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PUSD: "Really Good Kids Can Make Mistakes'

At Wednesday's school board meeting, Supt. Constance Hubbard criticized media reports of a "fantasy slut league" at Piedmont High School and said the district doesn't want to taint a wonderful group of kids.

During Wednesday evening's Board of Education meeting, Piedmont Unified School District Superintendent Constance Hubbard criticized media coverage of a so-called "fantasy slut league" at Piedmont High School and defended PHS students as "wonderful kids."

The league's existence became publicly known when PHS Principal Rich Kitchens sent a letter to students' parents Oct. 19 outlining an activity where varsity athletes "drafted" female students — in the manner of a fantasy football league. His letter said, "Male students earn points for documented engagement in sexual activities with female students." He said the school's response would focus on education and understanding, not discipline for past activities. 

"The media is seeking to sensationalize this," Hubbard said Wednesday night. "I'm sorry it's become online fodder."

Hubbard also said, "We do need to set the record straight. We have absolutely no information on criminal conduct.

"Good kids can make mistakes," Hubbard said. "We have such a wonderful set of kids — we don't want to taint them."

Parents "absolutely need" to discuss the issue with their children, she said.

Hubbard said she plans to answer all emails received from parents. The district is "working with all the parent groups to move forward," she said.

She did not address questions that have arisen about the accuracy of Kitchens' letter. Several people who wrote letters to the editor or commented on Piedmont Patch articles have said that the league was primarily a vehicle for recording gossip about students' sexual activities, did not involve force or coercion, and did not revolve around athletes having sex with girls they "drafted."

"I appreciate that the administration is focused on helping kids," said Board President Richard (Rick) Raushenbush at the Wednesday meeting. "This wasn't kept a secret, it was brought out into the open."

The issue has received wide media coverage locally, nationally and internationally, with reports in outlets as diverse as KQED's Forum with Michael Krasny to the New York Daily News.

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ml1999 October 25, 2012 at 07:33 PM
So Piedmont Unified School District Superintendent Constance Hubbard says that "nothing criminal happened", and that the media is trying to "sensationalize" this. Really? This was not a "Who is Dating Who" League, or a "Gossip" League: it was a 6-year-running "Fantasy Slut League". Not even "Sex". Why does this smell like more coverup and evasion by the administration?
hypocrisy October 25, 2012 at 08:52 PM
Did Ms. Hubbard happen to mention that the girls had set up several leagues of their own? I find it troubling that the administration knew about the girls leagues and didn't mention them
Disappointed in School Administration October 25, 2012 at 10:00 PM
As the parent of younger kids, I have avoided commenting. I didn't want to join a witch hunt before the facts came out. However, our babysitter told us something shocking last night (she is a junior at PHS). She said that it was common knowledge that multiple groups of girls at Piedmont High had set up the very same leagues as the boys over the years. She also said that it was common knowledge that the way the leagues operate no one ever has the incentive to coerce anyone. She confirmed that they are harmless gossip circles, set up by both the boys and the girls. If this is the case, it is highly disappointing that the school administration sent out a mass email implying that older boys used alcohol to ply younger girls for sex. Apparently the girls laughed at the ridiculousness of that insinuation. Our babysitter said she has never heard of any coercion or bullying in connection with these leagues. I'm disappointed that the administration would circulate a highly incidiary email, touching off a witch hunt, without fully investigating the facts. Our babysitter says that if the administration had interviewed her, or any other junior or senior girls, the girls would have told the administration that there was no bullying, and that girls had leagues of their own. It is amazing to me that the adminstration has not admitted that Principal Kitchens' letter was inaccurate, especially since those inaccuracies touched off a national media storm.
CC October 25, 2012 at 11:09 PM
Are some Parents and Students in denial? "Harmless gossip circles" "Powerful Young Woman" who chooses to sleep around? Does anybody not note the correlation for teens with low self esteem and higher promiscuity - but now it's all sugarcoated as that was their own choice so therefore it's OK? Does anybody not think Fantasy Slut League as derogatory? Instead all this delusion of harmless, own choice, disappointment at school administration? How can the School Administration even survive under the swell of local denial and blind indignation. Do the Parents really want to be responsible parents? Or is their indignation simply to avoid facing up to the reality of raising future adults and instilling morals.
IlianaY October 27, 2012 at 07:09 AM
I just read this story and it made me think of the FSL furor. http://www.addictinginfo.org/2012/10/26/15-year-old-commits-suicide-a-perfect-example-of-slut-shaming/
we get it October 30, 2012 at 09:51 PM
ok, we get it. the leagues are insensitive. the boys took down their leagues and us girls took down our leagues. we get it that they unfairly objectify. what we don't get is why adults are freaking out about this particular example of objectifying in our lives. don't you know that boys and girls are watching porn online all the time? talk about objectifying. one of my friends said her mom was one of the people freaking out on these blogs, until she told her mom that she was one of the girls who created a log. they talked for hours about it and her mom never asked about the internet porn she watches with her boyfriend. focus on the big stuff adults! you sound hysterical when you get all freaked out about the minor stuff like these leagues
we get it October 30, 2012 at 09:53 PM
...i meant to say, my friend was one of the people who "created a league"
ml1999 October 30, 2012 at 11:42 PM
Do you get it? Yep, you brought up a good point, that being the technological power of an iPhone so that children can watch porn 24/7, anonymously "hook up", sell drugs, and engage in all kinds of wild behavior. And the parents allow it. How many of these wealthy parents will take away the iPhones, and give their kids a basic phone? How many ban their kids from listening to often vulgar rap music? And if they refuse, how many will step up the consequences? I find it amazingly hard to believe that not a single girl or boy was victimized over a 6 year period. This sounds like junior and senior students, maybe even cheerleaders, football and lacrosse players, and a few others, rationalizing their gutteral behavior. BTW, parents: are you aware that even those these children have deleted their Facebook FSLs, that with a court order, you might gain access to them? When they delete them, they are still there for a period of time.
Carol Lloyd October 31, 2012 at 10:51 PM
Amidst all this talk about a sex league, a lot of local families are claiming this has all been overblown by the media and that it's a great school etc... but I found something interesting about Piedmont High School that I thought might indicate a different kind of gender problem -- and one that is squarely in the realm of the school's responsibility... I wrote about it on my blog on GreatSchools in case anyone wants to check it out. http://blogs.greatschools.org/greatschoolsblog/2012/10/fantasy-slut-leagues-and-test-score-gender-gaps.html

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