Town Square

Post a New Topic

Palo Alto teacher pleads not guilty to sexual misconduct

Original post made on Nov 19, 2016

Palo Alto High School science teacher Ronnie Farrell pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to charges that he touched a 15-year-old student inappropriately, a Santa Clara County prosecutor said.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Saturday, November 19, 2016, 1:57 PM

Comments (4)

Posted by parent
a resident of Professorville
on Nov 19, 2016 at 6:31 pm

fyi - the Weekly published the perp's mug shot on June 22

Posted by DC McGlynn
a resident of Menlo Park
on Nov 21, 2016 at 11:31 am

[Post removed.]

Posted by Roger
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Nov 21, 2016 at 4:35 pm

Dear DC McGlynn,
I am a Scot and believe me Scotland would send this guy back in a heartbeat.
Funnily enough Scottish law is what American law is based on.

Posted by Paly Alum
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Nov 21, 2016 at 4:51 pm

All the details aren't published, but I don't know how this she/he argument can convict him. Maybe it doesn't matter and it's the texting that they are pursuing instead. I am saddened that this happened to Mr. Ferrell, as he was an excellent chemistry teacher and now he has lost his career and students have lost his good teaching. So very unfortunate.

Mr. Shreve was a teacher at Paly from the 1960s he took boys up to the Tower and molested them. He was still there in the mid 80s until he finally got arrested. He has completed his prison sentence (I don't know how long it was) but his acts were easily more reprehensible than this case: Web Link

Parents need to tell their children to be aware of the red flags. I never had Mr. Shreve but remember teachers who were capable - one asked me to lunch, then tried to kiss me; I was naive and thought nothing was wrong with going to to lunch - he was always joking with the girls and I didn't have any friends - he seemed to like the quieter girls. I wasn't traumatized but knew to stay away thereafter. Another was eventually convicted of molestation - he flirted/joked with girls (but we had no idea it was a red flag). Teens are naive and they should know that a teacher should not be a friend and they should not see them outside of the school campus. Those who want to be friends are capable of crossing the line. Sure, a teacher can small talk about things other than academics, but shouldn't talk extensively about non-academics as if they are a friend. Red flags: Be wary of teachers who touch, even if it's an arm or a pat on the back, a teacher should not be messaging them like a a friend would, flirting/joking inappropriately. Mostly, I recall that these two teachers just seemed a bit off to me, but it was in my subconscious, as teens are not yet skeptical. A pat on the back once might not mean anything, but mixed with other weirdisms, beware. Let's be clear that these cases are rare. But teens are naive and they should know some warning signs.

Some Paly teachers who won't accept Friend requests from students until the student graduates (even if the student is the same gender). It's just safer all around to keep things business only.

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

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

Stay informed.

Get the day's top headlines from Palo Alto Online sent to your inbox in the Express newsletter.

Analysis/paralysis: The infamous ‘Palo Alto Process’ must go
By Diana Diamond | 6 comments | 2,393 views

Common Ground
By Sherry Listgarten | 3 comments | 1,989 views

The Time and Cost Savings of Avoiding a Long Commute
By Steve Levy | 6 comments | 1,720 views

Planting a Fall Garden?
By Laura Stec | 5 comments | 1,194 views


Sign-up now for 5K Run/Walk, 10k Run, Half Marathon

The 39th annual Moonlight Run and Walk is Friday evening, September 29. Join us under the light of the full Harvest Moon on a 5K walk, 5K run, 10K run or half marathon. Complete your race in person or virtually. Proceeds from the race go to the Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund, benefiting local nonprofits that serve families and children in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.