Family of bullying victim sues school district | News | Palo Alto Online |


Family of bullying victim sues school district

Parents allege Palo Alto Unified School District failed to properly respond to harassment

The family of a special-education middle school student who was repeatedly bullied in 2016 has sued the Palo Alto school district for its failure to protect him from harassment, alleging this resulted in severe academic and emotional harm.

The lawsuit, filed in Santa Clara County Superior Court in July, asks the district to pay undetermined damages related to "incessant" bullying at Jordan Middle School. The student's parents allege that he was bullied in person and online and physically assaulted, including by a student who brandished a knife at him.

The Weekly is not identifying the student or his parents to protect their privacy.

The lawsuit names as defendants the school district as well as specific administrators: former Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Scott Bowers; Juana Briones Elementary School Principal Tom Jacoubowsky, who was Jordan's interim principal at the time of the bullying; Jordan Dean of Students James Lubbe, then an assistant principal; then-Vice Principal Jim Cox, who now teaches at Terman Middle School; and Jane Miller, a special-education aide at Jordan.

The student's parents allege the administrators failed to properly investigate and respond to their reports of the harassment. The administrators' failure "substantially" disrupted the student's academic performance and caused "severe emotional distress," the lawsuit states.

Administrators did not open a Uniform Complaint Procedure (UCP) investigation when they first learned there were allegations of discrimination based on the child's learning disability, as is required by district policy.

The student's parents eventually decided to pull their son out of school, but he has since returned to the district, this time at Terman Middle School. His mother told the Weekly on Tuesday that he's again experiencing bullying there.

She said she decided to file the lawsuit after feeling unheard by the district for months. The prospect of reform and better treatment of children like hers, she said, is more important than any financial outcome.

"It's not the money, it's the respect that a person deserves," she said in an interview conducted in Spanish. "Money will not recover what happened." 

Interim Superintendent Karen Hendricks declined to comment on the litigation.

After the family's case was disclosed in a Palo Alto Weekly story last fall, the school board said it planned to examine how staff are implementing policies and procedures for addressing complaints of discriminatory bullying. Questions again arose about the value of a two-tiered system, in which all complaints that do not involve legally protected classes (such as race, gender or disability) are to be handled at the schools, while those that do automatically start a district-level investigation.

The district's bullying policy has come up for discussion at the board's policy-review committee twice this fall, but no substantial changes have been made.

The lawsuit also alleges the district failed to reasonably supervise Miller, whom the parents said behaved inappropriately with their son over about three months, including grabbing his hands in an aggressive manner.

The district later determined that the aide's behavior was "unacceptable and unprofessional" but not discriminatory on the basis of race. (The investigation into this conduct was handled by Bowers, who concluded that because the aide had acted similarly toward other students who did not belong to a protected class, she was not discriminating against their son.)

The lawsuit alleges the district did not provide sufficient education for students or training for staff on how to prevent, report and respond to discriminatory conduct.

It also notes the district was already on notice for its failures in this area after a federal investigation into the bullying of a special-education Terman student years prior.

The family's attorney, Seth Rosenberg of San Francisco firm Emergent Law, said he has not determined the amount that will be sought from the district, as the family continues to incur expenses for care and treatment of their son. The lawsuit states it is in excess of $50,000.

Rosenberg said they hope the lawsuit represents an "incentive" for the district to change its behavior when it comes to responding to bullying.

"Hopefully when the school district has to compensate (the family), this will ... help them prevent themselves from doing this in the future to make sure that kids are safe," he said Tuesday.

A hearing date has been set for April, Rosenberg said.


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3 people like this
Posted by Snowflake
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 31, 2017 at 8:27 pm

[Post removed.]

40 people like this
Posted by Legal
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 31, 2017 at 10:39 pm

For corporations, part of a legal strategy is to have a long case record of correctly handling harassment cases internally. Well documented, clear procedures, logs, and satisfactory outcomes.

So when you stand in front of the judge, you can honestly demonstrate that you know what you are doing. This prevents frivolous lawsuits, as you deter those who suspect you are an easy target. And, of course, it also works out to be best practices for employees also, as their issues are addressed without needing court.

Schools? Not so much. I would expect a lot more suits coming: first because students aren't being cared for. Second, because admin are so screwed up that they invite lawsuits.

They should take the money out of raises for future years.

31 people like this
Posted by Palo Alto
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 1, 2017 at 6:34 am

[Post removed.]

13 people like this
Posted by Jayson
a resident of another community
on Nov 1, 2017 at 8:22 am

Big problem- social media. 71 percent of teens are on more than 1 social media site. Parents somehow have to be more aware of what their children are doing on social media.

65 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 1, 2017 at 9:02 am

@ Palo Alto

[Portion removed due to deletion of referenced comment.]

Can we assume that perhaps at the core of this lawsuit perhaps something in the PAUSD system needs to change when it comes to dealing with victims (physical, verbal or sexual)? Do we not have enough ample examples of how sexual assault was dealt with already at PAUSD?

How hard is it to believe that perhaps PAUSD protects the aggressor more than the victim who needs protection? That it's easier to look the other way, than deal with an ugly situation where a child/student may need support and protection?

Bullying of any sort should not be tolerated. There should be a ZERO tolerance policy with respect to bullying .... but perhaps.. JUST MAYBE.... PAUSD finds it easier to not label children with negative labels such as "bully" and thus finds it easier to not categorize a bullying situation as such.

I think... it would take a parent QUITE A BIT of extreme bullying with AMPLE EVIDENCE to take teachers, administrators and school board to court. This is not done lightly. NO PARENT wants their child to be bullied and go to court over such an issue.

Just from personal narratives I've heard from other parents ... .bullying happens at PAUSD (at various grade levels) and PAUSD has this reticent nature to classify a child as a bully, and prefer to look the other way, and put the onus of responsibility on the child being bullied. I know of families who have left the school or school district due to bullying rather than deal with the admin or district (as they do not find enough support).

The majority do not sue because life is busy ... but some of them have written letters to PAUSD regarding the situation before leaving.

As much good is found at PAUSD.... I get a sense .... when it comes to PROTECTING THE VICTIM (caps for emphasis)..... not enough is being done.

Take the sexual assault cases. That is easier to prove with physical assault happening, and see how that is handled. Whether it is physical, emotional or verbal... assault should NOT BE TOLERATED at schools nor at PAUSD. There should be a ZERO TOLERANCE policy adopted by PAUSD... but instead they have many examples of looking the other way and pretending such an instance doesn't exist.

So let's try not to be cynical or pass judgement.. but just maybe.. there is validity to a case. That for every case taken to court... there are many more silent parents and students who simply left the system due to lack of support

49 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 1, 2017 at 9:13 am

I agree with Legal. Very astute comment.

In fact.. I bet... if they looked at all the letters written by parents into PAUSD about their child being bullied (not even sexually assaulted) but just bullying (emotional or verbal or physical - excluding the sexual assaults)... there would be a tone of letters written to the Principle, district superintendent, and PAUSD board.

And if someone did a study of how each and every one of those cases were handled... I am willing to wager... that in the followups.. the majority of the parents, families and students found that PAUSD didn't respond appropriately.

That likely is the track record. Most PAUSD parents know of someone who left PAUSD or switched schools at PAUSD (going or leaving a lottery school) to handle the bullying situation their child is facing... cause they didn't receive adequate support from PAUSD. The situation was not dealt with, or handled, and victim was asked to self advocate for themselves.. and blame was put on the victim.

(That is what I've heard from the parents who leave or switch schools due to bullying).

41 people like this
Posted by YES!
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 1, 2017 at 10:20 am

Equally as repulsive as a bully are those who enable them. Parents of bullies beware, your lawsuits are coming as well.

38 people like this
Posted by cvvhrn
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 1, 2017 at 10:34 am

cvvhrn is a registered user.

Ive said it before and Ive said it again. We need to flush this toilet and start over From the top on down. Scandal after scandal, poorly negotiated contracts, predatory teachers, bullying, harassment, ignoring sexual assault (See Paly) and general incompetence. Top rated Schools? PAUSD is like that car that looks great from 30 feet but when you get up close its a mess

I do realize that there are good people and teachers educating our children, but this keeps happening. Time to can everybody from the top on down

33 people like this
Posted by Frustrated
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 1, 2017 at 12:30 pm

It's really frustrating to hear that bullying is so bad in our schools and that the schools and districts don't seem to be willing to do anything about it. There are so many resources out there for the kids, parents, and even school staff. Some of the resources and training are even done for free, but yet they are unwilling to use them. What are the schools/districts afraid of?

63 people like this
Posted by BP
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 1, 2017 at 12:48 pm

Teachers won't confront the actual bully and tell the parents about their child's behavior. Instead, they give long winded speeches to the entire class why you shouldn't be a bully. I complained to elementary teachers at Briones how a single boy was bullying my daughter, yet no action taken because they personally liked the boy more than my daughter. I wished the teachers and administrators showed more moral courage. I see what has happened at Paly the last year, and feel there isn't much hope.

11 people like this
Posted by Midtown Resident
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 1, 2017 at 12:59 pm

While I acknowledge that PAUSD has demonstrated little reason to grant them the benefit of the doubt on issues surrounding student conduct, I don’t think jumping to the conclusion that they are always non responsive to allegations of student misconduct is warranted. By their nature, instances of bullying tend to be not obvious to 3rd parties. In the absence of documentary evidence (like texts or emails) or reliable witnesses, the administrators are faced with a he said/she said situation. We absolutely want to stop bullying and teach appropriate and respectful behavior to our children, but the one man’s bullying is another man’s playful teasing. Do we want children punished because of a misunderstanding, social awkwardness, oversensitivity, or common immaturity? This is the dilemma a school faces in responding to many allegations of abuse or bullying. Zero tolerance can work in an adult milieu, but children should have greater latitude to make mistakes (even hurtful ones) and then be taught the error of their ways. Presuming PAUSD is trying to be fair to all students in its care and implementing methods of teaching appropriate interpersonal interaction techniques (that second thing may be more of a stretch), we should not take this story as irrefutable truth that the district is favoring bullies or ignoring victims.

10 people like this
Posted by Mom has middle schooler
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 1, 2017 at 1:18 pm

Jordan has around 350 kids in each grade, Terman has less students. Schools keep telling kids to be inclusive, like they just had Unity Day. I seen special-aide teachers working on one on one basis with the kids everyday. I seen teachers & staffs keep talking & yelling them everyday. But preteens and teens don't listen well from teachers, staff and parents because most of them think these are craps or cheesy. Not sure how to solve these kind of problems. Maybe schools and parents at home need to do it together. Can't blame schools for all responsibilities.

Filing lawsuits again PAUSD will help? Not sure about it too.

98 people like this
Posted by gotta save your own kid
a resident of Walter Hays School
on Nov 1, 2017 at 1:22 pm

Walter Hays - several years ago:
My daughter was forced to sit next to a boy every day who regularly spit on her, kicked her and grabbed her papers crumpled them up. She was 9 and small for her age. Teacher conference: "You should be so proud of how your daughter is able to stay poised in a difficult situation. She's the only child I can seat next to him."

Meanwhile, we watched the light go out of her eyes. She had become what I call a buffer child. A well behaved child who is used as collateral damage in classroom management. The quieter and more well behaved, the more likely to be forced to sit next to the local terror. The local terror often has parents with money and clout.

Boys parents: boys will be boys. Boy parents hired a full time live in nanny so they wouldn't have to spend any time with their kid. My daughter spent more time sitting next to this kid than any adult on any day.

Our answer: private school. Many private schools offer excellent financial assistance and many are not as expensive as you might think. Another buffer girl took our daughter's place. They complained. Nothing happened. They moved.

PAUSD will never help you if your kid is bullied - you will have to either move to a different district or opt out. Personally, we didn't have the bandwidth or the stomach or the cash to sue - but I'm glad someone does. Private schools are not perfect, but at my daughter's private school those who bully are expelled. Immediately. It took our daughter about a year to recover her sense of self.

Boy: last I heard he was in enormous amounts of trouble, but now he's a teen and physically dangerous. His parents have more power than ever and just buy his way out of every mess. And that's how PAUSD ends up with such problems in high school. They don't take care of these issues in elementary.

Like this comment
Posted by al munday
a resident of another community
on Nov 1, 2017 at 1:52 pm

[Post removed.]

29 people like this
Posted by Really
a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Nov 1, 2017 at 2:54 pm

Soooo much time and energy spent on a name change for the school instead of cleaning a mess like this up.

33 people like this
Posted by another resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 1, 2017 at 3:15 pm

@ Midtown resident

Listen...PAUSD has a pattern of skirting bullying issues. You either stand behind zero tolerance on bullying or you don't. I can understand not realizing the first time as a 3rd party observer, but once this is brought to attention and it is repeatedly ignored by the teaching staff, administrator or district supervisor, then this is an ongoing pattern.

Zero tolerance means zero tolerance, not a shifting of the line in the sand. Parents with children who are unable to respect and treat other children with respect and dignity, regardless of the reason (social ineptitude, lacking social awareness, lacking social skills or what not), bullying and lacking respect is still an invasion of another child's personhood.

It's like saying, "oops I stepped on your toes cause my shoes are extra large, but hey, I'm going to keep stepping on your toes cause it's extra large and big and it's crowded in here." One must fix the problem, not look the other way giving excuses.

You said, "we should not take this story as irrefutable truth that the district is favoring bullies or ignoring victims"
Parents are suing administrators, teachers and PAUSD. That is happening. Did the bullying happen? By golly I bet that they have proof to take it to court, not just "he said and she said."

Will bullies ever see themselves as bullying others? No not always.
Will the parents of bullying children see their child as bullying? No not always. They can justify it as "my kid is going through a tough day at school today."

You can always give a thousand excuses for bullying. Regardless, when it comes to bullying, if a child is being verbally,, physically, or emotionally harassed, by golly it's still bullying. I'm incredulous to see how PAUSD is finding it so hard to understand bullying happens? Why it takes the sky to fall in before they may "perhaps" concede there may have been some misunderstandings?

35 people like this
Posted by Victim's Pain
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 1, 2017 at 4:45 pm

From my near decade long experience in the district, I've gotten to know that victims always left, bullies always stayed. Why did victims leave? Because victims are not supported by the school/district even after repeated pleads by parents. Parents of victims had to make a very hard choice - should they allow the victim (their child) to continue attending school with the known environment that would cause further injury?

My point is that there is a victim in every one of these bully/assault situations. The victim needs support, physically and emotionally, regardless of the intent or disciplinary consequences that are directed at the bully. When victims don't get support, they cannot continue to learn and thrive. If you have two kids, one attacked the other and caused injury, would you ever say to your injured child, "Hey, your brother didn't mean to hurt you and I disciplined him, so I'm not going to patch up your wound, and I'm not going to give you a hug because you're sad."

25 people like this
Posted by PA mom
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 1, 2017 at 5:16 pm


My experience mirrors everything Resident said. My daughter was afraid to report being bullied herself, and instead confided in me and asked me to intervene. We later switched our, at the time, nine-year-old daughter to another school because the principal refused to investigate her ongoing bullying by a certain student, and they protected the principal from consequences for his actions in breaching our confidentiality to the family of the bully. This is what he said in an email to me:

"However, [my name], I must be really clear that unless the teacher and/or I have clear and direct reporting from [my daughter], we are limited in what my/our response can be.”

It seemed that, rather than take my reports seriously, they required my young girl to jump through their hoops immediately, and if she wasn’t able to, they would punish her for it by refusing to help her. A friend reported bullying her son confided to her in another school district, which she reported to his school, and they took immediate action just based on her report.

22 people like this
Posted by parent
a resident of Gunn High School
on Nov 1, 2017 at 5:21 pm

Unfortunately for the bullies of this country, victims are standing up for themselves in this post-Trump world. Covering up hate crimes may have worked in the past, but not any longer. Yes, this does mean that some crimes of the past will be prosecuted now. Laws have not changed, but society's (and the jury's) attitudes about hate crimes have changed and the victims are gaining their voice. You may not like Trump's policies, but you have to admit that he has done more to empower hate crime victims than any recent president.

22 people like this
Posted by Priorities
a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Nov 1, 2017 at 5:36 pm

A student who wanted a name change recieved more support and action than a student that was a victim of bullying and a student that did the bullying recieved. This is yet another example of a high profile decision that makes the PAUSD leaders and Board "look good" rather than tackling the harder issues. Change it up.

36 people like this
Posted by lectures and assemblies
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 1, 2017 at 6:20 pm

And, unfortunately, another loss here will be the additional time spent in school-wide assemblies or SEL (social emotional learning) curriculum forced on the entire student body.

As my children and teens have said, "We're so tired of being lectured about all this. Most kids are nice and know how to be at least polite. The ones who aren't nice, DON'T CARE and AREN'T LISTENING during all this stuff. They continue to be trouble-makers, but the good kids keep getting lectured at."

If we could actually hold individual perpetrators and families accountable, school-time for ALL the rest of the students would be more productive and pleasant.

What a heart-ache for the victims of bullying! What a horrid lesson of Do What I Say, Not What I Do for the entire student body! The kids are watching. They see day in and day out that bullies are not stopped, while they get forced to attend yet another sensitivity lesson.

Let's target the social emotional training at the kids who really need it. Productive detention.

9 people like this
Posted by Former PALY parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Nov 1, 2017 at 6:26 pm

Kids who are not special needs or “ethnicity minority” may also be bullied. It can happen at any grade level. The world is not perfect, but ADULTS need to lead the way, properly supervise, and support all students. I was unimpressed with Jordan and PALY, but note the administration is likely entirely changed. They have had a lot of turnover for a variety of reasons. But Inwould not call Palo Alto a particularly kind place. No.

17 people like this
Posted by About the money
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 1, 2017 at 6:48 pm

I see no problem with suing them for money. That seems to be the only way to get their attention and motivate them to do the right thing.
It is up to all the rest of us next time when they want to raise our taxes saying it is "for the children", to respond - "enough is enough- spend the money we give you on the children, not on lawyers and on undeserved raises"

42 people like this
Posted by mattie
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 1, 2017 at 7:28 pm

Part of the problem (albeit just one part) is that schools have been rendered powerless to discipline anyone for anything. Part of that is a cultural shift, part of it is legal. Most kids who chronically misbehave have a diagnosis that makes any meaningful intervention or punishment an illegal violation of an IEP.

Add to that the fact that everyone wants to be mainstreamed, whether their kid is an obvious potential target or an obvious potential offender... and we have no gifted programs, so classroom have a preposterous range of students.... and so on and so on....

29 people like this
Posted by Similar Story
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 1, 2017 at 7:33 pm

gotta save:

You described my daughter's experience in PAUSD elementary quite well. Well-behaved girls seem to be used as "buffers," like you say. They are not only bullied by other kids but by teachers and administrators who use them and put them in harm's way. This seems too common in PAUSD and is a reason why girls leave. They are not taken seriously and are not listened to.

18 people like this
Posted by Bob
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 1, 2017 at 8:40 pm

I am a PAUSD teacher and I address bullying wth students EVERY SINGLE TIME I witness it.

21 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 1, 2017 at 10:20 pm

Wow. I just read someone posted:

"Do we want children punished because of a misunderstanding, social awkwardness, oversensitivity, or common immaturity? This is the dilemma a school faces in responding to many allegations of abuse or bullying. Zero tolerance can work in an adult milieu, but children should have greater latitude to make mistakes (even hurtful ones)" and it's shocking to me.

So basically the point is ZERO TOLERANCE towards bullying SHOULD NOT be adopted and bullying behaviors should be TOLERATED even if it's harmful to others because:

1. only a child
2. social awkwardness/ emotional immaturity/ misunderstanding etc.

This exemplifies the PAUSD and teachers/admin stance on tolerance towards bullying and bad behaviors. While trying to "not label" bad harmful and inappropriate bad behaviors, they take a permissive attitude towards the hurt caused on other innocent bystanders and children.

It is easier to preach to the entire classroom repeatedly over 1 inappropriately behaving child who is disrupting the entire class and picking on specific children than address the issue directly with the 1 child and their parents.

Bad inappropriate harmful behavior that causes harm to other children, where their property and personhood (emotions or physical body) is not respected.. where the victim feels a sense of violation... should not be tolerated. Instead adults who are in charge of the situation (admins and principals and district superintendents and PAUSD) can fix and address the situation and nip it in the bud refuse to do so. They continue to sweep it quietly under the rug.
All in the name and purpose of "not labelling a child"... while the children who are adversely hurt by the bully bear emotional scars that go deeply beyond what they should.

And the victim and their parents then move the child, uprooting them from their school and friends. They go to another school in PAUSD or leave the district all together. They go to a private school. This is an ongoing pattern. Meanwhile the children who make things uncomfortable for the other children and unbearable... happily stay at the current school.

It's time PAUSD woke up as a district and board. That includes the PAUSD board members.
They should learn from the school boards throughout North America that have adopted ZERO TOLERANCE towards bullying.

PAUSD has a lot to learn. The whole sexual assault scandal arose from inappropriate support provision to the victim while protecting the aggressor because he is still just a kid.

Why does PAUSD and it's board find it so hard to follow other boards in their steps who have adopted ZERO TOLERANCE towards bullying?

For such a sophisticated, educated, and technologically advanced city, it's really astounding that there is such a high level of tolerance towards bullies and their bullying behaviors.

18 people like this
Posted by gotta save your own kid
a resident of Walter Hays School
on Nov 1, 2017 at 10:35 pm

@ Bob.

I'm so glad! I hope the District supports you and you don't burn out. I wish you a long, happy teaching career and I hope you will be a source of strength for others. Teaching is an extraordinarily difficult job under any circumstances, and without proper support from above, it can be nearly impossible. Thank you for your service.

25 people like this
Posted by lectures and assemblies
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 1, 2017 at 10:54 pm

@ mattie

You've got that right as well.
It is a problem that now disruptive or even hurtful behavior is PROTECTED because it falls under a diagnosable problem.

In my son's elementary class, children had to listen to a classmate daily and repeatedly saying things like "I'm going to kill everybody" and drawing violent pictures and screaming and throwing things.
The other students were told to ignore it because "that's just the way ____ is". Adults are deliberately training them to disregard their own feelings about personal safety. Meanwhile, we wring our hands when someone does something truly violent in our society and say "Why didn't anyone do anything sooner? Why didn't anyone pay attention to the warning signs?"

It took me months of requests to get the principal to agree to a meeting about this. And then, of course, as you say, the response was, "Well, we can document your complaint, but unless the parents agree there is nothing we can do to change anything."
So one student is protected while the rest of the class spends an entire school year in fear and anxiety.

5 people like this
Posted by More than Zero
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 1, 2017 at 10:59 pm

@Resident - zero tolerance policies are largely out of favor the last 10+ years, with increasing evidence they don't achieve their objectives. You can google it like I did, but here's one link (Web Link) reporting on a National Academies of Sciences study. I don't know if it is right, but the pendulum seems to have swung against zero tolerance policies.

11 people like this
Posted by gotta save your own kid
a resident of Walter Hays School
on Nov 1, 2017 at 11:14 pm

@mattie and Lectures

I agree with you both - completely.

From time to time I think about the boy who was so out of control. The school failed him, the community failed him, his parents failed him, the community failed his parents. This boy needed HELP and was acting out because of severe issues that were swept under the table. Anyone who knew this boy when he was as young as 5 could see the freight train coming.

I have nothing but compassion for this boy and feel deep sadness for him

18 people like this
Posted by I have Questions
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 2, 2017 at 12:01 am

Reading the posts and it makes me think of big cities such as TDSB (Toronto District School Board). Toronto has a population of > 3 million people and almost 6 million in the greater Toronto Area.
This school board has pages on bullying and it's policies:
Web Link

It has how to report bullying and what the policies are for how TDSB responds to bullying. PDF on the policies are published online.

Maybe it's time the Palo Alto schools learnt to not re-invent the wheel but take what works in other School Boards in major cities and follow suit. It has been done. Bullying doesn't run rampant & avoided like in Palo Alto.

They write the following:
Every school and Board in Ontario is required to have a comprehensive Bullying Prevention and Intervention plan.

Whether the bullying happened at school, between students off school property or online, if it impacts student safety, the school must investigate and respond to any reports.

The TDSB takes bullying very seriously. As a system, we focus efforts on prevention efforts and creating a welcoming school community. Staff and students are educated on what bullying looks like and how to report. They are engaged through events, activities and prevention programming and encouraged to take on leadership roles to enhance the school community.

14 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 2, 2017 at 12:12 am

What a great link.

I've copied some really relevant parts of that link. Does PAUSD have such policies in place?
My guess is if one does a formal investigation of PAUSD... there is no such clearly written operational procedures of what to do and it's very case by case specific giving much latitude to the teachers, administration, and superintendent of the PAUSD. My guess is that would explain why bullying support and addressing bullying issues are NOT properly addressed in a clear uniform manner that supports not only students, but also the TEACHING STAFF.

If you think about this.. this is a TOP DOWN issues. It starts at BOARD LEVEL..and goes down from PAUSD to admin staff. It really puts too much onus and creative problem solving at the teachers' feet and doesn't give THEM much guidance on how to behave or what to do. IT's just RANDOM.. hence poor addressing of the issues and simply brushing it under the rug.

This IS a TOP DOWN issue. No doubt

The page states:
The Board recognizes the following principles:
(a) bullying adversely affects a student’s ability to learn;
(b) bullying adversely affects healthy relationships and the school climate;
(c) bullying adversely affects a school’s ability to educate its students;
(d) bullying will not be tolerated by any members of our schools and school
(e) bullying prevention will be promoted by all members our schools and school

Schools shall ensure that:
(a) bullying shall not be accepted on school property, at school-related activities,
on school buses, or in any other circumstances where engaging in bullying
will have a negative impact on the school climate;
(b) policies and procedures on bullying prevention and intervention, and the definition
of bullying shall be communicated to students, parents, teachers and
other school staff, school councils, volunteers and school bus operators/drivers;
(c) supports shall be provided for students who have been bullied, students who
have bullied others, and students who have been affected by observing bullying;
(d) the school has a Caring and Caring and Safe Schools Team, composed of at
least one student (where appropriate), one parent, one teacher, one support
staff, one community partner, the school positive space rep, the school equity
rep and the principal. An existing school committee can assume this role;
(e) the school develops and implements a school-wide bullying prevention,
awareness and intervention plan as part of the School Improvement Plan.
Components of the plan will include the following (link to be inserted):
(i) the definition of bullying, cyber bullying, cyber harassment, cyber defamation,
cyber stalking;
(ii) prevention strategies;
(iii) intervention strategies;
(iv) training strategies for members of the school community;
(v) communication and outreach strategies;
(vi) monitoring and review processes
(vii) role of staff;
(f) the awareness of equity and inclusivity, gender based violence prevention
(e.g. positive spaces in schools), and mitigating and other factors on bullying
prevention and intervention exists;
(g) teaching strategies support a school-wide focus on developing healthy relationships
by including bullying prevention and intervention in classroom
(h) a comprehensive intervention strategy that addresses incidents of bullying, including
appropriate and timely responses is developed;
(i) students are able to report bullying incidents safely and in a way that will minimize
the possibility of reprisal i.e. anonymously;
(j) review processes (e.g. Critical Path for creating a Positive School Climate)
are established to determine the effectiveness of the School Improvement Plan
on bullying prevention and intervention.

16 people like this
Posted by Truth & Reconciliation
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 2, 2017 at 12:45 am

"I am a PAUSD teacher and I address bullying wth students EVERY SINGLE TIME I witness it."

I applaud you for that. But would you stand up to administrators or district lawyers who get you to do things that you know in your heart aren't right? Would you even question or just assume the family is always wrong because you like the administrator?

What if an administrator told you a family was just trouble and threatened to sue the district, and that therefore you should treat them a certain way - how would you know if that person was lying to you and actually was retaliating against the family? How would you even identify bullying by adult staff members of students and families? What if the teachers told one family they couldn't be accommodated at home because they have room to house just one student, yet repeatedly put another student who needed accommodation at school outside the front of the school in a desk as if the student is being put up for ridicule (and sunburned), because supposedly there is no space for the student anywhere on campus except where the student will be humiliated and hurt? Would you say that was wrong and stand up to that person, or would you go along with it because they seem nice so they must be telling you the truth? Would you pay attention to subsequent misbehavior by adults, such as their refusing to follow up on a serious cyber bullying complaint? Would you agree that the adults are justified to bully and gang up on and hold a sweet kid at arms' length and then try to throw the parent off the campus for just trying to read a letter from the child about how hurt the child felt from the treatment, during a time when kids were being invited to speak up because of so many students taking their lives? Or do you support "civility" policies to make it easier to show families like that the door so you never have to witness anything wrong?

What about that team 504 meeting - they tell the family that they just need a signature to show that they gave it to them. Do you follow up to find out if they really lied and later claimed the family signed their agreement? When families insist on recording meetings because they are tired of dealing with the lies, do you assume they are just exaggerating? Have you ever witnessed a truth-finding effort and sincere apology when administrators screwed up (or would you even recognize the more-likely relentless justifying to themselves of their morally bankrupt and hurtful behavior, much less do something to make things right?)

I do think we have a lot of good people in our district. But I agree with one of the posters above - where do they put their moral compasses when they come to work?

Good luck to this family. I am proud of you for standing up. Do not leave your kid here now, though, if history is any guide, they will retaliate against you and the adults will take it out on your child in school and justify it to themselves. Good people do sick things in a sick organization, The law won't protect you from retaliation, it only reacts if you ptove the hurt after it happens, like the old stalking laws where you had to orove you had been assaulted first. It's not fair, but you have to take care of yourselves first. I'm sorry this happened to you and your child, and sorry the sacrifices we made trying to stand up ourselves made no &$(ing difference to make things better for others. Good luck to you.

Don't let them make you sign a nondisclosure, we all want to read those admins depositions.

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Posted by It's on the web site
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 2, 2017 at 12:45 am

Here is the Bully Prevention page from the PAUSD web site: Web Link

Sections include:

Bullying Prevention Activities
Bullying Defined
Indicators of Discriminating, Intimidating, Harassing, and Bullying Behaviors
Reporting of Bullying
Guiding Values: Bullying Prevention Policy and Administrative Regulation
Bullying Prevention Forms and Tools
Support for Students
Bullying Prevention Resources
Report Incident (Anonymously)

8 people like this
Posted by Truth & Reconciliation
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 2, 2017 at 8:58 am

I hope the district will support Vicky Kim who seems to have repeatedly tried to get the district to follow procedures in that Title IX case, and hold anyone in this case involved in avoidiance of doung the right thing accountable. I hope the district will finally develop some kind of ombudsman - maybe cobsider demanding it in settlement? Someone who works for families and not in or undrer Churchill. If this family coukd have gone to an ombudsman after getting no help from the district, and if the ombudsman had enough authority, things like this woukd never happen. There would no longer be any perceived reward for cobpverup, but rather, perceived risk.

13 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 2, 2017 at 9:23 am

Thank you Palo Alto Online for posting the link to the full story of what happened to this poor family whose son got bullied. The full ramifications of what happened as you read the news article is shocking to say the least. What the school admins did and how the board handled it is egregious and negligent at best and reprehensible at worst.

Frankly I think if other parents at PAUSD (I've spoken to a number of them who have left PAUSD) would join this family in a class action lawsuit - it would show everyone and PAUSD and the BOARD members how badly they need to fix their policies and interventions. It's the same pattern of how administrators and board is dealing with bullying. The aggressor is just hidden away from their behaviors and the victim is blamed and parents of the victim are left to fend for themselves and protect their child.

Sadly I think the parents who have all quietly left with their children, likely are also not aware of this lawsuit. It is so much easier to quietly leave then to try to improve a broken system. One must do what is required to protect one's child and if that means leaving the PAUSD board and schools quietly and enrolling them in a private school, that is what is done. Path of least resistance.

It takes so much effort to take PAUSD to court. The mountain of evidence is obviously behind these folks to even bother going to court. The stories untold about how PAUSD fails the victims of bullying, likely would shock us all if everyone shared their stories.

28 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 2, 2017 at 9:50 am

@ It's on the website

Have you compared PAUSD's "bullying" website and the TDSB's bullying comprehensive website?

It's like comparing a ROTTED OUT toothpick to a HEALTHY, THRIVING huge oak tree in comprehensiveness (PAUSD versus TDSB policies on bullying)

For instance PAUSD defines bullying to how a victim MUST BE hurt with evidence before it's defined as bullying.
The phrasing is, "pupil(s) to EXPERIENCE a SUBSTANTIALLY DETRIMENTAL effect on...."
There is NO DEFINITION on what the aggressor does. Either way, the VICTIM needs to have SUBSTANTIAL DETRIMENTAL EFFECTS before it's defined as bullying. It's a bit backwards. It's like saying "prove it to me it's bullying.. no hurt? It's not bullying"
Or prove it that it's rape... or it's not rape. The onus of proof is on the victim to be hurt badly before it's bullying or rape.

PAUSD BOARD is at fault here and the parents should sue the board as well. They need a complete overhaul of how bullying is dealt with. They should just see how other major public school boards have policies on bullying then write their own little definitions and policies. It's all online what other boards define bullying as. Why is PAUSD's definition of bullying so narrow and harsh on the victim?

TDSB has a link to what they define as bullying:
Web Link

It's ALL ENCOMPASSING and very well written. It includes cyber bullying, and even actions ON SCHOOL and OFF SCHOOL property.. they investigate thoroughly. That is real protection of their students.

TDSB define's the AGGRESSOR'S behavior. Note the difference. It is all behaviors INTENDED or actually DOES cause harm. IF THERE IS INTENTION.. it's bullying.

the behaviour is intended by the pupil to have the effect of, or the pupil ought to
know that the behaviour would be likely to have the effect of,
(i) causing harm, fear or distress to another individual
(ii) creating a negative environment at a school for another individual

And then they include clinical definition of bullying as part of what bullying is. Shows they did their clinical research.
(b) the behaviour occurs in a context where there is a real or PERCEIVED power imbalance
between the pupil and the individual

For the purposes of the definition of “bullying” this behaviour includes the use of any
physical, verbal, electronic, written or other means.

21 people like this
Posted by PAUSD mom
a resident of Gunn High School
on Nov 2, 2017 at 2:31 pm

The PAUSD is doing their utmost not to file complaints still, to delay responses, and to avoid dealing with them. I'm having this issue currently with Gunn High School. [Portion removed.] After The Office of Civil Rights report came out, I called and found they had never received the complaint. [Portion removed.] I think we need a parent based complaint system online with support on how to approach the systemic issues with our district. [Portion removed.]

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Posted by it must be addressed
a resident of Menlo Park
on Nov 2, 2017 at 2:52 pm

[Post removed.]

21 people like this
Posted by Truth & Reconciliation
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 2, 2017 at 3:12 pm

@it must be,
The parent bashing here has gotten completely out of hand. Provide a solid research basis for your ridiculous contention or I hope the Weekly will delete it as factually inaccurate. I am unaware of any body of research demonstrating that parents are mostly to blame when their children are bullied in school, and when schools fail to deal with bullying according to the law or their own procedures, as so often happens here

19 people like this
Posted by Tired of PAUSD
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 2, 2017 at 5:12 pm

So tired of PAUSD’s attitude towards most things these days. Everything they do is in response to an incident versus a pro-active stance (bullying, title9, special education). No wonder the donations to PIE and PTA are down. People are tired of giving money to a district they can not trust. While both of these groups are entirely necessary, they are taking a hit because of the recklessness in our district.

1 person likes this
Posted by Parents
a resident of Juana Briones School
on Nov 2, 2017 at 5:29 pm

[Post removed.]

15 people like this
Posted by Concerned American
a resident of another community
on Nov 2, 2017 at 7:21 pm

This is the United States of America and people are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. Everyone has a right to their opinion, but that's all it is at this point. We are living in the times of "guilty" and you must prove you are innocent. Most of the people commenting here have already convicted the school district. I just hope if it is found there is no merit to the alleged incident, people will post an apology for condemning the hard working educators at PAUSD. Educators are so under appreciated in the USA. It's shameful.

Thank you the to all teachers and administrators who spend countless hours (day, night and weekends) making sure you take great care of other people's children. Sometimes you do this at the expense of your own family. I appreciate you! I know first hand how much you do and parents never say thank you. I know this because I am a teacher's kid! The only voices educators hear are the angry ones. I challenge those who have had good experiences with PAUSD to just post two words ---"thank you"

14 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 2, 2017 at 10:31 pm

Dear Concerned American,

Please don't confuse bad policy making (which the BOARD members of PAUSD are in charge of spear heading) on bullying with whether our PAUSD teachers are good or bad.

Poor policies ensure and entrench hard working teachers in bad boundaries and do not guide them or assist them in tough situation. It leaves the teacher to flap about in the wind, unassisted and unaided.

It's so clear by even doing a cursory purview of the various bullying policies PAUSD has, how archaic and entrenched in "protect the aggressor" and "blame the victim" mentality it has.

When PAUSD creates a 2 tier system on how to address bullying that California School Board Association (CSBA) in 2013 recommended strongly against creating ... as this kind of a system would not "ensure certainty and consistency for students, parents and staff when addressing all bullying complaints, regardless of whether or not a bullying incident might involve discrimination.".. that speaks volumes. Then PAUSD superintendent and current PAUSD board members voted to keep this odd and inconsistent 2 tier system.

As far as it can be seen.. that 2 tier system still exists. Come on! California School Board Association (CSBA) said PAUSD's bullying policies suck.. and you think we as parents should say, "THANK YOU!"

Don't mix up hard working teachers with BAD POLICY MAKING THAT RESTS SOLELY AT THE BOARD MEMBERS feet.

25 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 2, 2017 at 10:50 pm

Furthermore (Concerned American)... we are all concerned American PAUSD parents here. We are ALL concerned. It is NOT unAmerican to voice a concern. It is NOT unAmerican to demand poor policies on bullying be revised and the whole issue be revisited by the current PAUSD Board members. The mere fact that sexual rape victims at PAUSD were poorly handled bespeaks to how BADLY this bullying policy (which is an umbrella policy) covers our victims in our PAUSD school system.

We expect more from the Superintendent and Board Members. Ultimately they spearhead and set the guiding tone for everything.. and it makes you wonder exactly what they do sometimes. When bullying issues, and rape issues have time and time again been raised by multiple different sets of parents in different PAUSD schools and in differing grades.. and the answers are wholly inadequate... and this is an ongoing pattern... a Red FLAG should go up.

Once is happen stance
Twice is co-incidence.
Three times is enemy action

That means... when it keeps happening over and over.... it's not by mere "oops" one-off happenstance. No.

The mere fact a law suit is coming up on bullying against PAUSD should raise red flags. Every single PAUSD Board Member should be thinking, "what went wrong with the process? What needs to be fixed? Should we do a complete overhaul of the bullying policy PAUSD has?"

When one's bullying policies are met with strong opposition from California School Board Association (CSBA).. THAT should have been a RED FLAG as well. But no.... PAUSD Board members and superintendent merrily chug along, giving themselves raises, and doing their meetings, but least of all addressing concerns where students and children in the PAUSD system feel threatened, and feel harm, or distress.. where school or the classroom is a NEGATIVE ENVIRONMENT (instead of a bright happy place of learning).. .and there are imperceptible shifts in the power exchange between the aggressor and the victim (where the victim feels powerless). To a child... to the victim.... ONE DAY of this is too much, never mind days, weeks, months or a year of bullying.

[Post removed.]

21 people like this
Posted by Another PA Mom
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Nov 3, 2017 at 10:07 am

I cannot agree more with PA Mom. My daughter also was bullied by a teacher at Hoover school and I cannot do anything. Principal refused to move my daughter to different room/teacher, and me as being an immigrant myself did not know what to do, but just pool my daughter out of Hoover. [Portion removed.]

5 people like this
Posted by Susan Parents
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 3, 2017 at 10:42 am

[Post removed.]

13 people like this
Posted by Similar Story
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 3, 2017 at 11:16 am

@Another PA Mom,

I don't mean to stereotype, but many girls with immigrant Asian parents tend to be well behaved and quiet. Perhaps this is because Asian school cultures expect and condition girls to behave in such a way? Unfortunately, this means such girls become candidates as "buffers" to be placed next to unruly kids in PAUSD classrooms.

As you mention, it should be known that teachers and principals do simply say "No!" when a student, or their parent, asks for the "buffer" child to be moved to a location they feel is safer. Such a cold response from the teacher and/or principal is, frankly, unbelievable!

There is something deeply wrong about not moving a child who does not feel safe. You mention your case at Hoover, but similar situations have occurred at other PAUSD elementary schools.

Like this comment
Posted by Clunge
a resident of Menlo Park
on Nov 3, 2017 at 1:46 pm

Clunge is a registered user.

[Post removed.]

10 people like this
Posted by Truth & Reconciliation
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 3, 2017 at 2:31 pm

Yes, and rapists and murderers will still commit crimes, this does not mean it's hopeless to have laws and a criminal justice system. Our district has laws it is supposed to follow that are intended to protect students from what happened to this family, and it has procedures for following the law that the district wrote for themselves. But lately, time after time, our employees think they don't have to pay any attention to those laws. Just because bullies will always be among us has no bearing on whether the district should be able to continue flaunting the law and process.

Each problem that comes out is a chance to learn and fix things. The trouble is that the district gets away with pressuring families who have problems to go away, so nothing ever really gets fixed.

13 people like this
Posted by Charlie
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Nov 3, 2017 at 2:49 pm

It's not just the kids who are bullies. I pulled my 13 year old son out of Jordan in the middle of eighth grade after witnessing a teacher yell at him for ten minutes straight after he forgot to come in after school to work on his project. He called my son names and belittled him. This was after his school counselor told us that if our son couldn't get to class on time during the five minute passing period (during which he might have to travel the length of campus, and perhaps make a bathroom stop) then this counselor would have to resort to "publicly embarrassing him." I was appalled.

11 people like this
Posted by Kathy Jordan
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 4, 2017 at 12:02 pm

To all - it seems from the majority of these posts that something needs to be done to make sure PAUSD is meeting its legal obligations to its students. Feel free to share details of your complaints if you wish to

1 person likes this
Posted by Truth&Reconciliation
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 4, 2017 at 1:15 pm

Whose email is that and how will the info be used?

16 people like this
Posted by Ed
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 4, 2017 at 1:41 pm

Sadly, lawsuits seem to be one of the few effective methods to get the attention of PAUSD, the teachers union, and the school board. They should all expect more of the same until they follow the law with respect to how to run this school district.

4 people like this
Posted by Truth & Reconciliation
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 4, 2017 at 3:41 pm

You are sadly only too right. Saddest of all is that the people working for the district think that they don't get sued more because of the pernicious behavior, rather than understanding that the things they do require parents to constantly restrain themselves from suing because it's just not worth it - but man, the employees just dig in way worse and constantly make more evidence of incompetence while they think they are engaged in CYA. There is nothing short of a lawsuit to wake them up, but it's not worth it for most people no matter how they bait it with their stupidity and retaliatory behavior.

We need district legal that won't lead us down such paths and that are willing to even recommend termination of employees who engage in unethical behavior (as opposed to leading the employees to engage in such behavior ans then constantly cover up).

@Concerned American,
We can appreciate the good about this district while also wanting to rout out the bad. The environment parents have problems with at the district level has hurt some teachers over the years, too, and contributes to mistrust between parents and teachers. There are too many of us with exactly the same experience as this family had, with the same players, to treat it like it's some news story from a far away place. This parent was willing to stand up. If she is successful, it will be a small price to pay, so long as our board ensure that the legal serves the students' and families' interests, not those of individuals whose behavior wasn't in keeping with district rules and needs. Skelly, Young, and Carrillo used district legal like their own private CYA service. The board should really be very clear that employees who disregard the law and try to cover up, will need to hire their own lawyers. The trouble is, the district has been hiring legal services that get employees to do things that lead to conflict. We are a cash cow to them.

3 people like this
Posted by Kathy Jordan
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 4, 2017 at 6:16 pm

@Truth & Reconciliation:
I just created it for this purpose. So it would go to me. It would be used to exchange information to try to do something about what seems to be a core problem - that PAUSD does not seem to be meeting its legal obligations to its students.

If you're concerned who it might go to...hmm...I guess for verification, you could email and ask me a question that only I might know the answer to, and not something that someone could learn from reading something online.

10 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Nov 5, 2017 at 9:37 am

While bullying is absolutely not okay, I will point out that most public school districts have way more problems than PAUSD.

How frequently do kids get into physical fights around here?... I doubt the answer is every day.

PAUSD is far from perfect, but it is a much better environment then some other places, so we should at least be grateful of that.

13 people like this
Posted by Lied to & Retaliated Against
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 6, 2017 at 11:46 am

I agree with most of the posters, we've been lied to, managed, ignored and retaliated against for complaining about bullying that was triggered by 2 different Jordan teachers who had the class vote on how late my child or the other new to the district child would be to class and announce which voters won when either of the two special needs children walked into the classroom. So those that claim IEPs protect you, you are wrong. IEP are a target for attitude and resentment because more often than not, they are not fulfilled and if you hold the accountable, then they take it out on your child. The teachers would also call across the room as the child was leaving reminders of all the errors they made that day and to try not to make them again - in front of all the class! Then the kids in these 2 bullying teacher classes started bullying the kids throughout school. One day, a group of the kids in the class saw my child playing with a friend, took all his props and hid them and when he went to claim them back, 9 kids beat him and kicked him. Two adults observed and did nothing. The police had to get involved. And do you know what the school did? Five administrators cornered my 11 year old child in a storeroom and questioned his report to the police, telling him he couldn't be sure since he was on the ground being kicked, he couldn't possibly accurately identify who kicked him - without allowing my child to call me first. And go figure, there is not OCR report. Many more frightful stories like this. If they don't care about the kids anymore, they should get another job! Will the school board please do something?

7 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 6, 2017 at 12:34 pm

Several of the posts describe bullying of IEP/SPED students by regular classroom teachers. It seems to me that since kids on IEPs are mainstreamed as much as possible, it should be a requirement that -all- teachers have some level of Special Ed training, and all Special Ed teachers should be fully qualified -- not only so that they are effective with students, but also, so that they can provide leadership and guidance for non-SPED teachers with IEP students. Palo Alto once was considered disability-friendly in comparison to other districts, but, from what I'm reading in these articles and posts, something must have happened sometime this past decade to change that.

2 people like this
Posted by Report
a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Nov 6, 2017 at 1:09 pm

@Lied and Retaliated Against -


OCR - You need to file an OCR report. The school will never do it.
Do not file a UCP report, because the school district is allowed to investigate itself. You see how well that has gone.
Others can also file an OCR report on your child's behalf, but you will have to agree for an investigation to go forward.

CDE - You can also file a CDE report (California Department of Education). However, those are largely controlled by District, but not as much as UCP reports. So do not do that if you are going forward with the OCR.

CCTC - You also need to file complaints of Educator Misconduct with the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. All Administrators and Teachers have a Teaching Credential. Administrators have an additional higher level Adminstrator's Credential:
Web Link
PAUSD should have already filed these against the former Title IX Coordinator. The Freedom of Information Act requests posted on the PAUSD website show at least one documented incident of mistruth. The Cozen reports shows an incident of altering documents. Parents can up with many more.

County Protective Services - You also need to file with County Protective Services. The District is also, and rarely does.

There may be other County SELPA reports that must be filed. The District rarely does, even when they require a meeting 48 hours after the incident.

You should also contact the Police Department and request a copy of their Police report AND a video of the incident.

And encourage your child to have a phone recording or other recording device record every moment of his/her time at school or at any school sponsored activity or field trip. Record from the moment they leave home to the moment they arrive back home. (District is responsible child until they arrive back at home, no matter what they tell you.)

Members of the public, if you know of violence or bullying happening to a child, you can contact County Protective Services, and file an Anonymous report with PAUSD, not that they will investigate it.

These are not suggestions to create hassles for the school district or staff. These posts are saying children are in danger at school. It must be reported or it will never end.

2 people like this
Posted by Administrator
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 6, 2017 at 2:00 pm

"One day, a group of the kids in the class saw my child playing with a friend, took all his props and hid them and when he went to claim them back, 9 kids beat him and kicked him. Two adults observed and did nothing. The police had to get involved. And do you know what the school did? Five administrators cornered my 11 year old child in a storeroom and questioned his report to the police, telling him he couldn't be sure since he was on the ground being kicked, he couldn't possibly accurately identify who kicked him - without allowing my child to call me first. And go figure, there is not OCR report."

Not sure how long ago this was, but you should report it to the District Title IX coordinator directly (a new person, just hired). You can send an email to or complete an anonymous Title IX complaint form at Web Link

Please do it - it is the only way the district can get better.

2 people like this
Posted by Kathy Jordan
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 6, 2017 at 4:47 pm

@Lied to & Retaliated Against
I would be happy to assist in submitting a UCP complaint for you if you all are past the 6 month window of occurrence, if you would like. As I have just learned about this situation, I can submit a complaint. If you are still within the 6 month window after occurrence, then you can submit a UCP complaint yourself to the District. All you have to do is send them something in writing, like an email. It sickens me to hear about this. If you want, you can contact me at

1 person likes this
Posted by Mark
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 7, 2017 at 1:04 pm

What's become of the kid that was doing the bullying? Are they still at it, just a new target?

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