PIEDMONT -- An illicit competition to track sexual activity among the student body at Piedmont High School in a "fantasy league" is an "awful" revelation, but can be used to foster education and conversation among students and parents, a school district official said Sunday.
The "league" was run by male students, who "drafted" unknowing female students to their teams, then tallied points for "documented engagement in sexual activities" with those students, according to a letter Principal Rich Kitchens sent to parents Friday. The league's existence was first tipped to officials by students who came forward after a date-rape prevention assembly in early October.
At this time, officials are not aware of any criminal activity linked to the league, said Randall Booker, assistant superintendent of educational services for the Piedmont Unified School District.
"We'll react to things as they come to us," Booker said. He noted that "the point of that assembly is to get kids talking, to be aware, to foster that communication.
"We're not making excuses, we're not minimizing it, we're not sanitizing it. We're an educational community. Our point is to take issues like this and treat them as educational opportunities, and if there are criminal issues, we report them to the police."
Though Kitchens said in his letter that the league was set up by male students on varsity athletic teams, Booker said that with 75 percent of the school's students participating in athletics, it was hard to link the league to a particular team or sport.
Officials spent last week trying to gather information about the league before Kitchens sent the letter, Booker said. Their hope is now that parents will take the opportunity to have a frank discussion with their children, he added.
"There has to be an open, serious and honest dialogue between kids and families," Booker said. "It's one thing for us to have a conversation with our students. It's another thing for families to have that dinner-table conversation.
"Time and time again, in our district, the students, the staff and the community have been willing to step up and be active participants in that conversation."