But other students are frank about their own complicity in the noxious, cutthroat environment. That morning, news that another Gunn senior had taken his life had spread through the student body at SMS speed. You send a kind of cryptic message to see who is answering. Ian began returning texts, and his name was crossed off the maybe list. Harry and Ian had been scheduled to present their economics project on shipping container housing that Monday.
The third Gunn suicide in less than four months pushed the community into panic. He was getting help, she said, but there were waits for referrals and appointments. In the end, it was too late. This, tragically, is not an uncommon set of circumstances: In Palo Alto, as in many other cities, wait times to see a mental health professional are increasing as rates of depression soar.
From to , the incidence of depression among American teens increased by 35 percent, from 8 to 11 percent, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. At Gunn High, this uptick has been compounded by the sheer demand for services after each suicide. While specialists disagree on how often teen suicides are driven by impulse versus premeditation, they are in accord that the greatest risk factor is another youth suicide. If there are individual suicides, how are all the rest of the kids doing who are vulnerable due to stress?
Compared to the students at rival Paly, Gunn kids are stereotyped as being more academically intense, less spirited and sporty. Many are the children of Stanford professors; many more are the offspring of immigrants who came here for tech jobs and rapidly moved their families into the stable ranks of the upper-middle class.
At lunch, kids speak Chinese, Korean, Taiwanese—nearly half the school is Asian. To a person, Gunn students say that their school is unhealthily competitive.
With everyone paddling desperately but stealthily in pursuit of distinction, pulling out front becomes nearly impossible. Consequently, anything that gets you noticed—being gay, being Jewish, even being inordinately sad—garners social capital at Gunn. That obsession with specialness extends to many parents. But they are just kids. It was that event, and the subsequent spate of suicides in —10, that incited Dauber to campaign for sweeping change.
In response, Dauber launched We Can Do Better Palo Alto, an activist group that pushed for measures to reduce school stress and boost attention to the whole child.
In , he took a run at unseating several long-term school board members. He lost, narrowly, but continued to rail against the crisis of sleep-deprived, stressed-out kids, eventually scoring a board seat in Change, however, has not come easily to Palo Alto. The ensuing Project Safety Net PSN proposed a dense deck of 22 initiatives to curb suicides and foster a more supportive environment.
It's known as the Greenwich of the west coast. Palo Alto is made up of two sections, the north end and the south end. The north end is the older part, full of old large mansions, Downtown, and Stanford University. The south end is new and more hip, full of large, four story, city like town houses and a starbucks or apple store on every block.
There are two high schools, Gunn and Paly. Palo Alto is known for having two of the best public high schools in the country, Gunn ranking 50th in the country. The other 50 kids either go out of state, go to Foothill Communty College, or live off their parents millions.
Laguna Beach should have been filmed in Palo Alto, the kids are richer, the houses are larger, and the people are hotter. The Grateful Dead are from Palo Alto, and many famous artists, poets, and bands from the 60's and 70's got their start in Palo Alto, making Palo Alto the largest hippie town full of rich people in the world.
Like greenwich in CT, there are other rich towns that boarder Palo Alto. District spokesman Aaron Richardson said summertime smog in the Bay Area is usually short in duration. Short-term exposure can cause throat irritation, chest pain and congestion, trigger asthma, inflame the lining of the lungs and worsen bronchitis and emphysema.
Children, seniors and people with respiratory and heart conditions are especially susceptible to harm from smog, according to the air district. When a summer Spare the Air alert is issued, residents and visitors are encouraged to exercise in the morning when the level of smog is lower.
To keep the air cleaner, air district officials also encourage drivers to find other ways to travel besides driving alone. Tripsavvy's Editorial Guidelines.
Share Pin Email. Was this page helpful? Thanks for letting us know! Share on Facebook. International Airports Budget conscious travelers can fly into one of the three international airports within 20 miles of Palo Alto. Private Use Airports Private or charter aircraft travelers have the option of using private use airports.May 18, · % of Palo Alto residents cycle to work – more than any Bay area city and the third highest in the entire country (Palo Alto was beat out only by Davis, CA and Boulder, CO). Since , Palo Alto has received a “Gold” level status from the League of American Bicyclists for being a Bicycle Friendly Community.