School board delays renaming vote

Board majority supports renaming Jordan, Terman

The Palo Alto school board decided Tuesday night to postpone a vote to rename two middle schools until Friday, prompted by one trustee's concerns about deliberating on an important but non-urgent issue at a late hour, a concern that the full board ultimately agreed with.

The board will continue its discussion and take action this Friday, March 17, at 1 p.m. Four of the five board members — all except Todd Collins — said they plan to support renaming David Starr Jordan and Terman middle schools given their namesakes' leadership roles in the eugenics movement.

This supports a majority recommendation from a school district committee convened last year to research and make recommendations on renaming, and now, also from Superintendent Max McGee. McGee said Tuesday that Jordan's and Lewis M. Terman's promotion of eugenics is "antithetical" to the mission and goals of the district, telling the board that "names and symbols matter."

Earlier that day -- in a morning retreat on board protocols and operations -- the board discussed a suggestion Collins had raised at several previous meetings to adhere to a board bylaw stating meetings should end by 10 p.m. The bylaw states that "late night meetings deter public participation" and "can affect the board's decision-making ability."

Tuesday night, the decision at about 10:30 p.m. to delay the renaming vote came after about 50 comments from students, parents, alumni and community members who represented all sides of what has become an emotional, contentious topic.

Those who support renaming the schools reiterated pleas for the board to stand with the district's values of diversity, equity and inclusion and to send a strong message to current and future students, particularly those of color or with disabilities who would have been negatively impacted by eugenics.

"It's really just astounding that we're still talking about this," said Kobi Jonsson, who as a seventh-grade Jordan student wrote a book report on his school namesake that sparked a grassroots renaming campaign more than a year ago. "We need to be a champion of our values to show we really care about our community."

Those against it spoke of their strong ties to the schools they attended years ago and urged the board against severing those ties and "erasing the past" by giving the schools new names.

Carrie Hodge, a Jordan alumni, told the board that "it's kind of like losing a baby to take away a name."

A small group of parents also said that while they support renaming, they don't believe it's the right time to do so given a multimillion-dollar budget shortfall that is putting pressure on many district programs and efforts that, they argued, more directly impact students. Some even offered to donate money privately to fund renaming rather than use district dollars.

Vice President Ken Dauber noted that the board not only needs to vote in support or against the proposal to rename, but discuss complexities around process, including the number of advisory committees that should be created to recommend new names, how to best involve students and funding questions.

The committee estimated that while the total cost to rename both schools would be about $200,000, a phased-in approach could start at about $50,000. McGee recommended tapping a $6 million reserve fund set aside for opening new schools, which the district no longer plans to do in the near future, to pay for renaming.

Sara Armstrong, a parent-member of the Renaming Schools Advisory Committee, urged the board to give clear criteria to the group or groups tasked with coming up with new names that they cannot recommend anything that includes Jordan or Terman. Other committee members that oppose renaming have suggested compromise solutions, such as retaining Jordan but dropping "David Starr" or officially naming Terman after Lewis Terman's son, Frederick, an accomplished electrical engineer.

The committee and McGee have also recommended adding history on California and Palo Alto's roles in the eugenics movement to the secondary schools' curriculum next year.

This Friday's meeting will take place at the district office, 25 Churchill Ave.

In other business Tuesday, the board discussed a new mathematics curriculum for the district's three middle schools, recommended by a district committee. While some board members asked for more information -- how teachers plan to address gaps in the curriculum identified by nonprofit evaluation group EdReports and how they will coordinate with a new elementary math textbook that has yet to be selected, among other requests -- they generally supported the committee's recommendation.

Trustees also decided to defer a vote on a proposed districtwide equity plan, asking Equity Coordinator Martha Castellon to do further revisions and come back at a later date.

Related content:

School board majority supports renaming schools

Editorial: Renaming schools


Follow the Palo Alto Weekly/Palo Alto Online on Twitter @PaloAltoWeekly and Facebook for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.


13 people like this
Posted by I'm tired too
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 15, 2017 at 8:28 am

Really Todd, too tired to vote on this issue, after 2 month on the job. Perhaps not your best move to put procedure before equity and inclusion, especially on a night when so many community members came out to participate in the debate

4 people like this
Posted by Board Watcher
a resident of Community Center
on Mar 15, 2017 at 8:38 am

[Post removed.]

31 people like this
Posted by Robert Smith
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 15, 2017 at 9:01 am

The article should have noted that Frederick Terman was never a eugenicist and that he is known as the "father of Silicon Valley" to many people. He is the son of Lewis Terman.

19 people like this
Posted by Board Watcher
a resident of Community Center
on Mar 15, 2017 at 9:03 am

From the Weekly's execrable editorial:

"Our hope is that the board delays implementation of the renaming until we have successfully addressed the budget shortfalls and avoids a drawn-out community process for determining new names. For Terman, we urge a renaming to honor Lewis Terman's son, Frederick, a historical figure in his own right and not associated with eugenics. Easy, cheap and a teaching moment for Terman students.

Spare the community and the district another year or more of debate about new names and just make a decision. And defer implementation until either the money needed is privately raised or we aren't cutting other needed school programs."

Had the Weekly been around during Selma, one expects that it would have criticized the controversy and advocated for an "easy, cheap" fix that would have allowed educated blacks to register but not tenant farmers. That is the logic in play here. Even down to the paternalistic calling of the reformer's effort "well-intended." Please, colored people, "spare the community" this debate. ALL THIS DEMOCRACY IS A DISTRACTION from ... [wait for it] democracy.

[Portion removed.]

35 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2017 at 9:09 am

I am pleased that the vote was delayed.

From talking to people yesterday, there were some in our community who still hadn't heard about any of this and had strong feelings that money should not be spent on this.

I would in fact like to see McGee send out an email to all parents to let them know about this vote and to urge them all to email the board, and give their input. He is very good at sending out district emails but sometimes forgets to do so on important subjects.

Apart from that, there are still a lot of people in Palo Alto who haven't heard of this. I don't know how they can be reached as unless they read Palo Alto Weekly, or or Facebook groups for Palo Alto, they are probably unaware, but their tax dollars would be spent on this and they should have the opportunity to know in advance.

69 people like this
Posted by Dan
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 15, 2017 at 10:08 am

I am against wasting money and effort renaming schools... but if they do decide to rename, they should give explicit instructions that the school NOT be named after any person. Any person you can think of ... Jesus, Gandhi, Einstein, Santa Claus , ... would surely offend someone.

57 people like this
Posted by Parent of Jordan Student
a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Mar 15, 2017 at 11:01 am

I am glad the vote is delayed. I feel that there are so many more pressing issues to be spending money on than renaming the school. Please realize that parents are closely watching what PAUSD is spending money on these days. Please don't expect money to be flowing in from PIE and PTA when money is not being prioritized within PAUSD.

What is the highest priority at PAUSD? I clearly don't feel renaming is or should be among the top 10 to 20 items. I feel money should be put to make smaller classrooms that directly impact the students. Really, think about this and don't get the district in a further budget challenge!

13 people like this
Posted by Michelle de Blank
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 15, 2017 at 11:14 am

Palo Alto has a rich and diverse community. The school names should reflect that. The argument for the current school names does not take into account the feelings of the children who attend schools named after people who would have not accepted their presence. Let's fix this on Friday so everyone feels comfortable in their school.

63 people like this
Posted by 38 year resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 15, 2017 at 11:30 am

Put it to a vote. The school board doesn't have the courage to do this. It would lose by a landslide and they know it.

[Portion removed.]

One way to send a message to the School Board is to download the Parcel Tax Exemption form if you're a senior, and send it to the school district with a note attached that you will no longer support a board that doesn't listen to the majority of voices who think this idea is absurd. I did this yesterday but it needs to be done before Friday. You can also e-mail them and let them know that you won't give a nickel to any fund raising efforts like PiE, PTA or anything that gets funneled to a board that is fiscally irresponsible.

Maybe, just maybe, they'll wake up before every building and street named after an historical figure will be subjected to this foolishness. [Portion removed.]

2 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 15, 2017 at 11:40 am

Hope the new names work with my keyboard and Town Square commentary.
Took me awhile to figure out San José.
I'm sure we'd want to honor people in their original character set.

55 people like this
Posted by Sarah
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 15, 2017 at 11:42 am

I really hate this the idea to rename the schools. [Portion removed.] It's bad enough that Pali Alto is barely recognizable in a lot of areas, that many of our old buildings and homes have been razed or revised beyond recognition but now they will be taking a large part of our history. I just want to shout!

32 people like this
Posted by Hugo
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 15, 2017 at 11:43 am

Is it just me, or do we still not have a school calendar?

45 people like this
Posted by 38 year resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 15, 2017 at 11:51 am

@Michelle de Blank.....With all due respect, these children had no feelings about the names of their schools until the recent revelation that Jordan and Terman were interested in eugenics decades ago. To imply that children would "not be accepted," is a big stretch.

Perhaps a better way would be to provide students with a brief history of their school's namesakes, including all the good they accomplished. My guess is they could handle all of it, not feel damaged, and move on. Most probably wouldn't even care.

53 people like this
Posted by Debbie
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 15, 2017 at 11:56 am

I strongly object to the name changes. Doesn't the school board have more pressing issues to fix? A small but vocal group of Palo Altans are demanding the name change. Put it to a vote. The name change idea would lose big time! I'm tired of the PC crowd trying to wipe away the rich history of Palo Alto.

13 people like this
Posted by students love days off of school
a resident of Terman Middle School
on Mar 15, 2017 at 12:07 pm

Go Hugo!!

9 people like this
Posted by Michelle
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 15, 2017 at 12:28 pm

Actually 38 year old resident - many kids testified in front of the Board that they DO care. Kids these days are much more aware of what is going in their lives. I am assuming you do not have teen or pre-teens.

25 people like this
Posted by Really unneccessary
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2017 at 12:32 pm

[Post removed.]

33 people like this
Posted by Midtown Guy
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 15, 2017 at 12:34 pm

Members of the Board, please recognize this as a long-term issue in need of caution, and defer further action for a year, to truly assess community sentiment and input. Hasten and you will deserve criticism.

39 people like this
Posted by Paly Grad
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Mar 15, 2017 at 12:48 pm

Let's put this on the June 5, 2018 statewide primary election ballet. This would provide an opportunity for community wide input on the issue.

3 people like this
Posted by Shyrlee R.
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 15, 2017 at 12:53 pm

Yet another opportunity to sweep constructive dialogue under the table in favor of avoidance of the race issue. You can still take your private values home and talk to the like minded. At least 150 years ago freedom was
available, it still is. Wonderful educated men come out of our Univ. of Calif. System and some people of good will existed at San Francisco State in the 1950's to remind us. Each war has given the oppurtunity to shine to everybody from uneducated white skins through brown to the blackest. Every human here has their own strengths. Use them.
Don't let the crutch of special treatment undercut inititive.

15 people like this
Posted by Weekly reader
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 15, 2017 at 1:15 pm

I agree with Board Watcher. The Weekly's editorial reeked of white male privilege. You should apologize and ask one of the students who spoke to write a piece from their perspective.

28 people like this
Posted by NumberTheSchools
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 15, 2017 at 1:36 pm

Really? from Dauber: "but discuss complexities around process, including the number of advisory committees that should be created to recommend new names, how to best involve students and funding questions"

We are now going to spend time debating HOW MANY 'advisory' committees should be created? Holy Crap! IF I did not think it was a waste of time and money before, I'm certainly swayed now.

Let's do as with the statewide propositions, NUMBER all the schools, starting at 1 (OK?) and NEVER REUSE A NUMBER AGAIN after schools are closed and new ones built. Bring back the "Public School #" designation, as in, "I went to P.S. #7 when I lived in Palo Alto."

Geesh! What a waste of time (and money).

26 people like this
Posted by Keith
a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 15, 2017 at 1:53 pm

[Post removed.]

39 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 15, 2017 at 2:40 pm

Annette is a registered user.

Reading all this in the context of all things Palo Alto, I think "Really Unnecessary" has identified a motivation for all this that is typical Palo Alto. No doubt many things have changed since my kids were in school, but I find it hard to believe that school age kids focus on things such as school names unless encouraged to do so by the adults in their lives.

29 people like this
Posted by Elementary Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2017 at 3:09 pm

If you have not already done so, please send the board an email so they hear from those of us who are opposed to this ridiculous waste of public funds but cannot make the board meetings to express our opinions. I don't think they (the board) bother to get public opinion from this site. A lot of parents are not even aware of this name change not because they don't care but because there is a lot on their plates and they are not able to be on top of things. The board has to get a vote from the community before deciding on this especially if there is opposition to this.

The board email addresses which are on the PAUSD website are here, Kenneth Dauber <>,,,

30 people like this
Posted by Oldster
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 15, 2017 at 3:21 pm

Our Superintendent wants to kick the can down the road with more committees and more paid staff time to create a new curriculum about all the good and bad historical folks from Stanford and Palo Alto. Whoopee. We'll now have a mandatory Local Good & Bad Folks (with an emphasis on eugenics!) Course for middle schoolers here?

No wonder we can't balance budgets in our school district no matter how many school bond measures and taxes it gets. Fewer here can do basic math now. Guess we all fail the IQ tests of Terman and we win the Darwin Award for financial brains. Maybe we don't "deserve" to have schools named after Terman and Jordan!

When I was a local middle schooler and found out what a total racist twit Jordan was and how he had nasty fights with Mrs. Stanford over control of Stanford facilty, I got all huffy for a few years thinking that school should be renamed. Then, I took more history classses, discovered most famous people have good and bad sides, and by college my "Jordan" rage had fizzed out.

That said, if Jordan students wanted to vote on a new "Jordan" to honor every year without costing the taxpayers a penny, I'd say, "Go for it kids!"

Mailing ye olde senior tax waiver to PAUSD before Friday.

33 people like this
Posted by Shaking Head
a resident of Menlo Park
on Mar 15, 2017 at 4:50 pm

The demonization of exceptional human beings who have made enormous contributions to the foundation of Silicon Valley is a sad commentary on people who live here taking full advantage of the results of those contributions. Honestly, if the school board even considers spending a dime on changing the names of these schools, there should be a recall of the school board. The fact that this topic was given legs is, again, a very sad commentary. [Portion removed.]

25 people like this
Posted by 38 year resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 15, 2017 at 4:51 pm

@ point was, did they care prior to this information being discovered? Probably not. Also, were they given information as to the number of contributions these individuals made to further education excellence in the community or Silicon Valley for that matter? Probably not.

It is also unknown whether or any of these children would be denied an education because the idea never really caught on, so it's kind of a moot point.

As to having teens in the house currently, the answer is no. My son is in his early 20's and a product of Palo Alto schools, including Jordan. Had this information came out then I would have reviewed all the facts with him and let him come to his own conclusion. I have a feeling that some of the reactions these few kids (I don't think many care) have had are the result parent activists for social change feeding them with the negatives and ignoring the big picture.

33 people like this
Posted by let me be blunt
a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 15, 2017 at 5:40 pm

Just received a VERY long email from Max McGee in response to my email to him sharing my frustration with this issue. Mr. McGee goes to great lengths to justify what seems to be a fait accompli. Many of you probably received the same email.

My thoughts:

1) money spent on this is money redirected for more important projects. Sorry that's my opinion.

2) not only is it the money but this a HUGE time sink. His lengthy email confirmed the tremendous amount of energy and time spent on this issue and it will only get worse. Renaming committees( more than one?) now will go off and decide new names. More debates, more meetings, more emails.......

3) What irks me most is the RSAC had a very important task. To solicit feedback from the community. They failed miserably by sending a survey without asking us IF we felt it was a good use of time and money to rename our schools. Was this an important priority for our community etc, they avoided the tough questions and did it knowingly.

Mr. McGee you should tell the RSAC to go back to the drawing board and solicit real feedback from the community.

4) Last but not least. If this is approved I will stop donating to PIE and PAUSD. I will continue to donate to Paly athletics, at least I know that money goes directly to activities I support and is not redirected from providing education our kids need to satisfy the PC community.

49 people like this
Posted by Paly 1982 alum
a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Mar 15, 2017 at 5:42 pm

As a parent with a student at Jordan, I can tell you that students don't care! Those who showed up at the meeting are also trying to pad their resumes, as was the initial intention of the student who aroused all this. The residents of Palo Alto ought to be given the chance to vote on this. Washington and others had slaves; Stanford was a crook. We cannot rename everything.

34 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2017 at 5:49 pm

I have already been given the "only in Palo Alto" humorous response to this situation. Other school districts are trying to feed breakfast to their students who come without eating, or are worried about kids smuggling in weapons, or how to get their students interested in college, or, or, or.

Only in Palo Alto do we have enough spare cash and wealthy inhabitants to fork out money to worry about this issue which was never an issue until somebody wanted to get a good start on their college application resume.

I am pretty disgusted that this got legs and made us a laughing stock once again in the Bay Area.

5 people like this
Posted by Would have been sterilized
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 15, 2017 at 6:29 pm

Does Wilbur ring a bell? Schools in Palo Alto has gone through numerous changes. Hoover was not Hoover, but Ohlone. Barron Park was Hoover, etc.

There are great people and made significant contributions to society. Do we honor them with naming a school after them, or do we recognized them for their contributions.

I think that if people understood that these men represent a very dark history in the lives of those whose race or abilities were subjected to these practices they would be empathetic to the issues.

I understand that the District's money should not be wasted on such things, but consider having this knowledge of how these men. Knowing how accepting and diverse Palo Alto is, does ignoring the issue align with Palo Alto values? Could one of our schools be named after Bannon, and all will be well with our conscience?

5 people like this
Posted by i'm confused
a resident of JLS Middle School
on Mar 15, 2017 at 6:37 pm

The more I read the more I learn.
RSAC was bent from the start - stacked with the student, mother, and father leading this charge from the get go and a then a board member with close ties to them supporting? ??
A prime example - sometimes people act in ways that aren't just but doesn't mean they are bad people that haven't done good too, or that they deserve to have accomplishments discredited or that others can't learn from them.
what's all the fuss ? change the names

24 people like this
Posted by Sanctimonious City
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2017 at 8:21 pm

The school board is just waiting for the other public relations shoe to drop. The California legislature has introduced a bill (SB-807) to eliminate state income tax for public school teachers who have worked five years.

Not surprisingly private school teachers are not included even though they generally make much less than the average public school teacher's salary of $90K per year plus lifetime benefits.

In a vile vortex of deception, we have endless requests for more money (parcel taxes, PIE, PTA etc.) yet the class sizes never go down, the budget deficits go up and amazingly teachers and administrators get raises and now tax exemptions.

The public teachers union is the largest lobby group in the state and it shows. They are focused on enriching themselves and pandering to immigrant special interest groups.

The result is we can rename offensive school names but can't even get a teacher to post our kids grades in Schoology in less than 8 weeks.

19 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2017 at 8:29 pm

What the school board fails to understand is that they are there for us as our proxies, they work for us. They are not higher beings who are better informed, but they are volunteers who have been elected to do what the community as a whole charges them to do.

They do not have a mandate to vote outside the wishes of the community.

This reminds me so much of the Mandarin Immersion Debate. The vast majority wanted to have a more equitable language program that would be available to all, not an elite program that would be available to the lottery winners while everyone else got nothing.

Now we have this idea of spending big bucks on renaming two schools while educational programs get cut because of lack of funds.

McGee speaks in his email to everyone who emailed him that the money for renaming will come from funds set aside to open another school and since enrollment has (temporarily?) gone down, opening another school is no longer a necessity. Doesn't McGee read about all the proposed housing all over town? Doesn't McGee read about all the new housing at Stanford. All those new homes will produce children for PAUSD to educate. Money for a new school should remain set aside for a new school, not renaming two existing schools.

8 people like this
Posted by College T Resident
a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 15, 2017 at 10:31 pm

For those who don't get what all the fuss is about and for those who don't want to waste time on such unimportant issues, you must be the people who have absolute no clue what it's like to live under the thumb of oppression, to not be treated as an equal, to go to the back of the line, or the bus and only until you do, will you continue to be living under a rock. Parents of these children are trying to give their kids a better life and not repeat the past. It's not okay to celebrate what has been hurtful to so many. It pains me to to hear the kind of unsympathetic comments coming out of the mouths of what I thought was a pretty compassionate and inclusive community. Wow! More pressing issues? How about embracing the families who may not look like you but are still people and should be treated equally. Would you want to work or go to school in a building named after Hitler? It sounds ridiculous doesn't it? But not that much different. It's just a name to you, but for the minorities in this community, they are reminded daily of being different, they are reminded daily of a past that was not inclusive. And if their parents have educated them on the past and the treatment of others, good for them! That's history, the good, the bad and the ugly. We live in a country where there's enough divisiveness around diversity and inclusivity and common decency and respect for each other. Walk a day in the shoes of a minority and see what life is like. It's not as rosy as yours.

Like this comment
Posted by Board Watcher
a resident of Community Center
on Mar 15, 2017 at 10:46 pm

[Post removed.]

2 people like this
Posted by Board Watcher
a resident of Community Center
on Mar 15, 2017 at 10:56 pm

How about you delete all the accusations of being "PC," which is belittling of the concerns of those who want to rename. [Portion removed.]

14 people like this
Posted by stanhutchings
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 15, 2017 at 10:59 pm

stanhutchings is a registered user.

I was the minority of one on the RSAC.
Before voting to rename schools, there are several questions the Board must consider because of their fiduciary responsibility:
1) specifically what programs will be sacrificed to rename the schools? Will renaming bring greater benefit to PAUSD than the programs that will be downsized?
2) what is the amount of a] funds and b] staff time that will be diverted from other programs? Is there a maximum? If so, how will renaming be completed? If not, the Board is not being financially responsible.
3) what evidence or metrics support the assertion that changing school names will improve students' academic experience significantly more than other programs already in effect?
4) how will the effects of the name changes be measured to prove that positive results were worth the cost, and justified diversion of staff time and district funds from other programs?
I recommend everyone ask these questions of the Board (

Despite the strong emotional pleas of some parents, teachers and students, the arguments to rename the schools fail on several grounds:
there is no evidence that school names have in any way harmed (nor helped) the education of the students, nor contributed to the many instances of bullying, racial and gender slurs, discrimination, etc. that plague not only Jordan and Terman, but ALL schools in the PAUSD regardless of name. Rather, the attitudes, actions and disregard of staff and students to the sensitivities of others allows a dysfunctional environment to continue.
there is no evidence or indication that changing the names of Jordan and Terman will benefit the educational experience of students, nor reduce the bullying, discrimination, racial and gender slurs and comments, nor make school environments more welcoming, inclusive or improved in any way. The problems that changing names is expected to solve already exist in other schools in PAUSD, despite having neutral names. Changing names is seen as a "magic bullet" to suddenly eliminate all the strife, discord, discrimination, neglect, etc. that characterize all PAUSD schools, not just Jordan and Terman..
the cost of changing names is going to divert resources (staff time and money) from other programs that have a greater likelihood of improving the educational experience.
A school is defined more by its staff and their policies, actions and behavior than by a school name. Instead of spending time and money on changing names, the implementation of policies and training to increase staff sensitivity to the issues of minority or target groups should be undertaken.
no metrics have been proposed to measure the supposed benefits of renaming versus the use of the resources to further other programs that have more potential for improving the schools; indeed, some benefit is only hypothetically possible, not assured or guaranteed, according to Dr. Brown, who spoke to the RSAC about the psychological impact of renaming.
The contention that the belief in eugenics is sufficient to cause schools to be renamed, despite many other positive contributions to society, just because eugenics is not acceptable to our current beliefs implies that the names of other schools must be renamed because of the beliefs of those they are named after: Walter Hays was a Presbyterian minister, whose religion believes only "the chosen" will enter Heaven; all others go to Hell. The Ohlone indians held many beliefs and had many customs we would find repugnant, and would not allow our children to follow. Hoover was in the eugenics camp; Nixon is a disgraced president (the school is not named after Richard M. but there are serious objections to the name Terman, even unassociated from Lewis).

The arguments to change the names of Jordan and Terman (and Cubberley, if possible) were emotional, not logical or rational. Indeed, many logical fallacies were presented to support reasons to rename (see Web Link if you've forgotten the definitions):
Argument from ignorance - changing names will somehow cause inclusion and acceptance while eliminating discrimination, this is asserted but cannot be proven;
Argument from silence - the benefits of renaming are based on the absence of evidence, rather than the existence of evidence;
Shifting the burden of proof - there is no need to prove renaming will be beneficial or worthwhile or provide any "bang for the buck", those against renaming must prove it won't;
Correlation proves causation - the faulty assumption that because there is a correlation between Jordan/Terman and their belief in eugenics, somehow this caused the problems at Jordan/Terman;
quoting Jordan and Terman out of context (see many more quotes at the link below);
Fallacy of the single cause - somehow the school names are responsible for the numerous problems at Jordan and Terman (even though they existed before the current outrage over eugenics, and exist at other PAUSD schools);
Historian's fallacy and presentism - the science, spirit and beliefs of the time were not viewed in objective historical context, but instead viewed through the lens of contemporary morals and beliefs;
Kettle logic - use of multiple, jointly inconsistent arguments to defend renaming;
Post hoc ergo propter hoc - faulty cause/effect, correlation without causation that somehow the school name has a significant effect, more than the school environment;
Cherry picking - pointing to individual stories or quotes that seem to confirm a particular position, while ignoring a significant portion of related stories that may contradict that position (see Web Link&* for Jordan's quotes;
Inductive fallacy - a conclusion that renaming is mandated, though the evidence and premises hardly support it;
Misleading vividness - tearful stories to gain sympathy, and attributing the tears to the name (rather than the environment) of the school;
Ad hominem, especially "poisoning the well" - emphasizing adverse information about Jordan andTerman with the intention of discrediting everything that they did or said;
[Portion removed.]
Wishful thinking - just imagine how good it would be if Jordan and Terman had a different name!, It would solve all our problems (even though there is no objective evidence or reason to believe that);
guilt by association - because the schools share the names of people considered guilty, they share the guilt;
Straw man fallacy - Jordan's the Terman's position on eugenics was often misrepresented, implying it was much worse than actually and that the men were intentionally cruel and evil, though it is clear from their writing and actions that they were trying to make society better.
There are possibly other logical fallacies that I missed.

4 people like this
Posted by Board Watcher
a resident of Community Center
on Mar 15, 2017 at 11:15 pm

[Portion removed due to deletion of referenced comment.]

Wake up. This is about changing demography of Palo Alto. It's not like it's veiled or anything. Check out all the above comments about "our Palo Alto heritage." What do you think they are talking about? [Portion removed.]

10 people like this
Posted by Board Watcher
a resident of Community Center
on Mar 15, 2017 at 11:56 pm

[Portion removed.]

"Jordan's and Terman's position on eugenics was often misrepresented, implying it was much worse than actually and that the men were intentionally cruel and evil, though it is clear from their writing and actions that they were trying to make society better."

Welp. There it is. Eugenics is not that bad. When they sterilized all those imbeciles, idiots and morons (the technical terms) they were just trying to make society better. [Portion removed.]

[Portion removed.] Listen to this interview with NYT Reporter Adam Cohen on the American Eugenics Society and how it wasn't that bad Web Link

[Hint: it was that bad, and they weren't trying to make society BETTER. They were trying to make society WHITER. We are allowed to have and make moral judgments of past conduct. If we weren't we would still have slavery and there would be no Holocaust memorials. But somehow I doubt Stan will be visiting those.]

"In the 1920s, the same day that Virginia passed the eugenic sterilization law, they passed their Racial Purity Act, the exact same day. The reason they did that was that the eugenicists of that time were so racist that they actually didn’t bother with eugenics for blacks. They thought the black race was beyond saving. Their whole focus was uplifting the white race. So they did two things. They built a wall of separation between the white and black races. They imposed large penalties for any kind of sexual unions between blacks and whites. And once they built that wall, they focused on uplifting the white race. So that’s why they were focused on white women like Carrie Buck. But then, over the years, many blacks were sterilized. And in places like North Carolina in the ’70s, it was a lot of poor black people who were sterilized."

27 people like this
Posted by sunshine
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 16, 2017 at 7:59 am

What a foolish wast of time and money renaming is! [Portion removed.] Doesn't the School District have better uses for the money they get? Too many blindly support the Parcel Taxes (very regressive as everyone pays the same amount regardless of the size or location of their property).
Stan Hutchins,Sanctimonius City, Paly 1982 alum, Shaking Head, Oldster and a few others get the idea; the others must belong to the school that states, "We must protect our children from every little bump and bruise to their bodies or egos at any cost.". Are we shielding our students from something that later will cause laughter when outsiders hear of it? For example, I read Tom Sawyer and Huckelberry Finn as a child and thought nothing more of the offensive N attribution to Jin the slave. When I was later teaching at SJSU, I overheard a group of students whose copies had been "cleaned up" discussing that word. They could not believe that the term was published in the original version. Their university instructor had to explain the history to them. Would it not have been better if their parents or an earlier teacher had explained the use of the term to them?
My daughter graduated from PA schools. She went on to graduate from UC as a Phi Beta Kappa member. She got as good an education as we could afford. If we thought something was missing, we supplied it ourselves, often by a trip to a local library.
Rather than rename schools, use the current names as a teaching experience for your children. As it is, we risk raising children who have no strength within themselves to resist later affronts. What do they do when they meet a sexual predator? Or a bully? Will they recognize what is happening in time to resist vigorously and win? Or will they have to go crying off to parents or other person to save themselves? I choose to prepare my daughter.

10 people like this
Posted by Board Watcher
a resident of Community Center
on Mar 16, 2017 at 8:23 am

According to the Washington Post, the use of the term "politically correct" or PC is an insult. Yet the editor is allowing it to be used in blatant violation of the terms of service.

Web Link

"I'm tired of the PC crowd trying to wipe away the rich history of Palo Alto."

"I will continue to donate to Paly athletics, at least I know that money goes directly to activities I support and is not redirected from providing education our kids need to satisfy the PC community."

This is wildly belittling and dismissive of the proponents of renaming. Use of the term "PC" is intended to denigrate the proponents of renaming and reduces their serious concerns about eugenics and Nazism to being "PC." It is a tactic of Breitbart News. It is thinly veiled racism. Editor, please delete.

[Portion removed.]

4 people like this
Posted by Board Watcher
a resident of Community Center
on Mar 16, 2017 at 8:36 am

"But instead of describing a culture clash within academia, it’s now a broad-brush insult directed against any ideological opponent.

As someone who has spoken the phrase with pride, Huff now thinks it’s not salvageable, even for those who once used it in what they hoped was a spirit of inclusiveness and open-mindedness.

[Portion removed.] Taking down the Confederate Flag, renaming buildings and streets named for slaveholders, removing the slave crest from HLS or the name of Calhoun College -- these are good moves that show the people trying to express the transformation of social mores. [Portion removed.]

17 people like this
Posted by sunshine
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 16, 2017 at 9:07 am

Before anyone votes on the proposal to rename local schools, they should read the editorial in the Sunday, March 12, 2017 issue of the New York Times by Frank Bruni, "The Dangerous Safety of College. It deal with a recent melee at Middlebury College in Vermont. Students rioted because they objected to a particular speaker who had been invited to speak at the college.
Their behavior demonstrated that they were unwilling to hear and learn from some espousing a position opposed to their own. Whether or not you agree with the students (without a riot) or the speaker, why not hear him out? There will be time to ask questions afterwards. Note: questions should be framed succinctly and should not be used as a pulpit to express your own views.
If you still disagree with the policy, write a letter to the school newspaper and to the persons responsible for selecting the speaker.
Only by listening, thinking, and formulating your own questions can you achieve knowledge.

Renaming PA schools is very similar. Use the original name and learn from it. While you are at it, you might want to throw out the names of most of the Founding Fathers of the US because they owned slaves.
You can also eliminate any mention of the Huxley brothers, author and scientist, because they espoused eugenics. There were many others. Eugenics was part of a movement brought about in England during the Industrial Revolution because servants left to work in the new factories. Then the educated middle class struggled to pay much higher wages, grant more freedom to servants, and they noticed that educated middle class suddenly had to care for their own children. They did not want to do this; they wanted time to read, write, visit friends. Middle class women had fewer and fewer children whereas, poor people had many. They were afraid of overpopulation by "defectives".

2 people like this
Posted by Board Watcher
a resident of Community Center
on Mar 16, 2017 at 10:51 am

[Post removed.]

9 people like this
Posted by Jerry Underdal
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 16, 2017 at 2:18 pm

Jerry Underdal is a registered user.

From early on, complaints in Town Square about renaming Jordan and Terman fell into these categories:

1. Regret: For a loss of community, shared memories and traditions

2. Disagreement: Either with alleged facts regarding Jordan, Terman and Cubberley's role in the eugenics movement or with the significance of their eugenics activities when weighed against other accomplishments

We had thorough discussions about these and took votes that acted as proxies for their relative strength on the RSAC committee. We respected each other and took responsibility for trying to persuade, not denigrate, those with whom we disagreed. Our inability to come to a consensus on all items is reflected in the final report, where you can read majority and minority positions.

All of us assumed that a third cause for displeasure with renaming was not at play: agreement with the notions of racial hierarchy, Nordic supremacy and genetic unsuitability for procreation propagated by these gentlemen. But resurgent nativism, populism and White Nationalism make me anxious that there may be more support, even here, than we could have imagined a short time ago.

Changing the names will make clear that PAUSD stands in direct opposition to these divisive threats.

8 people like this
Posted by 5th Generation
a resident of Mayfield
on Mar 16, 2017 at 3:28 pm

As a 5th generation Palo Altan, with 6th amd 7th generation nieces and nephew, I just want to add my support for changing the names of Jordan, Terman & Cubberley.

Putting people's personal emotions and sentimental feelings aside (nothing wrong with that, just not a very rational response, IMO), changing the names is the right thing to do. Period.

Some say that we should keep the names and perhaps use it as a "teaching tool", but what better way to teach than to have to explain why the names were removed. Keeping the names sends a message that the offending out-of-date beliefs aren't all that bad. And we also know that people will just forget about it once the hoopla subsides... then a few years down the road the controversy will explode again. Get it over with. Change is NOW!

5 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 16, 2017 at 4:32 pm

It seems like most of these commentaries object to the cost more than the principles of this debate. I would like to know why the amount of money to change the names of these schools will cost $200,000. This seems like an extravagant amount of money, likely inflated given our demographic. Who came up with this number and what does it consist of? It doesn't seem like anyone is really attached to keeping these names. Cost is driving a great deal of this debate. Maybe we should examine that more closely and how judiciously our PIE and tax dollars are being spent for this. Seriously, I'm asking where does this number comes from?

21 people like this
Posted by Jordan Senator from the past
a resident of Woodland Ave. area (East Palo Alto)
on Mar 16, 2017 at 4:35 pm

I wish that PAUSD would share some of their extra 6 million in "New School Reserves" with East Palo Alto School District to demonstrate inclusiveness.

I oppose to renaming the schools.

This will only "set a precedent" for many a ripple down the line in all kinds of ways. Is it really worth the time & $? It's amazing to think if the kids had to earn the $ themselves to change this I wonder how they would feel?! It looks like some parent is just going to pay for the change if necessary! Who got the signatures, the parent or the students? Where is the community and kids votes on this?

[Portion removed.] Respect history, learn from it, accept it and take the good out of it too. Jordan had great many qualities too. He was a Peace activist, selected to be 1st President of Stanford, a forever optimist and 30 fish are named after him. :)

A loyal Palo Altan of 50 years.

Thank you.

2 people like this
Posted by Jerry Underdal
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 16, 2017 at 5:39 pm

Jerry Underdal is a registered user.


"Who came up with this number ($200,000) and what does it consist of?"

Stan Hutchings raised reservations about the cost of renaming. He put forward a claim that the cost would be upwards of $500,000 per school. A subcommittee was formed to investigate. Sara Armstrong, Lars Johnsson, and Markus Autrey agreed to serve. Stan Hutchings declined to participate.

If you go to BoardDocs (Web Link) you'll find cost graphics at RSAC Board Report, a narrative description of the process of establishing costs at RSAC Final Report, Section 8, Combined Cost Summary at Appendix 14, and RSAC Working Costs estimate at Appendix 15 . The range is from $50,000 total for a basic job (to be completed over time) to $200,000 for everything at once.

18 people like this
Posted by let me be blunt
a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 16, 2017 at 5:48 pm

who knows what the cost will be - remember this is government work so if someone say $x then you do simple math and say it will be >2x. That's just the way it works in a union environment combined with massive guidelines and regulations schools must follow. Not to mention the time spent by administrators on this issue versus other pressing concerns in our schools.

Thankfully and hopefully this debate will end tomorrow. For those opposed to the likely decision of renaming do what i will do. No more donations to PAUSD as obviously money is not issue for them. My money will find better purposes outside a disconnected school board.

16 people like this
Posted by 38 year resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 16, 2017 at 5:58 pm

5th Generation.....changing the names sends another message. Despite all the good you have done in your lifetime, if one person decides that he objects to an aspect of your life that he finds offensive, and protests loudly enough [portion removed], he will prevail and get his way.

It also lets people know that true democracy is dead. The school board doesn't have the courage to put this to a vote or survey the entire community for their take on this issue. They know it would lose by a landslide.

So now we have scales being removed from fitness facilities at a college where an obese person found them offensive. People being denied their right to speak at major universities and colleges because they express a view that differs from theirs instead of respectfully listening to that point of view. [Portion removed.]

12 people like this
Posted by let me be blunt
a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 16, 2017 at 6:26 pm

@ board watcher

although i respect your opinions i must say i'm disturbed by your comments to ask the Palo Alto weekly to delete other views. It seems a very common view by liberals (can i use that word or is that offensive to you as well) to shutter debate and free speech. A very disturbing trend as pointed out by comments from "Sunshine" above with what happened at Middlebury College,

Seems like the left ( sorry if i offend anyone with that term) can't hear contrary views and if they do they want to shut it down or worse yet call everyone a racist if they don't agree with their views

Scary stuff. What happened with open discourse and letting people here different views and making their own decision Including our kids!!

16 people like this
Posted by Seriously.
a resident of Stanford
on Mar 16, 2017 at 6:59 pm

Here's a public statement:

“I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races”

Stated not by Jordan, but by Abraham Lincoln.

What does this mean?

- No one is perfect.
- It's easy to find something now repugnant, disgusting and politically unacceptable in the beliefs of historical figures.
- In judging historical figures, it's best not to focus on one narrow aspect at the expense of others. Current litmus tests are the wrong way to go.
- Changing Jordan's name is a cheap, cowardly retreat from facing the real, deep, and difficult problems of inclusion and welcome of diverse cultures in our schools.

School names aren't even a part of the problem, and changing school names is not even a tiny part of the solution. It's just something to obscure clarity of the actual problems and hard work necessary to address them.

11 people like this
Posted by Grandma w successful kids
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 16, 2017 at 7:10 pm

All I can say if this thing passes, let the kids raise the $ and the parents can't contribute a dime. They have to work for it from other sources.

I've raised 3 hard working, very successful kids that way. One even started his own co. Teach them skills needed. Don't spoil and entitle them so easily in this privileged community.

Share with the under privileged instead with East Palo Alto & show "inclusiveness" with them there too. Especially if you have 6 million in reserve!!

Good luck to my old neighborhood (Crescent Park) in which was torn down and now you are living in it!

Do you need a Crescent Park School now? Maybe that's where the reserve fund should go, a new STEM school for special ed, inclusive sports, math tutoring, self esteem and self awareness all that a child needs. Leave the kids alone in school parents, it's stressful enough, don't overthink for them, Listen to them, Love, Inspiration, Faith & Hope. Don't let this board cave. There seems there wasn't a fair vote from alumni from all schools.The word just didn't get out.
Love, a Crescent Park Elementary Alumni, Jordan & Gunn too. (ps. please work to save the names)

19 people like this
Posted by A Realtor
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 16, 2017 at 7:29 pm

Attention Homeowners in Palo Alto, aged 65 and older:

If you call the PA School District office, 329-3700, you can request that your property tax bill be reduced by approximately $758.00 per year. Senior citizen homeowners are not required to pay the PA School Parcel Tax. Most homeowners are not aware that this fee can be waived, as long as you are 65 years or older. Request that the school district send you the appropriate waiver form. You will need to request the fee waiver every year.

10 people like this
Posted by Misha
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 16, 2017 at 8:06 pm

Tapping reserved funds should be done to support something that directly impacts students positively. In a fully-funded world, we could afford spending money on renaming. However, in a budget constrained world, better we invest funds in programs such as social emotional learning curriculum.

18 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 16, 2017 at 8:19 pm

Good. There was no earthly reason why Palo Alto should spend close to $1,000,000 on a special single-issue naming election. Save it for the next full election. Spend the money saved on something useful like reducing class size or school bus shuttles to reduce gridlock of parents dropping off and picking up their kids.

Re the senior Parcel Tax Exemption of about $758, many education-minded people specifically took the exemption to protest the city's out-of-control spending and deafness to residents' complaints about $3,142 commuter bikes and unwanted roundabouts, etc etc.

Yes, the city and school district have 2 separate budgets but taking the Parcel Tax Exemption seems to be the only way to protest when the city ignores residents -- at your kids' expense!

9 people like this
Posted by lovey
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 16, 2017 at 9:51 pm

hey grandma - you rock !!!

14 people like this
Posted by stanhutchings
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 16, 2017 at 10:13 pm

stanhutchings is a registered user.

Since the question of cost was asked, here are two examples of costs I found:
Web Link
"The Houston school board signed off Thursday on a $1.2 million price tag for the renaming of eight schools named after Confederate loyalists.
The public disclosure and approval of the estimated cost came two months after a group of taxpayers sued the Houston Independent School District, alleging a lack of transparency in the controversial renaming process.
The district's interim superintendent, Ken Huewitt, told the school board this week that he proposed the agenda item revealing the renaming expenses in response to the ongoing lawsuit"
And then the inevitable lawsuit brought by upset community members: Web Link. Is this what we want?
Schools will not be renamed in a vacuum: the waves of costly financial consequences will spread like the "Butterfly Effect" throughout the city and state. There is no way to estimate the final cost to the schools and community, which is why I refused to be on a subcommittee to try to make the guess. And that is not even including the divisive community discourse to come, which will be pretty intense judging from the comments on renaming submitted to Town Square.
I might also mention that "A formal letter of findings from the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights released on Thursday details how the Palo Alto school district repeatedly failed to "promptly and equitably" respond to and investigate reports of sexual harassment and assault on and off its campuses" was NOT talking about school NAMES, but about the school environment and staff response to significant problems.

16 people like this
Posted by Sanctimonious City
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 16, 2017 at 11:32 pm

Eugenics was a horrific idea and it is sad that our children need to be reminded of it. Perhaps it is some consolation that good people around the world rose up to discredit it and destroy it.

We rightfully hear about the minority school children shamed and intimidated by the school namesake. It is also equally sad to see the reverse racist attitudes in some of these posts that has also infiltrated into our school curriculum, administrator attitudes and teacher viewpoints.

In the U.S., "White People" are defined as anybody originating from Europe, the Middle East or North Africa. Now that Whites are the minority in California, Terman M.S. and Gunn H.S. do they also deserve special consideration or sensitivity for their minority status?

Imagine a little White girl who must attend class everyday with presumed guilt and privilege just on the basis of her skin color. No matter her genetic composition, cultural background or country of origin, she is lumped into a supposedly homogeneous racially based cohort comprised of over 80 countries and 1.3 billion people.

Someone referring to people from Asia as Oriental or so obtuse as to not know the differences between Chinese and Filipino could be considered racist in liberal circles. Well what about the ones who can't recognize the difference between Albania and Algeria, Germany and Jordan, or even English and Irish. They are all "White" by definition.

To borrow from actual examples in above posts (@Jerry Underhal and @Colleg T Resident) -
Diversity and inclusion appear to be tacit accusations that our little school girl and her kind must inherently not appreciate others who "Do not look like you". She needs to "walk a day in the shoes of a minority" Inaccurate statements that are as much prejudiced as patronizing.

Maybe she is salvageable with aggressive intervention therapy and reprogramming, but only if kept from her brethren seeking "nativism, populism and White Nationalism". Because naturally, that is what all White people must think and do.

Unfortunately, if she or her family are Trump supporters then it is too late even for the Palo Alto rehab center. She is free to be intellectually bullied in class by her teachers constantly bemoaning his dangerous ideas based on fake news, telling her how she should think on political issues and encouraging her to join street protests.

The most obvious form of proof for bias against her as a class is the necessity and desire to avoid the "White" label in college applications and employment. Famously, people like Elizabeth Warren tried to claim American Indian heritage or the former NAACP regional leader Rachel Dolezel (Now Nkechi Amare Diallo) tried to change her ethnicity to further their careers. She sees these tactics and knows that unlike other minorities, she will be discriminated against by a quota system in college enrollment and diversity programs in government and corporate America. She then wonders, are those not troubling signs that institutionalized racism is taking hold?

Just like Eugenics, good people need to rise up and destroy the idea of identity politics. If you find yourself accidentally grouping all white people into a historical negative caricature, then you might be suffering from anachronistic thinking and implicit bias. However, some people suspect a more sinister and coordinated explanation. Maybe the effort to change the school names is sincere or maybe it is just part of a broader ideology attempting to tear down the statues of Lenin and replace them with Stalin.

19 people like this
Posted by Oldster
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 17, 2017 at 1:19 am

Well put, Sanctimonious.

Today on St. Patrick's Day, I'm reminded why my family celebrates it. We came from Ireland before, during and after the Potato Famine. Some came as slaves, others fled famine. I grew up hearing my Dad talk about seeing signs at employers on the East Coast saying "No Irish Need Apply" and at bars "No Sailors, No Dogs, No Irish" even up to 1964.

The Irish in Boston and New York decided not to be snowflakes and started parades to show their pride and welcome everyone to celebrate with them. One day the US Census will stop collecting data on race, ethnicity, religion or gender.

Happy St. Patrick's Day - when everyone is welcome to be Irish - even the PAUSD board.

4 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 17, 2017 at 2:39 am

@Oldster, "No Irish" reminds me of a classic line in Blazing Saddles.

4 people like this
Posted by PTA Member
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Mar 17, 2017 at 6:58 am

Wow. Welcome to the Breitbart Report, West Coast Edition.

23 people like this
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 17, 2017 at 8:37 am

As someone who knows about implementing a naming change, $200K for *two* schools is not even close to covering the costs. There are a lot of ancillary costs to a name change. Signage alone will take up a big chunk of that budget.

This smells like sandbagging the costs the same way that HSR was *only* supposed to be $40B.

This is ridiculous. Whoever pulled $200K out of their netherlands is pulling a snow job on everyone.

6 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 17, 2017 at 8:50 am

Local tv media have now heard about this. Expect to see tv cameras and reporters at Churchill today.

8 people like this
Posted by Jim H.
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 17, 2017 at 10:06 am

Maybe PAUSD can ask the Rockefeller Foundation or the Carnegie Institution for the money to cover the costs of the name change. After all, the Rockefeller Foundation and Carnegie both funded Eugenics programs. Rockefeller actually funded the program that Josef Mengele worked at before going on to Auschwitz. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes also supported parts Eugenics. In one decision he wrote,"It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind…. Three generations of imbeciles are enough."

The school is going to spend reserve money on this name change, money that has been reserved to open a new school, which another PAUSD directed committee stated needed to be open for the benefit of the education of the students.

Like this comment
Posted by outsider
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 17, 2017 at 11:03 am

You all have to feel sorry for the people trying to figure out what to do.

14 people like this
Posted by Why sorry?
a resident of Mountain View
on Mar 17, 2017 at 11:22 am

Why would one have to feel sorry for them? It's a simple matter that has been blown out of proportion by an extremely small minority and now discussed to death.

Simple. No name change. I frankly can't believe it's even still being considered [portion removed.]

12 people like this
Posted by let me be blunt
a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 17, 2017 at 2:07 pm

well at this point i'm getting sick of the debate.

here's what's next

School Board approves
Takes 18 months to propose new names
More debate, more posts, more time wasted
12 months later Names finally decided
Costs to rename run way over budget

And yes, final point Taxpayers screwed again

4 people like this
Posted by News Reporter today on tonight.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 17, 2017 at 3:40 pm

Check on TV tonight "ABC 7 at 5 & 6 pm. Jeanine, news reporter came to Board today from ABC 7 news to interview and find out about what's going on. Maybe we'll get some community interest.

9 people like this
Posted by 5th Generation
a resident of Mayfield
on Mar 17, 2017 at 6:19 pm

The names have been changed to protect the innocent! If they had been kept, it would have been to protect the guilty!

Congrats and thank you to the School Board for doing the right thing and for having the guts to change!

We as an ever-evolving society must point out evils and wrongheaded thinking, present day and past.

3 people like this
Posted by Grandma to "lovey"
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 17, 2017 at 6:34 pm

Thanks, you rock too, you just made my day!! Why do I rock? I'm like Stella trying to get her groove back!

Happy Saint Patrick's day all!!!

And the show must go on!!!


2 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 17, 2017 at 10:25 pm

As a result of this decision, Jordan and Terman now will be forgotten for all the good things they did and only be remembered for their views on one subject.

I feel so sorry for their descendants. What a legacy their forebears have now!

6 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Mar 18, 2017 at 2:24 am

What would be an appropriate name for a school which feels like a prison to most students, and dumps loads and loads of insanely meaningless amounts of homework on them (inside and outside the classroom) - all of which are forgotten by their second year in high school?

Middle school doesn't have to be this rigorous for kids at such a young age.
Jordan is a place where minor infractions like being late to class, talking in class, and cutting are treated like serious criminal offenses. It scares the heck out of so many kids, and all it does it turn them off to school and on to drugs.

Our middle schools are turning kids off to learning, and stressing them out for no reason. Their brains are in a differnt place during this time, and not into memorizing the history of world and religious wars, cell biology, or perfecting the perfect Powerpoint presentation.

Let these kids be young teens be themselves and learn in a more relaxed environment.

Why not simply call the schools PAUSD Correctional Facility I and II?

8 people like this
Posted by Heartbroken Grandma
a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Mar 18, 2017 at 8:24 am

Who got the signatures for this change? The kids or the parents???
If they do need to fund this separately, I feel the $ should not be donated by a parent nor come from the New Reserve Fund of 6 million!!!
Give some of that $ to counselors and tutors and inclusive programs.

Have the kids earn it on their own without a cent from their parents or the tax payers.

This is really an opportunity now to teach kids how to budget!!

A retired concerned historian, Grandma and alumni.

6 people like this
Posted by Old Palo Alto
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 20, 2017 at 12:23 pm

Will Palo Alto also have to tear down the statue commemorating Nicola Tesla and rename the car company? Tesla was also a eugenicist
Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by sweet little 16
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 20, 2017 at 10:23 pm

Heart broken Grandma - you rule!!

6 people like this
Posted by Heart Broken Grandma to lovey & Sweet 16
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 25, 2017 at 5:24 pm

Thanks. I heard from a board member they will be accepting applications soon to be on the renaming committee.
How about WE the students, alumni, parents, community & grandparents start a thread of idea's the schools could be called!! Bring it on and rock it now!!!
Maybe we can all come up with something REALLY GOOD to be in place from now on.
Lovey & Sweet 16, hope you are doing very well.


Grandma :)

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

Burger chain Shake Shack to open in Palo Alto
By Elena Kadvany | 16 comments | 4,525 views

The Cost of Service
By Aldis Petriceks | 1 comment | 1,025 views

This time we're not lying. HONEST! No, really!
By Douglas Moran | 6 comments | 612 views

Couples: When Wrong Admit It; When Right; Shut Up
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 506 views

One-on-one time
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 434 views