In September 2017, the Palo Alto High School newspaper The Campanile ran an article about an alleged 2016 on-campus sexual assault of a female freshman by a male junior, stating that the incident "was subsequently determined to be consensual."
The male student's attorney had told media outlets at the time, including the Weekly, that the Santa Clara County District Attorney's office declined to file any charges against the male student "other than consensual underage sexual activity" for the incident, which occurred at Paly in October 2016. It's unclear if the student was convicted of this crime, a misdemeanor, since court records for that charge are sealed.
Shortly after the initial Campanile story published, the newspaper ran a "clarification" about the sourcing for the initial statement, including comments from former Paly Principal Kim Diorio and statements the male student's attorney made to another news outlet.
Early last month, the editors-in-chief of The Campanile published an apology to the female student and said that they had inadequately attributed the "consensual" statement and also had improperly phrased it in their prior reporting.
In a separate article last month, the student newspaper also reported on their own staff's concerns about numerous "hostile emails" they had received in 2017 from Paly parent Kathy Jordan, now a school board candidate, and what they described as her "aggressive tone toward student reporters, in the name of protecting victims of sexual assault." They said that Jordan requested that The Campanile retract the previous statement and suggested it was libelous.
"She made (us) feel as if (we) were being attacked and in a hostile situation," a former Campanile writer, who requested anonymity "due to fear of harassment," told the Campanile.
This article part of a larger story, "Committee forms against school board candidate," which can be viewed here.