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School Board to Discuss "Next Steps" Toward Bullying Policy on Jan. 28

Original post made by Paly Parent, Palo Alto High School, on Jan 19, 2014

In School Superintendent Kevin Skelly's January 17 "Weekly" communication to the board, he reports that the agenda for the January 28 board meeting will include discussion of "next steps" toward a Bullying Policy "should the board wish to have one." An excerpt from Skelly's report is below:

"Our January 28 meeting will be devoted to new courses that will be recommended to the Board for the upcoming year and a series of new/updated Board policies. This covers the August and October 2013 policy updates; staff recommended changes to the Basic Aid Reserve policy; and the recommendations for modifications to our Uniform Complaint Procedure, Sexual Harassment policy, and Non-discrimination/Harassment policy. We will also be prepared to discuss next steps toward a Bullying Policy, should the Board wish to have one. Note: the CSBA template is for an optional policy. Staff will be recommending that we have a Bullying Policy and discussing a timeline for its development. Kathleen Ruegsegger has included Administrative Regulations that staff adopted and optional policies and regulations that will not come to the Board for adoption, unless we hear from any of you otherwise. (see list on next page)."

Skelly's full Weekly report can be found on the district website at: Web Link

Comments (16)

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Posted by Angry mom
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jan 19, 2014 at 9:41 am

The discussion of the "timeline" for the " development" of the policy should explain why the past 18 months of "development" of this exact policy are now being discarded along with the current procedure in favor of going back to the drawing board. It should also include an accounting of the amount of taxpayer funds wasted on the discarded policy and procedure and who was responsible for that fiasco as well as what the complaint process will be until we have one adopted, if ever. What nincompoopery.

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Posted by Say What?
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jan 19, 2014 at 11:30 am

Now I'm really confused. I read the discussions about this issue on other threads. Edmund Burke and others stated that the district does not currently have a bulleying policy. Others, who seemed to have inside knowledge of the district, insisted that Burke was wrong. I also heard that some key members of the district staff have been insisting that we currently have a policy. Now, the Jan 28 Board Agenda supports Burke's assertions.
If we can't get clarity from Skelly and his team, why can't we get straight information from the board who represents us. If they have done their homework, they should know the straight answers. We know them. Let's insist that they speak clearly.

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Posted by Thumbs up or down?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 19, 2014 at 12:05 pm

Thanks for posting. After a few posts, the Weekly may shut this thread down. Thank you also for posting a link to Kevin Skelly's Weekly Communication, found on the PAUSD board web page. I've been a faithful reader of it since the Weekly broke the story about Brown Act violations. Skelly's communications were full of secrets back then, heavily redacted if you download them, but now they are mostly fluff and increasingly fluffier now with Tabitha Hurley's $150,000 help. The 18 months of development of a bullying policy are a sham, as will be the next steps on January 28. It's very hard to argue with. Look closer in Skelly's latest issue, there's a mention in the miscellaneous section that compliance officer Charles Young led a K-12 principals meeting. Clearly this is a show of support from Skelly, but is it a message that Young is being groomed for the superintendent job of PAUSD, or that he needs to get his name out as he applies to other districts?

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Posted by clear to me
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 19, 2014 at 12:35 pm

"next steps toward a Bullying Policy, should the Board wish to have one"

"One" refers to a stand-alone policy. The bullying policy PAUSD has right now is a subsection of a policy that also deals with other student behaviors.

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Posted by Hayes Mom
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 19, 2014 at 12:41 pm

Edmund Burke and the Weekly reporters are the only people who even tries to tell the truth about this bullying stuff. Thank Goodness for Terri Lobdell, and for Old Ed.

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Posted by Say What?
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jan 19, 2014 at 12:56 pm

@Clear to me
Thanks for your clarification. It's now clear as mud. Hopefully, Burke will wade back in to provide facts and cite the actual docs.

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Posted by Confused
a resident of Community Center
on Jan 19, 2014 at 7:00 pm

"Should the board wish to have a bullying policy?" All we have been hearing about for the last year is the great new bullying policy that is coming. School board members have been talking about it, Dr. Skelly wrote to every parent about it in a big email, his newsletter talked about. Now they want to decide if they really want it? Something stinks, and it isn't Limburger cheese.

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Posted by PAUSD Nincompoopery
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 23, 2014 at 11:07 am

Angry Mom and others: I love the word "nincompoopery" . We, the parents and taxpayers in this district have had quite enough of the continued Skellytons in the Closet as well as the shenanigans such as his lining up for a raise last year without "OOPS, I forgot to tell you that we were cited by the OCR (Office for Civil Rights) for violating the rights of a developmentally disabled middle school girl. The parents in this district read his indeed "fluffy" emails sent to the district parents stating what a fine job the district is doing in so many ways.

The Board is ultimately responsible for replacing Skelly and I wouldn't be surprised if Young is being groomed to take over. The sooner we get rid of Skelly the better as far as I am concerned. While we are at it, let's elect some school board members who would like to have some transparency about what goes on in the district as well as a Board that are willing to give direction to the Supe with the expectation that he will follow their directives. He tells the Board what to do and they sit back and let him have his way. We have had enough.

Our kids are the real losers in this all as meanwhile Teacher Advisory as well as many other options that have been suggested to improve counseling gets put on the back burner indefinitley.

Wake up Palo Alto are paying big bucks to have a home in Palo Alto and to have a safe environmnet for your children to learn in. You are not getting that. It's up to US to change this.

I hope to see many of you at the meeting on the 28th. Edmund Burke, will you be there? We need you!

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Posted by Thumbs up or down.
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 24, 2014 at 6:35 am

Parents do not need to go to the board meeting, in fact, the ones who have appeared before the board have impacted very little change. Only when they retained a lawyer did Kevin Skelly and Charles Young and the board pay attention. The board knows how sharply public opinion has changed during the Skelly experiment. They read each post that mentions schools just like the rest of us. It would be negligent not to. They simply don't care and there is nothing you can do about it. Unless you have a lawyer.

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Posted by District parent
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 24, 2014 at 12:16 pm

Dana Tom and Barb Mitchell decided a year ago to move discussion of bullying behind closed doors into secret closed sessions. Public board meetings are not where these decisions are getting made. You can go down and vent if you like, but just know that no one is listening.

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Posted by It's life, Jim
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jan 24, 2014 at 4:09 pm

"The board knows how sharply public opinion has changed during the Skelly experiment. "
Yes, before Skelly arrived the place was a mess. The improvements have been phenomenal.

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Posted by Most of You are Right
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 24, 2014 at 4:55 pm

Most people who posted here are correct, no matter what you do, board members will continue to turn a deaf ear, and sheer for our "super" superintendent, unless parents of the victims have a "famous attorney", and Skelly will continue to do the same to things he is "supper good at it: nothing and cashing his monthly check, which reflects the generous raised that the board members agreed to give him for his good performance as a disctrict supperintendent" Time to let him go, he has waisted enough $$during his kingdom. That was $$ for our students education. Those who do not agree with me, please donate more to PIE and to Skelly so he can continue to lawyer up when makes a oops, I did it again! But I will not be given a penny to PIE anymore.

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Posted by Fairmeadow dad
a resident of Fairmeadow School
on Jan 24, 2014 at 6:45 pm

The lack of transparency on the school board is a serious issue. Mr. Tom in particular bears much of the responsibility for excessive secrecy.

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Posted by Who's on first
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jan 26, 2014 at 1:16 pm

Bring back Scotty Lawrence. At least he wasn't a liar.

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Posted by Free experts go away
a resident of Community Center
on Jan 26, 2014 at 7:47 pm

Today's Mercury News has a front page story highlighting the work Stanford Professor Dauber did in creating one of the best sexual harassment policies in the country for Stanford. Why isn't she writing PAUSDs policy? Is there some reason the district has refused the free help of a true expert who volunteered to help? Instead were paying for mistakes errors and whatnot. For goodness sake!

Web Link

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Posted by village fool
a resident of another community
on Jan 26, 2014 at 8:03 pm

@Free experts go away - thank you for mentioning the Mercury story.

Here is a link to the Mercury - Web Link

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