News

Where the Palo Alto school board candidates stand on diversity and inclusion

What steps should be taken to ensure students, staff feel safe on campuses?

Students walk around campus on the second day of school at Palo Alto High School on Aug. 11, 2022. Photo by Jonas Pao.

In preparation for the Palo Alto Weekly's coverage of the campaigns for Palo Alto Unified Board of Education, we solicited questions from our readers that speak to their topmost concerns about the school district.

From their many excellent responses, we crafted a short questionnaire for the candidates to complete. In response, they discussed their primary concerns and experience in education. They also offer their opinions on student achievement, COVID-19 learning loss, diversity and inclusion, the superintendent and innovations.

The candidates' answers on all these topics will be published as separate articles, one per day, through Sept. 26. Here's what they had to say to the following question: What steps do you think the district and school board should take to ensure that students and staff members feel safe and included on school campuses, regardless of their race, gender, sexuality, income or other factors?

Ingrid Campos

Ingrid Campos. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

Please define what safe means in this context, it's ambiguous. My kids didn't know what racism was until it was introduced to them AT SCHOOL. They go to school, hopefully learn, socialize, make friends, don't pay attention to the race of their friends and they definitely don't engage in sexually explicit or deviant behaviors — in school.

It is extremely important that the first and foremost steps that the district should take is to include the parents of students in any and all dialogues in any of the abovementioned factors should they arise amongst students or staff. Hate crimes are already defined within the law, and if the school district needs to engage the law to assist or accommodate a pupil or a staff member to feel safe, then that should be a known option including proper protocol to follow. It is my belief and my traditional family values would state that sexuality/gender dysphoria is NOT a topic for the school or the school board to interfere in on behalf of a student under 18 years old. The parent should have the sovereign right to the knowledge and the direction to handle ANY situation that comes up with regard to sexuality, gender and any alleged hate crimes. Adult teachers and administrators...please keep your business to your after school selves!

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Sex and politics need to STAY OUT OF SCHOOLS! X-Rated is for 18 years+, voting starts at 18 years old, tattoos can be obtained by 18 year olds, to purchase tobacco products is now 21 years old in America. Why has it become acceptable for schools to talk gender, sex and politics in school?! Parents...be vigilant and advocate for this to stop! If the parent of a child seeks additional social or emotional assistance, there are social services not only inside the school, but probably more suitable services outside of the school district and outside of the school community. School is for education, not for indoctrination. School is for education, not for social services.

Nicole Chiu-Wang

Nicole Chiu-Wang. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

There are students, teachers and staff members in our district that do not feel safe or included on our campuses and this is not okay. The Systemwide Integrated Framework for Transformation (SWIFT) implemented by our district staff and school board was a necessary and foundational first step to address diversity, equity and inclusion in our district. We should continue to diligently track key performance indicators and progress as well as double down on net new efforts as we collect more data and see SWIFT in action.

However, SWIFT is not sufficient in and of itself. As a public school district, we have a legal responsibility to provide a safe learning environment so all students have access to their education. Creating schools as spaces that normalize and encourage our students to talk about their full, intersectional identities is essential to meeting that responsibility.

We need to formally incorporate training and resources for our students, teachers and staff to understand our systemic inequities and what they need to do toward diversity, equity and inclusion. For example, ethnic studies will not become a mandatory class for three more years and we need to work with teachers and staff to find a way to incentivize and enable students to take this important class sooner. We also need to work on the cultural issues that create systemic inequity and we need to work with the city and city council to address these issues within the larger community in which our students live.

Shounak Dharap. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

Shounak Dharap

The district should continue to incorporate culturally responsive pedagogy, anti-bias and anti-racism training, and co-teaching to foster inclusion. The district should also emphasize inclusion and diversity in hiring, as well as ensure diversity of representation in the instruction materials and resources available to students. The district should also increase outreach to historically underrepresented students through family engagement specialists and climate surveys to create a feedback loop for future decisions.

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While board resolutions do very little in the way of actionable steps, resolutions like the board's anti-hate and anti-racism statements are important in that they signal to the district and community an intent to focus energy and resources in these areas. They provide a more inclusive environment from the board-level and indicate support for ideas that district leaders may want to bring to the board for approval to further these goals.

Board policies also play an important role in creating an inclusive environment. For example, I was involved in the promulgation of the district's new anti-bullying policy through my work on the board policy review committee. Written policies create specific means of redress and provide a framework for district administration and staff to address issues as they arise.

Training and education are also critical to proactively address issues of sexual harassment and abuse, a historically problematic area in the district. In the last two years, students have reported feeling more supported through the district's increased focus on title IX training and accessibility. It is critical that this focus on training continue.

Shana Segal

Shana Segal. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

Students cannot learn unless they feel safe, seen, supported and respected. Staff members and families best serve students when they feel safe, seen, supported and respected. I will advocate for policies that help stakeholders feel safe, seen, supported and respected in the school community, irrespective of their race, gender, sexuality, learning differences, disabilities, income or other factors. This includes:

• Providing ongoing high-quality diversity, equity and inclusion training for staff and incorporating similar components into social emotional (SEL) and wellness programs.

• Improving the Title IX complaint resolution process. Ensuring students and families can access clear communication and instructions on how to raise concerns and file complaints. Students have shared with me a lack of faith in this important process due to slow or non-resolution of Title IX complaints.

• Raising the profile of technical, trade and non-linear career pathways beginning in middle school. Adopting curricula that offer rigorous academic and career-technical education courses and pathways. One of PAUSD's longtime values has been to provide a wide range of academic, non-academic and athletic choices. Most 16- and 17-year olds don't have a clear vision for their future, and that is okay. Most college students change majors at least once. Let's embrace the journey while encouraging all students to do their best work.

• Augmenting programs that build school connections, including clubs, athletics, the arts and engineering pathways. Supporting proven choice programs such as those at Ohlone, Hoover and Escondido, middle school language immersion, JLS Connections, TEAM, Small Learning Community and the Social Justice Pathway Program.

• Ensuring students, parents and faculty are connected to their school board liaison. I would make this role a priority.

• Placing additional focus on Special Education, to ensure that their social, emotional, academic and physical needs are kept in the forefront. This could include, for example, creating an ad hoc committee.

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Where the Palo Alto school board candidates stand on diversity and inclusion

What steps should be taken to ensure students, staff feel safe on campuses?

by Palo Alto Weekly staff / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Sun, Sep 25, 2022, 8:38 am

In preparation for the Palo Alto Weekly's coverage of the campaigns for Palo Alto Unified Board of Education, we solicited questions from our readers that speak to their topmost concerns about the school district.

From their many excellent responses, we crafted a short questionnaire for the candidates to complete. In response, they discussed their primary concerns and experience in education. They also offer their opinions on student achievement, COVID-19 learning loss, diversity and inclusion, the superintendent and innovations.

The candidates' answers on all these topics will be published as separate articles, one per day, through Sept. 26. Here's what they had to say to the following question: What steps do you think the district and school board should take to ensure that students and staff members feel safe and included on school campuses, regardless of their race, gender, sexuality, income or other factors?

Ingrid Campos

Please define what safe means in this context, it's ambiguous. My kids didn't know what racism was until it was introduced to them AT SCHOOL. They go to school, hopefully learn, socialize, make friends, don't pay attention to the race of their friends and they definitely don't engage in sexually explicit or deviant behaviors — in school.

It is extremely important that the first and foremost steps that the district should take is to include the parents of students in any and all dialogues in any of the abovementioned factors should they arise amongst students or staff. Hate crimes are already defined within the law, and if the school district needs to engage the law to assist or accommodate a pupil or a staff member to feel safe, then that should be a known option including proper protocol to follow. It is my belief and my traditional family values would state that sexuality/gender dysphoria is NOT a topic for the school or the school board to interfere in on behalf of a student under 18 years old. The parent should have the sovereign right to the knowledge and the direction to handle ANY situation that comes up with regard to sexuality, gender and any alleged hate crimes. Adult teachers and administrators...please keep your business to your after school selves!

Sex and politics need to STAY OUT OF SCHOOLS! X-Rated is for 18 years+, voting starts at 18 years old, tattoos can be obtained by 18 year olds, to purchase tobacco products is now 21 years old in America. Why has it become acceptable for schools to talk gender, sex and politics in school?! Parents...be vigilant and advocate for this to stop! If the parent of a child seeks additional social or emotional assistance, there are social services not only inside the school, but probably more suitable services outside of the school district and outside of the school community. School is for education, not for indoctrination. School is for education, not for social services.

Nicole Chiu-Wang

There are students, teachers and staff members in our district that do not feel safe or included on our campuses and this is not okay. The Systemwide Integrated Framework for Transformation (SWIFT) implemented by our district staff and school board was a necessary and foundational first step to address diversity, equity and inclusion in our district. We should continue to diligently track key performance indicators and progress as well as double down on net new efforts as we collect more data and see SWIFT in action.

However, SWIFT is not sufficient in and of itself. As a public school district, we have a legal responsibility to provide a safe learning environment so all students have access to their education. Creating schools as spaces that normalize and encourage our students to talk about their full, intersectional identities is essential to meeting that responsibility.

We need to formally incorporate training and resources for our students, teachers and staff to understand our systemic inequities and what they need to do toward diversity, equity and inclusion. For example, ethnic studies will not become a mandatory class for three more years and we need to work with teachers and staff to find a way to incentivize and enable students to take this important class sooner. We also need to work on the cultural issues that create systemic inequity and we need to work with the city and city council to address these issues within the larger community in which our students live.

Shounak Dharap

The district should continue to incorporate culturally responsive pedagogy, anti-bias and anti-racism training, and co-teaching to foster inclusion. The district should also emphasize inclusion and diversity in hiring, as well as ensure diversity of representation in the instruction materials and resources available to students. The district should also increase outreach to historically underrepresented students through family engagement specialists and climate surveys to create a feedback loop for future decisions.

While board resolutions do very little in the way of actionable steps, resolutions like the board's anti-hate and anti-racism statements are important in that they signal to the district and community an intent to focus energy and resources in these areas. They provide a more inclusive environment from the board-level and indicate support for ideas that district leaders may want to bring to the board for approval to further these goals.

Board policies also play an important role in creating an inclusive environment. For example, I was involved in the promulgation of the district's new anti-bullying policy through my work on the board policy review committee. Written policies create specific means of redress and provide a framework for district administration and staff to address issues as they arise.

Training and education are also critical to proactively address issues of sexual harassment and abuse, a historically problematic area in the district. In the last two years, students have reported feeling more supported through the district's increased focus on title IX training and accessibility. It is critical that this focus on training continue.

Shana Segal

Students cannot learn unless they feel safe, seen, supported and respected. Staff members and families best serve students when they feel safe, seen, supported and respected. I will advocate for policies that help stakeholders feel safe, seen, supported and respected in the school community, irrespective of their race, gender, sexuality, learning differences, disabilities, income or other factors. This includes:

• Providing ongoing high-quality diversity, equity and inclusion training for staff and incorporating similar components into social emotional (SEL) and wellness programs.

• Improving the Title IX complaint resolution process. Ensuring students and families can access clear communication and instructions on how to raise concerns and file complaints. Students have shared with me a lack of faith in this important process due to slow or non-resolution of Title IX complaints.

• Raising the profile of technical, trade and non-linear career pathways beginning in middle school. Adopting curricula that offer rigorous academic and career-technical education courses and pathways. One of PAUSD's longtime values has been to provide a wide range of academic, non-academic and athletic choices. Most 16- and 17-year olds don't have a clear vision for their future, and that is okay. Most college students change majors at least once. Let's embrace the journey while encouraging all students to do their best work.

• Augmenting programs that build school connections, including clubs, athletics, the arts and engineering pathways. Supporting proven choice programs such as those at Ohlone, Hoover and Escondido, middle school language immersion, JLS Connections, TEAM, Small Learning Community and the Social Justice Pathway Program.

• Ensuring students, parents and faculty are connected to their school board liaison. I would make this role a priority.

• Placing additional focus on Special Education, to ensure that their social, emotional, academic and physical needs are kept in the forefront. This could include, for example, creating an ad hoc committee.

Comments

A neighbor
Registered user
Greenmeadow
on Sep 26, 2022 at 11:47 am
A neighbor, Greenmeadow
Registered user
on Sep 26, 2022 at 11:47 am

I hope my neighbors are listening to Ms Campos tell you who she is, and I hope that our community profoundly rejects the reactionary direction she is suggesting. Invalidating the concerns of marginalized groups is part of a playbook that everybody should recognize, and I think most Palo Altans want no part of it. I think we should be listening to all the members of our community, and also paying attention to the seriousness of the issues at play here. For instance, the Trevor Project mental health survey indicates that *forty* percent of LGBTQ youth have seriously considered suicide. Ask a Gunn parent if LGBTQ suicide is an issue we should simply dismiss, because it doesn't fit our idea of propriety. As a community, we should be taking every possible step towards safety, and we should *especially* be taking steps that can provide a safe space for students who are marginalized *in their own homes*.


Barron Parker Too
Registered user
Barron Park
on Sep 26, 2022 at 12:21 pm
Barron Parker Too, Barron Park
Registered user
on Sep 26, 2022 at 12:21 pm

Thank you, Ingrid Campos! Your statement is clear. We should not pretend that any students are victimized because of the color of their skin. The schools need to be vigilant about any acts of racial hatred, but the last thing schools should be doing is teaching students of color that they are victims of white oppression, and teaching white students that they are oppressors. This woke identity politics is divisive and dangerous because it manufactures tribalism and antagonism between people with different skin color. It teaches non-whites that any of their failures is due to "systemic racism", and that they have no responsibility for succeeding in their lives through their own agency. It teaches helplessness. It has no business in our schools.

Unfortunately, the other three candidates appear from their statements to have bought into this new religion of woke racism -- particulary Chiu-Wang and Dharap. The community needs to send a loud message that this is not acceptable.


jhskrh
Registered user
Community Center
on Sep 26, 2022 at 1:03 pm
jhskrh, Community Center
Registered user
on Sep 26, 2022 at 1:03 pm

Ingrid Campos is endorsed by Republican women of Silicon Valley, The Silicon Valley Association of Republican Women is recruiting and grooming a slate of school board candidates on the ballot this November. The effort is part of a national movement to put more conservative voices in down-ballot seats.The infiltration of far-right candidates in local school board races could have an impact on curriculum and day-to-day district governance. There are at least 13 school board members and candidates who align with far-right values, according to a San José Spotlight analysis, and have been endorsed by the GOP women’s association. It’s the most candidates the group has ever endorsed. Web Link

These are not moderate Republicans, Years ago Lisa Marshik (of this group) was on record as supporting Trump (and she is the chair of 'Patriot Parties' for Rep Women of SV..seriously) “When I weigh the candidates, I wanted an outsider. Trump’s not an ideologue. He’ll do what’s best for the country and free us from PC [political correctness],” said Lisa Marshik, an event chair and elected member of the Silicon Valley GOP group." I wonder what she thinks of the Jan 6th violence incited by 45?


Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2022 at 1:09 pm
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Sep 26, 2022 at 1:09 pm

The best answer here is from Ingrid Campos in my opinion. We shouldn't be making problems where none exist and we should not be assuming that a certain problem is due to a certain cause and school is the place to address and deal with the problem. Those under 18 cannot even be given tylenol at school and even a cough sweet is classed as forbidden medication. Why should any other health intervention be treated any differently?

It is time for schools to act alongside parents, and not going against what the parents deem right for their kid.


Kristen
Registered user
Gunn High School
on Sep 26, 2022 at 1:19 pm
Kristen, Gunn High School
Registered user
on Sep 26, 2022 at 1:19 pm

Not only to I disagree with Ingrid Campos, I find her response appalling. She is at the least misinformed and misguided, [portion removed.] Anyone running for School Board must do so with the understanding that they represent ALL KIDS and all families in the district. Every single child and staff member of PAUSD deserves respect, understanding, and support. Anyone who thinks otherwise should not be running.


Another
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 26, 2022 at 1:55 pm
Another, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Sep 26, 2022 at 1:55 pm

Wow, Campos's statement is really something. [Portion removed.]

Issues of race, gender, and sexuality have a profound influence on the lives of teens everywhere. Conflicts involving these issues often happen at schools, where students come into contact with their peers from the community. That is exactly why our schools should continue to take the lead in promoting inclusion and diversity. I hope Palo Alto rejects Campos and her toxic reactionary views.


Brian C
Registered user
Midtown
on Sep 26, 2022 at 2:22 pm
Brian C, Midtown
Registered user
on Sep 26, 2022 at 2:22 pm

I like Ms Campos' honest answer. It really is a contrast to the corporate-speak and slogans of the other candidates. The call for more "training" and bureaucracy doesn't sit well with me when the PAUSD resources should be put into the classrooms and supporting teachers. My experience is that the teachers are very good on these issues and inclusive of all the members of our diverse community and student body.


CalAveLocal
Registered user
Evergreen Park
on Sep 26, 2022 at 4:30 pm
CalAveLocal, Evergreen Park
Registered user
on Sep 26, 2022 at 4:30 pm

I am very grateful to Ms. Segal for making special education inclusion a priority; as well as emphasizing the importance of taking different and diverse career paths. Thats what we need in this district.
Ms. Campos' statement is... flabbergasting I guess. Sex education as part of school curriculum has been around for quiet a few years. I remember these classes when I was in middle school - and I am a mom to one now. She chooses to make an issue of children being given correct vocabulary and concepts about gender and sexuality as introducing sex to children in schools. I know this is a part of the very specific agenda being pushed by a specific group; and I hope this ideology is rejected by our community.


Greene and Paly Parent
Registered user
Professorville
on Sep 26, 2022 at 6:09 pm
Greene and Paly Parent, Professorville
Registered user
on Sep 26, 2022 at 6:09 pm

I do not share Campos's political views but I hear her pain and see her points. Campos's family and kids, as all our students and families, deserve to feel respected and included.

For all our students to thrive we must foster respect and minimize friction between home and school. Consistency between home and school is critical for students wellness and learning. The district should not put a wedge inside families -- the only place when interference is justified is when there is a concern of child abuse, as defined by the law. Everything else is an overreach.

Our district has very diverse families, many with foreign-born parents, and a fairly homogenous and often biased school staff. I had seen much harm done by well-meaning staff wanting to "educate" parents on how children should be raised or what is "right" and wanting to "help" children by discounting home values (I can go on and on). DEI staff training should focus preventing such conduct. District and board choices of divisive "teacher training" and curricula take as the opposite way.

How can we make all students feel safe and respected? I feel the corporate-speak of Dharap is part of the problem. Just like we have no prayers at school and have vegetarian option in the cafeteria. The district should focus on common denominators and foster respect instead of adoption of divisive practices and curriculum. No scheduling of exams or events on religious/cultural holidays, respect for family priorities that are different, minimize opinionated divisive political views by adults at school, and for controversial curriculum --choose the most benign "centrist" option.... Listen to families.


MyFeelz
Registered user
JLS Middle School
on Sep 26, 2022 at 6:28 pm
MyFeelz, JLS Middle School
Registered user
on Sep 26, 2022 at 6:28 pm

Ms Campos' over-the-top agenda regarding age appropriate and/or legality of certain aspects make me wonder ... was she ever a teenager? Many kids under 18 are sporting tattoos and piercings and yes the signs say in the shop 18+ only. Also, many under-18-ers are having the s.e.x. that Ms Campos thinks should only be whispered about while yanking a "born this way" kid to the counselor's office for a "secret conversation that shall never be spoken aloud in a school" because WHAT IF THE WHOLE SCHOOL FINDS OUT? In my bay area high school, we had a smoking section. I think they did it to keep the kids on campus. Because once you leave the campus to smoke cigarettes, you are more apt to engage in all of the things Ms Campos finds immoral and immaterial to a high school education. Kids are doing all the things she suspects them of doing, whether she wants to acknowledge it or not. It has nothing to do with the curriculum or the teachers or the parents. Kids are people, and when their personality grows they take on habits they enjoy whether the school board approves or not. We need to meet the kids where they are in their lived experience. They do have them. REALITY CHECK TIME.


CalAveLocal
Registered user
Evergreen Park
on Sep 26, 2022 at 7:13 pm
CalAveLocal, Evergreen Park
Registered user
on Sep 26, 2022 at 7:13 pm

Bystander, do you have children at PAUSD?




Father of Gunn Graduates
Registered user
Gunn High School
on Sep 26, 2022 at 7:53 pm
Father of Gunn Graduates, Gunn High School
Registered user
on Sep 26, 2022 at 7:53 pm

Ingrid Campos statement supports students and parents. Our children to not "belong" to the school; the school is there to provide services to children and parents. But parents must take an active part to take back our schools from the ideologues. As a parent of two wonderful children in Palo Alto Schools, Ingrid understands the problem and will be a strong voice for common sense and reason over ideology on our school board.


A neighbor
Registered user
Greenmeadow
on Sep 26, 2022 at 10:11 pm
A neighbor, Greenmeadow
Registered user
on Sep 26, 2022 at 10:11 pm

Maybe the reason this topic is so contentious is that schools are one of the few communitarian systems most of us ever interact with. Compulsory education is not a free service provided on demand to parents. It is one of the ways that "we the people" make the society we want, and for most of us, that means an inclusive, multicultural, educated society, not one where a small segment of authoritarians attempt to erase ideas and individuals they view as "deviant." Is our society, and our school, *actually* inclusive and safe for everyone, including "the least of my brothers"? To find out, ask the "deviants."


Observer
Registered user
Midtown
on Sep 26, 2022 at 10:41 pm
Observer, Midtown
Registered user
on Sep 26, 2022 at 10:41 pm

Voters should do their homework on candidates, including social network posts. Might find some surprises.


Mondoman
Registered user
Green Acres
on Sep 26, 2022 at 10:55 pm
Mondoman, Green Acres
Registered user
on Sep 26, 2022 at 10:55 pm

Campos mentions points and principles that make sense to me. I don't see any "rant" there; perhaps folks should stop and take a deep breath and reflect before imagining "hateful" motivations in others. [Portion removed.]


GreatPumpkin
Registered user
Downtown North
on Sep 27, 2022 at 12:26 am
GreatPumpkin, Downtown North
Registered user
on Sep 27, 2022 at 12:26 am

@Mondoman - You appear to have decided that other people do not 'reflect', but you have no way of knowing this. Can you not imagine that other people you are judging have done extensive research and analysis, attended and/or viewed hundreds of hours of board of education meetings, non-televised committee meetings, school meetings, have read all the Board of Education packets, analyzed all the budgets, read all of the Public Record Information Requests, and have done so for many years back, in addition to campaign information from the candidates.

Candidates for a public office are making public statements to influence the only voice we have, out vote. The public also has a right to a voice here.

This is a real election, with real candidates backed by national political parties, interest groups and financial backers. Sometimes the public knows an issue, and the candidates history far better than the candidates themselves do. There are members of the public who understand the budget going back decades at a deeper level than the Board members or school district employees do. They are reflecting.

This is a public forum and the public has a right to debtate, just as much as the candidates have a right to use their political parties and political backer's money to be their voice. This may be the only time and the only venue the public can voice facts, not the broad general comments about the great things candidates have done, but real facts and real knowledge.

This is democracy. Please do not try to take it away.


Lucien Petrovsky
Registered user
Community Center
on Sep 27, 2022 at 7:20 am
Lucien Petrovsky, Community Center
Registered user
on Sep 27, 2022 at 7:20 am

A vote for Ms. Campos represents a return to normalcy where education takes precedence over woke politics.

Revisionist history and the endorsement of LGBTQ sensitivities is best left for private discussions outside of the classroom.


Mondoman
Registered user
Green Acres
on Sep 27, 2022 at 2:22 pm
Mondoman, Green Acres
Registered user
on Sep 27, 2022 at 2:22 pm

@GreatPumpkin I was only making a suggestion, as personally I have found reflection a useful check before posting when I read a post seemingly based on a very different worldview. I didn't see any extensive research and analysis supporting considering one of the candidates "hateful and dangerous", but maybe I missed something :)

I am concerned about the instant escalation to a SpinalTapian 11 on the rhetoric dial in public discourse these days and would welcome your and others' suggestions on how we might lessen that.

[Portion removed.]


Michelle
Registered user
Professorville
on Sep 27, 2022 at 3:01 pm
Michelle, Professorville
Registered user
on Sep 27, 2022 at 3:01 pm

I recommend The Weekly attaches both a general mental health/suicide helpline along with an LGBTQ specific one to this article thanks to the words used by Ms. Campos.


A neighbor
Registered user
Greenmeadow
on Sep 27, 2022 at 3:18 pm
A neighbor, Greenmeadow
Registered user
on Sep 27, 2022 at 3:18 pm

@Mondoman, thanks for calling the question of evidence. The "hateful and dangerous" contributions from Ms Campos that @Kristen and @Observer are referencing can be viewed at the @italyinusa twitter account. I think the issue is not just the specific horrible things she actually says (e.g. classifying some of our students as "deviant"), it's also the people she explicitly endorses (with words like "Amen"), e.g. Marjorie Greene and Lauren Boebert, who are some of the people Biden was talking about when he used the word "semi-fascist."


Mondoman
Registered user
Green Acres
on Sep 27, 2022 at 3:49 pm
Mondoman, Green Acres
Registered user
on Sep 27, 2022 at 3:49 pm

@A neighbor
Thanks for indicating there might be some research after all. Looks like you need a Twitter account to see them; care to repost some of what you're worried about here for the rest of us non-Twitterati to read? Thx.


A neighbor
Registered user
Greenmeadow
on Sep 27, 2022 at 3:59 pm
A neighbor, Greenmeadow
Registered user
on Sep 27, 2022 at 3:59 pm

hm, it works for me in "incognito" mode: Web Link


Mondoman
Registered user
Green Acres
on Sep 27, 2022 at 4:54 pm
Mondoman, Green Acres
Registered user
on Sep 27, 2022 at 4:54 pm

[Portion removed.]


A neighbor
Registered user
Greenmeadow
on Sep 27, 2022 at 5:29 pm
A neighbor, Greenmeadow
Registered user
on Sep 27, 2022 at 5:29 pm

I'm sympathetic. Twitter isn't easy to cut and paste. She literally quotes an MTG rant about the word "woke" and says "Amen." she quotes a Boebert rant about Tim Ryan and says "Sad state for humanity." It goes on and on.


Mondoman
Registered user
Green Acres
on Sep 27, 2022 at 7:42 pm
Mondoman, Green Acres
Registered user
on Sep 27, 2022 at 7:42 pm

@A neighbor
That's very concerning - thanks for posting the info.


Harry Carter
Registered user
Mountain View
on Sep 28, 2022 at 7:20 am
Harry Carter, Mountain View
Registered user
on Sep 28, 2022 at 7:20 am

> diversity and inclusion

Diversity should be accepted/tolerated.

Inclusion (in terms of curriculum) should cover the basics but leave the controversial woke stuff for college level coursework.

Every parent's voice/input (regardless of their ethnicity) matters but they should stay on point and not raise irrelevant questions or complaints.


Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 28, 2022 at 8:16 am
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Sep 28, 2022 at 8:16 am

[Portion removed.] If you don't like someone, don't vote for them. Politics can be dirty but it is never nice. Thanks to all those who are willing to serve. They all deserve to be respected in their endeavors even if they are not your choice.


Observer
Registered user
Midtown
on Sep 28, 2022 at 10:57 am
Observer, Midtown
Registered user
on Sep 28, 2022 at 10:57 am

Inclusion and recognizing and respecting diversity is very important, and in fact required, in our public schools.

I disagree with the commenters above who want to keep basic factual education about sex, including sexual preferences and questions of gender identity out of schools. Doing that in the past and in many states in the south causes great harm to many innocent students. Don't fall for the GOP talking points or scare tactics. PAUSD education in this area is age appropriate and healthy.

Having an LGBQT person in my family and knowing many others, I know that hearing they are ok, that they are seen, supported and accepted can be life saving. I'm in favor of candidates with platforms that support and include all students, including LGBQT.


Gerald Glass
Registered user
Ventura
on Sep 28, 2022 at 12:00 pm
Gerald Glass, Ventura
Registered user
on Sep 28, 2022 at 12:00 pm

LGBTQ issues can be discussed but should not be profusely advocated or promoted in terms of establishing one's gender identity, especially at younger ages.

Adolescents are at times not sure of who they are or their sexual orientation.

As a high school student, I was unsure as most of my friends were female and this in itself raised some eyebrows as I was neither athletic nor masculine in appearance.

Flash forward...turns out I was straight and I am now happily married (to an attractive female wife) with two healthy kids.

Had I bought into this woke LGBTQ agenda at an earlier age, who knows what might have transpired.


Native to the BAY
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Sep 28, 2022 at 1:16 pm
Native to the BAY, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Sep 28, 2022 at 1:16 pm

@MyFeelz way back in 1980’s my BA HS also had a campus sanctioned “smoking section” for a year or two. It was outside the auto/body shop during Reagan era. The yard guard “Sarge” was her name would join us in the brunch time break - she’d chit chat and check in w students while puffing away with us. BA schools serve morning brunch snacks. BIG tobacco was sent to 3rd world economies for their profits and smoking here has been somewhat “stamped” out. Now we are dealing w mitigating BIG tech. Would it not be cool to have a Tech section. Sanction area where the addictive, pervasive texting, horrid social media, tik tok was supervised into a break area!! Haha. Yet I agree My Feelz. Cloaking the issues facing our teens, sexuality, drugs, alcohol, online bullying is no good . Incorporating honest conversations about the real peer pressures willl improve self esteem and social values so lacking now.


Native to the BAY
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Sep 28, 2022 at 3:58 pm
Native to the BAY, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Sep 28, 2022 at 3:58 pm

[Post removed; successive comments by same poster are not permitted.]


GreatPumpkin
Registered user
Downtown North
on Sep 28, 2022 at 8:04 pm
GreatPumpkin, Downtown North
Registered user
on Sep 28, 2022 at 8:04 pm

@Mondoman - How sad your reference to the existence of the Great Pumpkin was deleted. Your comment did not mislead the public or the voteres in anyway. You simply implied your belief based on evidence presented in Palo Alto Online's Town Square. (Note the use of "a Great Pumpkin" and not "the Great Pumpkin". There is room to believe in more than one). You were most Sincere, which is what Linus and the Great Pumpkin would want.

Perhaps referring to Linus and his friends in the pumpkin patch was a copymark or trademark issue? Both Linus and the Great Pumpkin are public figures. Linus may be a child, but Linus and his little blankie have remained about 6 -8 years old for 55 years. He must be an adult by now.

The article addresses diversity and inclusion. In elections we should strive to be tolerant of all belief systems, including those awaiting orange colored gourds.


Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 29, 2022 at 8:02 am
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Sep 29, 2022 at 8:02 am

I would like it to be noted that the portion removed from my post above said nothing against any of the candidates. I have great respect for anyone who is willing to be a candidate for our local public offices.

I would not like anyone to think the portion said anything detrimental to any candidate in particular even though it has been removed. I am not that type of commenter. I disagree with the removal of the portion as it now makes it look like I am being offensive, which I was not.


Mondoman
Registered user
Green Acres
on Sep 29, 2022 at 9:05 am
Mondoman, Green Acres
Registered user
on Sep 29, 2022 at 9:05 am

I hear you, @Bystander. It seems like the great Cancelbot has been at work here, even affecting a Great Pumpkin. :( Fight the Power!


Beatrice Walker
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Sep 29, 2022 at 9:21 am
Beatrice Walker, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Sep 29, 2022 at 9:21 am

The discussion of controversial topics such as climate change, LGBTQ and woke issues should not be heavily discussed during class time but reserved for after school club activities.

Then only the interested students can get further involved.


Anonymous
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 29, 2022 at 1:11 pm
Anonymous, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Sep 29, 2022 at 1:11 pm

Schools are for learning and advancing in fundamentals such as reading, writing and arithmetic. Of course, science, history.
The goal should be to teach in an inspiring fashion and to the highest standard possible. Subjects should be taught with the clearest, strongest curricula…with enrichment from Arts, sports, health, programming, elective history etc.…all with a positive approach so students succeed. Clubs can be great.
It should be understood students and their parents are responsible for themselves. People who need help should request it. Effort from student, parent, school is necessary.
Some differentiation will occur along the way, owing to choices and differences in interests, but it’s crucial to require fundamental education with attendance, attention to instruction, homework and testing. Knowledge and insight must be gained, growth should happen. Accountability is a reality.


A Student View
Registered user
Palo Alto High School
on Sep 30, 2022 at 9:39 am
A Student View, Palo Alto High School
Registered user
on Sep 30, 2022 at 9:39 am

"The discussion of controversial topics such as climate change, LGBTQ and woke issues should not be heavily discussed during class time but reserved for after school club activities."

^ Concurring as I could care less about the aforementioned topics.

Right now I am focusing on improving my math skills as it will be a prerequisite
for my college major.

That said and for me, reading comprehension, clarity in writing, and math proficiency take full precedence over tiresome societal whinings and discussions.

The news and internet provide adequate information and griping about climate change, LGBTQ issues, and woke-revisionist history.

These topics are best reserved for those with an active interest in meteorology or the social sciences and should not be overemphasized at the expense of what older people refer to as the Three R's.

College is the best venue in which to expand upon LGBTQ and wokeness topics by personal choice of curriculum.

As for climate change, the impacts of industrialization and modern technology have made global warming irreversible.

In closing, whoever is elected to the PAUSD is irrelevant because they too are irrelevant in terms of the big picture.


Mike Shepard
Registered user
Midtown
on Sep 30, 2022 at 10:34 am
Mike Shepard, Midtown
Registered user
on Sep 30, 2022 at 10:34 am

Preserving and promoting a classic and traditional American way of life via full assimilation and immersion of American values and recreational interests is the best way to avert and avoid any controversial diversity and inclusion issues.

As they say, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do."


Mildred Johnson
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Sep 30, 2022 at 11:26 am
Mildred Johnson, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Sep 30, 2022 at 11:26 am

"As they say, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do."

It is up to the recently arrived immigrants and refugees to adapt to our American culture and way of life, not for us to fully accept or assimilate towards theirs.

As for LGBTQ issues and controversies, members of this persuasion are entitled to full equality under the the U.S. Constitution but not entitlements or any special considerations to accommodate their lifestyles.


Hinrich
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Oct 1, 2022 at 8:28 am
Hinrich, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Oct 1, 2022 at 8:28 am

Why is there a test to see if you are woke enough to join the school board? It’s seems as though they want to make sure no outsiders get in - no one with differing ideas that don’t line up with the nutty ideas damaging kids these days. It seem that if we want kids to be exposed to real diversity including wide perspectives and experiences half the board’s members would have to be people who find woke nonsense objectionable. We should listen to the kids who want good teachers teaching skills not peddling wacky social theory. School board candidates should talk about how they are going to rid the schools of woke, not how they want to add to it


Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 1, 2022 at 12:03 pm
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Oct 1, 2022 at 12:03 pm

Since we no longer have a like button, I would like to give a great big thumbs up to Hinrich above. There are many of us who think like he does.


Michelle
Registered user
Professorville
on Oct 3, 2022 at 2:59 pm
Michelle, Professorville
Registered user
on Oct 3, 2022 at 2:59 pm

Wow, some of the comments above!
What on earth is controversial about being a person who is LGBTQ or studying LGBTQ history or including information and scenarios relevant to the needs of LGBTQ students in sex ed classes? And why should this material be sealed off from discussion in classrooms that include both students who are LGBTQ along with students who have (or will have) friends, family members and co-workers who are LGBTQ?
What are you so afraid of? Do you truly all believe, like candidate Ingrid Campos, that being homosexual, bisexual, nonbinary or trans makes a person deviant or are you so lacking in imagination and empathy that you cannot understand people whose experience of sexuality and gender differs from your own? Sounds like a certain board candidate along with some of the commenters here might be in need of an education because believe me the teens overwhelmingly have got this and they are going to be alright in spite of those who spout the sort of narrow minded bigotry on display here.
What exactly do you define as "woke"? An honest representation of American history? Is ‘woke’ actually just good factual scholarship of the sort that might make those whose own education included only the perspective of straight white men uncomfortable, the sort of scholarship that prepares our students for both the world and for study at the college level?
Why would climate change not be an appropriate area of study & discussion in classrooms, from science through social studies? It's the greatest threat to the future that our children will live in and we can't talk about it? After all, they are going to be frantically working to clean up the mess we have made of our planet for the rest of their lives. I can't think of a more relevant or compelling topic area.
A relevant, interdisciplinary curriculum along with an inclusive climate on school campuses is what actually promotes academic engagement & success not narrow curriculums shaped by fearful mindsets.


Michael Layne
Registered user
Palo Alto Hills
on Oct 3, 2022 at 3:34 pm
Michael Layne, Palo Alto Hills
Registered user
on Oct 3, 2022 at 3:34 pm

Studying LGBTQ history and culture is fine for those interested in LGBTQ issues but it shouldn't be forced upon every student as part of a standardized curriculum.

As for woke history...outside of actual dates, the writing of history is somewhat subjective and it is often written by historians who did not live during the times they are chronicling.

As a result and regardless of viewpoint, their word or opinion is as valid as anyone else's.

Climate change will be difficult to reverse unless all modern industrial countries can get on the same eco-page.

On the other hand, promoting doomsday prophesies won't accomplish much either. It's been tried before.

When it comes to public education curriculum, both progressive-left and ultra-right advocacies/policies need to be kept in balance.

Better yet, don't politicize everything that goes on in our everyday lives.

It trivializes human existence.


Charlene Locke
Registered user
Midtown
on Oct 4, 2022 at 6:53 am
Charlene Locke, Midtown
Registered user
on Oct 4, 2022 at 6:53 am

"What on earth is controversial about being a person who is LGBTQ or studying LGBTQ history or including information and scenarios relevant to the needs of LGBTQ students in sex ed classes?"

^ For some parents and students, a further discussion and/or acknowledgement of the LGBTQ community conflicts with their religious or moral beliefs. Because of this consideration, classes pertaining LGBTQ topics should remain optional and not mandatory.

"Do you truly all believe, like candidate Ingrid Campos, that being homosexual, bisexual, nonbinary or trans makes a person deviant or are you so lacking in imagination and empathy that you cannot understand people whose experience of sexuality and gender differs from your own?"

^ Countless non-LGBTQ individuals are more comfortable with a "don't say, don't tell" approach as LGBTQ discussions and interests do not directly concern or impact them."

"What exactly do you define as "woke"?

^ 'Woke' is overemphasized griping about man's inhumanity towards his fellow man. We cannot turn back the clock on past human indiscretions and to dwell on it becomes tiresome.

"Why would climate change not be an appropriate area of study & discussion in classrooms, from science through social studies?"

^ There is nothing inappropriate with discussing climate change in the classroom...just don't be a fanatic because much of the damage can never be reversed.


CalAveLocal
Registered user
Evergreen Park
on Oct 6, 2022 at 7:49 pm
CalAveLocal, Evergreen Park
Registered user
on Oct 6, 2022 at 7:49 pm

And the comment right above is the reason why we need to focus on inclusivity.
Religious peeps are worried that their children will be exposed to something other than what they preach at home.
I am personally not interested in my child being exposed to religion. I think organized religion is a horrible thing. It goes against all of my family's believes. Can my child be put in a "don't tell" group about religion? No, of course not.
But goodness, a LGBTQ child that wants to be included is a deviant.
Is this what we are, Palo Alto?


A neighbor
Registered user
Greenmeadow
on Oct 6, 2022 at 8:25 pm
A neighbor, Greenmeadow
Registered user
on Oct 6, 2022 at 8:25 pm

The amazing thing to me is that the label "family values" is applied to this kind of thinking. In practice, the project of exclusion and control only ever has two results, when confronted with a real live "deviant" family member. Either the family is effectively destroyed, as the "deviant" is shunned, or the "values" are abandoned, when the whole family realizes that love and kindness are more important than authoritarian propriety. The ideas expressed by Ms. Campos are not "family values," they are, in fact, "anti-family values."

Would you prefer the "don't ask don't tell" model? Are you annoyed at fanaticism? Would you be more comfortable if everybody would just shut up and focus on reading writing and arithmetic? You might want to reread MLK's letter from Birmingham jail, and ask yourself if you are playing the role of the "white moderate." Would you make the same moderation arguments in 1963?

I hope the voters of Palo Alto see the topic of inclusion in school as fundamental. If you don't think it's important, it's because you already feel included, and you don't think everybody deserves to be.


Terry Howells
Registered user
Palo Alto Hills
on Oct 7, 2022 at 7:31 am
Terry Howells, Palo Alto Hills
Registered user
on Oct 7, 2022 at 7:31 am

When it comes to inclusion and the acceptance of diversity, I simply look the other way rather than ridicule or condemn either side of the coin.

People are entitled to choose their gender identifications and lifestyles.

We have also become a nation of diverse ethnicities and religions.

Extending basic courtesies and considerations towards everyone is about as far as anyone needs to go.

We do not need to become advocates or followers of these various issues and persuasions especially when they conflict with our own personal values and beliefs.

Full acceptance of inclusion and diversity is optional and should not be force-fed.


Michelle
Registered user
Professorville
on Oct 7, 2022 at 9:52 am
Michelle, Professorville
Registered user
on Oct 7, 2022 at 9:52 am

For all the straight readers on here calling for "don't ask don't tell" or agreeing with Campos that LGBTQ is "controversial" or even "deviant"and therefore should be kept hidden, in the closet or that what's really important is prioritizing the comfort of the majority who get to see themselves represented every day in picture books, novels, tv and movies because their sexuality and gender expression is very much the norm... imagine having your very essence described in this way. Imagine having to hide your true crush when your friends are discussing theirs for fear of being teased or rejected, imagine already feeling isolated and knowing that even at home you have to keep this to yourself because your parents and possibly also your religious community considers you to be an actual deviant ...
I'm out of pretty words. I just want to express how incredibly hurtful some of the comments on this thread are to our LGBTQ community members and the families who love them.
Also, how reassuring it is that the bigotry is very much a minority position in this town and that three out of four school board candidates unequivocally reject these hateful views and stand with LGBTQ students, teachers and families.
And for any young people who have somehow landed on this thread please know that you are valued and loved no matter who you love or how you identify and there are many safe and caring adults among us who are here for you if you don't find that love and acceptance inside your families.


staying home
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Oct 7, 2022 at 12:05 pm
staying home, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Oct 7, 2022 at 12:05 pm

@ Michael Layne you have a fundamental misunderstanding of what historians do. You said "the writing of history is somewhat subjective and it is often written by historians who did not live during the times they are chronicling. As a result and regardless of viewpoint, their word or opinion is as valid as anyone else's."

Historians are not sharing their opinions as you say. They research events, seek out primary and first hand sources. They will cite their sources and present facts. The potential for bias is acknowledged and historians work to eliminate it. You seem to be confusing political commentators with what historians are.

On a different note, this thread reeks of unfounded fear about the LBGTQ community. Ask yourself, in the NUMEROUS cases of molestation and rape that have occurred in PAUSD in the past decade, how many were committed by traditional heterosexuals and how many committed by LGBTQ individuals?

You want to know more about Campos? Check her social media: @italyinusa. Used to be about Italy. Not so much anymore.

LGBTQ existed before any school teachings acknowledged it. Our children are normal and diverse. They ALL deserve support.


EYC
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Oct 7, 2022 at 12:48 pm
EYC, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Oct 7, 2022 at 12:48 pm

I like Ms. Campos who is honest and brave in expressing her opinions. I remember my kids was introduced the LGBTQ topics in Addison elementary school. I believe it's too early and not necessary at that age. It's for politic - check the box items.


A neighbor
Registered user
Greenmeadow
on Oct 7, 2022 at 12:59 pm
A neighbor, Greenmeadow
Registered user
on Oct 7, 2022 at 12:59 pm

The level of antiintellectualism in this thread is amazing. In Palo Alto!

I'm sure George Wallace thought he was being brave and honest as well.


Marlene Peters
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Oct 9, 2022 at 10:07 am
Marlene Peters, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Oct 9, 2022 at 10:07 am

We choose to discuss LGBTQ and woke history controversies at home...where they belong.

It is up to the parents to instill and convey moral values to their children as a preparation for adulthood.

It is up to the teachers in public elementary schools to teach the 3Rs as preparation for middle/high school and nothing more.

Pontification, fingerpointing, and/or the endorsement of LGBTQ and woke issues are better left to colleges and universities.

BTW...at home we emphasize that everyone should be accepted and tolerated for who they are but associating with certain types of people remains an individual choice.


Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 9, 2022 at 11:27 am
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Oct 9, 2022 at 11:27 am

There are some very vindictive and untrue comments on threads on Nextdoor. I personally have not seen the same sort of hateful remarks made about anyone in either a school or city council race as are being made this time around.

I think that inclusivity, diversity and tolerance are far from what they should be.

I will say once again what I have said before on the subject. If you don't like someone, don't vote for them. If you don't agree with their stand, then vote for someone who you do agree with. This is what a free country is about, we thank and appreciate everyone regardless of their opinions. You may disagree with someone on one issue and disagree with them on another issue, but it doesn't mean hate if your opinion differs from theirs.

As a society, our young people see the way we adults treat other adults and think it is the way to behave. What message about tolerance, diversity and inclusiveness are we teaching them when we make some of our comments on Town Square and Nextdoor?

I thank all candidates for their willingness to enter into the races. They all deserve our thanks for running and for being willing to serve, while willing to put themselves up to scrutiny and public investigation.


Butch Logan
Registered user
Barron Park
on Oct 10, 2022 at 12:47 pm
Butch Logan, Barron Park
Registered user
on Oct 10, 2022 at 12:47 pm

"The level of antiintellectualism in this thread is amazing. In Palo Alto!"

^ Why are conservative viewpoints often ridiculed as anti-intellectual and unenlightened while most far-left progressive opinions and measures are viewed as visionary?

Given various ultra-libetal initiatives, something is wrong with the picture.


Lawrence Tolliver
Registered user
Stanford
on Oct 10, 2022 at 2:27 pm
Lawrence Tolliver, Stanford
Registered user
on Oct 10, 2022 at 2:27 pm

"Why are conservative viewpoints often ridiculed as anti-intellectual and unenlightened while most far-left progressive opinions and measures are viewed as visionary?"

^ Because conservatives value the status quo and order while the progressives tend to promote change and disorder.


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