News

New system tracks sexual misconduct, discrimination

Palo Alto Unified interim Title IX officer reflects on progress achieved, to be made

A new system for reporting and tracking reports of discrimination, harassment and bullying is providing these issues higher visibility across the Palo Alto school district. It's capturing everything from the benign -- an elementary school student slapping another student's bottom during a game of tag, for example -- to potential sex crimes. No matter the nature of the offense, cases logged in this system are being formally investigated and monitored by the district's Title IX compliance officer.

This system and other changes put in place in the wake of community uproar this spring over how the district handled a Palo Alto High School sexual-assault case are evidence of progress on issues that have been entrenched for years, said John DiPaolo, the district's interim Title IX compliance officer. But there is still much work to be done, he said, particularly around sexual violence.

"I think that everyone agrees there's too much sexual misconduct (and) sexual harassment in the schools," he said in a recent interview with the Weekly, shortly after exiting the role. "I think that the whole district is responding to that reality. I also think that the response is at this point genuine and very meaningful."

DiPaolo, an education attorney and Obama administration appointee who worked in the U.S. Department of Education for six years, was hired in response to concerns over how the district handled the Paly case, in which a male junior reportedly forced a female freshman to perform oral sex in a campus bathroom. A law firm later found that both district and Paly administrators failed to comply with state and federal law, as well as district policy. The case revealed persistent gaps in how the district responds to not only sexual harassment but other forms of discrimination and bullying.

Under DiPaolo's leadership, the district has launched this new system for tracking complaints, more of which are coming in than in years past. There are more than 80 complaints from this school year alone as of Nov. 17, up from 57 as of Oct. 24.

At this time last year, there were five complaints in the Uniform Complaint Procedure log -- the old system for tracking discrimination allegations, DiPaolo said. The new log is also now posted regularly on the district website; previously, it was only accessible in response to individual Public Records Act requests.

The database, called "Roots," is a repurposed version of the system the district already uses to track IT issues and Public Records Act requests. For this purpose, it allows principals and assistant principals to file detailed reports -- including when an incident happened, when it was reported, if it happened on- or off-campus, the nature of the allegations, attaching any relevant documents -- that are immediately sent to DiPaolo. The system is for any reports of discrimination based on sex, race, disability, age or religion.

DiPaolo can ask questions and provide feedback to the person who filed the report, communication that's saved in the database. The report can later be updated with more information, such as if a school puts interim measures in place.

The database allows the district to analyze the reports "at a more aggregate level," looking for patterns, frequency and if incidences are happening more at a particular location, for example, DiPaolo said.

The district is also now using Roots to automatically populate its log of Uniform Complaint Procedure investigations, eliminating the possibility of a case somehow getting lost.

The system is providing a new level of accountability in the district, DiPaolo said.

He thinks the high number of reports illustrates a new level of awareness in the district about the importance of these issues. There's also an increased awareness among students and parents, he said. Families of students who are victims and those accused are now coming in with lawyers, which wasn't happening when he first arrived.

"The district is going to be under a lot of pressure from both sides to go by the book, to be fair," DiPaolo said said.

As the district seeks to meet the federally required level of compliance, some administrators are struggling to adjust to the amount of time it's taking to properly document, investigate and address potential Title IX issues, DiPaolo said. The district has also imposed new requirements for handling less serious cases, such as sending outcome letters to the involved parties that summarize what happened and what the school did in response.

At the elementary schools, administrators are struggling to draw a line between what might be described as "kids being kids" and inappropriate behavior that merits a formal investigation, DiPaolo said. The new complaints log shows incidents at the elementary schools like inappropriate exposure, name calling, inappropriate touching and "inappropriate looking in bathroom."

DiPaolo said he's urging administrators to view these incidents as meriting a "both, and" rather than an "either, or" response.

"The fact that you have to log it in and clearly determine what happened and send a letter home to parents and say, 'If you think that there's sexual harassment, that you're unsatisfied, you can file a complaint' ... you can do all those things and still address this issue properly as you want to as an educator," he said.

"I think last year there were a lot of good intentions but not a lot of understanding of everything Title IX requires," DiPaolo said. "We are now at the phase where people (administrators and staff) need to put what they have been presented with into practice, which means there is still a lot of learning that needs to happen before the practice is consistent and at the level we want."

DiPaolo said the district needs to seriously consider allocating more resources to Title IX issues, including making the compliance office a two-person department. Though conducting Title IX investigations wasn't part of the original job description, DiPaolo expected he'd be able to do more than he was. Counseling administrators on how to respond to specific cases has instead taken up the bulk of his time. Outside investigators are currently examining 12 reports, according to DiPaolo.

The district did recently hire a full-time replacement for DiPaolo -- Megan Farrell, a consultant with experience in law, higher education and Title IX.

DiPaolo has spent years overseeing Title IX compliance for the federal government but had not worked for a school district before in this capacity. The Office for Civil Rights' focus has primarily been on colleges and universities, meaning K-12 schools are still far behind when it comes to understanding the law. He suspects Palo Alto Unified is not an anomaly when it comes to its failures to properly address sexual misconduct. He said he has "no reason to believe" there is more sexual misconduct at Palo Alto Unified than is typical for K-12 school districts, and that he has "definitely seen worse."

"I don't have hard data on it, but my expectation, my hypothesis is that Palo Alto's issues would be the issues of almost any district if you took the kind of close look that we've taken here," DiPaolo said.

What sets Palo Alto Unified apart, however, is that it's been under close federal scrutiny for years for its handling of sexual violence and harassment. The Office for Civil Rights recently concluded a yearslong investigation into numerous cases involving students, teachers and in one case a principal at both Paly and Gunn High School, finding multiple Title IX violations stretching back to 2013.

This makes the district's current state "more problematic," DiPaolo said.

"That's part of why the burden on us to get better is, I think, higher," he added.

The Palo Alto Weekly has created a Storify page to capture ongoing coverage of sexual misconduct in the Palo Alto school district. To view it, go to storify.com/paloaltoweekly.

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Comments

12 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 24, 2017 at 7:31 am

Great story. When you see someone who knows what they are doing, it sheds a clear light in stark contrast to the conditions in the rest of our district.

Why don't we have more people who understand this problem? Why is he leaving? Why are we keeping administrators who believe covering up is better?


And why has it taken years to get here?


2 people like this
Posted by Details for Parents?
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Nov 24, 2017 at 8:34 am

Some questions: So is this database subject to freedom of information requests? If so, will people be able to see who is the complaintaint and the accused? I understand it's confidential(ish) but I think we all see how well that worked out last year--people knew the names of the students involved within days of the story breaking. Will the information be redacted enough to actually protect the identity of students? Also, will there be info for parents about the process if their child is accused of wrongdoing? What does the discipline process look like now that these incidents are being handled by the district and not the school site? If all reports are elevated to UCP, does that mean parents should consult attorneys before meetings at district office due to the civil rights component of the UCP? Can anyone who has been through the process share their experiences? I know everyone thinks their child is the bullied and not the bully, or will never have a UCP filed against their kid, but our students shouldn't have to pay while the district sorts out the bugs. How will we know if the district is inconsistent in meeting out punishment for people who show up with attorneys versus those who don't?


8 people like this
Posted by Still Hurting
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 24, 2017 at 9:54 am

I don't give the district office a pass on good intentions. They may display good intentions to him, but it's a different story if you are a family who has been hurt by petty maliciousness from certain quarters of the district office. Plus, if you have ever been treated to the retaliation and closing of the ranks, the malicious gossip among admins to teachers and staff, it's hard to imagine even this has changed the underlying culture.

Why does this effort include only Title IX? We couldn't get the district to even answer records requests, they'd stonewall or say they had filled them. If we pushed, they'd create new inflammatory documents filled with blatant lies. (Lies we could prove we're lies and that they could prove to themselves we're, if they were willing to look, but you no sooner try to send a correction but they scream that you send them too much correspondence even if that was demonstrably false.)

As of this year. I've even stumbled upon redacted info that was sent to others for their records requests, that would have identified our child even so, ONLINE, when they never gave the info to US after repeated unfilled records requests.

This is all well and good, but I'm afraid to so much as send a follow up even now because of the aggressive and retaliatory way my family and even my child were mistreated. Why aren't they trying to make things right beyond Title IX and comply with all rules and processes? Why aren't they proactively reaching out to those who have faced intimidation and retaliation in the past?

My family has been paying through the nose to suppprt other kids to get an education here, while not having enough to support our own because of being hounded out of this district after making a complaint, and being stonewalled at every turn and even aggressively retaliated against for just, for example, trying to get a copy of whatever records remained related to us so we could legally correct anything in order to prevent the maliciousness from going on to hurt our child in the future.This was a 504 not a Title IX case.)

We've had promising developments before, like that expensive review of Special Ed by Harvard, that went nowhere and the underlying culture remained. There must be a trustworthy effort at truth and reconciliation for past wrongs. Seriously. Especially in regards to special ed and 504. I'm glad things improved for Title IX but the lack of trustworthy reform in special ed and 504 is just more evidence that only those who can afford legal help can get justice here.

The problem isn't that we have more of these problems here, it's that there is an administrative culture that is inclined to cover up even if it means bullying vulnerable children or backbiting against or libeling parents. There is no way to collaborate to solve problems, they treat parents like the enemy and hence it becomes a self-fulfilling loop.

We simply must engage in some kind of truth and reconciliation - and we must create an ombudsman position that works under the city rather than the school district, as a form of check and balance, or things will not get better.



19 people like this
Posted by Kathy Jordan
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 24, 2017 at 12:41 pm

Things haven't improved for Title IX; this article is just PR, in my view.

What this article fails to mention is that PAUSD administrators have resisted complaints being filed (see the Cozen final report and the OCR letter of findings), and also have not properly followed up on complaints that have been reported (see Cozen report and OCR letter of findings), such as the sexual assault incidents investigated by OCR, the recent sexual assault incidents at PAHS, apparently also the Jordan MS bullying and knife brandishing incident which is now the cause of a lawsuit against PAUSD, the Gunn stalking and physical assault incident, and so many others we don't yet know about where the parents did not get the level of assistance they needed because they, the parents, didn't know how to go about fighting for what their students were entitled to under the law, or gave up and took their kids off to private school, or perhaps the circumstances of the complaint allowed them to get the justice system to force PAUSD to help them, or just continued on in PAUSD without any resolution of the issue.

This resistance to filing legitimate complaints and resistance to providing assistance in resolving them is still ongoing, in my experience. It is not in the rear view mirror.

A database is only useful if you put data into it and then do something with it. If you resist and work to prevent families from ever making legitimate complaints, then those complaints will never get into the database system, not get acted upon and so forth, regardless of how sophisticated the database system is. I see no mention of that in this article.

Usually PA online does a thorough job reporting, but I see quotes in this article only from District personnel, just John DiPaolo, comments which are not surprisingly only one-sided. Too bad PA online, I don't think you got the full story.


4 people like this
Posted by increased awareness - depends
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Nov 24, 2017 at 8:52 pm

You'd think that sexual harassment and assault would have subsided at Paly after admins talked to the student body about the seriousness of this but, since the bathroom story broke, there have been at least 3 Paly incidents of sexual harassment, 3 of sex discrimination, and, this month, an "employee received emails with pornographic images" and a "student exposed himself to another student in the bathroom."

That's an "increased awareness among students"? No.

There is an increased awareness among families of students who are victims and accused - both "are now coming in with lawyers."


8 people like this
Posted by off campus
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Nov 25, 2017 at 9:46 am

Striking is the number of "off campus" incidents PAUSD is currently investigating. 18 so far this year, 6 involving Paly. Web Link

These investigations require Paly staff to redirect time they need to run the school and PAUSD to spend money on investigators, lawyers, and settlements paid to families claiming we mishandled "off campus" incidents too.

Of course, Paly should be responsible for student safety at school and at school activities held off campus but why should the Principal and Assistant Principal be required to fully investigate what happened between students at Town and Country and private student parties too? Isn't it enough if we separate the students who feel unsafe while at school and, if there needs to be an investigation, let the City of Palo Alto, which is in charge of protecting the safety of its residents, run the investigation in those situations?


2 people like this
Posted by Off-Campus Too
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 25, 2017 at 10:21 am

The schools are responsible for providing access to education. If off-campus harassment/assault prevents that access, by making the on-campus environment hostile or unsafe, the school has an obligation to do something. If they don't investigate, they can't know if harassment happened or what action is appropriate.

Note that the school investigation doesn't preclude law enforcement getting involved. In the case of sexual assault, it is often both. But the standards are different (just as they are in civil vs. criminal cases), and the school's responsibility is to support the alleged victim (with access to education), not to punish the alleged perpetrator (the opposite of the legal system).

That said, off-campus incidents can be costly and difficult to investigate, especially if it involves two people in a private place. But if you don't look, you don't know, and the school has an obligation under Title IX to try


1 person likes this
Posted by administrator
a resident of another community
on Nov 25, 2017 at 11:57 am

Off-campus too,

Jumping to the "fix" without undertaking a laborious investigation seems sound if both parties agree, as does transferring the investigation to the City when they don't agree and the off campus incident has no school activity nexus.

That's because the OCR has been all over the place on the scope of schools' responsibilities when something happens off campus. Now it is not saying that PAUSD must take all of them on.

In the late 1990s, "the Supreme Court adopted a narrow reading of schools’ responsibility for sexual harassment by employees and other students" and so the Bush administration limited off-campus investigations only to incidents that involved a program or activity of the school.

The Obama administration wanted to go further, to “change the culture," so his OCR wrote their own rules which told schools and colleges that they had to provide remedies to victims regardless of where the conduct occurred because, as you mentioned, of the continuing effects of off-campus sexual harassment at school.

To underscore that, "Obama-appointed head of OCR Catherine Lhamon threatened to cut off federal funding to schools," something that OCR had not done in Title IX’s 45-year history.

The result: no federal funds were cut but it is estimated that colleges spent more than $100 million to comply with those new Title IX sexual-harassment guidelines.

Confused, colleges complained to their elected representatives who called the Department of Education in to public hearings where it told Congress that OCR's "rules" were really recommendations.

Then Trump was elected. His Department of Education rescinded those recommendations and is writing new ones.

Web Link

Web Link

Web Link

Web Link


1 person likes this
Posted by Off Campus too
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 25, 2017 at 1:47 pm

If there is no nexus, agree, then nothing to be done - for instance, if someone is harassed by someone who is not a member of the school community away from school. But off-campus incidents can often impact the on-campus environment (e.g., "slut shaming", sexual rumors, or fear of an off-campus attacker) and that can create a hostile environment at school. If you don't look, you don't know.

In terms of "transferring to the city," I don't think that's appropriate - the police department and the schools have different roles and rules, which overlap but don't substitute for each other. It's not one or the other - it's often both.

Agree that the rules has changed over time and are still changing (and doubtlessly will continue to do so). But it is hard to argue that schools and colleges have not fallen short of protecting victims from sexual assault and harassment; indeed, it seems many part of society have also fallen short. It is good to see PAUSD picking up their game on this, after a long period when they were clearly effectively handling sexual harassment.


18 people like this
Posted by Student1
a resident of another community
on Nov 25, 2017 at 9:27 pm

As a student in high school that has been grabbed inappropriately, speaking up has only gotten me suspended. And take in fact that I am a male. Defending myself would get me in huge trouble with administration, and yet the school does NOT DO ONE SINGLE THING ABOUT HARASSMENT!!!


Like this comment
Posted by caroline vertongen
a resident of Portola Valley
on Nov 26, 2017 at 10:51 am

Thank you, Elena, for your excellent reporting.

Thank you, parents and community members for posting your reactions. Yes indeed we need to continue our community efforts.

Readers need to know that under Governor Brown, former Attorney General Harris,now Senator Harris and former President Obama, and US Officials like US Secretary of Education A. Duncan, the laws were advertised and civil rights issues were covered up by a network of government employees, who use a bureaucratic mechanism to defer the required investigations. Instead of fixing the huge backlog of complaints these state and federal officials hired personnel who willingly, knowingly and/or unknowingly (depending on how they are trained) ignore due process, ignore due diligence, ignore our laws and even our Constitution knowing that nobody will be able to hold government officials/employees accountable in court - not only because we cannot pay the high litigation costs against our deep pocket public entities, but also because "biased" judges are helping to promote the political ideology and political agenda.

The violations of civil rights have been covered up with false advertisement and experts who deny any wrong doing because their paycheck is on the line. What started with my experience and the experience of other SJSU/CSU students became a widespread problem in the Bay Area including K-12.
I was unlawfully discriminated under title VI and retaliated against for reporting the breach of vocational training and for reporting the repetitive abusive, fraudulent, illegal and criminal conduct that is being taught and promoted by SJSU faculty and staff in collaboration with licensed healthcare providers and licensed educators (many SJSU alumni) at Bay area school districts and hospital settings, and covered up by a network of government officials.

My evidence shows that SJSU/CSU violated their own policies, Executive Orders, education laws, government laws, civil rights laws… and lack good faith efforts to abide by our laws, but just like Stanford and PAUSD, SJSU/CSU does not care knowing that constituents cannot financially afford the high litigation costs and knowing that under Governor Brown and former Attorney Harris government employees receive immunity.

I did find legal representation in April 2012, but the law firm would not take my case on a contingency basis and I although I have tried I cannot find legal representation on a contingency basis. The last Whistleblower/Retaliation case won in court cost over 1.5 million dollars. Governor Brown has since closed the bipartisan board overseeing our postsecondary education. I relied on state and federal government agencies who advertise they investigate unlawful discrimination, investigate abusive, fraudulent, illegal and criminal conduct, and ensure the integrity of our education, healthcare, and justice systems, so I reported my allegations and requested the required investigations to:
American Association of Occupational Therapy (AOTA) (Exhibit J, R)
Ethics Committee (2012, 2014, 2016)
The Accreditation Committee (2012, 2016)
California Justice Department #PIU464922 (2012, 2014, 2017) Exhibit E, X)
Attorney General Kamala Harris (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)
Deputy Attorney General Deborah Bain (2013)
California Department of Public Health # CA 00333172 (2012-2015) (Exhibit T)
California Fair Housing and Employment (2012) (Exhibit T)
California Labor department - retaliation
# 30556-SACRI: Vertongen v SJSU -07 Dept. (2013) (Exhibit W).
California Board of Occupational Therapy # UL2011-349 (2012-2015) (Exhibit V)
California Department of Consumer Affairs # OT 2013-220 (2013-2015) (Exhibit V)
California State Auditor Howle #12012-1020 (2012, 2015) Exhibit N)
California Fair Political Practices Commission (2016) Addendum
Federal Bureau of Investigations (2012, 2015- 2017) (Exhibit U)
Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) (2012), Exhibit M),
Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office (2013-2014) (Exhibit Y)
Bureau of Investigations (2013)
Deputy District Attorney John Chase (2013, 2014)
District Attorney Rosen (2013-2014)
District Counsel (2015)
San Mateo County District Attorney ’s Office (2013-2014) (Exhibit X)
District Attorney Wagstaffe
Special Investigator Andrea Higgins (2013-2014)
Inspector John Warren (2013-2014)
Special Prosecutor Helen Karr SF DA (2013)
Daly City Police (2013)
San Jose University Campus Police # 1301140 (2013 -2016) (Exhibit Y)
Santa Clara State Bar Association #8084 (exhibit Z)
Santa Clara Superior Court #112CV236939 (exhibit Z)
US secretary Arne Duncan ( 2012, 2015) Exhibit S)
deferred to SF Civil Rights # 09-13-2014 and #09-15-2348 (Exhibit S)
US Department of Education - Civil Rights - APPEAL (2015) ( Exhibit S)
US Inspector General Tighe (2012, 2015) (Exhibit S)
US Inspector General Thorson (2015) (Exhibit S)
US Acting Assisting Attorney General Molly Moran (2015) ( Exhibit S)
US Inspector General Levinson (2015) (Exhibit S)
US Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius (2012) (Exhibit T)
deferred to Civil Rights # 13-000140 (2012) (Exhibit T)
US Department of Health and Human Services – state and federal OIG operations and other state and federal agencies investigating Medicare fraud/abuse and improper conduct by government employees (2012-2016) (Exhibit T)
US attorney Brian Stretch (2016, 2017)
US District Judge Mueller (2016)
US Attorney J. Samuels TW;DF DJ:144-11-0 (2015/2016)
Unfortunately to discover that not one agency did conduct the required investigations. Besides a 15 minute hearing with the Student Fairness Committee (the wrong department), I never had the proper administrative hearing with the appropriate administrator or an administrative judge as promised in our laws and Constitution. None of my witnesses have testified, my evidence is intentionally being overlooked, and the required medical and billing records were never subpoenaed and were never investigated. Instead I discovered a network of government officials who defer the required investigations. Those who have lied and told me an investigation took place refuse to show me that evidence and instead ignore all subsequent certified correspondence.

The Cal Justice Department told me to contact the CSU Board of Trustees, but the Board, both CSU Chancellor Reed and White, SJSU Presidents Qayoumi, Martin, and Papazian simply ignore all certified correspondence. District Attorney Rosen, District Attorney Wagstaffe, SJSU campus police, several US attorneys as well as the FBI advertise wonderful mission statements, advertise our laws, but do not enforce them when it comes to government employees and government officials. They either tell me they have no purview or simply do not respond to certified and trackable correspondence.

As a parent, community member for more than 30 years, and healthcare provider who understands the systemic problems in our education, healthcare, and justice systems, I volunteered and participated in the so called "community efforts” to reduce the high rates of anxiety, depression, and teen suicides in Palo Alto, but readers should know that Superintendent McGee, many government officials, and the stakeholders do not want to address the problems because…? yes politics promoted by self interests, money, power, and creed.

Readers should know that we, students, teachers, administrators, and healthcare providers who disclose the truth are being silenced by high litigation costs, lack of media reporting, and further intimidation. Kimberly Strassel discloses these intimidation tactics in her book: The Intimidation Game:How the Left is Silencing Free Speech.

The media does report our stories, so we continue to expose the truth through documentaries like The Mask You Live In, 13 Reasons Why, and Unmasked…..

Kathleen Carroll, former CTC attorney, Darell Whitman, former OSHA attorney, Carrie Clark, former English Teacher, and Dr. Kerr are among us, Whistleblowers and anti-bully advocates who disclose the abusive and illegal conduct by government employees and the cover up. Kathleen won her lawsuit against CTC in August 2016.
Please watch the you tubes to understand the problems:

Web Link 
Web Link 
Web Link 
Web Link
Web Link
Thanks to the efforts of community members like pediatrician Meg Derwin, former teacher Mr. Vincente, Savethe 2008, and devoted PAUSD Board Members like Mr. Dauber, we are slowly making progress, but as this article highlights and Title IX expert John DiPaolo explains a lot more needs to be done. I continue my efforts to address the widespread violations of civil rights issues and the systemic problems that created our broken education system, broken healthcare system, and broken justice system. We will see if the new Attorney General Becerra will keep the promises he advertised in his mission statements and if indeed he will make sure the law is enforced.
Thank you for allowing me to share the facts. Caroline V.






4 people like this
Posted by AR 1312.3
a resident of Community Center
on Nov 30, 2017 at 2:36 pm

This article is about a new system to report and track Title IX UCP complaints.

Under PAUSD Board Policy AR 1312.3 - Uniform Complaint Procedures, it states:
"All complaints alleging unlawful discrimination, including conduct prohibited by the District’s Nondiscrimination/Harassment Policy – BP 5145.3, and Sexual Harassment Policy– BP 5145.7, as well as other discriminatory intimidation, harassment, or bullying shall be addressed in accordance with the following procedure and shall be investigated and resolved within 60 calendar days of the district's receipt of the complaint. (5 CCR 4631) Such complaints shall be investigated using this procedure regardless of whether the alleged harassment occurred on or off campus."

However, here is the PAUSD UCP log under this new system:
Web Link

There are so many UCP complaints that were filed over 60 days ago but are still listed as "Under Investigation". My own complaint is one of those, over 60 days, no response from school or district.

So, a new system, but still not complying with its own board policy!

Perhaps Palo Alto Online should interview families who filed UCPs, and see how many of us actually got a resolution within 60 calendar days.

For parents who filed a UCP and did not get a response, or simply need help with UCP in general, I suggest that you contact Kathy Jordan at pausdcomplaints@gmail.com. This is Kathy's personal email, and she's a parent volunteer. I contacted her and received very helpful advice! She's very intelligent, compassionate, and truly cares about kids at PAUSD.


2 people like this
Posted by kids
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Nov 30, 2017 at 6:31 pm

60 days is a very long time in kid time and almost a full quarter in school "time" and to not comply with this hurts kids and gives them a chronic feeling that they are not important. Many of these complaints should take less than a week and some may never be resolved. To not respond at all while families wait should have a consequence for the adults not responding, not the kids waiting. It is very difficult for even older kids to be living in conflict. I realize the school has constraints and they should publish them and hand them over to an ombudsman who could possibly speed up communications and resolution in a timely manner. Also, I think the Ombudsman would be able to help parents ask for what they need and help them communicate with all the rules so they will not have to file complaints.


5 people like this
Posted by Samuel L.
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 30, 2017 at 8:59 pm

Samuel L. is a registered user.

What is needed is administrators who truly care about the students and not worried about how it might affect their jobs.


7 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 1, 2017 at 5:56 am

"What is needed is administrators who truly care about the students and not worried about how it might affect their jobs."

Or better still, a system and leadership where it IS their job to care about kids. Where there is no inherent conflict between kids vs. job success.

A system where leadership rewards standing up for kids, and disincentivises the abuse of kids. This change would not move the hard core abusers, but could greatly swing the bystanding middle third. Let's get them incentives to highlight wrongdoing, bonus or advancement for exposing mistreatment of kids. Put the burden of job risk on coverups.

Let's change the incentive in the district to side with kids rather than against them. The board members talk about culture, about strategic plans focused on kids, but sitting on the shelf. They should demand upstanding culture and should put policies and people in place to achieve that goal.

Let's kill the bad culture and move the incentive to help kids.


2 people like this
Posted by caroline vertongen
a resident of Portola Valley
on Dec 1, 2017 at 8:04 am

Dear AR 1312.3,


yes indeed the article was about a new system to report and track Title IX UCP complaints.

What I was trying to show with my earlier comment is that the root of the problems is much deeper. We are dealing with an administration that hired personnel who willingly will defer the mandated reporting….Constituents who try to make a change, who abide by our laws, and who try to fulfill their responsibilities are retaliated against and lose their job.

I have spent the last 3 years at School board meetings, town hall meetings, community meetings and followed many articles and comments. I did meet with PAUSD personnel to understand the process that is being advertised, but just like at SJSU/CSU and other school districts, college and university campuses there is a huge disconnect between what is advertised and what happens in reality behind closed doors.

Unfortunately you are dealing with an administration that hires personnel who ignores our allegations and who has been trained to defer the required investigations. All funding is subjected to “good standing” and no reports of misconduct. Unfortunately instead of preventing and stopping any misconduct, this administration "silences" students, uses intimidation tactics to prevent others from coming forward, prevents personnel to do what they are supposed to do, and asks “experts” to deny any wrongdoing.

PAUSD personnel showed me the title XI process guidelines, but told me " students lie”, students make false statements and that is illegal” . I have met and heard the testimony of students, parents, and even suicide survivors who echoed these responses; PAUSD staff will tell them they are mistaken, that they should not have their parents involved, and will further intimidate them by stating that they will get punished for making a false statement.

I did inform Kathy Jordan about the problems at the OCR office and other agencies.
Instead of fixing the huge backlog of complaints and address our civil rights issues, it is clear that Governor Brown hired personnel who dismisses our allegations, intentionally overlooks our allegations and evidence, and/or lie stating they did conduct an investigation but when asked to see any proof of such investigation, our certified correspondence is left unanswered. I have informed Governor Brown about the problems and requested his help, but all certified mail and requests to meet with him remain unanswered and have been since 2012.
The same with Congresswoman Eshoo, Senator Hill, Senator Feinstein, Congresswoman Speier, Senator Beall……

John Adkisson and Dorothy Korber, both former employees at the Senate Oversight Committee, reported the lack of investigations at the Office of Civil Rights and the Fair Housing and Employment Department. warned the Senate Rules Committee that the Governor might give immunity to public entities and government employees. They reported the lack of investigations at the office of Civil Rights and the Fair Housing and Employment Department:
ca.gov/sites/sooo.senate.ca.gov/files/fair%20employment%20and %20housing%20final.pdf (99 pages).
Senator DeLeon closed the Oversight Committee in December 2014.

Senator Harris (former Attorney General) has known the problems since 2012 and instead of helping us to fix the problems, she removed her 2012 handbook of unlawful discrimination, replaced Marsy's law with Megan's law, and eventually stopped responding to our certified requests for help. When we report our allegations to law enforcement, they either mock us, intimidate us, tell us they have no purview, and/or simply ignore us.

The PAUSD UCP log is a brilliant idea and I sure hope it will be bring results.


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Posted by Not in our kid's lifetime
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 14, 2017 at 11:44 pm

@ AR 1312.3 I have not heard anything and it's way past 60 days. I'm avoided, phone calls ignored, and my child's needs are ignored by teacher who enabled situation to occur and administrators who are supposed to be investigating and resolving. My child has been intimidated and told by teacher they don't have a sense of humor. Not a peep otherwise.


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Posted by Need some genuine leadership
a resident of Southgate
on Dec 15, 2017 at 12:05 am

If we had some genuine leadership, that modeled a high standard, people would be less sloppy and actually be mindful.

If class size was smaller enabling students to have a have a connection with their teacher and a better educational experience. We would probably have more of a community and be more effective in supporting the development of good character, then PAUSD might not need to spend those millions on lawyers.

Of course, the issues aren't this simple, but we need to have critical mass of personnel modelling good character, the kids need to be acknowledged and follow-through has to be top notch.

What we have is a tragic mess. PAUSD's reputation has outlived the reality.


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