Principal Kline announces finalized sanctions, calls for better sportsmanship


Shamsheer Singh and Lucy Li

In an announcement during PRIME today, Principal Brent Kline said the sports events sanctions announced on Sept. 16 for students, which previously included banning Paly students from a football game at Menlo High School, have been finalized as promised.

The Santa Clara Valley Athletic League is officially sanctioning Paly for student spectator behavior at the Palo Alto vs Gunn game. The SCVAL Board of Managers unanimously approved these penalties at a meeting on September 22, 2022.

The announcement also included an informative video reminding students about the importance of sportsmanship ahead of the upcoming homecoming game against Homestead High School on Sept. 30.

The video, issued by the National Federation of State High School Associations, discussed the meaning and importance of sportsmanship and provided examples for people to follow. 

Kline said students will be expected to act appropriately regardless of the results of the game.

“You cannot control what is happening in the context but you can control how you react,” Kline said. “As a fan, your role is to support your team throughout the entire context. And you need to only manage your own behavior.”

Kline said the SCVAL’s constitutional bylaws explicitly detail appropriate behavior for student spectators. 

In addition to not berating mascots, players from either team or officials, Kline said obscene cheers and gestures, noisemakers, vandalism and other types of disorderly conduct are prohibited.

“Most importantly, the bylaws state students shall remain on their own side of the field or gymnasium throughout the entire game,” Kline said.

According to Kline, Paly leadership students have begun organizing a full-scale plan to improve sportsmanship among spectators at athletic events. The Board of Managers has yet to approve the plan. 

“If further spectator inappropriate sportsmanship events occur by Palo Alto fans in any sport during the 2022 to 2023 school year, additional penalties will be imposed,” Kline said.

Sophomore Graeme Kieran, though he did not attend the Gunn v Paly game, agreed with the imposed sanctions. 

“I heard about what happened at the game,” Kieran said. “I hope that the student spectators at future games don’t continue to do similar things.”

Junior Clarissa Lee said she is hopeful for better sportsmanship at the Paly v Homestead football game this Friday. 

“I really hope students don’t take the sanctions lightly,” Lee said. “I would hate for more serious consequences in the future.”

Kline said, “I know that you’re going to rise up and you’re going to do a great job at our homecoming game.”

This story will continue to be updated.