@Never been so disgusted - I tried to follow up with you many times. I wrote to you at the beginning of January (link #1), letting you know that I had been trying to follow up with you. 
Back in July you posted on the thread letting us know about PAUSD Board’s secret meeting set to check the feasibility  of challenging  the OCR’s “jurisdiction.”  (link #2).  I decided at that time to try to follow up with you. Back in July, the thread was open to all. All my posts trying to follow up with you vanished. I kept trying as I truly thought that “teachers too” (whom I quoted) had a good point that reinforced my decision to try to follow up with you. . 
I did my best trying to conform to PA Online’s unclear (to me) terms of use. I posted the following comments quite a few times:
Posted by village fool, a resident of another community
0 minutes ago
village fool is a registered user.
@Never been more disgusted,Back in July you wrote:
“…Or maybe I will continue to teach my students that their democratic duty is to criticize their elected and paid leaders to ensure that they are representing us. My union president may be silent right now, but I will not be.”I wished you, then, that you voice will be heard. I decided, then, to try to follow up with you.
I want to think that you also teach the virtues of free speech, First Amendment etc.
“teachers too” ended her/his comment here (http://www.paloaltoonline.com/square/2013/12/03/members-differ-on-path-for-bullying-complaints) saying: “… they are the people we pay to care for our kids, and they are all part of the problem. Until they recognize that and stop playing the game of silence, then only then will we be on the way to improvement.”
All correlates nicely to your July’s comment, above.
Wishing you that your voice will be heard and inspire your students. Many agree that teachers’ personal modeling can go a long way.
I posted the above comment the last time late on January 28th - the infamous “Cut the Mike” night. I thought it was appropriate timing. I referred to that night a day later on January 29th (link #4) as this despicable incident was not mentioned by PA Online. Ms. Gaona Mendoza, who accompanied Angela, commented, adding some behind the scenes info. 

On January 31st, the weekly published a great editorial naming the January 28th - Nadir. (link #5).  While I totally agree it was a low point, I suspect that lower points occur out of the camera’s watch.

A commenter noted this editorial (link #5) :

Posted by yes, but, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 4, 2014 at 9:16 am
Town Square Moderator,

There is a separate thread which Village Fool keeps resuscitating which I believe is a method to ignite controversy surrounding similar issues. It’s among your top posts of the day. If people click, it just gets more views, usually few people have commented since the original thread was started.

I have appreciated your delivering news on the topics regardless of controversy; however, when posters use a thread to ignite passions towards one view or another, that seems unnecessary. Astroturf movements on Town Square should at least have real people behind them.

The moderator responded fast:
Palo Alto Online Moderator Response:
Thanks for pointing this out. We’ve closed that topic from further comment so this won’t happen any longer.

The thread reporting on PAUSD Board’s Secret meeting was locked, completely. No more comments.

So, my act of trying to address a teacher after the mike was cut on brave Angela, who tried to share her experience of being bullied, was raising controversy. Shame on me.

And here’s to:

“…the old pesky First Amendment…” - Evaluate this!, (link #6)

@Edmund Burke -
Thank you, again, for the  incredible analysis of the various versions and updates of PAUSD bullying policies and proposals. Obviously, you put a lot of time and thought into educating us in a clear,  caring and eye-level way.
Having written the above about your analysis, I listed the reasons that had me conclude that, unfortunately, you were wasting your time.  I listed my reasons on your blog (link #1), and on my blog (link #2).
I do not know what the current state of the PAUSD Bullying Policies is.
Thinking about the Hippocratic Oath that medical doctors take, I wondered if there was something similar for educators.  I found the California Teacher Association Code of Ethics (link #3). Within this, I believe we have the fundamental basis for bullying polices and best practices.
“The educator, believing in the worth and dignity of each human being, recognizes the supreme importance of the pursuit of truth, devotion to excellence, and the nurture of democratic principles. Essential to these goals is the protection of freedom to learn and to teach and the guarantee of equal educational opportunity for all. The educator accepts the responsibility to adhere to the highest ethical standards. The educator recognizes the magnitude of the responsibility inherent in the teaching process….”
It seems to me that this code says it all. Covers it all.
I think it would make sense to expect all school and district officials and PAUSD board members to conform to this code.
What say you?
While I do realize that this ethical code may not  be  sufficient, legally,  I am  very curious to know your insight as to where, if at all, any of the code of ethics was violated in the cases the OCR checked (the cases that have been made available to the public).
I want to think that all would support conforming to this code. Back to basics. It seems to me that there are numerous simple ways to deal with any noncompliance.

@ transparency please -

You quoted Ms. Gaona Mendoza saying: “news that we were longing for and it finally happened.”..
“Hopefully the next super is not afraid to talk to the principals and let them know when they are failing our kids and improve our counseling system and special education for Latino students,” (link #1)

You also noted  -  “Can’t CUT THE MIKE now! best. quote. ever.”    (link #1)

Let me add another quote of Ms. Gaona-Mendoza:
““This is the way they work. If they do not talk about it, maybe people will think that the problem does not exist.”

Ms. Gaona Mendoza posted the above, responding to my open letter after the Oct 8th PAUSD board meeting. I posted my letter also on PA online, in the hopes that Ms. Gaona Mendoza will see it (link #2).
I took the liberty to use this quote as the title of my blog post. I listed my take on the quote, which was samples of  “this is the way they work”. (link #3).

I still think that independent investigation is needed.  Many called for that investigation after the first OCR case became public knowledge. I doubt that the infrastructure that enabled all the currently known wrongs is fully understood. I doubt all wrongs are public knowledge. As far as I recall, PAUSD’s secret board meetings that were set to check the feasibility of challenging the OCR’s jurisdiction became public knowledge coincidentally. As far as I recall, lawyers were called (and presumably paid) for that purpose.
I doubt issues can be addressed, and strongly doubt they can be corrected, before they are properly identified.


Link #1 – http://www.paloaltoonline.com/square/2014/02/18/palo-alto-superintendent-kevin-skelly-to-resign-june-30#comment_form

Link #2 – http://www.paloaltoonline.com/square/2013/10/13/open-address-to-ms-mendoza-the-lady-who-brought-the-office-of-civil-rights-ocr-to-pausd-and-few-related-thoughts-.

Link #3 – http://villagefoolopenboard.wordpress.com/2013/10/29/this-is-the-way-they-work-if-they-do-not-talk-about-it-maybe-people-will-think-that-the-problem-does-not-exist-ms-mendoza-101913-here-is-my-take/

Luckily,  Angela’s very short use of the mike at the PAUSD board meeting was caught on TV on Jan 28th. “If it is not documented, it never happened”.

Brave Angela’s was not stopped, yesterday Feb 11 (link #1 ).  I think it is quite reasonable to assume that the Jan 28th incident would have gone unnoticed, if it were not for the excellent editorial addressing this issue, calling the Jan 28th disgraceful incident-’the school board’s nadir” (link #3). The incident was not mentioned in the article covering the long board meeting.

The excellent editorial created the BUZZ enabling Brave Angela to speak yesterday.

Angela was followed by Ms. Gaona- Mendoza (link #2 ).

Please watch. Clear and brilliant  statement.

I think that this statement beautifully responds to PAUSD board’s secret meetings set to discuss to feasibility of challenging the OCR jurisdiction and to all the rest   (known and unknown). I mentioned few weeks ago that I think that those secret meetings were PAUSD board’s clearest statement,  after all the vigils, community members talk to the board etc.

It seems to me that the real nadirs happen out of any camera’s eye.,  many times behind closed doors. Even the camera did not prevent or stop  the Jan 28th incident.

I think that the occurrences caught by the camera can give a sense, or a glimpse to what can happen behind closed doors, out of camera’s reach, out of the camera’s watch..

@Ms. Gaona-Mendoza – Thank you again, for all you do. The recent events amplify what I wrote after the Oct 8h meeting.  (link #4).  I think that the Oct 8Tth meeting provided a “preview” to the Jan 28th incident. I wrote that letter after I watched you addressing the board.

I wonder if you also  think that the real nadirs happens behind closed doors?

@Edmund Burke – California Department of Education (CDE) investigation? Any news? (That investigation was not made public when Ms. Gaona Medoza addressed the board on Oct 8th.)

And – Here’s to Ms. Gaona-Mendoza’s three minutes on Feb 11th  – Subterranean Homesick Blues:
http://en.musicplayon.com/play?v=461198 (link #5)


Link #1 – Brave Angela – http://www.midpenmedia.org/watch/pausd_webcast/February/PAUSD_021114.html 0:37 HOURS

Link #2 – Ms. Gaona Mendoza  -http://www.midpenmedia.org/watch/pausd_webcast/February/PAUSD_021114.html  0:40 hours

Link #3 – http://www.paloaltoonline.com/square/2014/01/31/editorial-the-school-boards-nadir

Link #4 – http://villagefoolopenboard.wordpress.com/2013/10/13/open-address-to-ms-mendoza-the-lady-who-brought-the-office-of-civil-rights-ocr-to-pausd-and-few-related-thoughts/

link #5 – http://en.musicplayon.com/play?v=461198

The power of the Watchdog of Democracy.  Better late than never, I hope.  It is a  starting point, I hope.
Ms. Gaona-Mendoza honored me and commented on a post I dedicated to the issue of the Watchdog of Democracy (link #1).
Now that the recording of the Jan 28th PAUSD board meeting is available,  the faces tell the story. One picture is worth a thousand words.

I’ll Get You My Pretty” commented on  the excellent editorial (link #4) that  triggered all this that - “… they are staring straight ahead, eyes slightly downcast, carefully not looking at the child. That look, is the look of a bystander… “.

Anyone who was bullied knows this look.

I was appalled by the way Ms. Gaona – Mendoza was treated at  the Oct 8th meeting.  I wrote an open letter to her, including the exact timing of her talk to the board. I wish more people had seen it at that time . (link #2).
May I suggest that you also  watch  the beginning of that meeting – a long celebration of Unity… Compare that to the response to Ms. Gaona-Mendoza.

Both appearances of Ms. Gaona – Mendoza were not mentioned in the articles covering the PAUSD board meeting. I must admit that I did not watch all board meetings.  I suspect that my sampling reflects a pattern – both of the way the board responds and the coverage.

As it turned out, PAUSD was under CDE invertigation on Oct 8th. I commented on this issue in (link #3).

@Edmund Burke – The new policies? I have no clue. I did not stay up to 2:00 AM, and I think you may agree that this issue calls for a serious discussion. I guess it is OK to wait a bit, after more  than a year has passed.

THANK you, again, for your on going dedication and the time you take to educate us  in a clear, eye level, graceful way.

Better late than never.  I hope.



Link #1 – http://villagefoolopenboard.wordpress.com/2013/10/06/watchdog-of-democracy-and-those-who-cannot-remember-the-past-are-condemned-to-repeat-it-george-santayana/

link #2 – http://villagefoolopenboard.wordpress.com/2013/10/13/open-address-to-ms-mendoza-the-lady-who-brought-the-office-of-civil-rights-ocr-to-pausd-and-few-related-thoughts/

Link #3 – http://villagefoolopenboard.wordpress.com/2013/12/08/anonymous-and-josef-stalin-the-past-few-days-and-additional-thought-about-the-oct-8th-pausd-board-meeting/

Link #4 – http://www.paloaltoonline.com/square/2014/01/31/editorial-the-school-boards-nadir

Dear Ms. Gaona-Mendoza,

Thank you for taking the time to comment about my post dealing with the Jan 28th PAUSD board meeting (link #1).”

Thank you also  for enabling a glimpse into “behind the scenes” of this disgraceful incident  that happened when a girl you accompanied  tried to speak at the board meeting.
I’ll post the exact timing of this despicable incident when the recording  will become available. Currently I cannot access the recording (link #3).

I wrote to you after the Oct 8th PAUSD board meeting expressing my shame, respect, gratitude and admiration (link #2).   Tuesday’s meeting amplified my take.

Please relay all I wrote to you to the brave girl.  Please relay my sincere regret about how she was treated. She stood up, trying to share her experience of being bullied, and she was shut up.  All that happened in a meeting that was suppose to be about bullying policies. I am pretty sure that any script writer who would try to sell this story would be dismissed as – unrealistic, not possible.
My jaw dropped when I read  that you were removed from the meeting. Watching that scene I had thought that Mr. Young was called to support the girl in some way. I thought that  was the  Ms. Mitchel’s way to express her concern for the girl, after shutting her up.
Obviously, I agree with your comment noting that you doubt that any of this would have happened if the girl would have tried to support to district and share her positive impressions.
May I ask if any of the teachers  or district officials who were present approached you afterwards, offering moral support to the girl and you? Did anyone ask the girl to share her story, showing interest in the reasons that had her decide to stand up this way?  Anyone offered a glass of water?
I sure  hope that somebody did. If so, please do not post names as it is pretty clear that the board would not appreciate that teacher/district official.
This  Board meeting agenda totally backs up your response to me in October. I posted my open letter also on the PA online, trying to be sure that you’ll see it (link #4).  You noted  then- “This is the way they work. If they do not talk about it, maybe people will think that the problem does not exist.”
This past meeting agenda is a great sample. I listed  several other examples in a post I dedicated to my perspective of  your note (link #5). I also noted  on  June 22nd in my open address  to Mr. Dauber asking him to form a Shadow PAUSD board (link #6)  ” .. It seems to me that no steps have been taken by those in charge to better identify the issues. Meanwhile – the public attention seems to be shifting , fast, from one issue to the other. None being properly addressed – I’ll just mention now the Gunn guidance issue that was on the agenda just very short time ago..”.
There were many many other samples. This is the way they work.
I did not know that the issue  of bullying policies was addressed at 2AM. I hope to write soon about  this issue and many other issues  which were touched  your comment .
Thank you.  I am so sorry.

link #1 – http://villagefoolopenboard.wordpress.com/2014/01/29/few-quick-notes-my-confusion-dear-ms-mendoza-clear-statement-and-understatements-and-all-is-quiet/
link #2 – http://villagefoolopenboard.wordpress.com/2013/10/13/open-address-to-ms-mendoza-the-lady-who-brought-the-office-of-civil-rights-ocr-to-pausd-and-few-related-thoughts/
link #3 – 1:26 hours -http://www.midpenmedia.org/watch/pausd_webcast/January/PAUSD_012814.html
link #4 – http://www.paloaltoonline.com/square/2013/10/13/open-address-to-ms-mendoza-the-lady-who-brought-the-office-of-civil-rights-ocr-to-pausd-and-few-related-thoughts-
link #5 – http://villagefoolopenboard.wordpress.com/2013/10/29/this-is-the-way-they-work-if-they-do-not-talk-about-it-maybe-people-will-think-that-the-problem-does-not-exist-ms-mendoza-101913-here-is-my-take/
link #6 – http://www.paloaltoonline.com/square/2013/03/21/open-address-to-ken-dauber—please-form-shadow-pausd-board

I am confused. PA online reported on January 27th that the PAUSD board meeting would l review proposed rules for protecting  subgroups of students (link #1).  I thought of the numerous stories (and books) I know, heard and read about those who were diagnosed  with disabilities post- kindergarten, thus not “entering” the school protected as part of the subgroup.  Watching the board meeting made all these thoughts totally irrelevant as bullying did not seem to be high on the agenda. I was appalled by the way  the board responded to a girl accompanied by Ms. Gaona Mendoza who tried to share her experience of being bullied (link #2, 1:26 hours).
Apparently the girl did not “use” the “correct” time frame for talking to the board. I am assuming that Ms. Gaona – Mendoza who accompanied the girl also read the headline (link #1) and assumed that bullying polices would be the “beef” of the board meeting discussion. The board’s response added insult to the way those who are/were bullied are being treated. The board’s response is one of many manifestations of the reasons that had bullying on the agenda to begin with. As it turned out – it was only a virtual agenda (link #1).
I addressed Ms. Gaona- Mendoza after the Oct 8th, 2013 board meeting. (link #3). I am so sorry to see that nothing has changed. On Oct 8th The Unity Celebration was the amplifying background  of the board’s response to Ms. Gaona Mendoza.  Yesterday presented many teachers.
I must admit that I did not watch the meeting until it’s end. It was almost mid-night,  no  discussion about bullying.
I mentioned,below when I wrote to Spectator At Large in my post  a day before this   meeting that I think that  the board is irrelevant to those who share the concerns we share. I now think it was an understatement.  It also seems to me that yesterday’s agenda and the response to those who tried to share bullying experience are clear statements, added to the secret meetings which were already forgotten.



Link #1 – http://www.paloaltoonline.com/square/2014/01/27/board-to-review-proposed-rules-for-protecting-disabled-other-minority-students
Link #2 (1:26 hours)-http://www.midpenmedia.org/watch/pausd_webcast/January/PAUSD_012814.html

link #3 – http://villagefoolopenboard.wordpress.com/2013/10/13/open-address-to-ms-mendoza-the-lady-who-brought-the-office-of-civil-rights-ocr-to-pausd-and-few-related-thoughts/


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