To ensure student safety on Freshman Friday, Palo Alto High School administrators are providing freshmen the option to walk home with Link Crew members after school and asking Palo Alto police officers to be present on campus tomorrow, according to Principal Phil Winston.
In an email to The Paly Voice, Link Crew leader and senior Katie Causey noted that Link Crew leaders–dressed in green shirts–will be stationed around campus to assist freshman.
“On Friday, all Link Crew leaders will be wearing their Link Crew t-shirt[s] and looking out for freshmen after school,” Causey wrote. “Many Link Crew leaders have contacted their freshmen orientation groups telling them that if they feel unsafe, they [Link Crew members] will do things like walk, bike, or drive freshmen home.”
Causey added that many freshmen orientation groups have been instructed to report any incidents of hazing.
Winston explained that the freshmen were informed about the Link Crew support option during freshmen orientation. However, he mentioned that he was certain Paly students would not participate in any harmful activities.
“If I was a freshman, I wouldn’t worry at all,” Winston said.
Causey echoed Winston’s confidence.
“There [have] not been any serious Freshman Friday incidents in two years, and many seniors would like to make it three,” Causey wrote. “I don’t think freshmen have anything to worry about this year.”
Besides steps being taken by Link Crew, members of the Palo Alto Police Department will also be stationed around the school to monitor students going home.
“We have a great relationship with PAPD, and they will be patrolling the immediate area of Paly to make sure our students are safe walking home,” Winston said.
Winston again emphasized that he is confident nothing disrespectful towards freshmen will happen tomorrow.
“I have high expectations for our students, and my expectation is that we treat each other with respect and that we look out for each other, and I am completely confident that Friday will be uneventful besides the rally, football game, and the dance,” he said.
“We’re in a different spot [than before],” Winston added. “It’s about moving forward.”