PVPUSD Releases Code of Conduct for High School Athletic Events

Penalties for violating the code of conduct include verbal warnings and suspension from athletic and extracurricular events.

FILE PHOTO: Cross-country runners from Palos Verdes Peninsula and Palos Verdes high schools race against each other in a Bay League meetup. Photo credit John Schreiber.
FILE PHOTO: Cross-country runners from Palos Verdes Peninsula and Palos Verdes high schools race against each other in a Bay League meetup. Photo credit John Schreiber.

A little more than a year after students from the two major high schools on the Hill met to talk about how to ease the rivalry between the two schools, the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District has released an official code of conduct for athletic and other extracurricular events.

The rivalry between Palos Verdes Peninsula High School and Palos Verdes High School came to a head toward the end of 2012 when multiple PV High students were arrested on suspicion of vandalizing the Peninsula campus by painting the bleachers red and obscene messages on the all-weather track before a football match between the two schools.

The PV High colors are red and black.

Some people alleged in comments on Patch that a Peninsula student had keyed multiple cars parked by PV High, and that the vandalism was retaliation.

After that incident, students from both schools met at district offices to gain a better understanding of their schools and each other.

"I think the rivalry will exist, but we want to make sure it's a positive rivalry," then-Chief Academic Officer Martin Griffin said at the time.

The new code of conduct, developed by Peninsula principal Mitzi Cress, PV High principal Dr. Charles Park and Rancho del Mar High School principal Rosemary Humphrey, is aimed at promoting positive interactions between students at athletic and extracurricular events.

Students are encouraged to cheer for their team, but not against the other team; refrain from trash-talking; respect other fans; and follow CIF rules against face- and body-painting and noisemakers; among other points.

Consequences for violating portions of the code of conduct range from verbal warnings to suspension from future athletic and extracurricular events.

The schools' respective student groups that support athletics—the Zoo and Red Tide—may also be suspended if members violate the code of conduct.

"Our mission at Peninsula High School is to prepare students for their future and to instill character, integrity and respect for others to ensure that our students are not only ready to succeed in life after high school, but also to be honorable and ethical individuals," Cress wrote in her weekly missive to parents. "Our entire community must work together to guide our children and to serve as examples."

Read the full text of the code of conduct below.



Students (including student groups such as the "Zoo" and "Red Tide") are expected to display outstanding behavior /sportsmanship during all school sponsored athletic events and extra-curricular activities. CIF has established guidelines for schools, athletes, coaches, officials, and spectators for all athletic events. In addition, all school and District rules and regulations that apply to student behavior during the regular school day (i.e. District Policies 5131, 5131.2, & 5131.7, Safe School Policies, etc.) also apply during school sponsored athletic events and extra-curricular activities. 

Students will show respect for teammates, opponents, officials, coaches, and spectators by:

  • Encouraging the home team, with positive reinforcement, regardless of the result of their play.
  • Cheering for your team, not against the other team.
  • Demonstrating concern for others by never berating or demeaning individual players and/or promoting behavior that might cause harm or injury to others.
  • Not engaging in disrespectful conduct of any sort. This includes, but is not limited to, profanity, obscene gestures, offensive and/or discriminatory remarks, trash-talking, taunting, or other actions that demean individuals or the sport. Do not participate in any negative or demeaning cheers.
  • Refraining from complaining or arguing about officials' calls or decisions during or after an athletic event.
  • Letting the coaches coach; players play; and officials officiate.
  • Displaying respect for other spectators/participants by refraining from insulting or fighting with other fans.
  • Waiting for breaks in the action before leaving or returning to your seat.
  • Respecting all facilities by using them safely and appropriately.
  • Not using noisemakers of any kind which are prohibited under CIF rules.
  • Wearing and/or displaying appropriate attire. CIF prohibits face and/or body painting.

Consequences for Violating the PVPUSD's Student Code of Conduct

Depending on the severity of the violation:

  • Individuals and/or groups may be given a verbal warning(s), escorted out of the event, suspended from attending future athletic/extra-curricular events, and/ or disciplined in accordance with District Policies 5144 & 5144.1.
  • "Zoo" and/or "Red Tide" activities could be suspended or disbanded for part or all of the school year.


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