Principal addresses sexual assault concerns

Siddarth Sharma, Author

During Monday’s InFocus announcements, Palo Alto High School principal Kimberly Diorio addressed what she said were falsehoods in recent reports concerning a student athlete involved in alleged accounts of sexual assault, and has since been allowed to attend school. Below is the video and a transcript of the announcement.


Good morning Vikings, and thank you for allowing me this opportunity to talk to you and clarify some information. First, let me say as your principal, as a mother of two daughters, as a survivor of sexual assault, and a victim of sexual harassment, I am committed to making sure Paly is, and will continue to be a safe place for all of our students and staff. We love and care for all of our Viking students and we want you to know that there are people here for you. Since last week, we’ve had additional counseling staff on our campus, and I’ve also requested additional female administrators to be here as well, so please continue to come to the Wellness Center or the guidance office if you need help, or if you need any support.

I also want to clarify a few of the factual inaccuracies that I discussed in an earlier email. I want to let you know that the student in question was neither arrested nor convicted of sexual assault or sexual harassment on school grounds. The stories that have been picked up by news media contain many factual inaccuracies, but I believe this is the most important one to clear up for you. On our website, we’ve posted helpful resources and links, and our team is working on it, adding additional information to further explain some of the misinformation that’s been reported or wrongly interpreted. Stay tuned for more info.

I’ve always said our students are our greatest assets and I continue to believe this to be true. Please be aware of how your friends, your sisters, and your classmates may be feeling, and do your part to show kindness and compassion to anyone who needs support. We are all in this together, and by talking about our feelings and giving voice to our concerns and our struggles, we can collectively make Paly a better place.

Again, please know that there are teachers, staff, counselors, and administrators who care about you. The Wellness Center and the guidance office are open and available. Stay tuned for more information regarding next steps that we will be taking to be sure every person at Paly feels welcome and safe. We can do this Paly.