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Paly students arrested on weapons charges

Original post made on Feb 13, 2013

Two Palo Alto High School students have been arrested in separate incidents involving a stun gun and a homemade, cork-shooting "gun" on campus Friday, Feb. 8, and Monday, Feb. 11, Palo Alto police said.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, February 13, 2013, 12:59 PM

Comments (48)

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Posted by Paly Parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Feb 13, 2013 at 1:09 pm

My kids came home from school yesterday with all sorts of stories about this, some rumours, some speculation, as a parent I could only listen as I had no information. I gave them the drug talk, because I assumed from what they told me that it was drugs possession that I should be concerned with and not the potential of weapons.

Thank you PAPD for giving us the correct information and the details you did so that as parents we are able to have the correct talks with our kids when these issues come up. It is much better to be informed rather than depending on hearsay from the kids themselves.


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Posted by adrian
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 13, 2013 at 1:56 pm

"mass casualty incident" - with a cork gun? Palo Alto, get over yourself. I remember being taken into the principal's office at JLS for bringing a watergun to school on the last day of school. Seriously, ridiculous. Kids, and their parents, need to have some thicker skin. And school administrators should have the leeway to enact discipline immediately (when it is more effective) rather than calling in the cops. Now these kids will likely have criminal records for a stupid mistake. Just smack the idiots upside the head and confiscate their "weapons". Problem solved.


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Posted by Mom
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Feb 13, 2013 at 2:07 pm

I guess there's more to life than studying. Carlmont and Sequoiah High Schools have security during the school day. We are fortunate that most of our students are law-abiding citizens. Perhaps their only crime is studying too much.


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Posted by details
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 13, 2013 at 4:02 pm

Was the student with the stun gun the drug dealer or buyer? Was he trying to steal the seller's drugs or trying to steal the buyer's money? Was was he not charged with assault instead of just possession of a weapon?


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Posted by su
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 13, 2013 at 4:28 pm

This place is going to the dogs.
Zuckerberg is a Republican
Skelly does nothing and justifies it as a policy of "keep out of the classroom"
Chinese Kleptocrats are buying up our real estate
And kids bring guns to school, join gangs and deal in drugs.

What a nice place Palo Alto was 10-20 years ago


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Posted by Old PA Local
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 13, 2013 at 5:07 pm

Paly can never be secured from a shooter.

The idea of a "lock down" is LAUGHABLE. My son tells me that most classroom doors at Paly cannot be locked from the inside. And he also claims that some students have the master key. I confirmed that Paly doesn't have electronic door locks. This means that they'd have to change every lock on campus every time a master key is stolen.

How on earth can this be, in the wake of Newtown, and in one of the wealthiest zip codes in America??


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Posted by Mr.Recycle
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 13, 2013 at 5:25 pm

Arrested for a homemade rubber cork gun? Seriously? How about giving him a science prize.


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Posted by tv news
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Feb 13, 2013 at 5:26 pm

This was featured on two local tv news stations - 5 O'clock news.
Reporters took the trouble to go on scene at PALY.
It is not ok to take any kind of weapon or weapon-like device, that could be mistaken for a weapon, onto campus.


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Posted by Mr.Recycle
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 13, 2013 at 5:38 pm

Paly students do far more damage with rubber condoms than rubber cork guns.


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Posted by just wondering
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 13, 2013 at 5:40 pm

What is the difference between air gun and stun gun?
About two years ago Gunn high was locked down due to an air gun that was spotted by other students in a student's car.
Seemed that later, the student's lawyer helped explain the misunderstanding - Web Link


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Posted by Mr.Recycle
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 13, 2013 at 5:56 pm

A stun gun is one of those battery powered self defense devices that shock you. That's serious and the arrest was appropriate, especially since there was also an assault, and drugs involved. It just crazy that the cork gun incident gets lumped in with this. Bad time timing for that kid.

Stun gun test:
Web Link


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Posted by Su 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 13, 2013 at 6:17 pm

I agree with Su 110%.... This town has gone to the dogs. Never thought there would be so many unpatriotic people who would sell to kleptocrats when they can sell to Americans for more money, if they just wait for their loans to go thru. cash sales are always for less money than the house is worth.

Not surprised about the drugs, though, as many kids need them to stay awake to do their excessive homework after their after-school activities. No time for sleep.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Time to get MY kids out of here!


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Posted by Paly Parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Feb 13, 2013 at 6:21 pm

To those thinking this is just teenage high jinks or want to give a science prize, just realise that this is in connection with drug dealing.

Drug dealing on the campus or between students near the campus during school hours is a serious offence before the weaponry is taken into account. These may have been separate incidents, but if drugs are being dealt between students then this has to be taken seriously and stamped out.

The first incident appears to be drug related. Can we be sure that the second was not?


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Posted by Ben Dover
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 13, 2013 at 7:49 pm

Why are there so many ignorant people making comments? Just some of the things you guys say a flat out wrong and if not, your point of view is so skewed it doesn't reflect reality in any way shape or form. Furthermore, many of your ignorant comments just straight up disgust me. YOU DON'T GO TO PALY, I DO. Your insensitive, unintelligent, stuck-up comments add NOTHING BENEFICIAL to this article and you guys are just ranting about stuff you come up with in your inferior minds.

Many of you have no frame of reference for the circumstances of the situation except for this short little article about the bare bone facts about this case. As a Paly student, I knew those two kids and although I was not close to them, THEY WOULD NEVER SHOOT UP A SCHOOL. Parents and adults who live in Palo Alto and who comment on these, hell many of you probably don't live in Palo Alto, bring up such obscure and irrelevant topics of discussion and think that this is the right time and place to start spewing you bias. This however, is not the time, not the place to be bringing up irrelevant topics that YOU think are important to the community, and the reality is, they are only important to YOU.

That's the thing I don't like about Palo Alto, people around here often have a sense of superiority and of heightened intelligence just because they live here. Just because you can sit around all day and read Palo Alto online does not mean what YOU say is in anyway, shape or form the right thing to say. Yes, living in Palo Alto is expensive, and to afford that cost, most of us have high paying jobs that we worked hard to get, and got them through diligence and intelligence. However, this still does not entitle you to special treatment.

We should all be thankful that something did not actually happen in our school. Furthermore, what people don't realize is that although Paly might not be the most secure and technologically advanced school in the nation, IT IS ONE OF THE BEST. Go online and search it up, Paly is one of the top ranked schools in the nation, we should be proud and thankful of that and we are all so extremely lucky just to send the children of Palo Alto to such a prestigious school.


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Posted by Mom
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Feb 13, 2013 at 7:58 pm

Why do people continue to spell "Paly" incorrectly as "PALY"? It's not an acronym! All the letters are not supposed to be capitalized.


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Posted by Skeptical
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 13, 2013 at 8:06 pm

How unthinking of a couple of posters here to be so blithely critical of Zuckerberg just because he may have some right-leaning tendencies (or just not-so-left tendencies).

Can't you accept that people may think differently from you, and that does not mean they are defective in some way?

And incidently, Christie has a 78% approval rating in NJ, a very left-oriented state. If Zuckerberg is supporting him, it really does not suggest some right-wing movement blooming in our midst.

I did not hear so many complaints about all the Obama fundraisers that have been held in Palo Alto (other than with respect to some of the logistical inconveniences).


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 13, 2013 at 8:40 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by principal fault
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Feb 13, 2013 at 10:07 pm

Why isn't the principal contacting families? We deserve to know!


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Posted by Bill
a resident of Green Acres
on Feb 14, 2013 at 12:19 am

> And incidently, Christie has a 78% approval rating in NJ, a very left-oriented state.

According to CNN, the number one issue with voters in Christie's New Jersey according to the same poll was the economy. 45% approved of his handling of the economy and jobs, while 46% disapproved. The number two issue was high taxes. 52% disapproved while only 40% approved.

Web Link

Like Christie, there's a lot more there than you'd guess at a first glance.


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Posted by ChrisC
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 14, 2013 at 11:37 am

Bravo to Ben Dover. It's really nice to have high-school students represented here. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jim H.
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 14, 2013 at 12:29 pm

To "Ben Dover",
Your attitude of smugness is not going to get you many fans. Calling people you don't know, "ignorant" and claiming they have "inferior minds" shows your lack of maturity. Nice to know that a high school student thinks they know everything. I guess things really haven't changed.


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Posted by palo alto parent
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 14, 2013 at 1:17 pm

Both these kids were stupid to bring any kind of weapon to school. Using a taser on another person is foolish and dangerous. And the "cork" gun could easily have been loaded with something else, harder and more dangerous.

Not sure how or why the Chris Christie, Mark Zuckerberg posts made it onto this thread.


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Posted by Floyd
a resident of Green Acres
on Feb 14, 2013 at 1:42 pm

A cork gun is not a toy. A shot to the eye can cause serious and maybe permanent damage.


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Posted by Let's not be racist
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 14, 2013 at 1:51 pm

It's disheartening to hear some responders talk about "the Chinese" - they are not a monolithic group.

Immigrants to this area - Chinese, Russian, Israeli, French, German, British,... - just want their families to live in a fine city with great schools. They are hard-working and contribute significantly to this area. Yes, some of them have a lot of cash and are willing to pay over list. But let's not demonize them for being financially successful.

The stats published are conflating Chinese-born and American-born Chinese buyers.
Let's be clear: American-born Chinese are AMERICANS and Chinese-born buyers who start families here have kids who are AMERICAN, as well.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Paly Parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Feb 14, 2013 at 1:52 pm

It seems that Mountain View high school had a similar incident and this time no weapon, just a gas mask. Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by David Pepperdine
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 14, 2013 at 2:09 pm

Ben Dover: Are you a teenager? Just a guess!

Su: I agree with your comment about Skelly.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 14, 2013 at 2:31 pm

How many weapons would the police find if they did a sweep of all the vehicles in school parking lots? Note that a tire iron or jack handle is a much more lethal weapon then either involved in this article.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 14, 2013 at 3:42 pm

There are noted cases where stun guns have lead to death potentially by seizures, head injury after falling to the ground, cardiac arrhythmias, etc. All the worse in the situation of an actual drug deal, the attempted stun attempt should likely be considered assault and battery. It would be anticipated that he will be tried in court for at least criminal misdemeanor (defer to the legal colleagues here). How's that for a nice spring or summer time activity? I guess you could write that experience down in your college essay?

Regarding the cork gun, one of the saddest operating room cases that I was involved with as a physician was that of a handsome teenage boy who was accidentally shot in the eye by a paintball gun. He came into the operating room and the contents of the eye had spilled out and it looked like a bloody squished grape. His entire eyeball, being not salvageable, was enucleated or removed. The boy will permanently have an empty eye socket and either wear an eye patch just like Captain Hook or wear a prosthesis.

These are serious cases and the police are rightfully involved. Hopefully these kids will return back to better judgement with these incidents.


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Posted by Mom
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Feb 14, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Both incidents are a shame because they are not mean or evil kids and the public needn't fear them. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

The Paly principal did email the PAPD press release today to parents: Web Link


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Posted by Paly Parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Feb 14, 2013 at 5:54 pm

Today a Mountain View student was arrested for wearing camo and a gas mask.

Our students need to wake up and realise that there is real concerns for school safety and not to do anything that can be misconstrued.


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Posted by Do not get Distracted
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 14, 2013 at 6:56 pm

I think school officials just want to distract us from the real issues that are going on, and that is why they arrested the kids. How come they did not arrest the student who was bullied for so long that the family had to do a Office of Civil Right's report. They use words that hurt the child and damaged the self esteem of the victim. Also remember the boy with stapler incident. They considered the stapler a deadly weapon. Now the boy has a a permanent criminal record, and no one brought charges to the boy who stole his phone and hit him with the heavy backpack, that too, was a deadly weapon. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.] Officials are doing this to show make a better image of Palo Alto Schools because right now it is not a good one.


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Posted by PaloAltoDad
a resident of Meadow Park
on Feb 14, 2013 at 6:56 pm

Yes, Palo Alto is moving to the right.
And that should not be censored. Its just a fact.
It is also a fact that someone who makes a lot of money running factories or as a government official in China is not a liberal in the old Californian sense of the word.


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Posted by Mom
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Feb 14, 2013 at 8:42 pm

@Do not get Distracted

I know for a fact, from reliable sources, that one of the students arrested in white.


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Posted by Mom
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Feb 14, 2013 at 8:44 pm

is* white


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Posted by tv news
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Feb 14, 2013 at 9:28 pm

The article in Thursday's PA Daily made the incidents sound more serious to me, more active rather than passive.


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Posted by Mom
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Feb 14, 2013 at 11:19 pm

@Do Not Get Distracted: YOU are distracted. This was not a "show" of enforcement to distract from the bullying case. This was clearly assault and a drug deal - they broke laws. And bringing a weapon to school is against the law too. Both boys arrested are visibly white.

What about the drug dealer who basically turned himself in though? Didn't he get busted for possession?


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Posted by Really, How?
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Feb 15, 2013 at 12:19 am

I find this thread located in close proximity to the bullying threads to be ironic. Bullying threads calling for the heads of bullies and their parents while lambasting (not erroneously, by the way) the district for not being aggressive enough or following the rules right next to a thread in which several posters are labeling the decisive and legal actions of admin and the police as punitive and ridiculous. Punish the bullies! Don't punish the kids who brought weapons on campus! Follow the rules here! Don't follow the rules there! Exceptions for nobody but MY kid/MY friend!


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Posted by Do not get Distracted
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 15, 2013 at 7:37 am

Drugs dealing is part of the curriculum at gun. School's staff and students knows it. Ther is a great pressure for the student dealers to hook students into it, but school staff do nothing about it, they pretend they do not see it. There have been times when students get high at school. Sorry to say that this is a reality. Parents have brought this issue up, and they told to the school staff that the dealings were going on in the bathrooms, but I guess it is easier to not believe it than to investigate it. Sorry to break your bubble.This time they follow it because they want to look good, like they are doing their job.


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Posted by DC
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 15, 2013 at 12:49 pm

2 things Re "Ben Dover"; After wading thru the judgmental and arrogant diatribe, there is truth in what the young man says. Having been his age once, he is absolutely correct that adults rarely have much more than a clue about the realities faced by those in grade, middle and high schools. We can't. We don't live it every day. If he can live into his truths (let go of some of the intolerance), he will be a force to reckon with. I'd be glad to have his input.
Re the kerfluffle...take Mr Dover's cue. We ARE amazingly lucky to live here. We should look around and feel incredibly fortunate every time we take a walk, meet for coffee, take a class. Pay attention to events in our schools by all means, intervene when appropriate, but do not fall into the trap of distracting yourselves with creating unnecessary drama. We should empower and invite input from students; this is their world. And frankly, some adult contributors appear to have too much time on their hands if you are distracting yourself so furiously with a single event, and yet provide no truly thoughtful recommendations. Mr Dover may be arrogant, but he, at least, is not whining.


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Posted by C
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Feb 15, 2013 at 2:02 pm

@Jim -- ignorant is probably not a description of the commenters characters, but of their states of intelligence regarding this issue. As for the inferior minds, he probably determined the justification for that description from the "insensitive, unintelligent, stuck-up comments [that] add NOTHING BENEFICIAL to this article." Regardless, he never claimed to know everything. Also, 1 person isn't a sample size (I'm sure now that you have 2 high school students who disagree with your opinion that it can be more cemented).

"I think school officials just want to distract us from the real issues that are going on, and that is why they arrested the kids. How come they did not arrest the student who was bullied for so long that the family had to do a Office of Civil Right's report. They use words that hurt the child and damaged the self esteem of the victim."
Yeah I consider words in a different category than a stun gun but maybe that's just me. You're seriously going to call the police because kids isolate eachother and are rude to eachother?
"Also remember the boy with stapler incident. They considered the stapler a deadly weapon. Now the boy has a a permanent criminal record,"
I don't know anything about this case, but the boy was probably under 18 and court records are sealed, so, in theory, it shouldn't harm him at all (assuming he isn't brought to case on some other charge which this can be used as evidence as prior criminal activity or whatever). [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
"Ther is a great pressure for the student dealers to hook students into it, but school staff do nothing about it, they pretend they do not see it. There have been times when students get high at school. Sorry to say that this is a reality. Parents have brought this issue up, and they told to the school staff that the dealings were going on in the bathrooms, but I guess it is easier to not believe it than to investigate it"
I go to Paly and there are some parents who make the same claims about Paly -- dealings in the bathroom and whatnot. I know that Paly has busted some dealers, and failed to bust others -- the truth of it is that since they have to prove that a dealing happened, all the dealings that everyone "knows" happened but didn't witness can't be substantiated and thus charges aren't pressed. At Jordan they eventually nailed 2 boys who made all the bathrooms reek of pot who everyone knew had been dealing and using; the school had to wait for actual evidence even though it was totally obvious. As for being high at school, if it's obvious, they will drag you to the office. My brother was brought to the Tower Building because he looked stoned -- this was before he started on his allergy shots and it was the middle of spring.


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Posted by Carol
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 15, 2013 at 4:27 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by d
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Feb 15, 2013 at 4:35 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 16, 2013 at 11:23 am

@C - you are correct that people have to be caught in the act to be arrested. Since everyone knows that kids smoke and deal pot in a very small section of Town and Country near the train tracks, why is it so hard to catch them. As a parent and Town and Country patron, I could catch kids if I wanted to, why can't the police and Paly administration?


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Posted by member2
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 16, 2013 at 1:56 pm

In my opinion, Palo Alto is definitely changing for the worse. We boast about what great schools Palo Alto High and Gunn are, but are quick to forget that not all the kids there are privileged or gifted. The less fortunate kids a pretty much ignored and will get into trouble.

For some reason, Zuckerberg's support of Christie is referred to here, perhaps because it underscores the new right wing leanings of Palo Alto. Some people criticized the protest outside Zuckerberg's house. Certainly, he has the right to support Christie and his plans to close down Planned Parenthood and to deny insurance coverage for birth control.

Similarly, others have the right, ever the responsibility, to protest Zuckerberg's use of his millions to support Christie and Christie's plans to prevent women from getting reproductive care. No, I do not have Facebook anymore; I do not trust that company or its founder.


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Posted by C
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Feb 17, 2013 at 10:57 am

@pa mom I agree. The police raid that area once or twice a year but that's it. As for their actions more recently, the students have relocated farther from campus to smoke pot and aren't so easily found anymore.They certainly aren't as visible as they used to be: I don't know if a raid forced them out but at least they're gone from that area.


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Posted by Candy Bowl Hunger
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 17, 2013 at 3:12 pm

C, do you have an opinion from the "student" perspective about how the administration should handle violence between students at school? Should the police be called in that instance?


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Posted by C
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Feb 17, 2013 at 6:43 pm

1) I'm a student but by no means am I a representation of student perspective as a whole
I think it depends. The fights last year or the year before were broken up and I don't think the police were ever called in and I think that was a fine solution because I haven't heard of any fight between those individuals sense. Whatever the administration did seems to have worked, which I think was guidance and working out the reasons behind the fight. For the kids who are always getting in fights, however, I think it's okay to call the police in once or twice to send the message that they will be seriously be punished if the fighting keeps up. First time offenders, I think, deserve some slack and the police probably aren't necessary unless something serious happens like one kid pulls a knife. Repeated offenders, however, might merit the police being called in. There really isn't that much physical fighting at Paly, so my opinions are kind of meaningless...


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Posted by Brian Guth-Pasta
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 18, 2013 at 9:20 am

Brian Guth-Pasta is a registered user.

I was in 5th grade when the World Trade Centers were struck. I remember we used to literally booby trap our desks that opened infront of you so if someone didn't disable it a straightened out paper clip would shoot out at their chest.

Oh boy am I glad I don't live in times like these in elementary school. I would have been treated like a convicted felon. (I now obviously know that that is NEVER okay to do, but boys will be boys at times you just have to give them a better creative outlet...

On the + side I at least learned something... it took a week of testing / schematics to get a few rubber bands, pressure, a pulley system rigged up, and then a spring for the wire. to launch the paper clip.

Never again. Nor do I support this at all. I guess I may be saying that as a society that values guns and perceived masculinity that comes along with them there are bound to be people who want to copy the kids they think are cool. This is the EXACT same reason we banned smoking adds on TV and cartoons for them as well, so we don't market to kids and end up having them build these because they still have that thirst of American violence.

Above comments are all generalities. I just wish our young men had better role models, not GI Joe or any type of shoot first, never ask questions because they are dead. Hyper-masculinity is just as big a problem in this country as societal pressures on women.

This is what I get for taking 4 years of sociology. xD


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