Mission Prep bedeviled by lawsuit, Reagan trip sexual misconduct

August 23, 2015

Mission PrepBy KAREN VELIE

Officials at Mission Prep in San Luis Obispo announced last week there will not be a junior varsity football team when the season begins next week, leaving many to question why.

This fall, Mission Prep will be the only high school involved in the the two major San Luis Obispo County conferences that will not be starting with a junior varsity team. School officials contend lack of interest in the sport, only eight freshman showed up for tryouts, as the reason the team was disbanded.

Athletic director Vic Ecklund told the Tribune football participation numbers were down countywide.

However, the Tribune contacted several high school coaches who said they had increased freshman participation this season, others said the numbers vacillate from year to year.

During the past year, Mission Prep has faced scrutiny after a student who suffered brain damage during football practice sued the school, its principal, the football coaches and the football team captain.

The plaintiff in the lawsuit alleges a former teammate intentionally caused him to suffer severe injuries and then bragged and taunted him about the physical damage he caused.

During a 2013 practice, the plaintiff suffered multiple helmet-to-helmet hits, which are not allowed by California high school football rules. An assistant coach also named in the lawsuit encouraged the hits, according to the lawsuit.

In addition, the Mission Prep incoming freshman class shrunk after a group of boys were expelled because of sexual misconduct during a class field trip.

During the last weeks of the 2014/2015 school year, Old Mission School’s eight grade class took a chaperoned field trip to the Ronald Reagan Museum in a double decker bus. While on the bus, several boys draped coats to block the view, and began watching porn and masturbating, multiple parents confirmed.

While headed back to San Luis Obispo, an eighth-grade girl peeked behind the coats and yelled, “The boys are masturbating,” multiple parents confirmed. Old Misson School teacher Jeff Palaszewski — also known as Mr. P — then stopped at a fast food restaurant and took the young men into the bathroom to clean up, several students on the bus said..

In the end, three incoming freshman boys were expelled and several other parents elected to change schools, sources said. Several parents voiced concern that to date, the school has not informed the other parents about the incident.

Old Mission School Principal Tina Ballantyne did not return requests for comment.

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korie

This story has been revised to remove bus driver involvement but continues to be based on hearsay via imaginative eighth grade students. Something did happen. It’s hardly newsworthy as it involved kids using poor judgment but with no victim involved, and it has nothing whatsoever to do with MCP, lawsuits, assault, or bullying.


The greatest tragedy here is that the “source” in this case has now thrown Mr P into this non-scandal and I can’t think of anyone less deserving of any negative publicity. He is the most passionate and engaging teacher myself or either of my kids have ever had. He is adored by all students and is able to create interest in a subject about which most middle school students have none. Again, I am disgusted that this has been lumped in with the MCP bullying issue and I’m disgusted by whatever agenda caused this parent to bring this error filled rumor to this forum.


calzoni

As much as I appreciate the reporting that CCN does, they have done a bit of a disservice to Mission College Prep by combining these two stories. The football story pertains to MCP but the other does not; it is about Old Mission, the primary/junior high school down the road from MCP. Please keep this in mind when reading the story.


Dandee

Old Mission is a feeder school to MCP. And students from the high school visit Old Mission and vice versa. And if students were expelled from the junior high, it makes sense it would impact the high school.


korie

Indigo – no it wasn’t necessary. And no it didn’t happen. The story is flat out wrong as written.


kettle

korie says:” an incident that really is the fault of a group of parents assigned to chaperone a field trip who instead sat together and failed to supervise. ”


So previously it was an “incident”, now it never happened, so your son was not on the bus?


indigo1955

The bus driver then stopped at a fast food restaurant and took the young men into the bathroom to clean up.


Was this really necessary?


PolyProf

If the bus story is true, it begs the question: Where were the adult chaperones?????


I mean, students put up a rope and throw shirts over it to create a privacy curtain and nobody checks it out?


Something is very bizarre here. I would like to know more of the story (though actually I don’t!).


korie

Did anyone ask these “multiple parents” if they were ON the bus? This incident, as described, did not happen. As a parent of an 8th grade boy from that class, I can’t believe any responsible adult would “confirm” what is exaggerated rumor reported 2nd, 3rd, and 4th hand via 8th graders sitting nowhere near the boys involved.


kettle

I take it you were not on the bus, so you don’t know what happened.

Just because you “I can’t believe ” does not mean nothing happened.


korie

Never once said nothing happened. I was not on the bus, so do not know exactly what happened. I can “believe” that porn and masturbation may have happened, and I’ve made my opinion known on that subject. I am absolutely sure that the bus driver was not aware nor involved, there was no stop at a fast food restaurant for “clean up” and the likelihood that there is any truth to a girl pulling back a coat to exclaim anything at all is slim to none.


Have any of you heard how a few kids tell a version of a story to one another and it gets blown up then the blown up version is told to a mom, known for gossip and hyperbole, who runs to the principals office which is witnessed by another mom who whispers a new distorted version into another mom’s ear?


The version of events in this story is inaccurate. I’m getting multiple thumbs down from the parents who have perpetuated the distortion.


My son is not involved. I have no dog in the race. I simply find the parents to be extremely immature in letting this game of telephone potentially impact some kids who have likely learned a really tough lesson. But they are kids. The adults should be ashamed.


korie

I would be interested in hearing more from the “several parents” who confirmed all of this sexual misconduct information. I don’t believe there are “several parents” who have anything but hearsay on the matter. My own son was on that bus and was not a part of the alleged misconduct. He is not attending MCP but it has zero to do with an incident that really is the fault of a group of parents assigned to chaperone a field trip who instead sat together and failed to supervise. I think there were two boys, not several, involved. I consider them normal young teens who have been humiliated enough for this adult failing and do not deserve to be subject to gossip and speculation. This article casts suspicion on every 8th grade boy who did not elect to attend MCP. And it is based on the word of a few 8th grade witnesses who have wildly varying stories of what truly transpired. I personally am disgusted by whoever the parents are who have no real knowledge of what happened and have made this an issue in any way comparable to physical bullying and subsequent taunting of the injured victim.


kettle

Your own son was on the bus? You were not there? “and was not a part of the alleged misconduct.” No wonder you are protesting so much.

Little Korie would never do anything so “disgusting”, points finger over there at those other children.


Wait “He is not attending MCP but it has zero to do with an incident that really is the fault of a group of parents assigned to chaperone a field trip who instead sat together and failed to supervise.”


So there was a incident, it does not matter that he is not attending, HE was on that bus, you were not.


korie

Dear kettle,

I’m pretty sure you haven’t actually read anything that I’ve said. your comments are completely off base. The only thing I find disgusting here is the behavior of any parent who irresponsibly passed along misinformation on this “incident.” And the way that this is somehow compared to texts that are known to exist which bully and taunt an injured kid and claim to be happy it happened.


Dandee

I’m curious where this adult failing lies. Is it parents who let their kids access inappropriate content, Is it the parent who never told their child why porn is unhealthy? Schools that allow the devices on a bus or blaming parents who volunteer to babysit 8th graders. I’m pretty sure I would want my own kid to take responsibility for his actions and not blame someone else. By 8th grade, they got the lecture about porn. In fact, Catholic schools used to teach why it’s not a good idea.


Paso_Guy

“In addition, the Mission Prep incoming freshman class shrunk after a group of boys were expelled because of sexual misconduct during a class field trip.”


Makes it sound like they were enrolled at MCP……how could the class shrink when they were never there? Salacious reporting.


They weren’t on the football team because they masterbated…..that’s a real stretch, no pun intended.


hijinks

This is an expellable offense? This is what boys do! Get real. It’s perfectly normal adolescent behavior. Only a bunch of church prudes would make it some sort of crime.


achillesheal

Boys group masturbate in public? This is what they do? Do they do this in the backseat of your car while carpooling them to school?


Dandee

Sign ups for enrollment at the high school occur well before the end of the previous school year. I’m guessing they also had to give up their deposit.


SLOnative

A long time ago, there was only one team at Mission, the varsity. When I was a freshman only three of us tried out for the team. We all made it, but basically we three were “tackling dummies” at practice and only got in to the games in the last minute….unless the score was close. Sometimes on defense we were blocked by guys outweighing us by 100 lbs. None of us were ever injured other than a bloody lip.


OldNed

Talk to Chris Borland about why he retired from football after a standout rookie season, giving up millions in the process. Better yet, try talking to some retired football players who have trouble remembering their own names after years of head trauma. “Safe” is one thing; allowing young men to suffer lifelong brain injuries for our entertainment is quite another.


euroamerican

loved that movie. found out Rudy at one time was a neighbour of mine…..


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