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Parents' open letter continues debate over SRVHS student campaign video

Original post made on Jun 28, 2017

Students and parents showed up at Tuesday night’s school board meeting to speak out in support of the leadership program at San Ramon Valley High School in light of a new GoFundMe letter that railed against SRVHS teachers and administrators for mishandling the case of a student campaign video criticized as Islamophobic.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, June 28, 2017, 2:36 PM

Comments (24)

34 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of another community
on Jun 28, 2017 at 10:33 pm

My sympathies to the Yus for having to go through this. In fact, I extend my sympathies to any group that has ever experienced harassment, retribution, character assassination, etc., as part of a social structure bent on keeping certain populations from prospering. The Yus are quite daring to take on the system, and I pray they will have some success, but alas it is more than likely they will fail in their attempt to get justice for their child, as the odds are already stacked against them.

I had also contemplated the legal route when my child was being unfairly treated by my district, and all the legal organizations I contacted said they have past e
vidence of discrimination (racial and special needs) but that many parents dont end up pursuing legal avenues of justice due to fear of retribution by the teachers/district as well as time and cost constraints. As a result, I never pursued it and instead used the money I would have spent on legal fees on helping my child outside the district. However, in keeping the statu quo, nothing has changed and there remains the elephant in the room.

More power to the Yus! Good thing their child is almost graduating, as I shudder to think how badly he will be treated by the schools after this!


39 people like this
Posted by Dave
a resident of Danville
on Jun 29, 2017 at 8:27 am

I will start by admitting that I do not know this family and I have not seen the video in question.
That being said, I cannot believe the character assassination taking place by adults on the SRVUSD Facebook page.
There is name-calling, slander, wishes for failure and attitudes of contempt that are out of line. We are supposed to lead our young people and model appropriate behavior.
Let us return to civility and allow the parties to work this out. Of course the community is interested in seeing how this is resolved. And they have every right to defend a beloved staff member if they are concerned her job is in jeopardy.
But some of the comments and sharing of personal information about the family and student should stop.
As the old television police show used to say...Just the facts, ma'am


16 people like this
Posted by Ridiculous
a resident of San Ramon
on Jun 29, 2017 at 9:07 am

A Go Fund Me page set up to sue the district? Are you kidding me? What could have been an excellent lesson in micro aggressions towards the Muslim community is now a horrible example of privilege at its worst. This student violated the first amendment's guarantee of "Freedom of Religion". How in the world any Muslim students or families will feel comfortable around the Yus and their son, is beyond me.

I look forward to this story following the son through the college admissions process. Harvard just rescinded the admissions of 6 students because of what they posted on social media. Keep making it a big deal Yu family and it will happen to your son.


40 people like this
Posted by Scott
a resident of Danville
on Jun 29, 2017 at 10:42 am

Ridiculous, I think you need to re-read and understand the constitution a little better if you are going to throw the First Amendment around like that.

First off, The First Amendment reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

The freedom of religion argument you are trying to use is for the "practice" of religion, and in no way limits what anyone can say about that religion, even if the community considers it "hate speech" as recently ruled by the Supreme Court in June in the Matal Vs. Tam. I would personally fight to the death for ANYONE in this country to say whatever they like, even if it offends me. That is how this country works and has always worked. So, now that this argument has been , let's discuss the facts of THIS case.

First, I can guarantee that you, nor anyone you know has actually seen this video. I have in fact seen this video and it was made like an action movie. The "Muslims" in the video that everyone loves to claim "racism" and "privilege" against were ISIS terrorists. Now I don't know about you Ridiculous, but I think we can all stand together and say we all think ISIS fighters are fair game and can be shown getting shot in an Arnold Schwarzenegger style action movie shot by a teenager. I think we can all find the humor in stating that, "If you vote for me, I will save you from ISIS." The video was NOT some teenager walking into a Mosque with a gun and shooting all the innocent people like some of these articles read. The video in no way degrades or is hateful to the Muslim religion itself. Once again, I think we can all agree that ISIS are terrorists and we don't agree with their ideology, similarly I think we can all agree that crazy people from the Christian community blowing up abortion clinics are in the same terrorist vein. Let's stop manufacturing outrage every five minutes when we don't agree with something. It numbs the masses to apathy so that when something big actually does happen, no one cares.

The only thing I would caution folks with is don't be a lemming that piles on the manufactured outrage from people who can't think for themselves and only get outraged by what they read instead of seeking out the facts before making judgments.


8 people like this
Posted by Scott Hale
a resident of San Ramon
on Jun 29, 2017 at 12:24 pm

Scott Hale is a registered user.

Ridiculous: Just curious have you seen the video? Also curious if you were the principal exactly how would you have handled this situation. Do tell us in details your course of action.


6 people like this
Posted by sf
a resident of Danville
on Jun 29, 2017 at 12:53 pm

While I agree the school over-reacted to the situation I more strongly agree that suing the school or district is absolutely the wrong response. People are so sue happy these days and that's their answer to everything in order to get some free money. More importantly I can't believe a Go Fund Me account was actually set up to support the family's effort in this. If they really feel strongly about suing then pay for the attorneys fees yourself. Donate the money raised through the Go Fund Me page (and better yet, the proceeds you may get from the lawsuit) towards a good cause to prevent this from happening in the future if you really feel strongly about this. Pocketing money for yourself doesn't solve anything.


16 people like this
Posted by Ex-Muslim
a resident of Danville
on Jun 29, 2017 at 2:39 pm

Dear Ridiculous -- I was raised as Muslim and felt Islam all the way into my bones, but after decades of thinking and reading, I realized that Islam is not a religion. It is a Satanic cult that aims to destroy every true religion and culture. So, even if you interpret the first amendment as protection for religions, it does not cover Islam. By the way, have you ever wondered why Muslims from other countries are so eager to come to United States and live here instead of living in their own Islamic countries??!!! Why is it that these Muslims cite the first amendment whenever they think it is beneficial for them, but their own religion of Islam prohibits freedom of expression and chops off your head if you say anything that Islam does not like? Before you blindly support Islam, you need to realize what type of evil it is.


8 people like this
Posted by Ridiculous
a resident of San Ramon
on Jun 29, 2017 at 3:11 pm

No I have not seen the video, but I have seen the court transcripts of what was posted on the video. The fact that anyone would defend this young man's actions is beyond ridiculous.

And to Scott: time for you to read the Constitution and Court cases. Freedom of Speech has restrictions, especially for those under the age of 18.

Here are a few excerpts from the court transcripts.

"The first scene of Petitioner's campaign video depicts lewd imagery and innuendo implying that a half-naked student was masturbating in his bedroom when he was kidnapped by other students portraying armed terrorists (Exhibit H):

"The campaign video for ASB President also contains extensive imagery of students using firearms to assault, rob, and murder each other" (Exhibit H)

"The video makes repeated racist and insensitive references to Middle Eastern people, stereotyping them based on their dress, accents and language, names, manner of praying and religious dietary restrictions (Exhibit H)

"There are numerous reasons that Respondent was justified in exercising its discretion and preventing Petitioner from participating in an extracurricular activity, based on the reaction to numerous members of the school community caused by the disturbing video....fellow students were scared and offended by the campaign video's portrayal of sexual innuendo, kidnapping, violence, terrorism and racist stereotyping (Exhibit G).

And this person is defended here on this forum? And he is going to supposedly lead the school next year? This is helicopter parenting at its worst.





7 people like this
Posted by Ridiculous again
a resident of San Ramon
on Jun 29, 2017 at 3:12 pm

To Scott: I would have not only suspended the student, but disqualified him from running. California Ed Code CLEARLY supports this.


8 people like this
Posted by Scott Hale
a resident of San Ramon
on Jun 30, 2017 at 9:40 am

Scott Hale is a registered user.

Well, I suppose if one could go back in time a suspension and possible removal from the leadership club and a re-vote might have had a much different outcome than the cluster hooha here; and most of that from commentators here (anonymously) who haven't seen the video (like 3 dozen did so far).
However, parents still could have fought both actions and most likely won. I think the creator and his helpers have suffered enough from what surely was not a very appropriate video and that needed perhaps a lot more adult supervision or at least feedback before uploading said video.
Now the district if all that has been blithered here is 100% correct really shouldn't have questioned the child w/o parents. And if during school hours, well, no crime there either unless did cross over lunch hour and he was not able to leave. No doubt the district has learned a lot from this...hopefully.
Think the tarring and feathering needs to stop.


19 people like this
Posted by Nolan Chen
a resident of San Ramon
on Jun 30, 2017 at 10:49 am

I have not seen the video but we all know teenagers often do stuff that is immature and insensitive towards others. Is the action taken by the school really justified compared to all the other mean things kids do to each other? Does the school take the same disciplinary action against other students who do equally mean and insensitive stuff outside the classroom? Seems this incident was singled out b/c of politics.


3 people like this
Posted by Chris
a resident of San Ramon
on Jun 30, 2017 at 1:33 pm

Nolan Chen,

You are right, this student was singled out because of politics. He was running for political office which required him to adhere to a code of conduct. He then posted a campaign video that was believed to be a violation of the code of conduct he signed.

If he did nothing wrong then why doesn't he post the video? I'm sure he could raise enough money on GoFundMe to blur people's faces and change their voices for privacy concerns.


16 people like this
Posted by Ditto Rose
a resident of San Ramon
on Jun 30, 2017 at 3:25 pm

According to Fox News: A spokeswoman for the school district previously sent Fox News superintendent Rick Schmitt's letter to parents saying the district "cannot comment on the specifics related to a student's education." He added that officials did not deem the video as "hate speech" and urged "members of the public who have not seen the video not to make assumptions."

Web Link


30 people like this
Posted by Ditto Rose
a resident of San Ramon
on Jun 30, 2017 at 3:35 pm

You've all being had: let me connect the dots for you without saying any names because people would get upset. Every student at SRVHS knew who were spreading the rumor/hearsay of the video:

1. It is easy to find out on San Ramon Valley High School website who the leadership teacher in question is;

2. Everybody who showed up to the 5/23/2017 school board meeting knew that the girl who lost the campaign (whose mom is a private school principal) spoke against the Yu's;

3. Everyone who followed Facebook / Instagram, watched the TV, or read the newspapers knew who the leader of the social media war was.

They are all part of a close knit group, two of them are staff of CPC Danville. And their accusation has selfish motivation. It has everything to do with them unable to swallow their pride and let the Yu boy win the ASB Presidency.


27 people like this
Posted by Member
a resident of San Ramon Valley High School
on Jun 30, 2017 at 5:41 pm

I found this recommended comment from East Bay Times article regarding the fund raising. Just share it:
Web Link

If you check the gofundme campaign, you will find that lots of Asian Americans donated to the cause. They understand the suffering the Yu family is having: having a good kid all along, but suddenly, a video changed everything even he was only one of several students involved and they took down the video right after someone complained .

This kind of selective punishment by a school and a community is very troubling. The adult angry mob in the school district are even more absurd: most of them did not watch the video but what the hell, just jump into the wagon and signal their virtue.

Why target only the Asian kid, why is this out of portion negative witch hunt campaign against him and his family? Many Asian Americans supporters can relate the current USA climate to the Culture Revolution in China. It was the same crazy time when people could be badly punished just because what they unintentionally said or the interpreted meanings of their words. And lots of angry mob could storm into your home under the name of all sorts of noble reasons and beat you up.

USA is losing its status as the a land of equalty or freedom. As a USA citizen, I am very concerned. There are now special groups which are more equal than others and become untouchable while Hollywood and TV celebrities can get away by openly saying k* Chinese. ( Google Jimmy Kimmel k* Chinese if you don't know this). Even a video with unintentional, indirect connection to some groups can be criticized as racists or portraiting them all as terrorists. If they are really so concerned about their public images, going after the terrorists is more effective compared to condeming a kid. Respects are earned by respectable actions and contributions to societies, not something forced.

Last year, Asian Americans donated $600k (I am not wrong, really $600, 000) to the New York rookie policeman Peter Liang , who accidentally discharged his weapon and subsequently prosecuted while many other policemen in the same department got away with worse things.

In the end, the supporters could be wrong. The offensiveness some people are feeling is real. And if I may, I sincerely apologize for the kid. Please leave him alone or equally punish all students involved to the right extent. But the supporters believe the Yu's family more than the angry mob, all media, special groups , schools, teachers added together. That's why they donated to help Yu's family expose their side of story.


24 people like this
Posted by Member
a resident of San Ramon
on Jun 30, 2017 at 5:53 pm

For people blindly believe whatever with a label of court transcripts. You can be fooled.

Courts just record whatever both sides say, not necessarily endorsing if either side's statement is truth.

Unless you have a clear judgement about who won and for what reason, court transcripts are just as good as the stories you read in news or Facebook comments. Many cases fall apart due to one side doesn't follow proper procedure. It doesn't mean the winning side says the truth. So the lost side will start a new lawsuit again.

If the school is really so proud of their lawyer's description about the video, they should have just advised the community to read the transcripts instead of cautioning people not comment on the video unless they watched it. It could well be that the court transcript from one side grossly twisted the facts and angered the other side so now we are having a new lawsuit partially because of that.


24 people like this
Posted by Member
a resident of Diablo
on Jun 30, 2017 at 7:25 pm

I think some comments here have very good points. I am pretty sure that my Muslim neighbors are 99.99% good persons. But why all of suddenly so sensitive to a student video with alleged Muslim terrorists in it ? There are so many Hollywood movies or TV shows with more explicit portraiting of Muslim terrorists. Why don't you condemn all of these?

I guess that the kids most made a video based on what they read or watched in their daily lives. They saw enough Muslim terrorists in the news and in movies. So they just reflected that in their video. You really cannot blame them on that. They may just act like the naive kid pointing out emperor's clothes.

I don't think any sane people will say all Muslims are terrorists. But the world is experiencing increased incidents with connections with extreme Islam terrorists. There are facts. What outrage do our Muslim neighbors have to condemn these terrorist attacks?

Maybe it is time for the islam followers to address the root cause instead of treating the symptoms. The first step is to allow candid, constructive criticism about islam so less followers will be radicated. Suppressing such healthy criticism is bad for everyone or any religion. You simply cannot cry racists or islamphobia everytime when people reflected facts in their words or videos.

I agree this incident is a good reason to teach students about treating peaceful Muslims with respect. On the flip side, it may also be a good chance for our Muslim neighbors to learn US Constitution about freedom in speech and how to resolve conflicts between US laws and Sharia laws in islam.


4 people like this
Posted by matthew nf
a resident of San Ramon
on Jun 30, 2017 at 7:40 pm

Thank you to the person who posted from the actual submissions at the local court in the initial suit. That answers back all of this nonsense about how the video is harmless.

Those of you who can't abide including the facts in your thinking, just keep trying to wrap your heads around this summary of the video below. Anyone interested in what would happen if the District filed for declaratory relief read the 3 Supreme Court case on Tinker v Des Moines, Bethel v Fraser, and Morse v Frederickson.

And reread these facts:

Here are a few excerpts from the court transcripts.

"The first scene of Petitioner's campaign video depicts lewd imagery and innuendo implying that a half-naked student was masturbating in his bedroom when he was kidnapped by other students portraying armed terrorists (Exhibit H):

"The campaign video for ASB President also contains extensive imagery of students using firearms to assault, rob, and murder each other" (Exhibit H)

"The video makes repeated racist and insensitive references to Middle Eastern people, stereotyping them based on their dress, accents and language, names, manner of praying and religious dietary restrictions (Exhibit H)

"There are numerous reasons that Respondent was justified in exercising its discretion and preventing Petitioner from participating in an extracurricular activity, based on the reaction to numerous members of the school community caused by the disturbing video....fellow students were scared and offended by the campaign video's portrayal of sexual innuendo, kidnapping, violence, terrorism and racist stereotyping (Exhibit G).


20 people like this
Posted by Glass
a resident of Blackhawk
on Jun 30, 2017 at 7:44 pm

It seems the school officials are trying to cover up something. Maybe the facts can be exposed in court.


19 people like this
Posted by member
a resident of Walnut Creek
on Jun 30, 2017 at 8:32 pm

I support the other community member's suggestion: education should be bidirectional:

teaching students about treating peaceful Muslims with respect,

AND teaching Muslims about tolerating criticism about their religion.

There is no special religion which cannot be criticized in USA. We have US laws here, not Sharia Laws!


6 people like this
Posted by Scott Hale
a resident of San Ramon
on Jul 1, 2017 at 9:49 am

Scott Hale is a registered user.

why limit teaching to Muslims and/or their religion? Wouldn't it be better to teach tolerance, acceptance respect about ALL religions?? Or is that too logical?


9 people like this
Posted by Member
a resident of another community
on Jul 1, 2017 at 11:52 am

I will criticize islam at all times.

Sharia law is the law of Islam. The Sharia (also spelled Shari'a or Shariah) law is cast from the actions and words of Muhammad (the prophet of Lucifer and false prophet to our real God in Heaven), called "Sunnah," and the Quran. Sharia law itself cannot be altered, but the interpretation of Sharia law, called "fiqh," by imams is given some latitude.

As a legal system, Sharia law is exceptionally broad. While other legal codes regulate public behavior, Sharia law regulates public behavior, private behavior, and even private beliefs. Of all legal systems in the world today, Sharia law is the most intrusive and restrictive, especially against women (womens liberation has no standing under sharia law). According to Sharia law:

• Theft is punishable by amputation of the right hand.
• Criticizing or denying any part of the Quran is punishable by dea†h.
• Criticizing or denying Allah is punishable by dea†h (Allah is known as the moon god).
• Criticizing Muhammad or denying that he is a prophet is punishable by dea†h.
• A Muslim who becomes a non-Muslim is punishable by dea†h.
• A non-Muslim who leads a Muslim away from Islam is punishable by dea†h.
• A non-Muslim man who marries a Muslim woman is punishable by dea†h.
• A man can marry an infant girl and consummate the marriage when she is 9 years old.
• Girls' clitoris should be cut out when menstrual cycle begins,
ordered by Muhammad's words of law.
• A girl or woman who has been raрed cannot testify in court against her raрist(s).
• Testimonies of 4 male witnesses are required to prove the raрe of a girl or woman.
• A girl or woman who alleges raрe without producing 4 male witnesses is guilty of adultery.
• A girl or woman found guilty of adultery is punishable by dea†h.
• A man convicted of raрe can have his conviction dismissed by marrying his victim and the girl or woman cannot deny the marrage.
• A woman can have 1 husband, who can have up to 4 wives; Muhammad had more.
• A man can beat his wife for insubordination or for aggravating her husband.
• A man can unilaterally divorce his wife; a wife needs her husband's consent to divorce.
• A divorced wife loses custody of all children over 6 years of age or when they exceed it.
• A woman's testimony in court, only allowed in property cases, and carries ½ the weight of a man's.
• A female heir inherits half of what a male heir inherits.
• A woman cannot drive a car, as it leads to fitnah.
• A woman cannot speak alone to a man who is not her husband or relative. Punishment is death.
• Meat to eat must come from animals that have been sacrificed to Allah (muslims false god).
• Muslims should engage in Taqiyya and lie to non-Muslims to advance Islam and kill those that will not convert to islam.

Do you people not see the evil of this islamic cult?


4 people like this
Posted by Member
a resident of another community
on Jul 1, 2017 at 12:06 pm

Web Link

the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) identifies 15 traits as common among cults. 


1.  The group displays excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader and (whether he is alive or dead) regards his belief system, ideology, and practices as the Truth, as law.

2.  Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished.

3.   Mind-altering practices (such as meditation, chanting, speaking in tongues, denunciation sessions, and debilitating work routines) are used in excess and serve to suppress doubts about the group and its leader(s).

4.  The leadership dictates, sometimes in great detail, how members should think, act, and feel (for example, members must get permission to date, change jobs, marry—or leaders prescribe what types of clothes to wear, where to live, whether or not to have children, how to discipline children, and so forth). 

5.  The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader(s) and members (for example, the leader is considered the Messiah, a special being, an avatar—or the group and/or the leader is on a special mission to save humanity).


6. The group has a polarized us-versus-them mentality, which may cause conflict with the wider society.

7. The leader is not accountable to any authorities (unlike, for example, teachers, military commanders or ministers, priests, monks, and rabbis of mainstream religious denominations).

8. The group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify whatever means it deems necessary. This may result in members’ participating in behaviors or activities they would have considered reprehensible or unethical before they joined the group (for example, lying to family or friends, or collecting money for bogus charities).

9. The leadership induces feelings of shame and/or guilt in order to influence and/or control members. Often, this is done through peer pressure and subtle forms of persuasion.

10. Subservience to the leader or group requires members to cut ties with family and friends, and to radically alter the personal goals and activities they had before they joined the group.

11. The group is preoccupied with bringing in new members.

12. The group is preoccupied with making money.

13. Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group and group-related activities.

14.Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members.

15. The most loyal members (the “true believers”) feel there can be no life outside the context of the group. They believe there is no other way to be and often fear reprisals to themselves or others if they leave (or even consider leaving) the group.


1 person likes this
Posted by Scott Hale
a resident of San Ramon
on Jul 1, 2017 at 5:26 pm

Scott Hale is a registered user.

Member: few problems: 1.8 billion practice some form of Islam worldwide. 2nd largest religion. 24% of the world's population. Are you saying they are all as you describe?
that's a really wide paint brush you use.


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