Staff from the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) will be in Palo Alto this week to visit schools and hold office hours as part of its ongoing monitoring of the district's Title IX violations.
Federal representatives will be at Palo Alto High School, Gunn High School and the district office on Thursday. The school board approved a resolution agreement with the agency one year ago after a yearslong investigation that found the district repeatedly failed to properly respond to and investigate reports of sexual harassment and other misconduct involving both students and staff at the two high schools.
Under the agreement, the Office for Civil Rights will monitor the district for a minimum of three years, or until it is in compliance with Title IX.
On Thursday, Office for Civil Rights staff will also hold office hours for staff, parents, students, and community members "who would like to speak to them about the district's response to reports and complaints of sexual harassment," according to a district announcement.
The office hours are as follows. Students and staff are advised to check in at the school offices prior to the scheduled times.
- For Palo Alto High School students and employees: 11:20 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. in classrooms 404 and 407.
- For Gunn High School students and employees: 2:50 to 3:50 p.m. in K Building Conference Room 2 and the World Language Conference Room.
- For parents, guardians, and community members: 4 to 4:30 p.m. in the Cedar Room and Lounge at the district office, 25 Churchill Ave.
People can sign up for 10-minute time slots either individually or with others by emailing Office for Civil Rights attorney Laura Welp at [email protected] A sign-up sheet will also be posted in the front office of each high school on the morning of the visit for any slots not filled beforehand, the district said.
Students who are under 18 years old must have their parent or guardian fill out a consent form and bring it to the meeting.