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District needs to root out bad behavior, moms say

Original post made on Jan 22, 2013

Dirty dancing, drugs and foul language -- three mothers with teens enrolled in Mountain View High School are concerned that the school district is not consistently enforcing its rules against drug and alcohol use, immodest dancing and music, profanity and inappropriate dress.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, January 22, 2013, 10:25 AM

Comments (43)

Posted by Old Ben, a resident of Shoreline West
on Jan 22, 2013 at 11:35 am

Why stop at drug-sniffing dogs? I'm quite certain that TSA would be delighted to station a VIPR team at the entrance. Give them the whole 21st century American police state on a silver platter. That way, they can see through the sham democracy and that silly, inconvenient Constitution we have.

Posted by dancer, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 22, 2013 at 12:03 pm

We need more information about this "immodest dancing". Are they trying to copy those dancing shows on TV?

Posted by Lucie, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 22, 2013 at 1:35 pm

Please. We have more important things to focus on. These moms need to get a hobby.

Posted by We need these moms, a resident of another community
on Jan 22, 2013 at 2:23 pm

To Lucie who said "Please. We have more important things to focus on. These moms need to get a hobby."

It's attitudes like this that turn a blind eye to inappropriate, illegal or improper behavior in our youth. No wonder the world is going to hell in a hand basket, because people like you don't find value in teaching our youth right and wrong.

Thank you moms (and dads and other concerned parental figures), keep up the good work.

Posted by Richard, a resident of Waverly Park
on Jan 22, 2013 at 2:28 pm

What things do we have to do that are more important to focus on than the health, safety and educational environment of our kids? I have no doubt that drug and alcohol use at MVHS is high enough that more should be done to reduce it.

Posted by juniperk, a resident of Gemello
on Jan 22, 2013 at 2:34 pm

only rich kids or stupid kids have time for dirty dancing, drugs and alcohol. I am sure these moms are from the other side of El Camino real and they seem to have no control over their teens. These days, teens are exposed to so many things and it is hard to control them. Schools can't control this kind of behavior as these teens may become violent and start going to schools with guns and may attack teachers and the school with their violent behavior. If these moms and other moms care about their kids, then they need to spend more time with their kids and cut down on their shopping time and latte time.

Posted by Sean, a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jan 22, 2013 at 2:47 pm

It's the parents fault.(period) I sorry some cheesy corny housewives who have nothing better to do are not"hip to the times" be smarter then your kid, it's not that hard.every school has kids that are trouble and if your child is interested or looking at them as cool then it's YOUR job to steer them in a different direction.yes, get hobby and maybe a clue while you're at it.

Posted by Mountain View Mom, a resident of Shoreline West
on Jan 22, 2013 at 3:19 pm

I am absolutely appauled by the response from juniperk, Sean and the other ignorant people that feel turning a blind eye to sex, drugs and disrespect in our schools should be tolerated!

I happen to be friends and supporters of these women AND their children. And I guarantee you that NONE of their kids are involved in any of the activities that they are asking the school to take a closer look at eliminating from school grounds.

They are not asking the school to 'parent' their children, they have not 'failed' their children! They are asking MVHS to enforce the schools OWN rules so that THEIR children (OUR children) don't have to be constantly exposed to the behaviour of kids that have zero regard for rules, authority or laws!

MVHS has rules. Each year they REQUIRE each parent and child to sign a declaration that we have read, understand and will uphold these rules! Yet the school doesn't even enforce the rules!! If you read this article, the words of Superintendent Barry Groves are one constant contradition after another!

I'm not only jumping on their band-wagon, I'm going to do everything in my power to help them succeed!!

Posted by Annie, a resident of another community
on Jan 22, 2013 at 3:27 pm

These sound like Mormon parents too me! Drugs and alcohol are in the real world. If you are raising your kids to do the right thing, they don't need sniffer dogs at dances! You can't control the rest of the world. You want that kind of control of your kids, HOME SCHOOL THEM!
What are you going to do when they go to college?

Posted by Los Altos Mom, a resident of another community
on Jan 22, 2013 at 3:38 pm

Anyone who does not believe that ANY child is susceptable to high school peer pressure is fooling themselves. All kids are at risk no matter the social/economical backround and no matter how vigilant a parent is. That is why parents respectfully request school administrators to do their jobs and do their best to keep drugs/alcohol/bad behavior out of the school. For anyone to be so delusional as to believe that these mothers have "nothing better to do"...get a grip on reality. These are highly educated, highly motivated, hard working moms who care about every child. Even the child whose parent is moronic enough to write garbage about them.

Posted by camera man, a resident of Monta Loma
on Jan 22, 2013 at 4:07 pm

I suggest a camera in each room, as well as outside. Metal detectors at all entrances and yes, drug sniffing dogs.

Posted by mtview parent, a resident of Jackson Park
on Jan 22, 2013 at 4:19 pm

I am simply appalled by some of these comments and find it difficult to understand why anyone would automatically assume these parents have nothing better to do or that their own children are behaving this way.

These parents at least have the gumption to stand up for all the children in the MVLA school district and are trying to make a positive difference. I know plenty of parents that work full time and volunteer at least 10hrs a month @ their children's school.

I ask YOU what are you doing to make a positive difference in the lives of all of our children?

Posted by Grumpy, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 22, 2013 at 5:55 pm

Oh noes! Elvis is gonna shake his hips in front of the impressionable yutes of Mountain View! Mick Jagger wants us to "spend the night together," that heathen! And Ren McCormack is gonna give the finger to John Lithgow and get all Footloose on us!

Sheesh, the bad old days were so corrupted and unclean ... how did today's parents ever make it this far?

Posted by Clarifying Point, a resident of Cuernavaca
on Jan 22, 2013 at 6:31 pm

With regard to the drugs and alcohol, note that the desire isn't so much to keep those things from happening ON campus (fairly rare and easily aren't firing up joints at dances), but instead to have the high schools do more to deter kids from experimenting with drugs and alcohol OFF campus. Schools can do some things educationally, but there's a limit. Note too that some of these kids have done their experimentation even prior to high school.

Posted by Wake Up , a resident of another community
on Jan 22, 2013 at 7:15 pm

My sophomore witnessed a drug deal on the quad at lunchtime at LAHS. Yet there was not one adult on campus that my child felt "safe" telling -- No one that my student thought would care enough to do anything about it, and no one who my student trusted to handle the situation in a way that would not have negative repurcussions for my child. Having tried to work with the administration on other issues, I had to agree. My question as a parent is: what if my child had witnessed someone bring a gun onto the campus and didn't have one adult that he/she trusted to handle the situation appropriately? We transferred schools after that -- to a school that does enforce the rules/laws, which is responsive to student/parent concerns, and which creates a safer environment for students.

Posted by Sean, a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jan 22, 2013 at 9:26 pm

@wake up, marijuana is practically legal, so deals and availability is easy. I see your concern but your child should not be the "snitch" in this situation, it would be worse- mind you this is a PUBLIC school. A gun is different, it puts everyone at risk, a "drug deal" has nothing to do with you or your daughter.

Posted by Mel, a resident of Monta Loma
on Jan 22, 2013 at 10:12 pm

My kids go to Los Altos and it is safe - the are always going to be a percentage of kids that use / drink. - it's called the real world.

It is my job to educate my children, and I take the job seriously.

A solution for those not sure where to turn or what to do......Web Link It would be nice to see the high school offer such a resource.

Concerned moms do your homework...........34 students is hardly a fair / random sample. Intent is good .......honor the system provide solutions, you'll get more done.

Posted by Sean, a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jan 22, 2013 at 11:10 pm

Educate your kids! Yes. I'm 34 and have a 9 year old and she will never ever get one over on me. That's are job! Quit blaming the schools,these old house moms have nothing else to do except say...."oh my god kids were dancing dirty" ....."oh my god my daughter say a teenager sell $10 worth of weed and all of a sudden wanted to be a cop"...are you ladiies serious?... Teach your kids right from wrong and let them dance?if your kid chooses to smoke pot don't blame the system.

Posted by suggestion, a resident of Cuernavaca
on Jan 23, 2013 at 8:20 am

@wake up
There's a Resource Officer from the Los Altos PD assigned to the school and frequently on campus. You should be able to have a trusting conversation with him/her.

Posted by tired mom, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 23, 2013 at 8:29 am

My son who is now grown had trouble with mild disabilities in high school. There was not one place in Los Altos or Mountain View where he could study peacefully without being offered drugs and alcohol. As a 'not so smart kid', he found acceptance among the stoners. Sure, my fault or responsibility--what ever you want to call it. To protect him and the other students he might have wrongly influenced, I spent my retirement money sending him to a wilderness school where he could not have constant exposure to drugs and alcohol. Every kid is different. Some of the really smart kids who were dealing drugs at LA and MVHS at the time are dead. Some have graduated college and are doing well as programmers. I would prefer it if more parents had a clue what their kids were doing, fewer parents were involved in drug trade, and the school had calm and consistent screening procedures to back up the zero tolerance idea. High school is where we prepare them to become responsible adults. Maybe letting their developing brains make really bad decisions that effect all those around them is why we have so many irresponsible adults.

Posted by Fed up, a resident of Shoreline West
on Jan 23, 2013 at 9:34 am

Between a government that is leaving a devastating debt to our children, and the liberal attitude of so many American's (who are more afraid of offending anyone's precious feelings or stepping on their perceived 'rights'), I am just sick. I watch as people continually turn their backs on the moral foundation, rules and laws that make us civilized, and it scares me.

So a group of parents have finally stood up and asked the school to DO THEIR JOB and enforce their own rules! Why would ANY adult be charged with the task of attending a high school dance? Could it be because it is their job to ensure that these groups of under-age people (our children) are safe and obeying the rules of this organized activity? If not, then why is an adult even present? I say that if one of these adults see's kids on the dance floor, who are basically simulating sex, those kids need to be told "this isn't the place; you need to act appropriately or leave".

When a 15 year old girl shows up at school wearing next to nothing or a young man has his pants down under his ass, or any kid is in clear violation of the schools dress policy, they need to be sent home to change, or told to pull up their pants. When someone is seen, or rumored to be selling drugs on school grounds, our children should feel confident that there is an adult that they can tell, without fear of repercussion, and the suspect should be investigated immediately. If they are guilty, they need to be arrested. Sean's comment that "marijuana is practically legal" doesn't mean that it IS, or that it has a place on in our schools.

What some of you posters don't seem to understand is that these are kids, not adults, and they don't have the privilege of the same rights as those of us over the age of 18 and are EXPECTED to abide by rules and laws or suffer the consequence of loss of privilege.

MVHS is not a private school; it is a public school, funded by the parents, tax payers and the state, and attendees should be EXPECTED to live within the rules and laws of the school and the state. When the 'kids' start funding and building their own schools they can start making their own rules. Until then, they need to live by the law.

If you disagree with me, fine, you have the right, but it validates my opinion that you (yes YOU!) are a contributor to the decline of the morality of our children and this country. With an attitude in this country of what appears to be 'screw the law' it's no wonder we are in such a mess. God help us.

Posted by Summi, a resident of Whisman Station
on Jan 23, 2013 at 9:53 am

Some of you sound like you are living in the 50's. I went to LAHS back in 80's and it was no different than it is now.
Teens seem a little more out of hand, but then again. I'm sure my parents and their peers felt that way about us in hs.

Posted by Fed up, a resident of Shoreline West
on Jan 23, 2013 at 11:01 am

Summi, I graduated high school in 1981. Yeah, we smoked pot, we drank before (and after) the high school dances, and we kissed on the dance floor. But I promise you, what I did as a kid in the late 70's and early 80's was NOTHING compared to what my Sophomore tells me that she is exposed to on a daily basis.

One example of how things are different today is that me and my delinquent friends snuck around and did our teen rebellion in secret, because we feared getting caught. We knew if we got busted (and yes, the teachers WERE watching)there would be hell to pay, both at school AND at home.

If my kid see's it every day, it means kids are no longer 'sneaking' around. They could care less if they get caught. They dont care, because no one is enforcing the rules or applying the consequence of punishment to those that break the rules. And we have the liberal thinking 'adults' that didn't grow up (or grow out of their delingquent faze)to thank for it.

Posted by Summi, a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Jan 23, 2013 at 11:50 am

Fed up - what you are going through as parents today, is exactly what parents were going through back in the 90s, 80s, 70s, 60s, etc.
The only difference is, kids are more open (talking to parents) today than they were 10/20/30 years ago.
Kids will do what kids will do. You as a parent can only guide your child(ren) so far. It's up to them to determine what's right or wrong.

Posted by Fed up, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 23, 2013 at 1:21 pm

So you are saying that our schools have zero accuntability for upholding the rules and regulations in which they put in place?

Posted by Mom, a resident of another community
on Jan 23, 2013 at 1:30 pm

The efforts of a person to ensure the safety and success of another human - especially a child - is an inspiring "hobby" to me. Cheers to those who spend their hobby time working on behalf of their children and having the courage to speak up.

Posted by Tabitha, a resident of another community
on Jan 23, 2013 at 2:03 pm

I was one of the presenters at the Board Meeting, and if this newspaper article were an accurate reflection of our presentation to the board, the title of this article would be "Parents Ask School District to Uphold the District Behavioral Policies at MVHS"...but that isn't as exciting as suggesting that we are paranoid about teenage behavior. If anyone is interested in knowing more about the actual message that was given, read on: The idea of drug dogs at dances was one very small suggestion that actually originated from an administrator at our high school. The presentation was a MUCH broader conversation in which, as parents, we were communicating our support for the Behavioral Policies at MVHS and asking the administration and the board to do a better job at making sure that these policies are actually being enforced on campus to ensure the best possible learning environment for all of our kids. We addressed profanity, not on campus, but in the classroom both by students and TEACHERS, the lack of consistent dress code enforcement, and our perception of the lack of anti-drug messaging on campus. We also went over disturbing behavior at adult-chaperoned school dances as reported by students as well as the principal. In addition, we asked the MVLA school district to NOT opt out of a very afforable and widely used state-wide student health and drug survey that other districts like Palo Alto continue to participate in. Last year, our district decided that surveying student emotional health, school-connectedness, and drug and alcohol use on our MVLA campuses wasn't worth $700 a year for the entore district. We disagree and we were asking the district to bring back this important source of information so that we can use it to continue creating better schools where all kids can thrive. This presentation wasn't about what the STUDENTS are or are not doing (we;ve all been to high school), but rather about our expectations that the ADULTS at our school do the challenging work of upholding the behavioral policies that all our kids and parents sign off on when they enroll at MVHS. Behavioral Policies exist in order to create focussed and respectful school environments where education can flourish. We didn't write the Behavioral Policies and we weren't asking to change them. We were simply asking for them to be consistently enforced by the adults who are hired and appointed to teach and to administer at the school. The other public schools that my children have attended up to this point have been MORE than committed to and capable of upholding basic behavioral standards, and I expect the same of our high school. As parents who are highly invested in our schools and in ALL the children in our community, we feel these are important issues and that we owe it to our kids and to the community at large to make our best efforts. Yes, no matter how well my own child is doing, this is still worth my time.

Posted by Fed up, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 23, 2013 at 2:23 pm

Thank you Tabitha! If Nick Veronin, the author of this article had actually bothered to fact check and take the time to interview the you and the other parents involved, perhaps everyone would have a clearer picture of what you are trying to accomplish and would be motivated to join the cause for our kids sake, and not try to tear you and your supporters down. Mountain View Voice should be ashamed of themselves.

Posted by Jose, a resident of Monta Loma
on Jan 23, 2013 at 3:27 pm

Tabitha...Paragraphs, sweetie. It would be easier on the eyes.
I could barely get past the first sentence.

Posted by Kid fan, a resident of Shoreline West
on Jan 23, 2013 at 3:35 pm

I really appreciated the words from tired mom - some of the drug dealers from lahs and mvhs that her child went to school with are fine and some are dead. Laws and rules are made generally to protect the weaker party and to serve the community as a whole. The adults in charge should be expected to do that. That's not an unreasonable expectation even though I'm sure it's not easy or popular. Takes work and time to care. I think our kids are worth it.

Posted by Ali, a resident of another community
on Jan 23, 2013 at 3:43 pm

In response to Annie who commented that "these sound like Mormon parents to me" as if to imply that we should discount these 3 women's perspective because of their religious belief. Who cares what religion they are and why is that relevant? If they are Mormon or not, makes no difference to the discussion before us. Many parents of all religions or no religion, want and expect high behavioral standards from themselves, their children, and the institutions who teach and care for our children. It is close-minded to discount someone's argument based on their religion. I wonder if Annie would ever say, "sounds like Jewish parents to me" or "sounds like Muslim parents to me"? Why is it okay to then demean Mormons that way?

Posted by Gwen, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 23, 2013 at 3:54 pm

Jose, [Portion removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]

If the only thing you extracted from Tabitha's post was the failure to read it due to paragraph structure, then I imagine you have far worse issues to deal with in your life than the inabililty to get past a sentance. Sweetie.

Posted by Tiffany, a resident of another community
on Jan 23, 2013 at 4:46 pm

I commend these moms for taking of their time to benefit their community. It is because of parents like these, and all those who support them, that we raise the bar for our children, increase their chances for future success and happiness, and in turn produce and enjoy excellent communities in which all of us live.

I can't think of a single reason why a parent or a member of the community would not want to do all in their power to encourage moral and mature behavior, behavior that will result in the greatest chances for a productive and happy life.

Every community should have adults like this who provide an excellent example and great leadership. I applaud them and encourage all to thoroughly examine their concerns and their findings if you are sincere about understanding this topic.

Thank you.

Posted by Amy, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 23, 2013 at 7:40 pm

I also commend these parents who have taken time and energy to insist on a safe environment where children can focus on learning.

At my children's elementary school, if a teacher or staff member hears a child swearing, they are suspended. If a child wears a crop top, low-riding pants, or a shirt with violent images, his/her parent is called and he/she has to be taken home to get different clothing. Why? Because that is what our behavioral guidelines state and we (parents and children)members of the school community agreed to abide by them. If anything, I would expect even higher expectations at the high school level. These are children who are closing in on adulthood. Like Tiffany stated, I can't imagine why a community member would not want our city and school leaders to promote mature and responsible behavior.

Thank you to these parents for their efforts and concern. I hope the school board will ensure that MV and LA high schools enforce their own rules.

Posted by Keith, a resident of another community
on Jan 23, 2013 at 7:50 pm

Eventually we will all realize, hopefully not too late, that responsibility and accountability are (a) not easy or convenient and (b) required to make our families, our children, our community, and our country better off. Apathy is at the root of so many of the issues that plague our communities.

Thanks to these moms and to the parents that are willing to stand together and not accept a lower standard, a weak hand, and an ignorant bliss. "The price of greatness is responsibility" - Winston Churchill

Posted by Sean, a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jan 23, 2013 at 10:26 pm

A fanatic is one who can't change His/her mind and won't change the subject.
-Winston ChurchIill

Quote all the people you want today is reality and 2013 is here! Parent your kids fools! If your kid dances dirty- own it if your kid spikes the punch and drinks-own it - if your kid smokes or sells pot it's YOUR fault !!!!!! Own it. My child will never have these opportunities because I am her father!!!!!! Do your job and quit drinking lattes at starbucks! I swear you people want the district to parent your kids??????? WOW

Posted by MVHS Mom, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 24, 2013 at 2:55 am

So this all seems premised on the idea that the local high schools are dens of depravity, with bad behavior condoned by teachers and administrators who fail to enforce the rules, fail to discourage drug use, and even (gasp) use profanity in class. Really? Sounds like Trouble in River CIty. Only that has not been my experience as the parent of a MVHS sophomore.

In fact, I have been so impressed by the quality of not just the education my kid has been receiving but by the dedication of the teachers and administration to create a positive, ethical school environment. And I have been so impressed with the MVHS students I have met, who are far more open, assertive and tolerant than the kids I remember from my high school days.

I have not seen any evidence that adults at the school routinely ignore behavioral rules, and reports based on anecdotal evidence (which is what I consider a "survey" of 34 students) are not very compelling. More to the point, it is far more important to me, as a parent, that bullying, sexism and racism are NOT tolerated than that tank tops and swear words are. Things are obviously not perfect - its still high school! -- but MVHS seems to have a particularly positive and supportive culture.

I share the parents' concern about drinking and drugs among our teenagers (although I dont believe for a minute that MVLA is worse than Palo Alto, and the notion that this can be solved by increasing anti drug messaging is demonstrably wrong). I appreciate that they are taking the time to discuss these issues (and their activity has opened up a discussion between me and my kid). But I disagree with the premise of their arguments and their approach and think its time to stand up for our schools.

Posted by MVsenior, a resident of Whisman Station
on Jan 24, 2013 at 7:51 am

This is truly ridiculous .

I'm sad because I've attended MVHS all four years and all I've read about is how "bad" admin is and the children are at our school . Drugs and alcohol do exist outside of school! I know there are a lot of kids that go out and can buy it from anywhere they want to or steal the alcohol . How is that admins fault/job to control that ?

As far as the dress code goes, yes there are times when they miss students dressed provocatively but mind you most of the time these are GIRLS and since half of our admin consists of men, it's hard to control. But they are Doing their jobs. I have been dress coded twice (too much red, shorts) in my high school career and have seen plenty others get dress coded . But if parents allow their kids to walk out of the house that morning in such clothing, how is that admins fault? Same with dresses for school dances. I'm sure the parents are going to see what you're wearing and snap a million and one photos of you in said dress but then they're screaming about dress code? What? Makes no sense.

The music and dancing at dances aren't something we should be worried about . Grinding and freak dancing is a way of life. Middle schoolers are even allowed to do it. That's just what dancing is nowadays. If you don't like it, stay home but that's not going to change. I know for a fact that the dj's hired for dances are required to sign a contract that says theyre only allowed to play "FC approved music" which means no profanity, sexually explicit lyrics etc.

In the end, Admin&the teachers are doing all they can but its kind of like for every teacher/admin there is about 80 kids control. How children handle themselves at school, dances, and outside world comes from the home. My friends all do drugs and drink but I don't . And that's because I choose not to and don't want to. Every person has a mind of their own and in the end they will do what they want. I'm sorry

Posted by Jim, a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jan 24, 2013 at 8:53 am

Immodest dancing... let's call a spade a spade. Dry humping on the floor and administrators looking away. Do the same thing in the street and get arrested. I hear a lot of "we wouldn't want to do this or that" from the school authorities, but nothing to deal with the problem. YES, there is a problem. Get past the denial.

Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Jan 24, 2013 at 10:42 am

The moms have valid reasons to be worried, went to MVHS in the early 80s, Mr. Bob Harris was Dean of Students. He couldn't be everywhere, he did enforce the rules. Awalt and Mountain View was just any school. Yes drugs, drink, and our kind of dirty dancing.

I checked MVHS has over 1500 kids, I doubt all of them do drugs, yes some do swear.

What gets me is when they swear outside their friends or what group they decide to be part. Manners kinda of gone downhill since school days but then again all kids aren't horrible.

Posted by Sean, a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jan 24, 2013 at 10:59 am

I love what MVSenior said.Thank YOU!

Posted by Paula, a resident of Monta Loma
on Jan 24, 2013 at 12:36 pm

These parents sound like pact parents with to much time on there hands.
Get a hobby and leave your kids alone you held there hand everyday in school it's time you leave the campus!!

Posted by Sean, a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jan 24, 2013 at 2:14 pm

Paula I know what you are saying but my daughter heard from a friend that a boy was smoking weed under the bleachers! Can you believe that? Where were the police and FBI? Also at the dance last month she said a boy and girl were making out in a corner!OMG im just glad more sane moms are on MY side!What is Mountain View coming to?

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