Committee Forms Against School Board Candidate | News

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Group of Palo Alto parents concerned over school board candidate Kathy jordanHis temper, particularly his interactions with the student journalists at Palo Alto High School, formed a last-minute campaign committee in opposition to his candidacy.

The opposing Jordan committee for the 2018 school board paid for a full page advertisement in the Palo Alto Weekly November 2 edition stating that Jordan, who is a parent of Paly, made Campanile students feel “attacked”, “threatened” and harassed “in a series of repeated direct contact and interactions regarding newspaper coverage of a student sexual assault case.

The treasurer of the campaign committee is Lynn Brown, whose three children attended the unified schools of Palo Alto. In an email Thursday, Brown said she knew “Paly’s students are brilliant and fair, and they deserve to be heard in electing the people who will lead their education.” She declined to answer further questions.

Current school board member Todd Collins said he loaned $ 2,668 to the campaign committee pay for advertising.

In an email, Jordan called the announcement an “attempted libel.”

“These actions are a status quo attempt to silence a school board candidate who defended a 14-year-old student victim of sexual assault,” Jordan wrote, referring to his public opposition over the past year and to the decision of the district. and Paly’s handling of this and another sexual assault case. (Among its campaign goals are increased compliance and oversight of Title IX cases.)

Part of that plea included Jordan’s public criticism of Campanile writers and teacher advisor Esther Wojcicki for inaccurately reporting in September 2017 that the freshman’s alleged sexual assault on campus by a junior male. “was subsequently determined to be consensual”.

In order to get the Campanile to correct its story, Jordan sent numerous detailed and lengthy emails over the course of the four weeks to staff, who subsequently described their messages as “hostile” and taking on an “aggressive tone.” An email from October 7, 2017, sent by Jordan at 3 a.m., published by Le Campanile last month, includes a dictionary definition of defamation and cites board policy and state law on student freedom of expression.

“Please print the retraction immediately,” Jordan wrote. “I will also send an email separately to the school board to request / require that an email be sent to the community of Paly who would receive the print version of Campanile with the language I sent you all as a potential language for an apology and a retraction. “

Student concerns escalated to the point that the Paly administration hired a First Amendment lawyer to help former deputy principal Janice Chen draft a letter asking Jordan to cease direct contact with individual students. Jordan complied, according to The Campanile.

When asked Thursday if she maintains her past actions with students, Jordan said she “might have realized sooner that students did not have access to accurate information, which adults did not provide to them. not this information “.

“Of course, what they felt is important; at the same time, what the 14-year-old student and her family felt is relevant and important. ‘Consensual,’ Jordan said.

In an October 4 editorial, the Campanile editorial board urged voters not to support Jordan, writing: “We believe her inappropriate and unacceptable conduct with students and her poor conflict resolution skills make her unfit to be. Member of the Board of Directors.”

In an interview with The Weekly, Collins said he agreed. He felt that Jordan’s interactions with the Campanile are not widely known and wants the community to be informed before they vote on Tuesday, polling day.

His own preoccupation “boils down to temperament and the ability to work effectively with others.”

He said he was contacted over the weekend by members of the community, including the parents of Campanile staff, who “were concerned about Kathy Jordan’s interactions with teachers and students at the school and felt, based on their own personal experience from the past year, that there were serious issues with the way she interacted with people who they felt had really contributed to her physical condition by as a member of the school board. “

Collins said he agreed with Jordan’s criticisms of Campanile’s coverage of the October 2016 sexual assault report and raised his own concerns with district administrators rather than students or advise them.

He said the ad, which aired just four days before polling day, was triggered by the latest campaign finance disclosures which show that Jordan has raised a total of around $ 52,000 to date, including $ 250 that she loaned to her own campaign.

“If someone is really doing this much to get their name out there and most voters don’t have this very important information, then it makes sense to try and get it in their hands,” said Todd Collins, member of the school council.

Jordan is vying against five candidates for two open seats on the Education Council: Special Education Lawyer Stacey Ashlund, After School Program Director Chris Boyd, Incumbent Ken Dauber, Lawyer Shounak Dharap and the recent Paly graduate Alex Scharf.

For complete information on the 2018 elections, to verify Palo Alto Voters’ Guide.

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