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Facebook photos lead to ASB president resignation

Original post made on Mar 29, 2010

Dan Hurd, 18, son of a school board trustee, resigned his post as student body president at California High School last month after someone anonymously gave administrators two photos posted on Facebook that showed him drinking beer at a family holiday party. Hurd's mother, Rachel, is president of the San Ramon Valley Unified School District board.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, March 29, 2010, 5:47 PM

Comments (41)

Posted by Jay
a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 29, 2010 at 7:21 pm

there's definitely way worse problems in the valley than this kid making a mistake. for every story like this you hear, there's a dozen more that you don't and wouldn't want to hear.

Posted by Hey Dude!
a resident of Del Amigo Continuation High School
on Mar 29, 2010 at 8:00 pm

Being the son of a politician, I would have lied and said the pictures of him drinking were taken in France during the holidays, where the minimum drinking is 18 years old, or perhaps the United Kingdom, where the drinking age is 5, if the kid is with his parents.

Web Link

The only other countries outside of the United States to impose a 21 year old minimum drinking age are Fiji, Pakastan, and Sri Lanka.

Posted by Rick Pshaw
a resident of Danville
on Mar 29, 2010 at 8:13 pm

Rachel Hurd is quoted in the news story as saying:

"For the most part, it had been kept under wraps," said Rachel Hurd. "People were surprised."

Perhaps the wrong person was asked to resign. If it was "kept under wraps" that is a serious ethical question for a member of the School Board. What about it, Ms. Hurd? When will you submit your resignation?

Posted by izzy
a resident of Alamo
on Mar 29, 2010 at 10:37 pm

Nice spin Rachael. One beer, one camera, one upload, one snitch. My 17 year old has a glass of wine once in a while with our family but has the smarts not to post the photos to Facebook. Dan Hurd bit in the butt by social media. Life Lesson.

Posted by Rick Pshaw
a resident of Danville
on Mar 29, 2010 at 11:32 pm

Clever and sonorous post, Izzy. Almost haiku-like in its pacing and scansion...

Posted by Mark
a resident of Blackhawk
on Mar 29, 2010 at 11:52 pm

Seems to me like this is a non-story. Is this a big deal because his mom is on the board? Well, he got the punishment he deserves. No special treatment. Who knows when the photo was given to the admin, but its not like they kept him in office a long time after they found out...Feb. 12.

Posted by Are You Kidding Me!
a resident of Danville
on Mar 30, 2010 at 6:52 am

Get OUT of family business! Oops, does NOT need to be a weekly story for everyone to read. Danville weekly, find something else to write about. Sick! The Weekly should be ashamed that they are so desperate for stories! [Portion removed because it was offensive]

Posted by Diane
a resident of Danville
on Mar 30, 2010 at 7:18 am

This kid obviously has much going for him and this blip in his life isn't going to crush him by any means.

Mark and Kidding: I would imagine he and his family would be quite content if the story had never been printed as well, but here it is.

Posted by Lori
a resident of Danville
on Mar 30, 2010 at 7:59 am

What a parent allows their child to do is their own business, not that of the school's, whether it was on FB or not. If this country continues to make such a big deal out of things like this, it will always be taboo and we will always have problems with alcohol! If parents don't teach their children that there is nothing wrong with having an occasional beer or glass of wine, where are they going to learn it? College?

Posted by I've seen the abuse - talk to your kids.
a resident of Danville
on Mar 30, 2010 at 8:12 am

When children are served alcohol by their parents, drinking problems are generally low. When children are prevented from drinking until an older age, drinking problems tend to be high. The evidence is overwhelming.
People learn how to drink from an early age within the safe and supporting environment of the home. They don't learn how to drink from their friends and acquaintances, who aren't looking out for their best interests. Common sense suggests that it's better to learn how to drink in the parent's house than in the fraternity house.

While in Germany we introduced our daughter to beer. Now as a 21 year old in college, she chooses to be the designated driver, gets free drinks and makes sure her friends are safe. She will occasionally have a drink but knows her limits and openly talks to us about the abuse she see’s at school and thanks us for teaching her respect around alcohol.

Posted by Danville Observer
a resident of Danville
on Mar 30, 2010 at 8:34 am

He can go to Iraq but not have a beer at 18 at a family home ?
Seems like a kid with a lot going for him so he should not be penalizied for this.

Posted by Double-standard
a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 30, 2010 at 9:02 am

Sounds like a SCHOOL BOARD TRUSTEE, someone who is committed to helping the SRV youth is condoning underage drinking?!?! Sorry, but the last law I read stated that underage drinking is underage drinking-wherever it takes place.

Posted by Jess
a resident of Danville
on Mar 30, 2010 at 9:40 am

The Danville Weekly has become The National Enquirer of the East Bay.

Posted by Family Controls
a resident of Charlotte Wood Middle School
on Mar 30, 2010 at 10:45 am

I totally agree with Lori. We should be able to teach our children at home that a glass of wine or a beer with their family is not a crime. Most other countries raise their children that way and don't have the alcohol abuse problems when the kids go off to college. Dan sounds like a great kid and for him to be humiliated like this is just wrong. Why did these other people feel it was okay to take his family photo to the school administration. Is it because his mother is a school board trustee? This family is doing good things in our community, and for this minor in-the-privacy-of-a-family gathering, their name is dragged through the mud? This is just wrong.

Posted by Mr. Shabby
a resident of Danville
on Mar 30, 2010 at 11:43 am

So the kid had a home...and his parents were there. Oooohhh...BFD. Those of you who want to make an issue of this, get a life, read a book, travel, volunteer for your community, and please cut down on your daytime TV habits. What a bunch of ignoramaces....

Posted by Danville mom
a resident of Danville
on Mar 30, 2010 at 11:47 am

Wow! This is news. So sad. Wish this was never reported. What a great kid. Yep it is against the law and he took responsibility for his actions. End of story.

Posted by Ron
a resident of Danville
on Mar 30, 2010 at 12:51 pm

The school should have kept out of it. As parents, like it or not we all choose our way on how to raise our kids and giving beer to an 18 year old at a family party is not what I call bad. I call it none of my bussiness. Another example of the school telling you how to raise your kids. Its a good lesson - hide everything!

Posted by beckyjean
a resident of Danville
on Mar 30, 2010 at 12:51 pm

I have to admit, I really think it is the sensible way to do things, let your adult child learn to drink at home in a controlled environment. The people I knew with the biggest drinking problems, were those who got very very drunk in a public environment. They had never drank and so did not know what to expect. I grew up in Chico and every year there would be Frat pledges who died in those situations. Why can you go to Iraq, buy a car, get married, vote, go to jail at 18 and yet you can't have a beer? What a strange world we live in. I am sorry that he lost his position. It appears he did the honorable thing in resigning rather then fighting. Hopefully, this will remind people how dangerous Facebook and other social networking is.. Nothing is private.

Posted by Danville Grandma
a resident of Danville
on Mar 30, 2010 at 12:51 pm

Big Brother is watching YOU! What a highschooler does with his family and friends outside of school is NOT the school's concern. I, and my children, always had a beer or a glass of champagne on celebratory occasions when were were teens. And being expelled for smoking with friends at a party...this is scary. Things that are forbidden become very seductive, and cause people to sneak around to participate. This kid has sensible parents, and I'm on their side. And we, the readers of our daily local news, should never have known about this poor kid's embarrassment and about the pious, punitive principal who caused it.

Posted by todd
a resident of Danville
on Mar 30, 2010 at 1:31 pm

Good one Grandma - Its strange that they pay attention to something that is none of their bussiness but when we complained about a bully picking on our son several times they did nothing. This kid sounds like he worked hard and is a good kid. This should have been handled with a visit to the parents and the kid could have removed the pictures. They dont give breaks when a poor decision is made, they exploit it and make an example out of kids that are trying hard to do good.

Posted by Diane
a resident of Danville
on Mar 30, 2010 at 3:33 pm

I do wonder what the motivation was of the person who anonymously shared the facebook photo with the administrators.

Posted by Rose
a resident of Danville
on Mar 30, 2010 at 5:49 pm

I can't believe I just saw this story and picture of this kid on nightly television!! What a shame! What on earth made this out of touch principal cause such stupidity! Contacting the parents would have sufficed. I'm with Grandma...Big brother is everywhere now!

Posted by Karen
a resident of another community
on Mar 30, 2010 at 5:57 pm

Why did Mrs. Hurd go to the district? Was she expecting special favors for her son. Mr. Corti already showed her favoritism by only requiring him to resign-he should have also suspended Dan as he did the "cheerleaders". Sounds as if Dan got special treatment because of his mother.

Posted by American
a resident of Danville
on Mar 30, 2010 at 6:16 pm

If a high school student body President had a photo on facebook with him having wine during a religious ceremony, such as Yom Kippur, or at Catholic mass, does the student have to resign? I agree with "Grandma" post, I think the schools have enough of their own problems without getting involved in this.

Posted by Danville Parent
a resident of Danville
on Mar 30, 2010 at 6:29 pm

I think this was total overreaction on the part of the school and agree with Mr. Shabby and Danville Grandma. I'm more concerned that Rachel is such a "yes-woman" to our incompetent Superintendent, Steve Enoch than anything else. But that's ok, we'll just let him run the district into the ground and then move or retire, as is his history....

Posted by Jean
a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 30, 2010 at 7:02 pm

It was not an overreaction. The guidelines are clearly provided to students and parents of students who participate in extra curricular activities. He knew the rules and so did his parents. What a terrible role model.
She's a yes-woman to anyone who can further her. Iregardless, her son received special treatment because of who she is and that should be investigated.

Posted by Dave
a resident of Diablo
on Mar 31, 2010 at 1:32 am

To Jean...would you be so harsh if it were your child? I suspect not and am reminded of the parable, "Do unto others..."

Danville Grandma is right...the school district and its minions should attend to the serious business of education our children and leave the parenting to us. I am a parent of sound mind and character and I'll decide what is appropriate for my children when they are with me and under my supervision. Let the zero tolerance drones in the school district perpetrate their silly policies - devoid of an judgement - within the boundaries of the school property so common sense can be experienced elsewhere in the the community...

Posted by Jennifer
a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 31, 2010 at 6:50 am

I agree with Jean. I have a child at Cal High and the rules are very clear regarding the consumption of alcohol. Parents who have students who participate in extra curricular activities clearly know the consequenses of getting caught. Mrs. Hurd's son was caught and instead of accepting the consequesense as the cheerleaders did, she went to talk with "the district" before accepting her son's punishment. Alcohol and drug education are the responsiblity of both parents and the schools. While Grandma and Dave and Mrs. Hurd believe the school should ignore this for one student, it sets a poor example. Had it been my child-first of all, I never would have provided MY child with alcohol-he would have accepted the punishment and I would have stood by the school's decision. I would never have offered the press thousands of "excuses". Mrs. Hurd should also suffer the consequenses of her actions and resign, not only for allowing alcohol to be supplied to her child but for her attempting to get out of it and offering up excuses that no one believes.

Posted by Ralph N. Shirlet
a resident of another community
on Mar 31, 2010 at 7:03 am

Ralph N. Shirlet is a registered user.

Dear Dolores,

It is time to put all the silly politics and high school cultural façade away and end discussions of this non-event.

No school district, according to counsel, can have its code of conduct reach beyond school and especially into the privacy of a family. No school district has jurisdiction over the culture of social media content beyond the events that occur on campus and in school managed functions. If students before Dan were subjected to on-campus punishment for actions away from school, those students should seriously be engaging counsel in their defense and in legal restriction of the district board and administration.

Like all aggregated politics in Contra Costa, we have now seen another example of too much reach, power and assumed authority. Our regional community, in e-exchanges throughout our corridor, is now alert to the abuses of such politics and will actively seek representation on SRVUSD board that respects the ultimate authority of district residents over all SRVUSD actions.

This very silly event was easy to laugh at but should never be tolerated as appropriate authority of the board and administration.

The ROFL in Ralph N. Shirlet

Posted by parent
a resident of Danville
on Mar 31, 2010 at 7:26 am

The school district has a responsiblity to teach our childred drug and alcohol prevention. They also expect their school leaders to be role models for other students and make both the student and parents sign the contract. The parents knowlingly violated the contract. The concern I have is for the same type of incident, why were the cheerleaders suspended and weren't forced to resign? Dan's punishment followed the spirit of the contract he and his parents signed at the school however the cheerleaders did not. This wasn't a non event. They broke the rules, got caught and tried to get out of the punishment. What terrible role models these parents are for not saying no.

Posted by JT
a resident of Danville
on Mar 31, 2010 at 8:51 am

The motivation was jealousy and spite. The "contracts" students sign are for behavior unacceptable at high school events or if caught by local police.

Alcohol is THE gateway drug. The fact that it is prohibited and students sneak around drinking leads to a hidden culture, whose mere existence allows much more extreme behavior to occur, such as drugs.

The lesson learned is that the insidiousness nature of hypocrisy in our society is used for emotional and social profit. How else to explain the true value of insider gossip used pointedly to personal advantage.

Drinking in the family environment was fine, posting the picture was a mistake.

Posted by Another Karen
a resident of San Ramon Valley High School
on Mar 31, 2010 at 9:34 am

To Jennifer, Jean and "parent":To call Dan a bad role model is beyond my comprehension.Here is a young MAN-18 years old-who is an Eagle Scout,a student body leader,a community volunteer who is being punished because he had a BEER with his family.It's ludicrous. And for Jennifer to say she'd never supply "MY child with alcohol" sounds so sanctimonious. This was not an alcohol fueled off-site party. It was a private family gathering with a BEER. Those people who anonymously sent the photos to the principal should be ashamed, as should the principal for overreacting. We should all be so lucky to be as active in our communities as Dan and Rachel Hurd.

Final question - people keep saying something about the cheerleaders. Did they individually also have a beer in the privacy of their individual homes or was it public consumption at a party or school event? To me, that makes a huge difference

Shame on Cal High and the local public for making such a big deal out of this and giving such negative press to a fine family.

Posted by Cynthia
a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 31, 2010 at 10:51 am

Were these last comment written by the Hurds as I don't think others would agree that we are lucky to have these parent as active role models in our community. Mrs. Hurd took an oath as a board member to uphold school and district policy. Another Karen should be ashamed of her condoning the Hurd's behavior and lack of parenting skills. The student and the parent chose to disregard the contract they signed with the school. If they didn't agree with the content, they should have changed the wording prior to signing, not complain after they were caught. Regardless, Mrs. Hurd should also suffer the consequences for violating the oath that she took for her office.To give your underage child alcohol instead of doing your job as a parent and just saying no, is irresponsible. Shame on the Hurds!!!

Posted by Jane
a resident of Alamo
on Mar 31, 2010 at 2:04 pm

What everyone needs to realize is that none of this would have happened if he hadn't posted the beer drinking picture on Facebook. This should be a lesson for all young people. Whether it was Ok or no Ok is irrelevant. Lots of young people are posting pictures and comments on their facebook that could potentially really hurt them when they go to seek employment. Employers do access these places and they might judge the person on something that was a joke or an attempt to appear "cool". If you can't say it in front of prospective college recruiters or prospective employers then don't post it on the net where anyone can access it.

Posted by Alex
a resident of Blackhawk
on Mar 31, 2010 at 2:58 pm

Drinking age should be 18 in the first place, like in most of the civilized world. But this is just ridiculous. The School District should have no say in this.

Posted by American
a resident of Danville
on Mar 31, 2010 at 3:16 pm

Let me get this straight: A public high school, whose district is constantly crying that they do not have enough money or personnel to adequately teach our children, has time and resources to crucify an 18 year old student, who with his parents consent, posted on facebook a family photo in which he is holding a beer at a special, family event? Now we have precedent, so if your child has on facebook a photo of them holding wine during their bar mitzvah, or wine during their Catholic confirmation ceremony, the child better be prepared for the school district to kick them off any sport, leadership, or cheerleading team. What is wrong with our society, and when did Americans start believing government entities should have control over every aspect of our lives? The government taking control over our healthcare system is just the beginning of this dangerous trend, to school districts telling us what our 18 year old children can do in the privacy of our own homes, even if there is parental consent.

Posted by Another Karen
a resident of San Ramon Valley High School
on Mar 31, 2010 at 4:15 pm

Well said American. I agree completely. And no, I am in no way shape or form related to the Hurds.

Posted by Alex
a resident of Blackhawk
on Mar 31, 2010 at 6:06 pm

Agreed 100% American. This is a clear cut case of when parental consent should prevail.

Posted by Pat
a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 31, 2010 at 10:14 pm

Irresponsibility on the part of Cal High again with its school board snafus. This should be a really simple lesson, dont get caught or your limelight drags out your wet laundry. on the other hand, Schoolboard members probably will think twice again by not incriminating themselves or making excuses or requesting special favors

Posted by Pedal Power
a resident of Danville
on Mar 31, 2010 at 11:18 pm

Posting the pix on Facebook was not the smartest thing in the world but Dan Hurd did the right thing by resigning; by most accounts it appears that his resignation is more of a loss to the Cal High student body than to him.

And, given their zero tolerance stance on alcohol usage, I believe Cal High did the right thin in requiring his resignation.

The only person who did not do the right thing was his mother, for trying to get him off the hook. IMHO, his mother should resign for trying to use her influence to get him out of the consequences of his decision and her lax or consensual supervision. This shows appalling lack of judgment and ethics.

But, having said that, I will also state that the law is an ass when it comes to juvenile alcohol consumption. Were Dan my kid I'd have taken him home after his resignation and fixed his favorite dinner, for doing the right thing, then offered him a glass of beer of wine to go with it.

Thanks to Hey Dude for posting an informative Web Link on Minimum Legal Drinking age in different countries.

Posted by Dickita P
a resident of Alamo
on Apr 7, 2010 at 10:31 am

Psh! Typical libby-dibby-wacko-jacko ding dong flip floppery! Forcing a kid to resign just because he knows how to party!

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