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Furor erupts over sex, drug stories in school paper

Original post made on Feb 15, 2013

For the second time in less than a month, high school district officials have come under fire from a group of parents upset over articles published in The Oracle, Mountain View High School's student newspaper.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, February 15, 2013, 12:00 AM

Comments (8)

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Posted by Michal Krupa
a resident of Rex Manor
on Feb 15, 2013 at 1:10 pm

The way in these situations are handled is atrocious. Instead of directly making a case to the staff at the Oracle, these parents lodge formal complaints with the California State Board of Education and call the Mayor of Los Altos?

It's time we stop playing bureaucratic games and learn how to address issues head on.

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Posted by Observer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 15, 2013 at 1:33 pm

I applaud these parents for standing up against this.

Abbie Cunniff certainly thinks she is a position of power to do what she pleases. And Groves certainly doesn't have much of a sense for the anger swelling against his sense of leadership and his assertion that only he will have the last word on what goes on in the high schools. Both her and Groves need to go!

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Posted by Johnny Depp
a resident of Rex Manor
on Feb 15, 2013 at 1:56 pm

I think you all are whack jobs and take life too seriously. Without sex none of us would be here, so endorse it.

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Posted by Jillian Snyder
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Feb 15, 2013 at 2:37 pm

Groves is a fantastic administrator and great with students. Observer, you have no right to ask him to leave over this matter. Krupa, you are getting to the heart of the issue.

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Posted by Michal Krupa
a resident of Rex Manor
on Feb 15, 2013 at 2:42 pm

Observer, you seem to feel that Abby and Groves are entirely accountable for this situation. Which is funny, considering you won't even put accountability into your own opinion, and instead shield behind the pen-name "Observer".

The Oracle is peer-edited before publishing, and in this case should stand behind its writers and their opinions. The opinions of writers obviously are not representative of the views of certain administrators, but a school should facilitate freedom of speech as long as it is not putting anyone in danger or harassing individuals.

A school paper has the right to publish articles on issues that they think are important, rather than having to undergo continual scrutiny from an administrative censor. That type of published material is nothing more than administrative propaganda.

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Posted by nicole
a resident of Rex Manor
on Feb 15, 2013 at 3:20 pm

nicole is a registered user.

Did these parents who also opt out of sex education for their children? Have they perhaps read the studies that say states w/o sex education have the highest rates of teen pregnancy? Kudos to the paper for expanding on education relevant to teens. I will acknowledge that my kids are much younger than high school and do NOT want to hear anything about sex at this age. Why can the author never seem to find opinions from the other side?

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Posted by MVHS parent
a resident of another community
on Feb 15, 2013 at 3:46 pm

MVHS parent is a registered user.

I attended the school board meeting referred to in the article and have to say that once again, the reporter crafts his story with inflammatory language such as "Furor erupts" and "parents outraged," when in reality the school board president Judy Hanneman thanked the parents more than once for their respectful behavior and comments. Does Nick Veronin think his readership needs something akin to scandal in order to be interested in learning more about what is going on at our schools? We are all more intelligent than that.

Also not mentioned in this article was the subsequent response from the school board at the end of the board meeting that affirmed these parents’ concerns. The school board asked to 1) have the journalism departments in the district give a report to the school board, including the adult review process for the papers, and 2) have the school board review the district-wide behavior policies.

Despite this newspaper reporter's attempt to create his own "furor", it was clear to anyone at Monday night's school board meeting that there are some legitimately concerned parents in our district and that the school board values their input and suggestions. Several parents re-iterated that their concerns were not about the teenagers’ behavior, but instead about the lack of adult guidance in matters like the journalism class…amongst many other things at the high school.

Most kids at the high school have teachers who curse in class (sometimes at the students), or let kids listen to music during instruction time, don’t care about the dress code, don't return student or parents emails, etc. There is a bigger problem at this high school, and finally some parents are talking about it and hopefully the school board continues to listen. There is a lot more to the background of this story than simply a few articles about sex - the broader issue is really about adult leadership at the HS, or the lack thereof. This highly-educated, involved and resourceful community has every right to demand an excellent standard of education and adults that do their job for these great kids!

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Posted by Michal Krupa
a resident of Rex Manor
on Feb 15, 2013 at 4:52 pm

Michal Krupa is a registered user.

You assume that cursing in class is a failure of adult leadership. As if we've never heard anyone curse in an office or outside of a school. Do the students themselves feel threatened? Is this disruptive to the learning environment? I'd like to have a student speak out if they feel there are issues in their classroom educations. There are no parents sitting in on those classes-how are they to know what the real situation is?

Kids listening to music during instruction time is an issue? As long as it is during an appropriate time and not distracting to others learning, I can't fathom why anyone would take issue with this.

"...don’t care about the dress code, don't return student or parents emails, etc."

It seems like you are trying to use a single issue to platform an entire agenda. Just because emails aren't getting returned doesn't mean that there is a discipline issue. People sometimes get too busy to reply to all their emails. But a student can very easily approach teachers about questions. If you need an email response the same night you sent it, you probably are asking questions that should have been addressed during class.

You think that there is a lack of leadership because students are given freedom and taught the value of their opinions? The school school board is there to set legal and legislative policy. You instead seem to think their job is to go into classrooms and discipline students and teachers about the use of iPods in classrooms.

You want teachers to be setting good examples and cooperating with your needs? Perhaps try approaching them directly instead of going over their head every time to the central administration. I can't imagine why a teacher, who gets undermined every time there is a disparity in the way you feel about their operative role, would not want to answer your emails.

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

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