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U.S. civil rights official to come to parent event

Original post made on May 14, 2013

A representative of the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights will appear in Palo Alto to explain the legal rights of students and parents in bullying situations tonight, May 16.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, May 14, 2013, 8:59 AM

Comments (24)

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Posted by Parent
a resident of Greenmeadow
on May 14, 2013 at 10:47 am

Thanks for posting this. It promises to be a very useful event for parents. Thanks to the organizers!


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Posted by Misha
a resident of Midtown
on May 14, 2013 at 11:01 am

Here is an opportunity for the PAUSD to inform parents about its policies and procedures for handling issues and instead, they decline to be involved. If only the district would operate from a place of clear principles and strength and not confusion and fear.


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Posted by Raymond
a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 14, 2013 at 11:26 am

Help me to understand that last paragragh. The School District withdrew it's support for this event because educating parents about Bullying/Civil Rights may lead to more lawsuits?

Isn't EDUCATION their primary purpose?


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Posted by Que?
a resident of Jordan Middle School
on May 14, 2013 at 11:45 am

How does education lead to MORE lawsuits? That statement sounds like it is coming from a nervous guilty party! What is the school board guilty of, other than hiring a superintendent who is not up to the job?


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Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Mountain View
on May 14, 2013 at 12:00 pm

the_punnisher is a registered user.

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by weallcare
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 14, 2013 at 3:38 pm

I wish they would LIVESTREAM this presentationso more people coul see it.


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Posted by aaaa
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on May 14, 2013 at 4:25 pm

We all care, just not enough to go.


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Posted by Thank you CAC
a resident of El Carmelo School
on May 14, 2013 at 4:52 pm

Thanks for helping organize this event, and for making it accessible for parents by providing free childcare! Hopefully the district will follow up with an easy, understandable, fair process to deal with bullying concerns that infringe on another child's access to a free and appropriate education. If there were clear policies that were followed at every site, and parents can resolve concerns with the school and district, we can learn and understand our rights with the OCR and not need to use them. It is imperative to understands one's rights (especially around public education), and the best process to resolving conflict.


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Posted by Jordan mom
a resident of Community Center
on May 14, 2013 at 6:02 pm

Why is the PTA not involved? This seems like a great parent education event!


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Posted by Big Al
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 14, 2013 at 6:10 pm

Well well well the official governmental bullying rep. is coming to town. Wow. This ought to initiate some real change. Anybody ever consider the fact that we have issues with young bullies because they are simply imitating the actions of older (official/or not) bullies. The microcosm is an inverse of the macro,and the kids are not coming up with it on their own. They live in a nation that bullies around other countries in a world that is still largely driven by the principle that might makes right, so don't expect any big changes with the new crop when the old one is still leading by a poor example. Honestly, it's almost idiotic to sit there and blame the children when we are presently promoting the use of torture as legitimate, locking up people (gitmo) who have never faced a judge, to name just a couple cases of bully behaviour. Give the kids a break and go after the real criminals.


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Posted by PTA Absent
a resident of Barron Park
on May 14, 2013 at 8:19 pm

It seems to me that PTA is for Skelly and the board, and that's it. They protect each other. Yes, I am surprised too about how quiet they are, it seems like they do not exist. All they do is ask, and ask for money outside of the schools in their blue shirts. Too bad, they are not supporting the students whose rights might have been violated.


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Posted by of course not
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 14, 2013 at 9:24 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Great spring day!
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 15, 2013 at 9:46 am

Our PTA rep to PTAC said they talked about cosponsoring. They decided not to go ahead so as not to upset the district (I guess meaning Dr Skelly).


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Posted by Teacher
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 15, 2013 at 11:01 am

More special ed teachers. All this bullying is the result of full inclusion programs that are not being managed correctly. If you are expecting us to handle this we need more support in the form of more trained special ed teachers please.


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Posted by Involved mom
a resident of Nixon School
on May 15, 2013 at 6:39 pm

I am so looking forward to this event! I feel like it's important for all of us to learn about this issue. Thank you so much to the parents who put their time into organizing it!
I am sad to hear that the PTA Council declined to be involved in this event. Parent education is a really important part of the PTA mission and this is a great opportunity to be a positive force in the community!


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Posted by parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 15, 2013 at 8:16 pm

In order to sponsor the event, the entire PTAC board must vote on it. Information about the event must be given several days before the vote. Apparently, the matter was brought up the day of the meeting, therefore no vote could be taken. It is part of their by-laws and unfortunately has occurred before. I have no idea what the vote would have been, but they weren't able to get that far.


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Posted by parent2
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on May 15, 2013 at 8:23 pm

that's not what I heard. I heard that happend the first time but the second time it came up it was voted down, they didn't want to help with it. I can't think of a single good reason for that but would like to hear it.


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Posted by classified
a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 15, 2013 at 11:05 pm

Teacher, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood: you mentioned inclusion. Many classified are not trained. Classified inclusion is a matter of opinion, i guess. I copied the first page of the classified survey, discussing training -
Web Link


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Posted by Richard III
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 16, 2013 at 8:50 am

Teacher hit the nail directly on the head: we need more skilled special Ed teachers, and we need them NOW!

We also need a more people-skilled superintendent, and we need one NOW.


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Posted by PA Mom
a resident of Midtown
on May 16, 2013 at 9:03 am

The Weekly is reporting yet another OCR complaint, which just underlines the need for this event. Thank you, organizers!

The question of PTAC cosponsoring came up 3 times when I was present. The first time, someone objected that there wasn't enough notice. Fine.

The second time, the group discussed cosponsoring and voted it down. By that point, we knew that district wasn't supporting the meeting and Sigrid Pinsky, the PTAC president, doesn't want to cross district staff members. (I disagree obviously, but Sigrid has the pull).

The third time, some parents who weren't there for the vote wanted to reconsider it but Sigrid refused to let the question come up for more discussion.

I think it's a shame because parent education is really important on this topic. I hope the event gets good attendance despite the PTA not being involved.


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Posted by Palo Alto equals Mess
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 16, 2013 at 9:23 am

What an incompetent school district. And people want to send their kids to schools in this district for what reason now? Certainly, cannot be for the education as neither high school is even ranked by US News and World Report. Palo Alto in general is a mess. High Crime; Incompetent school district superintendent; ineffective City Council that does not even listen to resident concerns; an out of control chief of transportation; nothing for people to do other than go to eat at restaurants; housing and hotels going up everywhere, but no adult or kid friendly recreational venues; a library building that cannot get completed; no one can connect the dots regarding affordable housing - hello Buena Vista residents need housing, but the city and its crony developer insists on putting affordable housing on a street in an area where residents oppose it. What a mess this place is!


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Posted by hyperbole
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on May 16, 2013 at 10:02 am

Cannot be for the education as neither high school is even ranked by US News and World Report: These reports only represent disadvantaged students
High Crime: Really?
Incompetent school district superintendent: Hadn't noticed. Seems to be doing a good job. The actual problems raised are very small compared with runnin the district.
Ineffective City Council that does not even listen to resident concerns: Because you can't get your RPP?
An out of control chief of transportation: Really?
Nothing for people to do other than go to eat at restaurants: Plenty to do for family & kids. Restaraunts are good as well.
Housing and hotels going up everywhere, but no adult or kid friendly recreational venues: Not many hotels going up. Housing is forced on the city.
A library building that cannot get completed: Sure it can and it will and it will be great. In fact there are 5 libraries so you're have others to visit while they are getting this one right.
No one can connect the dots regarding affordable housing - hello Buena Vista residents need housing, but the city and its crony developer insists on putting affordable housing on a street in an area where residents oppose it: Resident opposing affordable housing in their area and you're blaming the city?
What a mess this place is: Your exit is that way


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Reality check
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on May 16, 2013 at 10:15 am

"These reports only represent disadvantaged students". Oh, good. I'm not disadvantaged, and neither is my kid. Not my problem.

"The actual problems raised are very small compared with runnin the district." Oh good, my kid isn't being bullied/needs special services/female at Paly. Not my problem.

"Your exit is that way". Oh good. I don't see any problems, so I get to stay.


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Posted by Former Palo Alto Parent
a resident of Midtown
on May 16, 2013 at 10:14 pm

Great Event, full house too. I only wish I had known all this information when my little ones were in PAUSD, they were so discriminated by their teachers, just for having a disability and for not being as wealthy as their peers, and I was so dumb I could not protect them because I did not knew the law at that time. At least it is not too late for other parents.I remember the teacher who let my kid inside the classroom every lunch time because he could not work as fast as his peers, he had a disability. That teacher gave my son hell.


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