Streaking incident mars Spirit Week opening

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    Students congregate in the bleachers during a Spirit Week lunchtime rally today. At the end of the rally, a streaker dashed across the football field and escaped in a getaway car. Photo by Cooper Lou.

    The Palo Alto High School administration is promising an investigation after a streaker ran across the football field during a Spirit Week lunch rally today.

    Senior Masha Konkov, who witnessed the incident along with most of the 2,000-person student body gathered in the stands, said the streaker darted across the field at the end of the lunch rally, just after the activities had concluded and students started to leave the stands.

    “My friend sees him and she’s like ‘Oh my god, Masha’ and I see a dude… sprinting across the football field,” Konkov said. “It appeared that he had come from the shed near the track and then everyone assumed it was a senior because we started cheering … but I think that’s because we assumed it was an upperclassman and got all excited about it.”

    According to junior Ben Cleasby, another witness, the streaker ran off the football field toward Churchill Avenue, jumped over the fence and entered a light silver car that drove away immediately.

    The Associated Student Body, which is responsible for the Spirit Week festivities, has not issued an official statement. However, keeping with the administration’s recent crackdown on streaking incidents, Dean of Students Adam Paulson promised a thorough investigation.

    “All I can say is that we’re very disappointed and we take this very seriously, so we’re definitely going to look into it,” he said.

    Principal Kim Diorio released an official statement through email shortly after the incident occurred.

    “The Paly administration is taking today’s streaking incident very seriously and has launched an investigation. Any students involved in the illegal activity of streaking will be subject to disciplinary action as outlined on page 35 of the Student Handbook.

    “We’re disappointed this happened and hope this isolated incident does not ruin Spirit Week for the majority of our school. We’re not planning on sending communication home for a variety of reasons. Instead, we want to take the focus our attention on the hard work and planning that has gone into making this a great Spirit Week. Shout out to our ASB students and [Student Activities Director] Mr. [Matt] Hall!

    “To that end, we hope students and staff will continue to come out and cheer on our fabulous Vikings during the rallies that lie ahead.  We believe this show of support makes a statement to all of our students that this incident is not reflective of what we value at our school.”

    Over the past few years, administrators have made it a priority to eliminate streaking. Sophomore Darrow Hornik agrees with this approach, and believes that the school should pursue disciplinary action.

    “I think that the administration should treat the streaking as a form of sexual harassment,” sophomore Darrow Hornik said. “I do believe that there should be penalties for a behavior that could negatively affect some people.”

    Editor’s note: The streaker ran toward Churchill Avenue, not Churchill Street as previously mentioned.

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