Principal releases letter regarding streaking incident

Noa Braun and Callie Walker

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Principal Kim Diorio sent a letter this afternoon to the Palo Alto High School community regarding the student streakers that ran across campus.

The following is a transcript of that letter.

Dear Parent/Guardian,
We’re reaching out today for help and assistance in putting an end to a student behavior that has
made many people in our school community feel uncomfortable and unsafe; student streaking.
During today’s lunch, two Palo Alto high school seniors streaked through our campus. Typically
this type of behavior has occurred during the end of senior year prior to graduation, and in my six
years at Paly, it never has happened on the first day of school. This action creates a negative
school environment, and this is not the way we would have liked to kick-off the beginning of the
school year.
We need to work together to end this unsafe and educationally disruptive “tradition.” Staff,
students, parents, and visitors have all complained about this activity and the effect it has on the
educational environment. As Principal, my top priority is ensuring the physical and emotional
safety of every student and adult on our campus. When students run through our campus without
clothing in the spirit of fun, whether they realize it or not, they are creating a hostile work
environment for the many employees of Palo Alto High School, but more importantly, an
emotionally unsafe environment for students.
Seventeen or eighteen year-old students may not think of their behavior in this context and the
unintended consequences of their actions. Over the years, consequences for this type of behavior
may not have been applied consistently nor made clear to students, which has only made the
situation worse over time. So, to be absolutely clear – the consequences from this point forward
will include suspension from school and a conference with our Palo Alto Police Department School
Resource Officer.
I firmly believe we have the power to do great things at Paly. Engaging in thoughtful dialogue
about creating a safe and welcoming school environment with our students is of the utmost
importance at this time. I know that if we work together, we can educate our students and resolve
this issue.
Moving forward, we will be working together with our senior class, and all students on campus,
engaging in conversations about respect for others, personal safety, and the school-wide
unintended consequences of the actions of a small group of students. It’s time for us to put an end
to this “tradition” and channel our energies in a more positive direction. In the spirit of our
working together, I ask you to have a conversation about this topic with your student sharing your
support for our efforts in this regard.
As always, thank you for your support,
Kim Diorio