Timeline of the investigations

School district responds to allegations against Palo Alto High School English teacher Kevin Sharp

This timeline is based on emails and other documents released to the Palo Alto Weekly by the district under Public Records Act requests.

Sept. 22, 2014: The school district is first notified of the allegations against Kevin Sharp by "Lauren's" parents, who meet with Palo Alto High School Assistant Principal Kathie Laurence. Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Scott Bowers soon begins a personnel investigation and notifies the Palo Alto Police Department.

Oct. 13, 2014: Sharp meets with Bowers, Paly Principal Kim Diorio and Christal Watts, a California Teachers Association representative. Sharp denies any inappropriate relationship with Lauren.

Dec. 12, 2014: Bowers tells Diorio that the district is "not in a position to put anything in his file. We only have hearsay to go on. Sharp denied it and the former student will not talk with us."

February 2015: Bowers re-opens his investigation after hearing reports of student rumors.

Feb. 23, 2015: The former boyfriend of Lauren, "Sean," emails Diorio a letter detailing his concerns about Sharp and criticizing how the district has handled the allegations. Diorio emails Superintendent Max McGee, Bowers and then-Associate Superintendent Charles Young, reiterating: "Again, I'd like to put this teacher on administrative leave and conduct a formal investigation by an outside party."

Feb. 26, 2015: Sean meets with Diorio and Laurence.

March 2, 2015: Sean meets with Bowers and Young.

March 10, 2015: Sean emails Bowers screenshots of text message conversations with Lauren in which she acknowledges a relationship with Sharp after graduation.

March 22-25, 2015: Sean emails McGee and all five school board members, detailing his concerns. Board member Terry Godfrey responds that this was the first she had heard of the allegations. McGee responds saying he read Sean's email to Diorio and saying the district "launched a second investigation immediately that is still ongoing." McGee asks for contact information for Lauren, whom he says the district hasn't been able to reach.

April 2, 2015: Attorneys from Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost meet with Sean.

May 5, 2015: At a school board policy-review committee meeting, board Vice President Heidi Emberling and member Ken Dauber propose modifying the school board's Professional Standards policy to prohibit all employee-student romantic and sexual relationships for a period of four years after graduation.

June 2, 2015: Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost attorney Chad Graff sends Young a report detailing the findings of the firm's Title IX investigation, which concludes based on a preponderance of the evidence that Sharp did not engage in grooming behavior nor have a sexual relationship after graduation, "although there are strong and supported suspicions of such a relationship." The firm also concludes that the school district complied with its Title IX responsibilities concerning the allegations.

June 6, 2015: The school board is briefed on the results of the Title IX investigation in a closed session.

June 11, 2015: Graff meets with Sharp, a union representative and Young regarding the results of investigation.

June 23, 2015: Graff meets with Lauren's parents to share his report's findings.

July 21, 2015: Sharp is sent a Notice of Unprofessional Conduct, signed by Bowers, that states it is more likely than not that Sharp engaged in "grooming" activities with Lauren that "facilitated the consummation of a sexual relationship soon after graduation."

Aug. 17, 2015: First day of the 2015-16 school year. Sources say Sharp goes on a paid leave of absence.

Early September 2015: Palo Alto Police close its investigation into the Sharp case, finding no evidence of a crime.

Sept. 29, 2015: The school board places "resignation of certificated employee" on its agenda but takes no action.

Related content:

Convoluted sexual-harassment case against Paly teacher lingers on, more than a year later

Responding to sexual harassment: What the law says

Editorial: A tortuous school inquiry

What is democracy worth to you?
Support local journalism.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

Chick-fil-A quietly starts delivering out of DoorDash kitchen in Redwood City
By Elena Kadvany | 38 comments | 6,110 views

Disposing of Disposables
By Sherry Listgarten | 24 comments | 3,204 views

By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 1,834 views

Differentiating Grief from Clinical Depression
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,341 views

Anonymous Sources: Facebook and YouTube suppressing important questions and discussion
By Douglas Moran | 22 comments | 1,070 views