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Barron Park donkeys profiled. Reporters reveal how to relieve muscle soreness. Constructing the high speed rail is an ill-advised maneuver. PGS. 20 FEATURES PG. 21 SPORTS PG. 10 FORUM Palo Alto Unified School District Henry M. Gunn High School 780 Arastradero Rd Palo Alto, CA 94306 NON-PROFIT ORG THEORACLE U.S. Postage PA I D Permit #44 Palo Alto, Calif. Henry M. Gunn High School Monday, April 8, 2013 Volume 50, Issue 7 780 Arastradero Road, Palo Alto, CA 94306 Acceptance on campus: How Gunn measures up Cooper Aspegren and Catalina Zhou News Editors The recent focus on the Office for Civil Rights case involving a middle school bullying incident highlighted the presence of intolerance within the Palo Alto Unified School District (PAUSD). In response, The Oracle decided to examine the level of acceptance the Gunn community fosters with regards to its diversity. Acceptance vs. tolerance For Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) President Andrew Schroeder, “tolerance” and “acceptance,” although often associated with each other, have completely different meanings. According to Schroeder, tolerance implies that a person endures the presence of another person or thing viewed as undesirable; acceptance entails the embracement by society of a unique person, difference or viewpoint. “The level that we want to be at is accepting,” Schroeder said. “I think we’re at a fairly tolerant level already, but we definitely need to get to the point where just because someone’s sexual orientation or race is different doesn’t mean [he or she] needs to be tolerated.” For lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) students, GSA intends to provide a community that accepts and understands them. “It’s that protected environment where they can say whatever they’re feeling and it’s okay,” Schroeder said. Campus discrimination Special Education Instructional Supervisor Shivani Pulimamidi finds Gunn to have a highly accepting school environment. However, she also believes some forms of prejudice occupy a latent presence within the school community. “At Gunn, discrimination Gunn Figures 33 » Carolyn Zhou is rarely overt,” Pulimamidi said. tional discrimination because of levels. “I think it’s really unfair “However, there is a more subtle their stark differences with other because you definitely have peoform of discrimination evident students. ple who fit that category because sometimes and it may be because Discrimination also exists in they are extremely intelligent, most people are not aware that the Gunn community in the form but I don’t think it’s because they what they are doing may be in of racial stereotypes. Students are Asian,” Tention said. “I think fact, be discriminating.” who identify themselves as Asian, it kind of discredits their hard Pulimamidi work.” oversees a departHowever, acment that serves an “The level that we want to be at is accpet- cording to Dean estimated ten per- ing. I think we’re at a fairly tolerant level of Students James cent of the student Lubbe, the usage of body. According to already but we definitely need to get to racist and derogaPulimamidi, many the point where just because someone’s tory terms does of the students inusually occur sexual orientation or race is different doesn’t not volved in the proon school gamgram and related mean [he or she] needs to be tolerated.” pus. “Racial terms support programs, Gay-Straight Alliance President senior come to mind, but such as Focus on Andrew Schroeder it doesn’t happen Success and Engoften,” Lubbe said. lish Language Learners and Op- who according to the Student “I’ve never noticed that one race portunity, face subtle forms of Profile make up 22 percent of the is picked on more than another discrimination in classrooms and student body, have been frequent race.” elsewhere on Gunn campus. She targets. According to Diversity Although many students find believes students in the Special Commissioner Justice Tention, Gunn to be a comfortable enviEducation program are targets Asian students are often labeled ronment, others such as Chrisof both intentional and uninten- and judged for their intelligence tians, feel the contrary. “Gunn 68 percent of freshmen feel that they are part of Gunn percent of juniors have had sexual jokes, comments, or gestures made to them by other students at school 69 74 percent of juniors feel happy to be a part of the Gunn community percent of juniors have never been made fun of for their appearance says it’s accepting and open, especially during Not In Our Schools week with the LGBTQ community, but in reality, I feel like a lot of the things that go around the school about acceptance doesn’t really apply to accepting Christianity,” Christian Club co-President senior Anita Chan said. According to Christian Club co-President senior Grace Lee, Christian students think most Gunn teachers respect their religion, but they find that some extremely liberal teachers say unpleasant and insulting things. “Some teachers go out of their way to contradict Biblical verses,” she said. “They make it seem as if all Christians are gay haters when that isn’t necessarily true. Instead of respecting our beliefs, they say that those students are just flat out wrong and should be taught to know the correct truth.” According to Lee, one girl a few years walked out zof a classroom very upset because she spoke out against her teacher’s gibes against Christianity and became involved in a heated fight. In addition, some Christian students feel left out from their fellow peers. “Sometimes, students joke insensitively about Christianity, or they think that we wouldn’t enjoy doing something because we’re Christian and that we will judge others,” Chan said. “Also, some people feel that the Westboro Church is what Christianity is, which is completely false.” President of the Jewish Student Union (JSU) Mark Gorelik recalls one incident of hate crime directed against a Jewish student on school campus, in which the hood of the student’s car was keyed with a profane, anti-semitic remark. Cyberbullying Of the very few cases of bullying Gunn has seen, cyberbullying is the most prevalent. Head of Technology Ronen Habib conducted a survey about cyberbullying this year. Although the results of the survey are still undergoing ACCEPTANCE—p.4 94 percent of juniors have never been physically harmed at Gunn 29 percent of freshmen have had mean rumors spread about them California Healthy Kids Survey 2011-2012 Report

The Oracle (Apr. 2013)

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