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Facebook photos lead to Cal High student president's resignation

Original post made on Mar 30, 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 Tuesday, March 30, 2010, 4:20 AM

Comments (50)

Posted by This is ridiculous..., a resident of Castlewood
on Mar 30, 2010 at 5:41 am

People in Europe are LAUGHING at this story. One beer at a family bonfire and the kids gets the scarlet letter?? Ridiculous...wake up America! He seems like an exemplary kid and the ASB Pres drinking one beer should be the LEAST of our worries. All that said, I understand the idea of rules....tricky situation.

Posted by JLB, a resident of Canyon Oaks
on Mar 30, 2010 at 6:49 am

Sounds like a tough lesson, but I admire him and his parents for just going with the consequences. This kid clearly has alot going for him and is unlikely to crumble from this minor (relative to other accomplishments) setback.

Posted by resident, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 30, 2010 at 7:49 am

In San Ramon a family does the right thing, after admittedly doing a dumb thing. In Ruby Hill the parents buy the booze, host the party in their home and charge admission for the underage spoiled brats to attend. Now who lives in the "town of character"?

Posted by Timothy T, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 30, 2010 at 8:28 am

An utterly ridiculous situation.

The same parents who want this guy to resign because he had a beer will take their kids to fast food 5 days a week and think nothing of it. I wonder who's doing more damage (No, I don't really wonder)?

I'm sorry the Puritans got to you, Dan.

Posted by Wow, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2010 at 8:35 am

Wow, what a bunch of idiots. We are trying to do everything in oor power to imitate Europe i.e health care and socialism yet we don't want to mimic their drinking rules. A kid can go to war at 18, die in combat, but can't have a beer. This disgusts me.

Posted by Sabrina, a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 30, 2010 at 8:54 am

It was a witch hunt and not by an anonyomous student, but by someone who had been out to get Dan for quite sometime because she hated him and was looking for the opportunity to get him kicked out. Regardless, his error for posting the pictures on Facebook....but we stand behind you Dan! Of all the things for Cal High to worry about, what takes place in people's homes or on their holidays should not be the business of the have enough stuff to keep you busy in your own school!!

Posted by Ella, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 30, 2010 at 8:55 am

The error was not the under-age drinking at a private family party; the error was uploading the photos to Facebook for the public to see. I wonder if he knowingly posted the beer pics to impress his friends. A boy scout is always prepared, but apparently,he didn't see this coming.

Posted by Janelle, a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 30, 2010 at 8:56 am

F*&%ing Facebook.

Posted by A Mom, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 30, 2010 at 8:56 am

I feel bad that this happened. I don't support under age drinking, but if his parents were ok with this happening at a family get together why should the school be involved? We are support to separate church & State but the school is barging into family business. I feel terrible that he was forced to resign as class President. Not a necessary action. And I feel worse about these kids who turned him in. They should worry about something more important than this. Are these kids jealous? Insecure? Self important? The entire thing is sad.

Posted by Cindy, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 30, 2010 at 8:59 am

This poor kid. If I had a dime for every kid who had a beer in high school, I'd be rich, rich, rich. Dan, believe in Karma. What goes around comes around and whoever did this to do you will live a long, lonely miserable life while you go and prosper. Don't let it get you down, buddy.

Posted by mm, a resident of Bridle Creek
on Mar 30, 2010 at 9:07 am

Wow Downtown, Why the Ruby Hill hatred? Don't critisize a whole community because of what sounds like a ridiculous party.

Posted by Unrealistic, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 30, 2010 at 9:36 am

Let's do the smart thing as parents and send them off to college having never had a single beer. That way their first drinking experience is a fraternity party where they have no idea what their limits are and drink way to much trying to impress the new found friends, and maybe even end up in the hospital.

Use some common sense here, this is not about an out of control party, but a beer at a family gathering. And he wasn't hiding in the bushes like at most family parties.....

When are all of the parents in denial that this is a reality in our culture going to wake up? Never mind put your head in the sand an pray that your kid will be one of the 5% or so that decides to never have an alcoholic beverage.

I'm not condoning open season drinking, but forcing it underground is asking for much bigger problems.

Posted by It's Crazy!!!, a resident of Val Vista
on Mar 30, 2010 at 9:41 am

Wow!!! I agree with some of the posts...doesn't the school have more things to worry about than ask Dan to resign?? This was a family function - parents allowed one - while maybe not what the public wants to hear, it was done with family permission. In South American some kids have a glass of wine with dinner. This had nothing to do with school...he didn't represent his school he should be allowed to continue as president. Sounds like he is a pretty good person all around - actively involed in scouts, school, etc. This is the result of "anonymous" being a jealous, hateful, insecure person. Grow up!! There are more things to worry about in the world than an 18 year old having a beer at a family function.

Posted by Mary, a resident of another community
on Mar 30, 2010 at 9:49 am

Just another example of TMF (too much information)! I am 66 years old and I love the fact that when I don't know the answer to a problem, question, whatever....I can go on my computer and look up the answer. The computer is a wonderful resource for this; however, it is full of information that would otherwise be kept personal, except for some people who want to use it to destroy other's character. That person and his computer are the real problem here, not that kid who happened to have a beer in his hand and his picture taken...........please gimme a break! What kid out there hasn't done this? If this makes him irresponsible and unworthy of serving his fellow student's, then there is not ONE president of the United States that should have served his country in office! All I can say is that I am glad I am not a child of this this generation.

Posted by Mary, a resident of another community
on Mar 30, 2010 at 9:53 am

OK......TMI ooops ....and to you Dan, I hope you read all these comments and realize you are a very important part of this society and will go forward with your head held high!!!

Posted by Nosy Neighbors, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Mar 30, 2010 at 10:20 am

If there has ever been a reason to bring a local/school/family related issue to some national attention, this story has all the makings of something that should be on the good morning TV fluff pieces. If not just to illustrate the idiocy of these zero tolerance laws & the over-protectiveness, "helicopter mommy" syndrome that seems to be perpetrating our school systems these days. Every indication I get here is that this was one of the "Good Kids" that got caught up in his own honesty & unfortunately, his good nature & trust in others. Ten years of bad karma to the jealous fools who did this to you Dan, treat this as a great lesson in human nature & go forward stronger & smarter.

Oh yeah & edit your FB pics too!

Posted by Parent of Two, a resident of Val Vista
on Mar 30, 2010 at 10:40 am

Parent of Two is a registered user.

1. He drank a beer. OK, not a big deal. Lots of 18-year olds have done it.
2. He posted a picture of it. Dumb move, at best. If you're Student Body President or Class President, you need to be MORE careful than the other students. You might not like the extra scrutiny, but it comes with the office.
3. Someone ratted on him. Petty low-life move, at best. A friend would have told him, "You better take that down before someone sees it", an acquaintance would have said nothing. But it takes a real bitter, angry person to send it to school administrators. Find out who he beat in the election, or who gains from this, and you'll likely find your fink.

People shouldn't be defending what Dan did. HE BROKE THE LAW (or maybe more accurately, his parents broke the law by allowing it). Whether it is SOP to drink at family functions or not, IT WAS ILLEGAL. The fact that some family member snapped a picture and the kid was careless enough to post it makes it doubly dumb. The kid ain't blameless here. He knows the laws. He's an Eagle Scout, for cryin' out loud.

Next time, I guarantee he'll screen any photos that go up on Facebook. Ask Michael Phelps.

Posted by Dan Howerton, a resident of Southeast Pleasanton
on Mar 30, 2010 at 10:43 am

Funny, when I was a senior in HS, h2o team, and my parents were teachers in the district, they hung me out to dry and trew away the key basically just cause I dated a boy when that was three years younger and I NEVER drank a beer nor harmed anyone else, attempted suicide nor did ANY drugs. Nor played with fire whilst getting intoxicated, on property or not. "Let's just move on" Wow, what a statement for coverment and unjust. Oh, and by the way, I earned my eagle scout BEFORE they kicked me out due to my sexual orientation. Hmmm

Posted by LessonLearned, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2010 at 10:44 am

I believe the lesson to be learned here is that a person in a place of public trust (i.e., a leader) must adhere to a higher standard. Just because we have low standards in perhaps more critical areas, does not mean that we must withhold discipline for a seemingly minor transgression. Dan shows many strong traits that will help him to be a valued citizen and potential leader in our country. His character is the stronger for learning that he should exercise care with his choices both in his public behavior, and also his private life. A valuable lesson for a future leader!

Posted by Mom, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2010 at 11:41 am

Consequences. Every action has a consequence. Teach your children this.
I can't believe all of the support for this kid! I get that it may have been one beer at a family gathering, but that still does not make it OK. Our children are growing up with a disrespect for the law....a sense of entitlement and these parents who allow and justify the breaking of the rules are to blame. Parents- you may not agree with the laws put in place to protect citizens, but when you mock them and allow your children to make light of them, you are to blame for the disrespect kids have for "rules".
The "thorough explanation" given by Rachel Hurd smells like a well thought out list of excuses. C'mon, I have uploaded plenty of pictures to facebook myself, you KNOW what you put on there. He got caught and he is accepting the CONSEQUENCES. That is the only thing this kid should be applauded for.

Posted by Chelsea, a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 30, 2010 at 12:44 pm

The President of the United States has admitted to illegal drug use, too bad nobody posted any pics of him on Facebook or MySpace...unfortunately a lot of idiots still would have voted for him! Sounds like Dan has a lot more integrity than many who hold elected positions, they just have staffers cleaning up their dirty laundry (paid for by your tax $'s). Tough lesson, good for him owning up to his mistake. Any bets that the ACLU will come in and offer to reprsent him or that ELLEN will invite him to be on her show and offer him a $30,000 internship, not likely, right?

Posted by GMAB, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 30, 2010 at 4:52 pm

To Parent of is driving like a maniac on Pleasanton know, over the speed limit...if he got a speeding ticket for going over the posted speeding limit (ILLEGAL!) would the consequences be the same? Ridiculous! Yep, some bitter jealous brat ratted you out; you'll be just fine!

Posted by Mike, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Mar 30, 2010 at 5:05 pm

Not posting images of potentially controversial behavior is an ancillary but important aspect of responsible drinking. We parents who are grooming our kids to assume future leadership would be the ones to pass such lessons on to the kids as we hand them the church key.

Posted by JLB, a resident of Canyon Oaks
on Mar 30, 2010 at 5:15 pm

Just a comment re: Facebook pictures. I have many photos on my Facebook page, but they showed up when others tagged me in their photos. It is too much work for me to remove them all so I just leave them. I'm sure this boy is more savvy re: how Facebook works than I am, but he may not have posted the photos - he may have just not bothered to remove them after he was tagged.

Posted by Paula, a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 30, 2010 at 6:53 pm

Mrs. Hurd didn't just "go with the consequences". She went to the district and when they wouldn't give in, she had no other choice. Her son already received special treatment by not being suspended for two weeks like the cheerleaders.
One beer-the first time-really??? Who wrote that up for her to say-Terry Koehne?

Posted by Cheerleaders?, a resident of Grey Eagle Estates
on Mar 30, 2010 at 7:54 pm

Were the cheerleaders all 18 and having a beer with their parents? I agree, if you can go get yourself shot up in Iraq then I think you can have a beer with your parents without repercussions. this is nothing compared to some of the things tolerated at our high schools...think Foothill School dances.

Posted by Qwerty, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2010 at 8:37 pm

I think this is ridiculous. If the parents want to let him have one beer on a special occasion inside their own home that is their business. While I agree that it wasn't a good move for that kid to post his photo on facebook, I think that whoever turned him in is a rat. May 1000 fleas infest their underwear drawer.

Posted by Jack, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 30, 2010 at 8:50 pm

What if he was pictured smoking pot?

Posted by Patriot, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2010 at 9:37 pm

What if the picture showed him murdering people? It is the same thing. Think about it.

Posted by Pat, a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 30, 2010 at 10:39 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]

Posted by Love Ptown, a resident of another community
on Mar 31, 2010 at 8:56 am

It's amazing to me that Parents feel they can help their children by allowing them to break the law. Where does it stop and what lesson are you teaching your child. Drinking under age at family party is okay? Is that what the law says? Are you teaching your children that you respect the laws and they should too? If they go off to college and they've been drinking under your supervision do you think they are really going to be more responsible? How much more damage is done by under age drinking? When tragedy from underage drinking happens to you or your child, then you'll think twice about whether this was a good decision or not. Laws are there for a reason and not by the discretion of parents choices.

Posted by Interesting, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 31, 2010 at 9:05 am

Pat from San Ramon said "The rules for participating in extra curricular activities clearly spell out "no alcohol" on or off campus which both he and his parents had to sign."

Since his parents had to sign this contract as well, shouldn't the parent currently serving on the school board suffer the same consequences for breaking this agreement? Wouldn't that be the proper lesson? Why should the boy be punished and forced to resign, but not the adult?

Just thinking aloud here. Discussion welcomed.

Posted by PEllis, a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Mar 31, 2010 at 9:24 am

What the 'H'

I can't believe this!

Posted by Italiano, a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 31, 2010 at 9:31 am

Beer at a family party, give me a break, if it was a family party at our home he would have been drinking wine instead of beer and would have started at age ten.

Posted by Nosy Neighbors, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Mar 31, 2010 at 10:10 am

Perhaps it's the inner Libertarian in me but it's also amazing that some parents BLINDLY seem to follow & abide by archaic & completely irrational laws. The first poster had this correct that every European (make that world-wide) country is laughing their arses off at the very length of this discussion.

We have seen what the folks & their efforts at prohibition "succeeded" in accomplishing earlier this century & repealed those insipid laws. As an advanced, social society we must learn to respect, moderate & control our passions & vices. Consuming alcohol in a celebratory, controlled, family environment where intoxication is not the primary goal teaches young folk to not only respect it & learn to consume it with moderation & not look to it as a "party starter."

I have known, grown up with, dated, done business with & socialized with close to a dozen wine-making families & not ONE of their children ever developed a serious alcohol related mental/health/legal issue during their formative years. Yes, for some one sip is all it takes to send someone over the edge into alcoholism & for that I'm sorry for any misfortune that has been brought unto those families.

Common sense & personal responsibility however has to be the foundation that we as parents are entrusted to instill into our children as we raise them to be well adjusted, social beings. Mr. Hurd showed that when he owned up to his behavior, did the appropriate mea-culpas & accepted the consequences. Bravo Dan!

Posted by Parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 31, 2010 at 11:00 am

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]

Posted by G. Taylor, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 31, 2010 at 11:11 am

I had my first beer when I was 16 and I was allowed to have wine mixed with 7-up at the dinner shoot me....or my parents for that matter. next beer will be enjoyed with you in mind kid. So sorry you have to put up with all this holier than thou bull. I sincerely apologize on their behalf.

Posted by Michael Almasey, a resident of Castlewood
on Mar 31, 2010 at 1:03 pm

Simply shocking. The rabid responses from all the "helicopter mommies" out there absolutely disgust me. Zero tolerance laws such as this are wasting everybody's time with a massive dosage of politically correct nonsense!

Posted by Sandra, a resident of Heritage Oaks
on Mar 31, 2010 at 1:49 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]

Posted by m, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 31, 2010 at 1:51 pm

It's tough to be a virgin today. It's tough not to have a beer, especially when your parents are around. Especially while all the other kids are doing crack, ecstasy, drinking themselves into a stupor, doing "it" every chance they get, not studying, eat fast-food like it's going out of style, spending night and day attached to their mobile phones, computer games, porn and facebook. Let's nab the kid that drank a beer with his folks. Yep that'll stop the deviance of our youth.

Posted by Me, a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 31, 2010 at 3:01 pm

this stupid. he should have to resign and a neighborhood that makes him feel like he should is probably full of nazis.

Posted by Age of the not-so-innocent, a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Apr 1, 2010 at 12:07 am

Hey folks, let's get real here! If this were my son, I would have no excuses for my prior behavior with alcohol (many of which are well-documented, I might add). In my opinion, he was drinking "responsibly" by the mere fact he was AT HOME WITH HIS FAMILY!! This is all sensationalism and I hope does no permanent damage to the family.

Posted by OSL Community, a resident of Val Vista
on Apr 1, 2010 at 1:23 am


Posted by disgusted in pleasanton, a resident of Birdland
on Apr 1, 2010 at 5:28 pm

For crying out loud! What hypocrites!!! An 18 year old can drink a beer just as responsibly or irresponsibly as a 50 year old! My parents let me drink a few sips of wine at special family dinners from the time I was about 8 years old, and so have MY kids! This is the most petty thing I have heard in a while! GROW up, you tattlers!!!

Posted by disgusted in Pleasanton, a resident of Birdland
on Apr 1, 2010 at 5:45 pm

Since when has a Hooka been illegal?

Posted by local grandmother, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2010 at 7:29 pm

Since when is Facebook our moral monitor? And for the school to use that as a weapon to make this quite exceptional young man resign his position. What happens away from school is not the business of the school especailly since his parents were right there and aware of his actions. I do not think people that young should be drinking BUT when they are allowed to defend our country and sometimes get killed for doing it how can we tell them no, you aren't old enough? I'm sorry but that is just wrong. I am very conversative but when has the Internet taken over for our own sense of fairness and common sense? Shame on you!!!!

Posted by Resident, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Apr 4, 2010 at 9:13 am

This is wrong on so many levels. The anonymous person who turned it in should be ashamed of themselves. Such vindictive behavior. I applaud Dan and his family for having THE beer in a family environment, under supervision, no driving involved, no trying to impress friends and let silly behavior get out of hand. We allowed the same with our son at 18 at a family wedding reception. It was a great bonding experience with just family involved. We never would have condoned the behavior if he was out with his friends and in an automobile. At 18 these individuals are considered adults for all purposes of the law, the draft to go to war, privacy rights, and being released from state foster care. So why can the individual not have a beer with his Dad without the wrath of the school department coming down on him!!! I applaud the family for their honesty - but look where it got them. What if the same picture had appeared on Facebook and had been photo-shopped. What would have happened then???? Would the individual has still been reprimanded in such a manner without a trial. I think the US is wrong on this topic. We should be spending our time and effort educating our youth on drinking SAFELY in the confines of the home. So many go off to college and drink their brains out the first time in an unsafe manner. College students end up in emergency rooms all the time with alcohol poisoning and worse from over drinking. If we took the time to educate them on HOW to drink versus BANNING it altogether .....we may do more good than harm. Dan, what goes around - comes around. I believe the person who did this was just being hurtful. However, a lesson to the wise......STAY OFF FACEBOOK!

Posted by Haha, a resident of San Ramon
on Apr 5, 2010 at 12:25 am

This hella smoked I go to cal high, word around is that the girl dan beat in the election snitched on him haha, this is so smoked tell me who doesn't smoke drink or party, this school is hella weak

Posted by Mama, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 6, 2010 at 9:20 am

I don't think it's fair to speculate that Dan Hurd's defeated opponent is the person who notified administrators about the facebook posting and then notified local papers about Dan's resignation.
An equally likely scenario is that someone who did not agree with his mother's decisions as a school board member chose to find a way to hurt her and recognized that doing something to hurt her son was the surest way to hurt her.

Posted by member, a resident of Mission Park
on Apr 23, 2010 at 5:26 pm

United States Citizens - WAKE UP!! What is this world coming to when we let the school district dictate how we, as parents, raise and discipline OUR children. The schools are involving themselves in family activities, out of school hours, off school campus, on weekends. They are taking it upon themselves to discipline students for activities even when law enforcement is not involved. There have been incidents where schools have activated web cams, in the students home and taken pictures and then assumed they know what the picture is showing. Since when is that OK in any way, shape or form. Violation of privacy, not to mention, how does anyone know who on the other end is doing the spying or why (sexual predator,Child porn, Etc.???). Also, the whole thing of students having to sign these codes of conduct. There have been cases where the students are allowed to sign a statement that they have READ the code of conduct, not that they agree or are abiding to it. What one does off school campus, after hours/weekends should not have anything to do with the school. With digital photography and computer programs, how easy is it for anyone to snap a pic and do some photo shopping and anonymously e-mail that pic to a school official. Any 2nd grader can do that these days. We as citizens are just rolling over and letting our rights be taken away. It's happening little by little (incramentalism), but when we keep being passive about everything and not questioning authority pretty soon it's not just little, its huge! We all need to wake up and stand up for our rights (what little of them we still have).

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