to abdicate its oversight responsibility onto the schools, and get back to the business of managing schools, digging into their business, and exercising REAL oversight on what the h**l is going on in these dark little hidey-holes?

It is well past time to end the cover-ups.


Paly parent
another community
on May 24, 2017 at 10:11 pm
Paly parent, another community
on May 24, 2017 at 10:11 pm
6 people like this

Why does it matter which neighborhood ANY Paly parent or respondent to an article lives in??
This is a symptom of the SICKNESS that pervades the ENTIRE PALY culture, whether related to an assault as this article presents or otherwise. The CULTURE AT PALY is that of COVER-UPS, protect those that squeak the loudest, who donate the most to the school or funds or who happen to live in the right zip code, REGARDLESS of whether they are right or wrong. This is what everyone pays millions of dollars for, to be subjected to this NONSENSE (Bull---- really). PALY, your teachers have the attitude of ENTITLEMENT--"I'm TENURED" (so I can say AND DO whatever the f--- I want)-this was actually said in a class at Paly a few years ago by a then and CURRENT faculty member, because HE is TENURED, he is STILL allowed to be there. You preserve this attitude of entitlement throughout your school. It is sickening. Disgusting. PATHETIC. Anyone reading this, if you have a choice to send your child to Paly or an alternate school AND SCHOOL DISTRICT (judging from all that is going on here), DO IT. Spend your $$ elsewhere. The quality of education your child receives from Paly faculty that has such a self-centered and self-preserving and self-promoting and entitled attitude and CULTURE is not worth it. Remember, at the end-of-the-day, everyone's poop looks and smells the same.


Diorio & McGee should be fired
Midtown
on May 24, 2017 at 10:17 pm
Diorio & McGee should be fired, Midtown
on May 24, 2017 at 10:17 pm
33 people like this

Why can't Diorio be fired? She has not protected our children at all!

Mr. McGee also should be fired. They don't put our children safety as #1 priority.


Focus
Midtown
on May 24, 2017 at 11:47 pm
Focus, Midtown
on May 24, 2017 at 11:47 pm
22 people like this

Kathy Jordan has it right.
"Title IX is the law and informing people of their rights to file a UCP complaint is the law and Ms. Diorio has not met that test. Undoubtedly there are others who are complicit."

Laws are written for a reason. Complaints of sexual assault so often fall on deaf ears or go punished, law has been written so that all claims must be investigated and handled systematically.

Our school district must get in compliance with the LAW! The law tells PAUSD how to address complaints, and PAUSD fails to comply with the law! This contributes to a terrible culture and costs everyone a ton of money.
Out with every fancy bell and whistle until this district can comply with basic legal requirements.


XR
JLS Middle School
on May 25, 2017 at 6:16 am
XR, JLS Middle School
on May 25, 2017 at 6:16 am
46 people like this

These girls are coming forward days, weeks, months after the Fact. I have told my daughter that if anything happens that she is not comfortable with that she needs to speak up immediately, right then and there. A random boy is not just coming up and doing something like this without some sort of mutual participation. Teenage boys want to get sexual with girls and Girls are ok with it, but when they find out that these boys just want the sexual experience, then they regret what they allowed to happen. TEACH YOUR GIRLS TO SAY NO WHEN IT HAPPENS!!!!


Stop this nonsense
Downtown North
on May 25, 2017 at 9:42 am
Stop this nonsense, Downtown North
on May 25, 2017 at 9:42 am
29 people like this

Completely agree with XR, TEACH YOUR GIRLS TO SAY NO WHEN IT HAPPENS!!!!! IF the girl didn't even say NO, then how is a boy suppose to know that she is not wanting to participate. Girls and boys both engage in sexual experiences in High School and if they really don't want to participate then they should think about that BEFORE they engage in them. To always place blame on the boys (and months, years later) is absolutely ridiculous. I feel sorry for all the young people at Paly - there is too much parent involvement, which is not surprising in this over-indulgent community.


Thank you to the Paly Principal
Old Palo Alto
on May 25, 2017 at 9:54 am
Thank you to the Paly Principal, Old Palo Alto
on May 25, 2017 at 9:54 am
9 people like this

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


Parent
Addison School
on May 25, 2017 at 10:10 am
Parent, Addison School
on May 25, 2017 at 10:10 am
34 people like this

Thank you "Thank you to the Paly Principal" for your post. It is very true. I wish that the parents who are complaining about the Principal and Max would just try their job for 1 day - they would not last. As a former corporate professional and a teacher, I know that from the outside it looks so easy but when you are inside, it is so much more challenging than any corporate job. Why do you think parents have their children go to camp all summer or send them off to sleep away camps or boarding school? Parenting is very challenging and school that have teens for more hours per week than parents have their child, is quite exhausting and takes incredible patience and persistence.

So, instead of complaining, why don't some of you walk your talk and try it out. Maybe, just maybe you, will see that it is not an easy job. In my opinion, Kim is protecting the children. There is absolutely NOT a full story here. I respect that Kim and Max care so much about the kids that they are not relaying what really happened.

Remember when you point your finger at someone, there are 3 pointing right back at you! Examine your own parenting first!


Teaching children
Palo Verde
on May 25, 2017 at 10:15 am
Teaching children, Palo Verde
on May 25, 2017 at 10:15 am
28 people like this

I agree with TEACH YOUR GIRLS TO SAY NO WHEN IT HAPPENS!
At the same time as the mother of boys I have been making a point since they were very young that WHEN SOMEONE SAYS NO OR STOP, YOU MUST LEAVE THEM ALONE.

I have told them even if someone says "NO, giggle-giggle." Just stop. If a girl is confused about what she wants, then just give her space to figure it out. If she wants you, she can come back later and let you know.

This messaging to my sons is both because I want them to be respectful of others and because I want them to PROTECT THEMSELVES. There are cases of inviting some sexual interaction and then regretting it later. So I teach my boys -- if there is ANY doubt that she wants to play with you, walk away from it. You should only want to be with someone who wants to be with you.

Sexual exploration in the teen years is fraught and tricky and confusing and emotional. Young men and young women BOTH need to be taught that getting tangled up in sex too early can be dangerous. It is probably better to wait until both sides have more maturity.
Unfortunately, our highly sexualized society is impacting our youth at younger and younger ages. These are challenging times for teens.


38 year resident
Old Palo Alto
on May 25, 2017 at 10:24 am
38 year resident, Old Palo Alto
on May 25, 2017 at 10:24 am
18 people like this

@ Diorio and McGee should be fired.......Teacher Unions protect the bad apples and keep many of them from being fired.


Please stop.
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 25, 2017 at 11:46 am
Please stop., Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 25, 2017 at 11:46 am
24 people like this

Many people on this thread do not seem to recognize that matters of this kind require protection of student privacy. We, as members of the public, are not privy to the all of the facts--and and it is completely improper to pass judgement on ANYONE involved. Many of these posts are completely inappropriate. It is truly appalling, and it saddens me. I'd sign with my name if PA Weekly did not make me vulnerable to the attacks of trolls who reside on this site.

Palo Alto Weekly, why do you not require all contributors to sign their real names and own their comments? Maybe then they would comment more thoughtfully and responsibly. Please end this thread. Consider for a moment how this may be affecting the students involved...and possible future legal case outcomes. This is just awful. Please stop.


resident
Midtown
on May 25, 2017 at 12:04 pm
resident, Midtown
on May 25, 2017 at 12:04 pm
22 people like this

Dear Please Stop, the issue is that the school administration, and perhaps the district administration are violating the Title IX law by not opening an investigation, not informing the victims of their rights, etc.

It has nothing to do with the privacy of the victim or the attacker.

And there is a pattern with the school administration of at least 29 cases where the the Title IX law was violated.


Until It Happens to You
another community
on May 25, 2017 at 12:49 pm
Until It Happens to You, another community
on May 25, 2017 at 12:49 pm
20 people like this

To all the commenters who are saying that girls should be taught to say no, has it occurred to you that sometimes when assault happens, the victims may be too simultaneously surprised, stunned, and scared to react or even make a sound? Especially when things happen very fast, such as an instance of groping, or what the young lady described happened in the quad.

To those who are saying that girls want to fool around and these reports of assault are due to remorse, can you really, really in good conscience say that? Can you say this about all sexual assault victims? What about the very young sexual assault victims (think of your daughters, nieces, sisters) at an age too young to even know what sex is...are they also subject to this catchall you have decided as truth to give yourself a sense of security (it will never happen to me or my family, because I taught my daughters to repeatedly say no and never go into a boys bathroom).

And @Mother of 2 girls, I did not see any mention of any of the victims going into the boys's bathroom, only that one of the victims was assaulted in a bathroom. If you have other information about the case that we are not privy to, please share, since I am curious.


look
Palo Verde
on May 25, 2017 at 12:58 pm
look, Palo Verde
on May 25, 2017 at 12:58 pm
Like this comment

There needs to be a much better, clearer source that can compress all the different constraints in reporting so they will all support easier usage for children to report and for staff to have the best tools possible to protect children's rights.


Confusing for Kids
Crescent Park
on May 25, 2017 at 1:10 pm
Confusing for Kids, Crescent Park
on May 25, 2017 at 1:10 pm
13 people like this

@Teaching Children - I agree with everything you are saying. However, the problem is now that unfortunately if there is any confusion on either side, that the police are called and typically the boys are labeled for life. So yes, the kids should be better at reading intent but that is subjective. I just don't think that kids should be prosecuted for anything where the intent is confusing and that is what I hear, here... Never said "NO" is very confusing... Do we really want to punish our children so harshly when it is not clear??? Boys or Girls???


XB
JLS Middle School
on May 25, 2017 at 1:16 pm
XB, JLS Middle School
on May 25, 2017 at 1:16 pm
9 people like this

To @ until it happens to you.

To those who are saying that girls want to fool around and these reports of assault are due to remorse, can you really, really in good conscience say that? Yes I can in good conscience say that.

Can you say this about all sexual assault victims? No. If a victim reports it immediatelly and the police are called in than there is no question that it was an assault. If they wait weeks or months then they are feeling guilty because THEY let it happen. Big difference there. Even if it happened to my daughter.


Retaliation
Old Palo Alto
on May 25, 2017 at 1:44 pm
Retaliation, Old Palo Alto
on May 25, 2017 at 1:44 pm
9 people like this

@XB - what you are forgetting, or may be unaware of, is the widespread retaliation which goes on in our schools. A kid who complains is a kid who is an instant target by teachers and staff.

The reason these kids don't complain, is because they know:

1) nothing will be done. I don't know if you are new to Palo Alto Online, but we get some mistreatment of a student roughly monthly, with NO accountability, NO action by staff, and NO indication that anyone anywhere gives a damn about the students. The students know this.

2) the students also know that to complain is to be labeled. Because the principal will NOT do anything, they are left to complain to the Super. He will tell the Principal, who will make the student's life difficult. He won't actually do anything. Complaining to the board is even less useful. They are literally catatonic in the face of complaints.


So in such a dysfunctional environment, I can see why many students don't raise issues until Senior year graduation time. Only now are the Seniors out of reach of the worst treatment by staff and district. Frankly, I'm surprised many more don't step forward this time of year. But I also know that by now, they also know that it just doesn't matter, as none of this will get fixed.

Watch this current issue - there was clearly no protections for the victim. Diorio was in the wrong. Max was either uninformed, or wrong. So, he is paid to know, making him responsible either way. Yet, nothing will change. Because the board doesn't care about students. Neither does the Super. Neither does Diorio. And frankly many of the teachers. (not all, but many).

The students know they are alone in the gladiator ring here.

IF the parents knew on day one whey they entered Middle School or High School, they would take matters in their own hands much sooner and much more directly.


Good News!
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 25, 2017 at 1:55 pm
Good News!, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 25, 2017 at 1:55 pm
10 people like this

It had been reported on another thread that HOLLY WADE is LEAVING at the end of the year!

School Board: Please hire an experienced and kind IEP director/ Title IX Liaison! [Portion removed.]


Unbiased
Greenmeadow
on May 25, 2017 at 4:23 pm
Unbiased, Greenmeadow
on May 25, 2017 at 4:23 pm
10 people like this

[Post removed.]


hysteria
Crescent Park
on May 25, 2017 at 5:28 pm
hysteria, Crescent Park
on May 25, 2017 at 5:28 pm
20 people like this

sad to read all these comments calling for the head of our administrators. I would love of some of you could step into their shoes and deal with all the issues they have to.

Sadly, i would put the blame for most of the ills in today's schools and society not on school administrators and bad teachers but on the PARENTS and the KIDS whose lack of respect for authority, bad manners, lack of compassion and sense of entitlement is the root of so many problems.

Call me old school, it fits.....


Fact checker
Crescent Park
on May 25, 2017 at 5:57 pm
Fact checker, Crescent Park
on May 25, 2017 at 5:57 pm
21 people like this

Community, You need to learn more about Title IX.

The School District failed to follow the Title IX process. Regardless what you personally think about the sexualization of campuses or buyer's remorse, ALL complaints of sexual assault are considered SEVERE enough to be required to be reported. And, the District did not report this complaint or the 2016 complaint. A student need not make the complaint on the day of the attack for these rules to hold true.

After the complaint is logged by the school and a formal case open, then interim steps to protect the victim (and other students if appropriate must be taken).

Next, an investigation takes place, and the standard of proof is NOT like in a criminal case. It's NOT beyond a reasonable doubt. It's just a preponderance of the evidence, which means just a hair more than 50%.

Once a determination is made, then the case is still not closed. If the allegation is deemed to be true using the preponderance of evidence standard, then remedial measures need to be put in place and then finally the School District is responsible for education students and staff to avoid similar occurrences.

The problem here is that no Paly administrator recorded these complaints in the Title IX log and started the process and no one afforded the victims information about the Uniform Complaint Process to which they were entitled. They are serious administrative duties. Title IX is violated when these steps have not been taken. Our administrators failed to follow these steps, again and again and again. Why?

And, even if they are good at 75% of their job functions, this part of their job function is sacrosanct. Student safety and campus culture must be protected.

The Paly administrators were bound by law to follow Title IX process. So, regardless of your opinion about teen morality, how can you defend their not following the process?


Parent
Community Center
on May 25, 2017 at 7:48 pm
Parent, Community Center
on May 25, 2017 at 7:48 pm
18 people like this

@Fact checker, I agree. The issue here doesn't depend on who was at fault or even who did what. In the middle of finalizing an 8 year title IX resolution agreement with the OCR, neither McGee or Diorio could manage to comply with Title IX. No UCP, no Title IX investigation. They can throw Wade under the bus, which is probably deserved. But McGee and Diorio after years on the job, can't claim ignorance. Both failed to oversee, failed to set up processes, failed to care about the law. If they can't do this, and clearly they can't, they need to go so we can get others who will. Otherwise, the message go to the staff is to do what you like, there is no accountability for gross rule violations. And to students and the community, you are on your own.


john_alderman
Registered user
Crescent Park
on May 25, 2017 at 8:04 pm
john_alderman, Crescent Park
Registered user
on May 25, 2017 at 8:04 pm
13 people like this

@Hysteria - You are right about one thing, the problem begins with the parents of the kids who commit the crimes. But we can't parent other people's children. So we entrust the schools to keep good kids safe and isolate and deal with bad kids.

This is where PAUSD continually fails, and why you are completely wrong in your defense of the current pack of incompetent and negligent administrators. Time for a house cleaning, and time to get some serious adults running the schools.


Disabled Student Concerns
Greene Middle School
on May 25, 2017 at 8:25 pm
Disabled Student Concerns, Greene Middle School
on May 25, 2017 at 8:25 pm
8 people like this

This article raises many concerns about how this was handled for a disabled student, who was possibly targeted for her disabilities, and if both Federal Special Education laws and State regulations were followed.

According to the article, a District Special Education Coordinator wrote a letter saying the District offered to moved the student to a smaller school. A Special Education Coordinator is a high level District Administrator, at or above the level of a principal. Dr. Wade, as Assistant Superintendent, had to know about the student. Theses staff were all mandatory reporters who should have reported issues to authorities. It rings false for a superintendent or principal didn't know. Students are not moved without senior management approval. The District was using an attorney in its communications with parents.

Further, the student was disabled enough to be on an Individual Education Plan and the special education services offered were not trivial. These were services that and can only be given when a student clearly demonstrates a disability that is preventing her ability to access a regular high school curriculum. That's access the curriculum, not succeed in it. Specialized Academic instruction indicates a learning disability, and speech language pathology indicates either an articulation or social cognitive deficit. I am very concerned the student's disabilities made her a target.

Incidents don't reach the level described in the article without the school staff working with Special Education's senior management and their attorneys. Students are not moved without senior management approval. The District had to be using an attorney in its communications with parents.

The article appears to say the principal contacted the student to discuss the "unintended consequences of disclosing such personal information online". But it was already disclosed on line. It is troubling the District's concern for the student only arose when the student was about to publish the incident in a school communication. Coincidentally, this was a communication that would be seen by students, parents, senior Administrators, the Board of Education and the OCR. The School District's Special Education Administrators and attorney's must have told the principal now was the time to show "concern" for the student, and to document (finally) doing it.

Prior to the types of meetings in the article, the District's attorney and most senior management meet with the District employees to coach them what to say. It is all choreographed. It just isn't possible the principal was a lone eagle in this. It is much more likely she was following instructions given by Special Education Administrators. Special Education had to know. Which meant the District management had to know.

In addition to being told about UCP procedures, the District should have told the parents about their rights to file a complaint with the State regulators and the OCR.

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Holly Wade is/was the Administrator overseeing Special Education, Counseling, IEP services, changes in school placement, and the attorney contract. Superintendent McGee made no secret she interviews principal candidates and gets a vote on who gets hired. Dr. Wade is the same Administrator heading Special Education during the first OCR findings that a disabled student could not attend school because of bullying. She said there was no bullying, that all disabled students were fully included and had all the support they needed. She testified this in court. The Board accepted this and attacked parents of bullied disabled children. The Superintendent and Board promoted Dr. Wade with a hefty raise to work with OCR and ensure bullying did not happened again, or at least that procedures for filing complaints about bullying were followed. The Board gave Dr. Wade her own lawyer of her choice to get it done, despite parent reports about the adversarial culture the attorney and Dr. Wade created.

Realizing Dr. Wade is leaving, my point is not she didn't do what she was supposed to. My point is my concern with the incredibly poor judgement of the Superintendent promoting her to do this job after this history, and the Board's lack of supervision of and inability to question and control it's staff to complete even the most basic responsibility.


More KTVU Reporting
Adobe-Meadow
on May 25, 2017 at 10:30 pm
More KTVU Reporting, Adobe-Meadow
on May 25, 2017 at 10:30 pm
16 people like this

KTVU reported again on the district's failure to conduct Title IX investigations, and McGee's latest attempts to dodge blame. Web Link


All talk
Downtown North
on May 26, 2017 at 10:41 am
All talk, Downtown North
on May 26, 2017 at 10:41 am
16 people like this

With all this talk pushing for McGee, Wade and Diorio's resignation or termination, how about some community action? A parent and student march to the PAUSD office?? Protest at 25 Churchill?


Disabled Student Concerns
Greene Middle School
on May 26, 2017 at 12:59 pm
Disabled Student Concerns, Greene Middle School
on May 26, 2017 at 12:59 pm
10 people like this

A number of principals and senior Administrators are resigning. I don't want the same Superintendent and Administrators picking the replacements. They will hire staff who think like them.

Have replacements for any of the staff who recently resigned since March, 2017 been chosen? The new Special Education Director(s) and Counseling Director need to be chosen by new management. Otherwise, the same cycle of problems will continue.

I am not interested in the Superintendent's new re-organization. The one he established two years ago made all these problems inevitable - inappropriate staff hiring, promotions without competition, lack of parent confidence in staffers promoted, lack of accountability, and a great deal of power resting with one individual to the point students and parents had nowhere to go for help. Combined with Administrators and Superintendents habit of ignoring Board requests for information to make decisions, and Administration's thinking all problems were resolved with a smile and saying they were resolved because you said problems were addressed - this is not the way to go forward into the future.


'Innocent' Criminals
Menlo Park
on May 26, 2017 at 2:54 pm
'Innocent' Criminals , Menlo Park
on May 26, 2017 at 2:54 pm
8 people like this

Yes, our society is based on "innocent until proven guilty".

But we are not the justice system - we are the People, which means we are not held to that same burden of proof.

False sexual assault accusations happen 1-2% of the time. There is no reason for victims to lie. Seeing as that we are not the ones making a legal judgement, there is no reason for us to in any way doubt what the victim said.

Believe victims.


Thomas
Palo Alto High School
on May 28, 2017 at 10:02 am
Thomas , Palo Alto High School
on May 28, 2017 at 10:02 am
12 people like this

Would someone explain why Ken Dauber isn't living up to all his promises ? Things are only getting worse with his leadership.
The PALY principal is weak and Has been involved in all of the mismanagement of complaints. She is not a leader or someone the community respects. We need a change not another year of the same.


Archives are a thing
Old Palo Alto
on May 29, 2017 at 10:30 am
Archives are a thing, Old Palo Alto
on May 29, 2017 at 10:30 am
5 people like this

@Thomas and others: Where is Edmund Burke when we need him?


Old Timer
Fairmeadow
on May 29, 2017 at 10:34 am
Old Timer, Fairmeadow
on May 29, 2017 at 10:34 am
8 people like this

@Thomas - it takes 3 votes for the Board to do something. Dauber is one. My guess is that Godfrey and Caswell are sticking with the Old Guard. Collins seems fed up with McGee and often agrees with Dauber. So we'll see if Dibrienza can find a spine.


Palo Alto parent
Old Palo Alto
on Jun 30, 2017 at 11:40 pm
Palo Alto parent, Old Palo Alto
on Jun 30, 2017 at 11:40 pm
6 people like this

We should be teaching our children to wait for a clear and unambiguous "yes." You do not put the burden on the victim to yell or scream "no!"

[Portion removed.].

Furthermore, educate your child that school is always an inappropriate place for sexual activity regardless of consent.




Middle school mom
Crescent Park
on Aug 11, 2017 at 9:50 pm
Middle school mom, Crescent Park
on Aug 11, 2017 at 9:50 pm
4 people like this

I'm appalled by the "tell your daughters to say no" comments on here. That is along the same lines of "don't wear sexy clothing", "don't get yourself into the wrong situation" and "don't drink alcohol" if you don't want to be assaulted. How about we teach our sons to be respectful of girls and recognize boundaries and not to engage in sexual behavior on campus at all? How about, never touch someone's sexual body parts at school...ever?! The described incidents are not of kids consensually making out. One of the perpetrators had been convicted of sexual assault. Why was he even on campus after that? An adult on the sex offenders registry can't even go near a school... why does the same not apply to a teenager convicted of sexual assault?

It is also completely ignorant to assume that if the assault isn't reported immediately that it is remorse and not true assault. It is exactly these attitudes that cause sexual assault victims to not come forward at all, or to delay reporting... the victim is often blamed. A very rudimentary google search can provide a wealth of information on sexual assault for those that clearly have little knowledge on the subject. Roughly 20% of high school girls are sexually assaulted (including, but not limited to, rape). Only about 30% of teen sexual assault incidents are ever reported.... that is horrible... and it isn't because the girls (or boys) were willing participants! It is because they either fear retaliation, are embarrassed and/or know nothing of consequence will happen to the accused. Only about 2-8% of reported sexual assaults are false...which means 92-98% are true. While anyone accused of a crime does deserve due process, the overwhelming majority of the cases are true, so the least we could do, in the meantime, is stop blaming the victim. You don't have to assume the accuser is lying in order to allow for due process...


Deeply Angered
Community Center
on Aug 12, 2017 at 3:35 pm
Deeply Angered, Community Center
on Aug 12, 2017 at 3:35 pm
7 people like this

Kim Diorio and Glenn McGee should have been handed their walking papers at the end of this past school year, if not at the semester break!

Now the Paly students and their parents must suffer through another year of these negligent administrators!


PAHS Parent
Palo Alto High School
on Aug 12, 2017 at 8:55 pm
PAHS Parent, Palo Alto High School
on Aug 12, 2017 at 8:55 pm
2 people like this

@ Deeply Angered and anyone else wanting a change at Paly and PAUSD - The board will soon hear a report from Cozen and Conner regarding the district and school's handling of the sexual assault case. McGee can fire Diorio and anyone else that screwed up based on what's in the report. If McGee does not, the board can instruct McGee to fire them. If McGee refuses, the board can remove McGee, if they haven't already decided to based on the report.

If you want to see a change, write to the board.

We are also withholding our PIE donation this year. Maybe we'll donate it to a victim's rights group or a youth home. Has to be a better way to spend our money than giving it to the district.


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