School district hired lawyer to deal with candidate’s frequent emails to high school paper

Kathy Jordan

BY ALLISON LEVITSKY
Daily Post Staff Writer

The Palo Alto school district hired a First Amendment lawyer to tell school board candidate Kathy Jordan to stop emailing student journalists at the Campanile, a Palo Alto High School paper.

In a phone interview with the Post yesterday, Jordan said she emailed the teenagers 15 times in October before being told to stop.
Campanile advisor Esther Wojcicki said on Sept. 21 that Jordan had shown “serious lack of judgment” in her interactions with the student paper. “The kids were traumatized by Kathy’s inappropriate behavior. Is that the kind of person we want for the school board?” Wojcicki asked in a comment on the Post’s website.

The district hired Thomas Burke, a partner specializing in media law at the San Francisco firm Davis Wright Tremaine, to draft an email that former Vice Principal Janice Chen sent to Jordan on Oct. 30, 2017.

“It has come to my attention that our Campanile staff is feeling threatened and harassed by your multiple emails, phone calls and text messages regarding some articles published in the Campanile,” the 2017 email from Chen reads. “Our students have shared that the repeated contacts occur sometimes more than (once a day) and the students are feeling stressed and harassed.”

Jordan said she never called any of the students but sent five text messages to one Campanile reporter, Shannon Zhao, who approached Jordan at a board meeting, gave her her cellphone number and set up a meeting that Zhao later canceled.

“I would be happy to stop contacting the Campanile staff, once they retract, remove and apologize for publishing libelous assertions and statements,” Jordan wrote in response to Chen on Oct. 30, 2017. “Unfortunately I cannot rely on the Campanile’s teacher advisor, Ms. Wojcicki to do so, which is why I have been contacting the Campanile staff as a group directly.”

Jordan has said that recipients of her emails can see her name on them and can choose to ignore her emails.

Paly sex assault case

In the emails, Jordan had demanded that the students retract and correct articles in which they report that an October 2016 campus sexual assault was found to be consensual.

The 14-year-old victim told the Mercury News and Channel 2 last year that the older boy forced her to have oral sex in a Paly bathroom.

In August, he was sentenced to 60 days in Santa Clara County Juvenile Hall for one felony count of rape and one felony count of forced oral copulation for prior incidents in January 2016 and May 2016.

In February 2017, the district learned that the teen had also been convicted of forcing a Menlo-Atherton High School student to have oral sex in a Palo Alto church bathroom in October 2015, but allowed him to remain at the school.

The law firm Cozen O’Connor, which the district hired last year to review its response to the October 2016 assault, determined that administrators mishandled the investigation.

Keith Ferrell, a district parent and supporter of Jordan, emailed Superintendent Don Austin and the school board on Saturday evening raising his ongoing concerns about the Campanile’s reporting of the assault as consensual.

“While there might be some political appeal to criticizing Jordan or trying to portray her as ‘attacking’ students, I’m not sure that should be a tenet of a student newspaper, especially if it is being organized by a teacher advisor who holds a degree of power over the students,” Ferrell wrote.

Superintendent weighs in

Austin responded to Ferrell on Sunday afternoon, saying that he has “serious concerns” about the way the Campanile portrayed the sexual assault and that he or Deputy Superintendent Karen Hendricks would contact Ferrell this week.

When reached last night, Austin said he was concerned “about a story not being fully reported with both sides, and additionally the source of the information.”

Austin said he’s “very comfortable” with the role school administrators have in Palo Alto when it comes to the school newspaper.
“I’m equally confident that from what I’ve seen so far, the newspaper and their own editors and advisor are very aware of the rules and operate within them,” Austin said.

Jordan’s view

Jordan, meanwhile, claims that the Campanile reporting amounts to a libelous, coordinated effort between Wojcicki, former Principal Kim Diorio and other school and district administrators to suppress unflattering information about school administrators.

She cites emails between Wojcicki and Diorio from May 2017, the month that Channel 2 broke the story about the October 2016 sex assault, that Jordan obtained through a public records request.

Jordan has requested hundreds of thousands of pages of public records from the district since May 2017, leading some district leaders to blame her as a reason for the district’s slow response to public records requests.

“I heard how you were attacked at the board meeting. So sorry you had to endure that,” Wojcicki wrote to Diorio on May 10, 2017, the day after Jordan criticized Diorio at a school board meeting over her three-year withholding of 25 sexual misconduct allegations against former Paly Principal Phil Winston. “I want you to know that Campanile will write an editorial supporting you and everything you have done. Second, I would like to talk to that parent by myself. Can you send me her contact info. She is crazy … clearly.”

Jordan has pointed to the Campanile’s coverage of Winston’s departure from the district as further evidence that the school paper covers up bad behavior by district administrators.

Does Jordan represent the victim?

Jordan said she last communicated with the October 2016 victim’s mother a few months ago. The girl’s family hasn’t asked Jordan to be her advocate, but Jordan said the mother “wanted everyone to be involved, advocating for her daughter.”

“She was unhappy with her daughter’s treatment by the Paly administration,” Jordan said. “I let the mother know about the (Campanile) coverage, and she thanked me for the information.”

The Campanile is now working on a followup story “clarifying the events that occurred last year, including your interactions with our staff,” the school paper’s five editors-in-chief wrote in an email to Jordan on Sept. 27.

Jordan has pointed to the California Student Free Expression Law of 1977, which affirms the right of high school newspapers to publish what they choose as long as it’s not obscene, libelous or slanderous. When reached by phone yesterday, Jordan repeatedly declined to say whether she thinks the school board should prescreen student articles before they’re published.

“The school board is ultimately responsible for the district complying with the law, and there are laws that apply to student publications,” Jordan said.

46 Comments

  1. Dear Peter G: Do you consider correcting kids when they behave improperly to be bullying? Do you consider asking students to correct their false reporting to be bullying? Read her emails.

  2. CDC shows that 25% of high school kids experienced sexual assault. Yet so few would even consider reporting, either to parents or to school. How many of these kids will carry the psychological damages throughout their lives? Many parents are not even aware of this reality. This culture needs to change, but it won’t be easy. In the PRA on Ms. Jordan’s exchanges with the Campanile staff, she raised many many questions, repeatedly. It seems to me that her questions were not answered. But her tone was not hostile. It appears that she was trying to suggest how to fix these deep seeded issues. It is no easy task to stand up for victims and be attacked like this.

  3. Agree that the newspaper should convey the truth, so she has a point, but I am not surprised that the journalists had poor interactions with her.

    I know Kathy from PAUSD schools and found her to lack courtesy at times while interacting with her over the years, as mine were involved with sports too. She is condescending and downright rude when she is irritated or is too busy (and she will be very busy in this role). Her feelings go deep but politicians should be able to hide their feelings and stay professional. The lack of level-headedness and her moodiness concerns me. She is authentic and intelligent but does not have the people skills to be a politician. It might be “my way or the highway” with her. She dedicated her life to tennis, which is admirable, but perhaps such a career sacrificed communication skills and social interactions. Keith Ferrell has issues with professionalism too. They both see red and go for the jugular to defend those they care for. We need someone who sincerely cares for our students but the person has to be able to work with people and interact with the public respectfully.

    • Can’t believe this parent said we school district need a POLITUCIAN!! PAUSD has too many politicians to lead to over 20 sex assaults cases being covered, $6M blunder, and short of minimum instructional minutes for students! Wake up, parents, we need to Vote for someone that is not a politician but a person who cares and put students first.

    • “go to the jugular to defend those they care for.” That sounds like a compliment. Do you want administrators and board members that don’t defend those they care for? It’s already been shown that we have those.

      If I’m not mistaken, Jordan was a tennis champion in doubles which takes a lot of teamwork and communication skills. She was also a leader in many WTA committees to expand the conditions of female tennis players. Sounds like she’s done just fine working in groups to work towards a goal.

      “politicians should be able to hide their feelings”. Really? I want someone on the board who is going to be passionate, not someone that you can’t even tell if they care.

      “her moodiness concerns me”. I wonder if you’d say that about a male running for school board.

      The fact remains that the student paper made a mistake by calling the assault consensual. They only gave one side of the story in order to make the school look good and gave no thought how it portrayed the female student. Jordan asked them to fix the issue and they continued to write articles based on poorly obtained information. After a year and a half, NOW they apologize.

      Superintendent Austin even said that he has “serious concerns” about how the paper portrayed the assault. So, where was the teacher advisor during the past year and a half? She was pushing the school’s agenda of trying to paint a favorable light on the assault. Nice job. I’m sure she’ll tell you that she’s an advocate for victim’s rights, too.

    • Dear Alias, I heard you, but I respectfully disagree with you. I also know Kathy. My experience of interacting with her is completely opposite to yours. She is very sincere and warm, and she listens to people with authentic respect – unlike those people who pretend to listen with phony smiles. Yes, Kathy is NOT a politician if the term “politician” is defined as a person who tries to please everyone and tells lies all the time, or as a person who is good at sugarcoating things to make the listeners happy. I know Kathy, a genuine person just like many of us in our school district, has been volunteering to our schools and community not only for days, months but for over a decade. She smiles with sincerity, she cares for our students with a warm heart, and she listens with genuine respect. Also, she is very modest and humble (she never mentions to me the glory in her tennis career life at all). I also find her with great people skills to listen and communicate with people. In addition to all these wonderful characters, she is SO brave to stand up and advocate for the victims and all of our students, persistently, selflessly and tirelessly. I admire, respect and like her, and I believe many people in our community feel the same. Yes, we need someone who is not a politician; rather, who should be sincere, respectful and courageous and able to work with people – and that someone,imo, is Kathy Jordan!

  4. Dear Alias (The First Melissa Anderson): Thank you for agreeing that Kathy is right that the newspaper should convey the truth. Kathy stood up for the victim. In this age of Kavanaugh and Blasey Ford, one would have thought that “englightened” Palo Altans would have understood Kathy’s desire to stand with the victim. Did you stand with the victim? Kathy has never made personal remarks about anyone (unlike what you are currently doing). And last, you really want a politician on our school board? Not a person who says it like it is?

    Do you know that CDC shows tha t25% of high school kids experience sexual assault and so few consider reporting, for exactly the same reasons as we see playing out at Palo Alto High School right now? Kathy is working on changing that culture, and it is not easy. Read the letters posted by Kathy. They question, but are never hostile.

  5. Dear Alias: Thank you for agreeing that Kathy was correct in pointing out that the student journalists were reporting incorrectly. We will leave aside all the personal aspersions that you make (which, by the way, Kathy never makes), and ask: she stood with the victim, did you? And you really want another politician on our school board? Not someone who stands bravely for the truth?
    Kathy is one of the most compassionate people you will ever meet — it was because of her compassion for the victim that she is where she is now — at odds with all the district administration and “englightened” Palo Alto parents, who uttered not a peep at the district’s treatment of the child.
    Do you know that according to the CDC, 25% of high schoolers experience assault, but do not report it, for fear of exactly what is happening currently in our district?

  6. Dear Alias,

    What did you mean by “and she will be very busy in this role”? What role are you referring to? The article did not mention any role Kathy was acting in, so I assume you meant “if she were elected school board this year, she will be very busy in this role”. If so, you were not commenting on the article, but campaigning for some other candidates by smearing Kathy, right? That’s called negative campaigning, is not it?

    Whatever campaigning you are running aside, you think we need a politician that can hide her or his true feeling and opinion for our school board? Does it mean a board member should never say yes or no to whatever questions or pretend to be neutral when she or he has some strong opinion toward some issues? Really? I do not think so. That’ not the kind of board member I want to see. I want to see someone who can stand for our students, to hold principal and admin responsible, to protect our boys and girls, to spend tax money responsibly, not someone from the House of Cards. If we are doing a campaign here, I will vote for Kathy and urge other parents to follow me.

  7. @Alias,
    Your experience with Kathy seems completely at odds with mine. Kathy has many friends in our community and is widely respected. Based on what I’ve seen, she respects individuals, regardless of their background. She listens carefully to everyone and is always compassionate and willing to help. She is never condescending. Even during this busy campaign, Kathy has remained calm and level-headed. She remains focused on the facts even when attacked by others. From what I’ve seen, Kathy has been the victim, not the aggressor.

    I agree that she’s authentic and intelligent. And you’re right that she’s not a politician. I, for one, appreciate that.

    It sounds like we agree that Kathy cares about our students.

  8. As a former Paly journalism student, this part of the article alarmed me the most:

    “Jordan has pointed to the California Student Free Expression Law of 1977, which affirms the right of high school newspapers to publish what they choose as long as it’s not obscene, libelous or slanderous. When reached by phone yesterday, Jordan repeatedly declined to say whether she thinks the school board should prescreen student articles before they’re published.”

    Our 1st amendment rights are valid, even at school. This is one of the reasons why Paly has one of the most award-winning and prestigious journalism programs in the states! And not only that, because they’re students, the editors of the paper changes year-to-year. For example, Campanile has new editors every year… With a leadership change, the opinions of the staff change, handling of situation changes, and the talking-points in the school community changes.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if all hell broke loose if she were to “prescreen” or take away the right of the students — it’s Paly afterall…

    • I asked and Kathy said that the author was trying to trap her. She of course believes in free press but believes there needs to be oversight. That oversight should ideally come from the teacher advisor. In this case the writing by the Campanile that the rape was “consensual” was harmful to the victim, who was subsequently bullied as a result. Real harm resulted from the willfully inaccurate reporting. This is why Kathy demanded a retraction. The Campanile refused so Kathy tried to educate the staff about libel. The massive hit job on Kathy by the Campanile somehow managed not to mention Kathy’s motivation in order to put Kathy’s actions out of context. The ridiculous portrayal that Kathy is against free speech is a straw man. Rather than take responsibility and issue a retraction on the harmful reporting, the Campanile went on a rampage against Kathy, calling her persistence “harassment”. The Campanile article mentioned that there were more articles to come.

  9. Paly Alumni – You say that Paly has one of the most award-winning programs because of its 1st Amendment rights. Pretty sure everyone has those rights. Are you just trying to insert a plug for the journalism program?

    Of course the board is not going to prescreen articles. Again, an exaggeration and overreaction. However, I would hope that if the paper publishes false statements, then someone would make sure they are corrected. This should be the role of the teacher advisor prior to the article being printed. However, since the proper statement would make it clear that a boy was forcing a fellow classmate to perform oral sex in the library bathroom would make the school look bad, they tried to spin the story.

    It appears that the school, the district and many members of the community prefer to put on an attractive exterior so that no one realizes what is really going on. I once talked to a mental health specialist who attended Paly back in the day and told me that Paly is like an Impressionist painting. From far away everything looks cheery and beautiful, but the closer you get to it the ugly details start to emerge.

    • Actually, there were a lot of states that don’t have a law like the Student Free Expression Law of 1977 here in California, allowing school districts and administrations to censor student journalism, and preventing them to print what they don’t deem appropriate. I don’t believe that a person’s 1st amendment rights should be violated for being under 18, or being on public school grounds.

      You say with such confidence that the board won’t prescreen articles, but I didn’t think that my personal emails, phone calls, and text messages wouldn’t get screened by my own government (Hello NSA!) either. It’s a slippery slope that was enabled by the complacent people — folks who repeatedly ensured that “it won’t ever happen”.

      I agree that the journalism teachers should advise the students in how to deal with erroneous reporting, but it’s up to the students and the editorial boards to decide how they would like respond. The teacher advisor is an advisor after all, and should just guide. They should be impartial, and I can definitely say for sure that Woj was impartial back when I was a student.

      I still think Paly is beautiful from the outside and the inside, and definitely wouldn’t mind putting my kids through the same school system. Your mental health specialist might have a limited view on what the school is and what it offers.

      And finally, I stand by my point that Paly has one of the best school journalism programs in the nation — it’s not a shameless plug… It’s fact. I have friends who are now writers the WSJ and The Economist, radio-producers for NPR, and TV-producers for USA Today.

  10. Dear Alias, I heard you, but I respectfully disagree with you. I also know Kathy. My experience of interacting with her is completely opposite to yours. She is very sincere and warm, and she listens to people with authentic respect – unlike those people who pretend to listen with phony smiles. Yes, Kathy is NOT a politician if the term “politician” is defined as a person who tries to please everyone and tells lies all the time, or as a person who is good at sugarcoating things to make the listeners happy. I know Kathy, a genuine person just like many of us in our school district, has been volunteering to our schools and community not only for days, months but for over a decade. She smiles with sincerity, she cares for our students with a warm heart, and she listens with genuine respect. Also, she is very modest and humble (she never mentions to me the glory in her tennis career life at all). I also find her with great people skills to listen and communicate with people. In addition to all these wonderful characters, she is SO brave to stand up and advocate for the victims and all of our students, persistently, selflessly and tirelessly. I admire, respect and like her, and I believe many people in our community feel the same. Yes, we need someone who is not a politician; rather, who should be sincere, respectful and courageous and able to work with people – and that someone,IMO, is absolutely Kathy Jordan! I support her, and I am sincerely hoping that you hear me with RESPECT.

  11. “Jordan said she never called any of the students but sent five text messages to one Campanile reporter, Shannon Zhao, who approached Jordan at a board meeting, gave her her cellphone number and set up a meeting that Zhao later canceled.”

    However, “Campanile staff is feeling threatened and harassed …” as mentioned in former Vice Principal Janice Chen’s email, and “The kids were traumatized by Kathy’s inappropriate behavior.” said Wojcicki.

    So, it was down to emails that caused the student reporters to feel “threatened”, “harrassed” and “traumatized”. May be they found the emails conflicting with what they thought they knew and/or perhaps even annoying, but “traumatized”? If they felt “threatened”, “harrassed” and “traumatized”, what about the pain they inflicted on the victim? What words would then be appropriate to describe her state when the Campanile inaccurately (as per the publication’s latest “apology” article https://thecampanile.org/2018/10/04/title-ix-misconduct-clarification-apology/) damaged her reputation and accused her of being a willing party repeatedly? In addition to trying to cope with carrying on, she had to take the blame over and over with each and every one of those articles published in print for all to see. She left the school district.

    Let us take a look at this Daily Post article. Sources are cited. So-and-so said and statements made are placed in quotes. Eg. PAUSD Superintendent

    ‘Austin said he was concerned “about a story not being fully reported with both sides, and additionally the source of the information.”’

    Without citing the source, by stating that the Oct 2016 was consensual, Campanile informed readers that it was a fact rather than hear-say. Hence, misleading readers and doing injustice to the victim. Had this been a one-off reporting, the error though grievous, would have been somewhat excusable. Sadly, the mistake was repeated numerous times and despite Jordan’s emails, no action was taken to rectify the matter. It took 18 months for an “apology” from the papers to be printed. Without Jordan’s persistence, this “apology” would never have happened and the truth of where the misinformation came from (ex principal Diorio & the boy’s defense attorney) would not have been made known.

    “The Campanile clarified the sources for the consensual determination based on conversations with former Principal Kim Diorio and an interview conducted by The Mercury News with attorney Stephanie Rickard, who represented the former Paly student accused and subsequently convicted of sexual assault.”

    The new “apology” article is titled “Title IX Misconduct clarification, apology”. Interestingly, in the content, the word “clarification” was used twice if my count is correct but the word “apology” was never used. So, how much of an “apology” did the student reporters really intend to make by writing this article?

  12. I have worked with Kathy before. She has her ups and downs but the downs will prevent her from collaborating well with others which she would have to do on the BoE. Sure, in campaigning, she is pleasant, on campus grounds she is too. But what about when she is under pressure and things aren’t going well? Don’t fall for the facade. She is completely unreasonable in an argument and she flies off the handle like a crazy woman. That won’t score any points with colleagues; no one wants to be bullied. I have no doubt that her emails to the students were vicious. And to a teen? Bullying a teen. When she wants something, she is like a pit bull, as she was trained. No one wants to be around a pit bull attacking. If she is elected, it’ll be just one huge conflict all the time.

    She is the reason Paly had to change the bell schedule from the 10:00 start time. She went to the state and complained there wasn’t enough instructional minutes so they were forced to audit. Meanwhile, there are schools which don’t have enough instructional minutes but if no one complains, the state doesn’t audit. She lacked the intelligence to realize that the students need more sleep, as their bodies are on later time clocks. Her thinking is too rigid and I don’t find her to be intelligent. No, we don’t need anymore Ivy Leaguers, they are book smart. We need organizers and businessmen, people who are street smart instead.

    • “there are schools which don’t have enough instructional minutes but if no one complains, the state doesn’t audit”

      Do you mean that it’s better for the school NOT to fulfill their instructional minutes obligation since there are others who do not as well? And it’s good that it is breaking the law? Jordan did not ask for the students to sleep less. The schedule should incorporate enough instructional minutes. As to the current start time, the school decided on it, not Jordan.

      Is asking for the truth to be reported in Campanile via emails “bullying a teen”? Has the victim been your daughter, would you not be bothered by inaccurate and in this case damaging reporting?

  13. We don’t want a Trumpian candidate like Jordan on the school board. Who cares what a student paper prints?! Is she really crying “fake news” at a bunch of teenagers?

    Shame on you Kathy Jordan. Bullying school students and trying to control the content of a small school paper speaks to your small-mindedness and desperate need to attention.

    Kathy Jordan and her friend Keith Ferrell have cost our students and us Palo Alto residents over a million of dollars in funds that should have been going to the classroom. And they are doing it for her gain.

    Palo Alto Daily Post, here is a follow up question.

    How much money has Palo Alto’s school district spent on lawyers to process the mountain of public records requests that Ms. Jordan and Mr. Ferrell have requested over the years? And what has come from all this?

    Here’s one opinion.

    Ms. Jordan has been stealthily running for a spot on the school board for several years now, all funded by us Palo Alto tax payers.

    By continually dredging up negative coverage of our community (via these records requests), she’s building her own narrative as a crusading parent who cares about “the kids” (except for when they challenge her narrative in their student paper).

    This is no different than the arsonist who starts fires so they can heroically put them out. Or the President who asserts that all immigrants are criminals so they can stir up support for their anti-immigrant platform.

    With all we’ve endured this last decade, and all the good we can do with additional school budget, I think Kathy Jordan needs to stop wasting our time, our funds and our town’s reputation. Maybe there’s a seniors tennis league she can join instead.

    • “Who cares what a student paper prints?!” Not a fan of Campanile?

      The matter is about journalism integrity and responsible reporting. Fake news spreads like wild fire and masks/distorts the truth. Is the truth not of interest because the victim is not your daughter? Is the truth not of interest because it costs the district money to find out problems that long existed in our school district? From the two Cozen reports that investigated what happened in the two on-campus sexual assault incidents, it was clear that PALY admin did not follow procedure and did not inform the victims of their rights. If the money spent was put towards other uses, the school admin would have continued NOT to do their jobs. In summary, what costs the district money was NOT Jordan but the school admin not doing their jobs.

        • Sorry to disappoint you. I’m neither. Interesting that you have accused others of not having the “dignity of posting under your own names.” So “YA Paly Parent” must be your real name?

  14. We don’t want a Trumpian candidate like Jordan on the school board. Who cares what a student paper prints?! Is she really crying “fake news” at a bunch of teenagers?

    Shame on you Kathy Jordan. Bullying school students and trying to control the content of a small school paper speaks to your small-mindedness and desperate need to attention.

    Kathy Jordan and her friend Keith Ferrell have cost our students and us Palo Alto residents over a million of dollars in funds that should have been going to the classroom. And they are doing it for her gain.

    Palo Alto Daily Post, here is a follow up question.

    How much money has Palo Alto’s school district spent on lawyers to process the mountain of public records requests that Ms. Jordan and Mr. Ferrell have requested over the years? And what has come from all this?

    Here’s one opinion.

    Ms. Jordan has been stealthily running for a spot on the school board for several years now, all funded by us Palo Alto tax payers.

    By continually dredging up negative coverage of our community (via these records requests), she’s building her own narrative as a crusading parent who cares about “the kids” (except for when they challenge her narrative in their student paper).

    This is no different than the arsonist who starts fires so they can heroically put them out. Or the President who asserts that all immigrants are criminals so they can stir up support for their anti-immigrant platform.

    With all we’ve endured this last decade, and all the good we can do with additional school budget, I think Kathy Jordan needs to stop wasting our time, our funds and our town’s reputation. Maybe there’s a seniors tennis league she can join instead.

    • There is a button called “Spam Folder” that requires a click. Failing which, not opening the email from a specific sender (sender’s name is displayed on the inbox) is an option if they want to ignore them. Teenagers are more tech savvy than most of us realized. Let’s not underestimate them.

    • Okay Bill. So I can start sending you emails threatening the safety of your family, and you can’t claim harassment because you could just hit the “spam” button? Really? Then a lot of restraining orders have been falsely issued.

      And I guess by extension, a woman being followed by a man who is uttering obscene and threatening comments can’t seek any legal recourse because she was too inept to start singing songs in her head to drown out the potential threat?

      I hope you don’t have daughters.

  15. “Jordan said she never called any of the students but sent five text messages to one Campanile reporter, Shannon Zhao, who approached Jordan at a board meeting, gave her her cellphone number and set up a meeting that Zhao later canceled.”

    However, “Campanile staff is feeling threatened and harassed …” as mentioned in former Vice Principal Janice Chen’s email, and “The kids were traumatized by Kathy’s inappropriate behavior.” said Wojcicki.

    So, it was down to emails that caused the student reporters to feel “threatened”, “harrassed” and “traumatized”. Emails which they could ignore or set under their spam folder. May be they found the emails conflicting with what they thought they knew or perhaps annoying, but “traumatized”? If they felt “threatened”, “harrassed” and “traumatized”, what about the pain they inflicted on the victim? What words would then be appropriate to describe her state when the Campanile inaccurately (as per the publication’s latest “apology” article https://thecampanile.org/2018/10/04/title-ix-misconduct-clarification-apology/) accused her of being a willing party repeatedly when she had expressed otherwise? In addition to trying to cope with having been sexually assaulted, she had to take the blame over and over with each and every one of those articles in print for all to see. She left the school district.

    Let us take a look at this Daily Post article. Sources are cited. So-and-so said and statements made are placed in quotes. Eg. PAUSD Superintendent

    ‘Austin said he was concerned “about a story not being fully reported with both sides, and additionally the source of the information.”’

    Without citing the source, by stating that the Oct 2016 incident was “consensual”, Campanile informed readers that it was a FACT rather than HEAR-SAY. Hence, misleading readers and doing injustice to the victim. Had this been a one-off reporting, the error though grievous, would have been somewhat excusable. Sadly, the mistake was repeated numerous times and despite Jordan’s emails, no action was taken to rectify the matter. And the Campanile staff point an ugly finger at Jordan for sending them what was 15 emails. It took more than a year for an “apology” from the papers to be printed. Without Jordan’s persistence, this “apology” would never have taken place and the truth of where the misinformation came from (ex principal Diorio & the boy’s defense attorney; one must wonder why these sources defended the perpetrator) would not have been made known.

    “The Campanile clarified the sources for the consensual determination based on conversations with former Principal Kim Diorio and an interview conducted by The Mercury News with attorney Stephanie Rickard, who represented the former Paly student accused and subsequently convicted of sexual assault.”

    The new “apology” article is titled “Title IX Misconduct clarification, apology”. Interestingly, in the content, the word “clarification” was used twice if my count is correct but the word “apology” was NEVER used. So, how much of an “apology” did the student reporters really intend to make by writing this article?

  16. So a 14 year old said she was forced to orally copulate a criminal who already has two convictions, one for rape, the other for forced oral copulation. He got sentenced to 60 days and was allowed to remain in school. The student newspaper, without proof, said the 14 year old consented. And the woman who wants the newspaper to retract that assertion is accused of traumatizing students by communicating with them, at times twice in one day. How can people be so cruel and backwards? I want to cry for this girl.

  17. I just received a postcard in the mail from the Kathy Jordan campaign. All the reasons to vote for her are not persuasive to those who are in PAUSD schools. They are irrelevant now: the superintendent (McGee) who blew it with the budget (forgot and gave the teachers a raise = $6 million) is now gone, the principal (Diorio) and sexual assault fiasco is gone too. I think part of the Stanford degree is due to her tennis, not her smarts. Kathy does not have the temperament to be on the School Board, just ask anyone who has worked with her from Duveneck, Jordan, or Paly, she is prone to temper tantrums which lead to irrational communication. Re someone else’s posting, I think she would be worse than Trump. At least Trump can persuade others, she just tries to bulldoze. No doubt, she is married to a quiet counterpart.

  18. @Ford2: You writing to me? Those are personal attacks and are indeed facts. I’ve worked with Jordan and been on the receiving end of her temper tantrums. She’s a hypocrite too, thinking she can act one way but pointing the fingers at others doing the same. How would you know they aren’t facts? Next, you’ll throw another red herring and call me a racist. There are other good choices for School Board, we don’t need someone who can’t get along with anyone and can’t even be polite to others who disagree.

  19. Dear @Parent: Thanks to advocates like Kathy, some of the people who caused those problems are now gone. But that doesn’t mean we won’t have another fiasco of sexual assault cover-up by the administrators, especially since the PALY newspaper advisor Esther Wojcicki and other adult staff members have refused to acknowledgment the paper’s repeated false reporting which described the victim as “consensual.” They have also resorted to low-ball tactics by comparing Kathy to Trump. We need someone like Kathy who will courageously stand up for our students!

  20. Dear @Parent: When one doesn’t have logical arguments, one does what you are doing: being hysterical, and making aspersions on someones characters. Shame on you. Kathy has proved herself multiple times, on the world stage and here, in Palo Alto, both in her parish and in uniting parents whose voices have not been heard by the district. Yes, Max McGee is gone, as is Diorio, in no small part because Kathy asked that the law be followed, and questions be asked. If you care about your tax dollars and your children, you would want her on the board, so that she can defend them for you.

  21. I am willing to bet that there are many of these posts authored by Kathy Jordan, herself. Calling someone hysterical when in fact, her posting is hysterical, writing in angry defense, hitting below the belt. Much of the writing style is the same, it’s easily the same person.

    • Yes. And Keith Ferrell and Becky Eisenberg. Becky keeps a running doc on her computer of such posts, that she authors in her spare time and posts when needed. I know, because she clearly felt it was wise to tap a few out while sitting next to me at a board meeting last year. Becky is the propagandist. Keith does the dirty work. It would be better for society overall if these folks started working at a food bank or goodwill.

      • YA Paly Parent
        Dirty work? You seem to know who I am, so instead of trying to publicly insult me, you are welcome to come to my house and we can sit down and talk face to face. I’ll even make snacks! I do support Kathy Jordan. One of the main reasons is because she stands up for what she believes in. She doesn’t hide behind an alias and call people out as you are doing. She brought attention to some heavy issues that needed to be addressed. But just because the issues are beginning to be addressed does not mean the work is over. There are underlying cultural and systematic issues that need to be fixed. Someone needs to be upstanding enough to tackle those as well.

        Taking shots at people annonymously should make you and your family very proud. I haven’t said anything to anyone that I wouldn’t say to their face.

        I won’t get into an online trolling war with you. Feel free to stop by and discuss like adults. I’m not holding my breath, though.

  22. Standing up for a 14 year old girl who was sexually assaulted is heroic and extremely rare. Many here have vowed for Ms. Jordan’s bravery and kindness, and PRA records show her sensible communication with Campanile. Yet the negative campaign on Ms. Jordan is vicious and even insulted Ms. Jordan’s spouse. No wonder children in PAUSD choose to suffer assaults silently – the school AND the community will both bully them until they’re silent. In the 14 year old case, Campanile published a total of 7 articles calling the alleged rape “consensual”.

  23. @Parent and @YA Paly Parent: We are not going to roll in the mud with you. Just answer: did you support the victims of the 2015 and 2016 assaults? A simple yes or no will do. If yes, how did you support them?
    Also, for extra credit: do you support Blasey Ford? If you do, do a simple compare and contrast between the Paly incidents and Blasey Ford.

  24. I am so saddened to hear so many untrue accusations and blames on Kathy Jordan who has been so brave to speak up for the victims and their families by revealing what has been happening but swept under the rug. All these accusations and blames could be so effective to deter and intimidate the victims and their families to stand up and speak out, not to mention an upstander. Who will be willing or daring to act as an upstander when he/she sees something wrong? If he/she dares to say or do something against the administration’s will, all such personal attacks and smears will soon follow. How dare he/she? Is this a message that we like to educate our children. I am saddened to hear all those rumors smearing Kathy Jordan’s personality, character etc., because I know her in person and believe they are all rumors and misinformation.

    Regarding the sexual assault incidents, I would believe without Kathy’s speaking up at those board meetings and sending numerous emails to the relevant people (including the school board members) to bring up the awareness, many people would not have known what has been really going on. The boy could have still been on campus, the relevant admin staff could have still kept their positions, and continued covering up. Now, who takes the credit (if any)? Certainly not Kathy, because she is now being personally attacked so seriously and so brutally. I wonder who likes to resort to personal attacks against Kathy Jordan. Were those posts personally attacking Kathy Jordan written by those who were reprimanded, lost their jobs because of their mishandling and/or friends of those “wrongdoers” simply because they never think any wrongdoing was done, and harm was caused?

    Sadden…

      • DB, I feel threatened and traumatized by your questions. I also feel hurtful because you ask me what grade I complete. Does this forum allow only people like you (maybe a Ph.D?) to express views and opinions? My English may not be as good as yours. But please do not tease me for not being able to write as beautifully as you are able to. I guess this is the meaning of respect. Please do not look down people just because people think and write differently from you. Thank you!

  25. Anyone can run for public office, including people who are crazy. Anyone who spends this much time trying to get a kids paper to correct something printed a year ago has got a problem. Threatening kids with lawsuits crosses a line. The fact that the district had to bring in outside counsel to deal with woman says volumes. I think the community is smart enough to know this behavior is not something we want on the school board.

  26. I’ve known Kathy Jordan since we were classmates at Stanford Business School…I am also the parent of a child who went thru PA schools from grades 3 thru 12…

    At Business School I saw Kathy courageously stand up for fellow students on three occasions…For more female inclusion in programs; for all students on an instructional issue; and petitioning to keep a communication program that was about to be cut…None were easy or popular choices…In all three cases she stepped up because it was the right thing to do…She did her homework, built a coalition of fellow students, was committed to the issue, and was a strong and respectful advocate in presenting the case…The outcomes for all three were successful… But what struck me most was the selflessness and humility in her leadership as she championed these causes…It was never about her, it was always about the issue…

    In following the issues she has championed for students at Paly, I see in Kathy Jordan the same courage, attention to detail, and selflessness…It’s sad, particularly in this #MeToo era, to see people disparaging someone with the courage to stand up against sexual assault in our high school (a repeat offender of sexual assault is still in school???)…It reminds me that the cover up is always worse than the original transgression…I can think of no better values in a leader for our schools than courage, commitment, and integrity…I saw all these values very clearly in what Kathy did in graduate school and I see them again very clearly in what she is doing now.

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