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Paly athletics faces sanctions after student misconduct at football game

Original post made on Sep 22, 2022

Palo Alto High School is facing various sanctions from its athletic league after a crowd of its students rushed the Gunn High School spectator section during a football game between the two schools earlier this month.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, September 21, 2022, 8:20 PM

Comments (15)

Posted by Hulkamania
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 22, 2022 at 9:14 am

Hulkamania is a registered user.

Egg wars? I went to Paly 1962 - '65. Halloween was a night of open warfare. Pardee Park was a battleground. The good old days...

Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 22, 2022 at 9:45 am

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Perhaps this is what happens when kids have been locked up in their homes without socialization for a couple of years.

The comparatively few (compared to the student body as a whole) have had no social guidance on how to behave at these types of events in recent years. Their formative years need to be full of age appropriate socialization to aid their social development. It is quite likely that these kids on both school sides have actually spent time together over the years, from elementary, middle schools, local sports, local music, etc. etc. and actually know each other.

Virtual zoom classes will have caused problems we are only just beginning to see.

Posted by Wei Zhao
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 22, 2022 at 9:50 am

Wei Zhao is a registered user.

Such a waste of food as eggs now cost $4.00 a dozen.

Eat not throw them!

Posted by Shawn
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 22, 2022 at 10:20 am

Shawn is a registered user.

If you locked your kids down for 2 years , that’s on you !
Don’t blame this on that , these kids know perfectly well what’s happening and what they are doing. Keep your own lock down issues to yourself

Posted by PABill
a resident of Gunn High School
on Sep 22, 2022 at 10:48 am

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Millions of people were locked up for 2 years that didn't commit crimes. Full punishment required.

Posted by EYC
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 22, 2022 at 10:53 am

EYC is a registered user.

Bag checks and breathalyzers at games are necessary for the big sport or dance events. The school should punish the "Bad Apples" instead of all students. It's unfair and hurtful to the thousands of students that didn't participate at the Gunn game or other mischief incidents.

Posted by Green Gables
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 22, 2022 at 10:26 pm

Green Gables is a registered user.

My adult children - 59, 58, 53 years old - participated in such things as described above only I was clearly not in the know as a working single parent. They (and many others) also bought alcohol, which they told me about years after, in Whiskey Gulch and 7-11 downtown Palo Alto. Neighbors a few doors from me - a Medical Doctor and his wife, who had a big job with the City and County of San Francisco (and was fired a few years ago) use to hand out marijuana instead of cash to babysitters for their sons. Also, payment for window washing.

Posted by Jennifer
a resident of another community
on Sep 23, 2022 at 7:17 am

Jennifer is a registered user.

This isn't the Paly I know... so true. This is rivalry related, and it can get ugly. Lockdowns aside, the kids need to be punished. Adults who condone this behavior are enablers.

Posted by Sharon Davis
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 23, 2022 at 12:49 pm

Sharon Davis is a registered user.

Replace the eggs with water balloons and this controversy is easily resolved.

Posted by Native to the BAY
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 23, 2022 at 10:16 pm

Native to the BAY is a registered user.

@Jennifer is it related? Gunn and or Paly or both paid for 4 privately contracted, fully armed security guards. For the JV game, 3 mulling around at the only entrance/exit point within the field. One was doing duty patrolling while I spoke to my sister w her doggie outside the 8 foot iron fence. I had a nice convo with him. They were adorned with side arms and bullet proof vests. He sauntered up to me post JV game asking about why I was at that far corner — near the bathrooms. I was friendly and thanked him for his dedication, yet was just conversing w a family member as little weenie dogs weenie dogies were not allowed in. That is the rule. Yet later, 50-100 Paly students descended on to the Gunn side (are there sanctioned sides, d not cross). It was bad sportsmanship and bad manners, form. You just don’t push a dog down when they are already broken. And in the last 4 minutes of a fourth quarter. Parent volunteers. Not paid security armed men were not there to diffuse the situation. Mr. Austin. Mr. Kline. There were 4 armed and paid private security on a public school athletic game! I as a parent would have liked to be notified prior to paying an $8 entrance fee that I and my children were being patrolled by armed security during a first in a generation Gunn/Paly game. That armed guards did not deter, sway, or stop one side from going over to the other side to console, heckle, jeer, bully the losing team. What the heck! I am lost on this one. Yes “bad spotswomanship”. Yet what was taught, what was communicated, learned, lost and forsaken. Please educate me. I did not feel safe seeing 4 armed private security who were there for what? Kids jumping a fence. Apparently the volunteer parents tried to stop Paly students yet were swarmed by shear numbers. After a decade of playing, a Panemic, distance Zoom school, CZU fire, drought, and worry wether they (our kids) would survive to see another day let alone a Paly/Gunn game ... what gives? Or better “What hath been taken”

Posted by Jennifer
a resident of another community
on Sep 23, 2022 at 11:33 pm

Jennifer is a registered user.

NTTB - Whenever I was at a Paly - Gunn game, it was rivalry related. I wasn't at this game, but rivalry in sports whether high school, college or professional athletes can be very dangerous. There could be more to the equation at this game, and it sounds like you were there, so you know more than me. The ugliness and physical violence at a game is usually man to man, and they've all been drinking. Whatever was going on, these kids were out of control, and they need to be punished. Stay safe!

Posted by Jesse Phillips
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Sep 24, 2022 at 7:34 am

Jesse Phillips is a registered user.

I'm not condoning this youthful havoc but isn't it merely reflective of what many adult spectators do at professional games (i.e public drunkenness, fighting in the stands, tossing trash onto the field, verbal altercations etc.)?

Adults are supposed to be positive role models and the kids are simply emulating bad 'grownup' behavior.

Posted by Vance Landrum
a resident of another community
on Sep 24, 2022 at 9:17 am

Vance Landrum is a registered user.

Was anyone physically injured?

If not, it was just a bunch of kids burning off some steam.

When I was in high school, school spirit was often expressed by vandalism and carried out by the block letter clubs (varsity athletes).

Spray-painting the walls of rival schools or burning the football field with our high school's initials were common and punished accordingly with after school detention.

The police were never called in to intervene and in many instances, local cops who were former alumni found amusement in these outlets.

Times have changed.

Posted by Larry Berg
a resident of Mountain View
on Sep 24, 2022 at 2:54 pm

Larry Berg is a registered user.

"...rivalry in sports whether high school, college or professional athletes can be very dangerous."

^ So true as I've witnessed the violence at Oakland Colluseum, Kezar Stadium, Candlestick Park, and Dodger Stadium to name a few venues.

But all things considered, things aren't as bad as some soccer matches in Mexico where hundreds of spectators will get involved in a fray.

Very entertaining...from a safe distance.

Posted by Just Another Parent
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 25, 2022 at 9:33 pm

Just Another Parent is a registered user.

This is excessively inflated. What happened? other than cross-town rivals competing in football, accompanied by some good, healthy, youthful exuberance, was that SOME of the Paly fans (I wont say Paly students because some fans were from other schools) went to the Gunn bleachers ....evidently breaking a rule that they likely did not know existed. Not everyone went and some turned around once directed to.

No one was hurt, there was not any roughness or violence, no crime was committed. Kids were hanging with their friends, having fun, as they should be.

Do not let Don Austin's selective memory and outrageous imagination make you think it was anything more than that or even close to an angry, violent mob or "the worst display of fan misconduct ever". Shame on him and Mr Kline for defining Paly students in such an overtly negative light. PAUSD can correct behavior, educate on rules and teach sportsmanship without going over the top piling on punitive measures and illustrating such a bad picture of their students.

In addition a BOE member posted news of this situation on their social media channels, hyping allegations of wrong doing by "hundreds" of students in a forum where they have no chance to stand up for themselves. I suggest PAUSD BOE and Don Austin turn around and focus on their own ethics and behavior instead of continuously tainting students in the media for an innocuous event while sweeping true illegal and unethical district related activities under the rug.

And please do not mix this extreme sensation with egg wars .....eggs were not thrown at the game. While egg wars have taken place, to many kids delight and many adult's dismay, egg wars have nothing to do with the game and Paly or Gunn athletics in general.

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