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Kathy Jordan's submitting a formal written complaint against Esther Wojcicki and PAUSD/School Board and Kim Diorio

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To all:

I write to make a formal, written complaint against Esther Wojcicki, PAUSD School Board members, and Kim Diorio, that alleges unlawful discrimination and alleges violations of state and federal law, and as such meets the test of a UCP complaint and should be placed on the District complaints log as such as soon as possible.  This complaint is submitted on behalf of pupils, the Oct. 11, 2016 victim, as well as all the pupil students at Paly and within PAUSD. 

By publishing an unverifiable assertion in the Paly (PAHS) student publication, Campanile, which Ms. Wojcicki advises as a Paly teacher advisor, her conduct, Paly Principal Kim Diorio's, and PAUSD School Board members' conduct in facilitating the publication of that unverifiable assertion, has had the effect of casting doubt on the account of the Oct. 11, 2016 victim, damaging her reputation,  had the effect of sowing doubt about what occurred during that incident, and has cast doubt about the Cozen draft report's conclusions about the District's response to that incident. I contend that the assertion in the Campanile stating, "The incident was subsequently determined to be consensual," is allegedly libelous.

In the Oct. 11, 2016 incident, the victim alleged sexual assault. 

On page 20 of the Cozen draft report (attached), it states: 

  • Assistant Principal 1 (Vicki Kim) immediately informed the Principal of the report of a “possible sexual assault that occurred on campus;” 
  • The Superintendent also informed the Board, within days of the incident, that a student disciplinary issue at the Palo Alto High School was being investigated and may result in a sexual harassment complaint through the UCP; 
  • The School Resource Officer notified the Palo Alto Police Department, who responded and interviewed the Complainant on the same afternoon the report was shared with the counselor and Assistant Principal 1(Vicki Kim);

  • A school employee made a mandatory report of suspected child abuse to Santa Clara Child Protective Services on the same evening the report was shared with the Palo Alto Police Report.

On page 23 of the Cozen draft report, it states:


  • The School did not conclude the initial investigation or reach a determination, by a preponderance of the evidence, as to whether the underlying conduct violated Title IX, the Education Code or Board policy; 

The unverifiable assertion in the Campanile stated that "The incident was subsequently determined to be consensual."  There was no attribution in the Campanile for this assertion.  Professional journalists were unable to verify a somewhat similar assertion by the boy's advocate about the resultant criminal conviction for the Oct. 11, 2016 perpetrator for the same incident, as the juvenile records are sealed.  The perpetrator's advocate may have sought to present the perpetrator in a more favorable light. 

The determination of what actually occurred during the incident relevant to Paly, PAUSD, its processes and State Education Code law was never made by Kim Diorio, the Paly Principal, and the investigation was not ultimately concluded by Vicki Kim, as the principal's designee to perform the incident's investigation, even though they were required to do so by EDC 48915 (c)(4).  No investigation was  completed and no determination was made, allegedly in violation of EDC 48915 (c)(4), according to the Cozen draft report. 

On page 23 of the Cozen draft report, it states:


  • The School did not conclude the initial investigation or reach a determination, by a preponderance of the evidence, as to whether the underlying conduct violated Title IX, the Education Code or Board policy; 

This unverifiable assertion in the PAUSD school sponsored Campanile publication is counter to the allegations of the Oct. 11, 2016 victim, and counter to the conclusions of the Cozen draft report, that sexual assault was alleged and that no determination was ever made by Paly administrators.   The resultant conviction for the Oct.. 11, 2016 perpetrator cannot be verified, and relied on a different standard of proof.  Campanile provided no attribution for its allegedly libelous assertion.   

This conduct, in publishing this unfounded assertion, may also be construed as retaliation against the Oct. 11, 2016 victim and family for filing a UCP complaint about the incident with PAUSD, which is prohibited by PAUSD Board policies and  5 CCR UCP. 

Esther Wojcicki, as the teacher advisor to the Campanile, in her supervisory role at the Campanile, PAUSD as the sponsor of the Campanile, and Kim Diorio, in her role as Principal of PAHS, and the PAUSD School Board members allegedly allowed Campanile to publish this allegedly libelous assertion, and by allegedly doing so have fostered, promoted, and perpetuated a hostile environment that is rife with sexual harassment at Paly itself, in the Paly and PAUSD community, for the Oct. 11, 2016 victim, for other PAUSD victims of sexual assault and sexual harassment, and, I contend, violated the following state and federal laws and Board policies: 

  • Title IX and its implementing regulations
  • EDC 221.5-231.5 the Sex Equity in Education Act
  • 5 CCR UCP
  • 5 CCR 4900 
  • EDC 234-234.5 the Safe Place to Learn Act
  • Gov 11135 
  • EDC 48907
  • PAUSD AR 5145.2
  • PAUSD Board policies prohibiting retaliation
  • 51 CIV Unruh Civil Rights Act

Also, I contend that by accessing my personal information within Infinite Campus or other PAUSD software, to call me on May 10, 2017 to discuss my open forum remarks made on May 9, 2017, Esther Wojcicki has also violated internal PAUSD guidelines about accessing personal information of PAUSD families.   

I contend that Ms. Wojcicki called me on the afternoon of May 10, 2017, to query me and to attempt to intimidate me with respect to the remarks I made during the open forum portion of the May 9, 2017 School Board meeting, in which I questioned the conduct of Kim Diorio for withholding 25 sexual misconduct allegations over the course of three years against former Paly principal Phil Winston.  Ms. Wojcicki's conduct in calling to attempt to intimidate me for my expressing my opinion of Kim Diorio's past conduct with respect to abetting sexual harassment and perpetuating a hostile environment at Paly, is in violation of:
  • the prohibitions against retaliation in Board policies, and 
  • Title IX and its implementing regulations  

I submit the attached PRA which shows that Ms. Wojcicki and Ms. Diorio, in May 2017, discussed suppressing the information I sent to Ms. Wojcicki to be passed on to Campanile staffers at that time.  As you can see in the PRA, the documented suggestion by Ms. Diorio and the stated intention of Ms. Wojcicki   not to share that unfavorable information, I contend, was to keep information unfavorable to Ms. Diorio out of Campanile staffers hands, and, I contend that Ms. Wojcicki, in her capacity as teacher advisor to the Campanile, sought to publish information favorable to Ms. Diorio, in violation of journalistic guidelines, and with respect to the allegedly libelous assertion, in violation of EDC 48907 and AR 5145.2. 

Given Ms. Wojcicki's prior conduct, as documented in the PRA from May 2017, I subsequently sent information directly to Campanile staffers, although I knew and assumed that they would share it with Ms. Wojcicki, as the Paly teacher advisor for the Campanile. 

I contend that this same pattern of conduct by Ms. Wojcicki and Ms. Diorio, aided by PAUSD School Board members, to publish information favorable to Ms. Diorio, has led to publishing this unverified assertion about the Oct. 11, 2016 incident in the Campanile, that "The incident was subsequently determined to be consensual."  As you may know, the Campanile is produced and mailed out, at PAUSD and PTSA expense, to all Paly households.  I contend that publishing this unverified and inaccurate assertion was an attempt to influence those Paly households and the PAUSD community, to discredit the account of the Oct. 11, 2016 victim, to defame her reputation, and to garner support for Ms. Diorio and her Paly administrative team, while discrediting the Cozen draft report on the District's response to the Oct. 11, 2016 incident.   

Ms. Diorio, Vicki Kim, and her Paly admin team were found not to have complied with state and federal laws and PAUSD Board policies in the Cozen draft report regarding their response to the Oct. 11, 2016 incident. 

In the same attached PRA, at the end, you can also see an exchange between  Ms. Wojcicki and Ms Diorio, in which they refer to a request by the Nov. 2015 victim seeking to publish her sexual assault story in a Paly student publication.  While Ms.. Wojcicki correctly reports the reported sexual assault to Ms. Diorio, Ms. Wojcicki, in subsequent exchanges, mentions to Ms. Diorio how she does not plan to publish the story of the sexual assault. (PRA attached)  This exchange raises concerns about a similar pattern of conduct in suppressing unfavorable information (a sexual assault on the Paly campus and questions might be raised about how Paly admin handled it) about Paly and its administrative team.  The exchange took place after the story broke in the media on May 10, 2017 about the Oct. 11, 2016 alleged sexual assault on Paly's campus and the associated sexual predator attending classes at Paly.  

The PAUSD School Board members had been made aware of the content of the attached PRA long since. 

In this current context, the Campanile publishes an unverifiable assertion that allegedly libels the Oct. 11, 2016 victim, an assertion that couldn't be verified by reputable news organizations, but that might provide cover for Kim Diorio's and other Paly administration members' conduct in this incident.  Campanile publishes this unverifiable assertion even when given advance notice that it was inaccurate and could not be verified.  (email notification attached) I emailed both the School Board members and Campanile staffers of this inaccuracy and the inability to verify this assertion four days prior to Campanile publishing and distributing the printed version. (email attached from KJ).  

In addition, PAUSD's own Title IX compliance officer, John DiPaolo, was made aware of this situation as well, in advance of printed publication and distribution to Paly households, and while online Campanile publication of this unverified assertion existed.  Since the transmission and print publication of this unverified assertion happened, and the online version continues to contain the unverified assertion, apparently PAUSD's own Title IX compliance officer did not intervene to prevent this from happening. 

According to EDC 48907, the principal has the ability to prevent libelous statements being published in school sponsored student publications. See EDC 48907 below.  Kim Diorio is the PAHS Principal.  She did not intervene to prevent this allegedly libelous assertion from being published, in contravention to: 
  • EDC 48907

As the School Board has the primary responsibility to ensure compliance with state and federal laws and regulations (5CCR 4620) and for keeping the School District free of discrimination, this Campanile published yet unverified assertion, I contend, constitutes discrimination on the basis of sex, prohibited retaliation, is allegedly libelous, and, I contend its publishing creates, promotes, and perpetuates a hostile environment.  Therefore, by permitting the publication of the unverified, allegedly libelous assertion, PAUSD School Board members bear responsibility for violating the following:
  • Title IX and its implementing regulations
  • EDC 221.5-231.5 the Sex Equity in Education Act
  • 5 CCR UCP
  • 5 CCR 4900 
  • EDC 234 the Safe Place to Learn Act
  • Gov 11135 
  • EDC 48907
  • PAUSD AR 5145.2
  • PAUSD Board policies prohibiting retaliation
EDC 48907 and PAUSD's AR 5145.2 specifies that libelous statements are prohibited from being published in student publications and the teacher advisor and principal have a role in preventing libelous statements from being published in that state law.  Of course the PAUSD School Board has the ultimate authority overall for ensuring compliance with all state and federal laws and regulations (5 CCR 4620).  Excerpts from EDC 48907 and AR 5145.2 are below. 

In case there is any doubt about Ms. Wojcicki contacting me on the afternoon of May 10th, I did subsequently speak with the information technology center supervisor in the Welcome Center in the District Office about my personal information being accessed in this manner and for this purpose and to ask what security levels were available within PAUSD's IT.  I spent time with her modifying the setting within PAUSD's software to remove access to my information, although due to lack of sophistication in PAUSD's software, I was unable to prevent PAUSD personnel from being able to access my family's personal information.  

This conduct by Ms. Wojcicki, Ms. Diorio and PAUSD School Board members allegedly creates legal liabilities, to the detriment of the taxpayers who fund PAUSD, and potentially diverts funds from our students' education. 

This conduct brings disrepute onto PAUSD. 
Please terminate Ms. Diorio, as I have requested previously.  This is yet another example of her pattern of conduct and alleged non compliance with state and federal laws and Board policies. 

Please remove Ms. Wojcicki as the teacher advisor for the Campanile immediately.  She has allegedly disqualified herself through her willingness to compromise journalistic integrity and violate EDC 48907 and AR 5145.2 and allegedly libel the Oct. 11, 2016 victim.  Her conduct has discredited Paly, PAUSD and the Campanile's reputation. 

Please send via email and also in other PAUSD communications an apology and disavowal of this allegedly libelous assertion to all of the Paly and PAUSD households that received the printed copy of the Campanile.  I have already supplied possible language for this apology.  Please remove this allegedly libelous assertion from the online version of the Campanile immediately.  Please publish an apology and disavowal on the initial "splash"/front page of the Campanile's webpage for a period of no less than two weeks, immediately. 

Thank you,

best,


Kathy Jordan

AR 5145.2 - Freedom of Speech/Expression

Students shall have the right to exercise freedom of speech and of the press in official school publications, except for expression that is obscene, libelous, slanderous, or so incites students as to create a clear and present danger of the commission of unlawful acts on school premises, the violation of lawful school regulations, or the substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the school. (Education Code 48907)
If the principal considers material submitted for publication to violate Education Code 48907, he/she shall notify the student, without undue delay, and give specific reasons why the submitted material may not be published. Absent extraordinary circumstances, such notice should be given in sufficient time to allow the student time to either modify the material or to seek review of the principal's determination from the Superintendent or designee.  Prior to any restriction of student speech, school officials shall consider any feasible alternative options to restricting the speech.
Education code:
48907.  
(a) Pupils of the public schools, including charter schools, shall have the right to exercise freedom of speech and of the press including, but not limited to, the use of bulletin boards, the distribution of printed materials or petitions, the wearing of buttons, badges, and other insignia, and the right of expression in official publications, whether or not the publications or other means of expression are supported financially by the school or by use of school facilities, except that expression shall be prohibited which is obscene, libelous, or slanderous.

(c) Pupil editors of official school publications shall be responsible for assigning and editing the news, editorial, and feature content of their publications subject to the limitations of this section. However, it shall be the responsibility of a journalism adviser or advisers of pupil publications within each school to supervise the production of the pupil staff, to maintain professional standards of English and journalism, and to maintain the provisions of this section.