High school paper’s adviser re-assigned, students fear retaliation from administration over article

Mountain View High School's Oracle newspaper.

Daily Post Staff Writer

The principal at Mountain View High School has re-assigned the adviser of the student newspaper and canceled an introduction to journalism class after student reporters published an article detailing sexual harassment among students.

Members of the Oracle said their program now faces an uncertain future, with an untenured advisor and no training ground for future writers.

“We’re really not sure how this will pan out,” co-editor-in-chief Naina Srivastava said in an interview on Wednesday.

Every six weeks, the Oracle works on an in-depth article that dives into a thorny topic, such as teenage drinking or homelessness. A team of writers and editors put together a full-page spread.

This time, the team decided they wanted to write about sexual harassment.

“We knew it was going to be tough,” Srivastava said. The article was published in the Oracle’s April edition with the headline: “‘I just felt like nobody cared’: Students open up about their experiences with sexual harassment.” 

The article detailed several instances of male students sending inappropriate and unwanted messages to other students, including unsolicited nude photos. 

Student reporters interviewed experts to talk about the impact of sexual harassment, and Principal Kip Glazer talked about how the district responds.

The class worked with the Student Press Law Center to make sure everything was legally sound, Srivastava said.

Principal visits class to talk about article

Before the article was published, Glazer visited the class and tried to discourage some aspects of the article, Srivastava said.

“She said that it was our job to uplift our school,” Srivastava said.

Students removed some parts of the article that could have identified students but said there was no direct censorship by the administration. 

“It was the Oracle’s executive decision to remove some identifiable details from the story for legal safety,” the editors-in-chief said in a statement.

Glazer, who is in her first year, didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment. Board president Phil Faillace also declined an interview.

Glazer told the student journalists at Los Altos High School’s Talon newspaper, who wrote about the changes in Mountain View, that she supports a free press. 

Advisor Carla Gomez was reassigned for reasons unrelated to the article, Glazer told the Talon on May 8.

“When you’re trying to build the schedule, there are a lot of factors to take into consideration: type of credential, student enrollment and the needs of the department,” she said.

Drama teacher to advise newspaper

Drama teacher Pancho Morris will be the Oracle’s new advisor.

Students like Morris, Srivastava said, but he doesn’t have prior journalism experience nor tenure — which means he could be fired without being given a reason.

“It kind of sounds like a recipe for disaster,” she said.

The introduction to journalism class will be combined with a yearbook class because not enough students signed up. The combined class would focus on photography and video too, but the curriculum hasn’t been finalized, Srivastava said.

In the past, the introduction class was a requirement before students could write for the Oracle. If students don’t know to sign up for the new class‚ or the class doesn’t teach the basics of journalism — then the flow of students who work for the newspaper would be cut off, Srivastava said.

The changes in Mountain View caught the eye of other journalism programs in the area.

Michael Moul, the longtime advisor of the Talon at Los Altos High, said that the paper hasn’t always made Principal Wynne Satterwhite’s job easier, but they’ve always had a respectful relationship.

“I’ve always felt we are on the same team,” Moul told the board of the Mountain View Los Altos High School District on May 8.

‘A clear and dangerous message’

Paul Randell, the advisor of Paly’s journalism program, said it sounds like Glazer is trying to kill the journalism program because she was unhappy about students detailing sexual harassment.

“This is not a recipe for empowering student journalists. It’s a recipe for control,” he said. “Her behavior during the production of this article and the timing of this reassignment sends a clear and dangerous message to student journalists.”


  1. Unreal. Replacing a journalism adviser with a drama teacher? C’mon. I was a journalism adviser of a high school in a nearby state, and I can tell you, that journalism advising is a tough job: long hours, lots of school politics, and trying to strike a balance between giving students the opportunities to look at tough issues while at the same time guiding them through the minefield of privacy issues, liability, adhering to journalism writing style (different than essays in class, for example), and accuracy. This adviser and students consulted the Student Press Law Center (good first step) and were careful to remove information that would identify specific students. And is sexual harassment on ANY campus an issue of concern? Yes! The principal is the one who mishandled this issue, not the students or the adviser. p.s. I am sure the drama teacher is great–as a DRAMA teacher. A very different skillset than journalism advising.

  2. Principal Kip Glazer – “She said that it was our job to uplift our school…”

    Wow, Straight out of the fascist handbook. Criticize power and your job disappears. Is she related to Putin or Xi by any chance?

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