A 17-year-old Berkeley High student who was involved in an incident in which a gun was fired in a men’s bathroom on campus on March 22 was spotted on school grounds Monday, despite him having been expelled. BUSD spokesperson Mark Coplan said the student was seen at around midday by Berkeley High security staff who called the police to have him removed. By the time Berkeley police officers arrived on the scene, the student had disappeared.

The BUSD Board will be considering proposals to tackle guns on campus at its Wednesday night meeting at 7:30pm in the school board chambers at 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way.

Tracey Taylor

Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...

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  1. This particular article was pure B.S., because all of the kids that were involved in the bathroom gun incident were in Juvenile Hall. So don’t believe these stories, the reporters don’t do their research they just report hearsay.

  2. That is not what I suggested, Thomas, your mission is to conflate issues and obscure facts.

    I will refrain from acknowledging you on this blog.

  3. I should have been clearer, the school is required to report trespassing in the annual report to the state. They are not required to report trespassing to BPD, only school infractions that reach a law enforcement referral.

    Trespass data is included in annual incident reports for mandated state reporting. The numbers never appeared reliable when the safety committee was presented with the data.

    Sorry for the confusion, I was not paying that close of attention since I am busy with more pressing responsibilities.

    The kid should have a court ordered stay away or the principal should obtain a restraining order, end of problem. Kids expelled love to return to campus and prove their ability to dominate the system.

  4. There’s nothing more annoying than action-blockers and champions of the status quo.

    If they were suggesting alternate plans of action it might not be so annoying, but they seem to be content with offering their pretend-lawyer opinions about why what everyone else thinks is wrong.

    It’s easy for folks like that to dissemble when they never offer any ideas of their own.

  5. There’s really not much point in arguing with Thomas Lord aka “Bruce Love.”

    He will always argue that the school/city/officials are (almost) always powerless and that change is (almost) always bad.

    Go read some of his articles for the Berkeley Daily Planet and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

  6. Speculation probably continues because you’ve already been banned from this site once, Tom. I wager folks are wondering what you’re doing back under an assumed identity.

  7. Does anybody know if the BUSD meeting tonight (wed 4/13) is closed-door or open to the public? Also if you look at the BUSD web site the schedule shows Tue 4/12.

  8. Wake up, Bruce. Look at my post that you are responding to, and you will see that it says very clearly that the videos or photographs can be used in a criminal trial, just as you say they are subject to subpoena.

    I say nothing about the school waving around an eduational record willy nilly to make allegations.

    The school should report the crime, and it should have this evidence to use in the trial, if necessary.

  9. Wake up, Bruce. Look at my post that you are responding to, and you will see that it says very clearly that the videos or photographs can be used in a criminal trial, just as you say they are subject to subpoena.

    I say nothing about the school waving around an eduational record willy nilly to make allegations.

    The school should report the crime, and it should have this evidence to use in the trial, if necessary.

  10. No, it’s pretty fundamental to how it is that we avoid living in a police state. The record can be used in an emergency. The record is subject to subpoena. An educational record is not something a school can wave around willy nilly to make allegations. You can’t have school staff running around taking pictures of whatever they like, handing them over the police, and making allegations. Students have a protected privacy right that is stronger than that.

  11. All I meant was that you earlier asserted BUSD declined to share a video citing FERPA. When you wrote that you also pointed out that you disagreed that FERPA applied in that case. Regardless, what you said that I attributed to you was that the district had, then, treated the video as a protected part of the educational record. You are apparently now disagreeing with yourself?

  12. We are talking about the crime of trespassing. Do you seriously claim that they cannot these videos or other photographs as evidence in a criminal trial?

    This talk about the legalities of intra-school discipline is pure obfuscation.

  13. Lovd writes: You realize that they did in fact “report a crime,” right?

    No. I read that they called the police to have them remove the student from campus. I did not read that they filed a complaint with the police that the crime of trespassing had been committed.

    If they had filed a complaint about a crime, I think I would have heard that the police had caught the suspect. The school apparently knows this student’s identity.

    If they just have the police remove the student from campus, there is no consequence for trespassing and no reason for expelled students to refrain from trespassing.

    To summarize the legal issues that seem to be involved:

    Laura’s opinion is that they are required by law to report this trespass to the police. I think she means that they are required to file a complaint about a crime, but I am not sure.

    Lovd’s humble opinion as a non-lawyer is that the legal situation is so complex that it is impossible to know whether we can do anything.

    My own opinion is that, if people actually want effective action, they get legal counsel to tell them how much they can do legally. On the other hand, if people want to block effective action, they quibble endlessly about whether it is legal in their opinion as non-lawyers.

  14. Agree Charles, I was emphatic about the important distinction regarding school officials capacity for legal search and detention.

    Fire the safety staff and hire post trained retired and laid off police officers.
    Problem solved.

    After all it is well known that some of the safety staff still hustle the young ladies, remember I posted I personally follow up on sending reports and evidence about two safety officers harassing female students, eventually the district dismissed both, the high school did not preform an investigation into the allegation, I took the complainants directly to district officials.

  15. Yes they do and it is, at least per Laura Menard’s report, something that they regard as part of the educational record (or have so regarded them in the past) — thus involving the federal privacy laws surrounding such records. It is by no means impossible for the school to have video and take pictures for law enforcement purposes and I don’t mean to imply otherwise. I’m only pointing out that it isn’t automatic and that to keep the courts happy and such, it requires very clear policy making decisions that consequentially limit the utility of that photographic and video evidence in intra-school discipline and limits the role of the people who manage that photographic and video evidence. I’m not even saying that current BUSD policy in this area is right or wrong — I’m just saying it is a non-trivial area that you can’t just glibly impose whatever policy you like in.

  16. Laura, I don’t think I disagree with you at all.

    My point was that the school security people should have reported this crime to the police. You say that they are mandated to do that, which I am glad to hear.

    I was responding to the original post’s statement that security guards called the police to have them remove the offending student from campus, but when the police arrived, the offending student was already gone.

    This seems to imply that security only wants the police to remove trespassing students, that the school does not file a complaint about trespassing – which means there is no legal consequence for trespassing and it will continue.

    If the school filed a complaint, it would be easy for the police to find the student who committed the crime. School authorities apparently know who that student is.

  17. Speculation as to my identity is interesting but perhaps not always on topic? I understand it is recently fun and fashionable but perhaps you can join the avant garde and move past this boorish crud? It would be considerate of you to please stick to “Bruce Love”. I am pretty sure that your concern for the safety of Berkeley kids is not advanced by belaboring your identity guessing game.

    My (lay, not lawyer) understanding is that expulsion is the involuntary denial of enrollment – period. It does not in and of itself say anything about where the young man may or may not travel. However, ANYONE on BHS campus who is areas unauthorized or who has been asked to leave is, if they do not leave, trespassing. That general rule is qualified by various constitutional considerations that might apply in specific cases. The level of response described in the scant-on-details reports here seems pretty normal and right to me, in any district, just about anywhere in the country. Were a hypothetical expelled student to become defiant about staying off campus, there are various simple ways to escalate the legal consequences.

    I would be cautious about proposing “new laws” where there is no evidence any is needed. Waste of time and money and easily runs into (quite justified) Constitutional challenges. The mob here on Berkeleyside is reacting as they will – so it goes. But please don’t be quite so quick with stuff like: “The fact that they have no power to detain students is no excuse for a failure to report a crime.” You realize that they did in fact “report a crime,” right? And you’ve heard a second hand and exaggerated restatement of a one-line non-sourced account about how “fifteen minutes later” they called the police. The (again, non-sourced) report says he was sighted “around noon” and police called “15 minutes later” …. the precision, meaning, and origin of these time estimates are all pretty cloudy. It fits a certain political agenda to assume the worst and to exaggerate what is known here to try to make the school administration look bad — but please proceed with more caution. It helps nobody to incite hype and panic on baseless assumptions. Think of the children — not the social rank jockying among the “adults”.

    Finally: these interesting ideas:

    Their protocol should be:

    — take photographs of any crime occurring on or near campus, if possible.

    — report every crime to the police.

    As it turns out, under federal law, that is not quite a simple matter. To do what you suggest, the school must draw very careful bright line distinctions between on-campus law enforcement staff, record keeping, etc — and educational staff, record keeping, etc. The district must make a variety of consequential policy choices — limiting what the security officers can do in some ways — to clearly establish that such photos are not part of the educational records of the photographed students. Otherwise, federal privacy laws swoop in and such photos can’t be shared freely. The historical record suggests BUSD has been wrestling with the nuanced legal issues in this space for some time — though certainly some extremists will characterize BUSD’s caution here in less kind terms.

  18. “There is no need for the security people to detain trespassing students. The fact that they have no power to detain students is no excuse for a failure to report a crime. ”

    this is an inaccurate statement, I have provided on Berkeleyside case law disputing the district excuses several times.

    Trespassing on school property is a violation of state law. The district in mandated to respond and report trespassing incidents.

    Trespassing expelled students often are on campus looking to cause further trouble including retribution.

    The reason teens carrying guns is not for protection but because flashing a gun makes robberies easier, moving from the sucker punch to flashing a firearm carrying in a waist band makes the perp effort more convincing.

    Streetwise students who survived a three and one assault /robbery bragged about escaping the hold of three guys who came at them from behind. Kinda messy, so thugs have learned how easy they can increase effectiveness and spare themselves messy knuckles.

  19. The security personnel are also apparently unable to detain students who are on campus with guns.

    BHS security guards ought to have at least the same authority as mall cops, which includes the ability to detain criminals and suspects until the lawful authorities arrive.

  20. My questions are:
    — Is it a crime for an expelled student to be on campus?
    — If so, is that law being enforced?

    Bruce Lord has suggested that it is trespassing, a serious misdemeanor. If so, it would be very easy to enforce that law. The security people should just take a picture of the trespassing student, and then the school should report the crime to police.

    If there is not already some law against it, then we need a new law making it is misdemeanor for suspended of expelled students to enter the High School campus.

    There is no need for the security people to detain trespassing students. The fact that they have no power to detain students is no excuse for a failure to report a crime.

    This is not a comment on the details of this particular incident. It is a comment on their general policy. Their protocol should be:
    — take photographs of any crime occurring on or near campus, if possible.
    — report every crime to the police.

  21. If being “friends” with the students means giving a pupil who has been permanently expelled for bringing a gun to campus a warning and allowing them to leave before calling the Police, I’m don’t want the Security Officers to be friends with the students.

    Safety trumps warm fuzzy feelings.

  22. In 2001 following several critical discussion at 2×2 meeting about BHS security problems, the city manager office and police dept sent personnel to BHS for a campus tour and to hang out at lunch on campus and in the park for a few weeks.

    This effort resulted in repainting over threatening and gang graffiti in numerous stairways on campus, the building of the campus green including the still inoperative and never used lunch shop portable.

  23. The “alleged” personal attack consisted of describing the inevitable response by TL/BL with the T…. word.

  24. A tipi, mud hut, tree house or fake igloo might be more the BHS style of itinerant office space, but a brilliant suggestion nonetheless!

  25. When principal Slemp and BUSD refused to meet with us in a reasonable and timely manner thus placing our son in a safe education setting free or retribution following a violent robbery in Sept 08, we eventually had to go to our state assembly member to tell the district to meet with us. This took far too long.

    BUSD did not want to face the situation because they were choosing to cover up Jim Slemp’s corruption thus discriminating gainst a Berkeley resident.

    If anyone thinks Scuderi is 100% acting in the best interest of the kids, than demand the school put data collection/analysis systems in place including a survey tool to follow up with victims of school crime.

    If you are claiming the problems are fixed, provide reasonable evidence of such.

  26. Lance,

    Reread BSNC letter, truancy is a shared responsibility. There are other legal shared responsibilities, see SB 187 for references to how schools are meant to coordinate with city and county services.

    You might start covering the various multi -agencies meeting and report on the city/schools land use, services, budgeting decisions.

  27. Bill Huyett and the City Manager should have their offices located in a tent on the BHS campus. Let them experience and respond to security issues at BHS directly. This would help them be more in touch with reality.

  28. I may be wrong but from what I have read I believe that the BHS security officers are not allowed to detain students. They can only intervene in order to break up fights or prevent direct violence.

    It’s pretty ridiculous.

  29. What’s with the weird spelling of Thomas “Bruce Love” Lord’s name?

    And yes, their protocol is obviously broken as hell. Any student who has come on campus with a deadly weapon shouldn’t be issued a warning when they return, they should be apprehended and turned over to the Police.

  30. And what? They (school officials, police?) don’t know where the kid lives? They can’t go pick him up and make another intervention or arrest? While I know it must be difficult for him to be apart from his posse, I’m not sure the rest of the school/student body should be subjected to his social needs, when they are at risk from his potential future behaviors.

  31. Not sure what the city manager has to do with this issue. BHS is controlled
    by the school district, not the city administration.

  32. Agreed, otherwise, what is the function of a security officer, as differentuated from a teacher?

  33. I know these problems have persisted for years, and that Principal Scuderi is new to the situation, and is trying to effect the necessary changes. Perhaps we should look higher in the BUSD for responsibility. If the superintendant and the city manager cannot effect the necessary change, then we should demand they be removed. Unfortunately, the city manager is not an elected official, although he seems to have more power than the mayor or the council, and is immune from influence from the citizens. Unfortunately, the city will be liable if these failures to address the problems that have persisted for years results in a tragedy and the city is sued for negligence. The freedoms that Berekeley residents love to expound, are meaningless unless we can provide a safe and drug free zone within the schools. Some may think I’m being idealistic, but to capitulate to drug dealers and pot-heads is telling the serious students that they’re on their own to defend themselves. Somehow, I think this is too much to expect from 14-18 year olds.

    It’s unlikely this problem will totally go away, but to not try measures to change the climate and campus environment is to abandon the kids that are trying to learn, and teaching them a horrible lesson. To those employees who feel they are immune from the changes, such as “safety officers,” the unions should not protect these people. Asking them to wear uniforms and to follow prescribed procedures is a basic requirement of the job. They do not get to dictate what they will and won’t do about the requirements of performing their duties. Is the city prevented from outsourcing the entire function of security? Work hours, meal breaks, who pays for the uniforms, etc. can be negotiated, but constantly defering to the employees wishes is just ridiculous. And we see where this attitude has left us; in a mess, with no effective means of keeping the campus and surrounding blocks safe for students.

  34. Frances,

    the dept will have to plan for coverage for the times the officer is in court, training, or at juvenile hall. as is the officer is away, otherwise unavailable, responding to a call, more than people are letting on.

    El Cerrito with half the students has two cops, all the former SROs will tell you BHS need more police coverage.

    Secondly, the question of what exactly is the role of the SRO is in private discussion at the district. The role of police on campus has always been a political not a practical discussion at BHS, see past new stories over three decades.

  35. I could add a lot of local context and more, but for now will add,if the student is special education and their suspension total reaches 20, they are eligible for alternative placement directly.

    One of the reason why Berkeley was placed under a consent decree was Slemp using his all wonderful safety officers did not record suspension accurately. So why Slemp found himself in a position of having to remove dangerous students to alternative programs, he pushed the Supt to accommodate him, the district blamed the student services director and protected Slemp from any responsibilities. Two of the three students who sued were in juvie during the hearings.

    The district has returned to using all three types of expulsion processes available to school districts.

    Berkeleyside can do a story with new and former student services directors.

    The community assumes far too much is operating correctly, and then they give away any power to demand accountability.

    All one has to do, is read the chief and BSNC letters between the lines, compare what the district is offering to change, and you will be closer to reality, add in that teachers are BHS do as they please, leaving the admin unwilling to hold individual teachers accountable for consistently applying discipline rules and compliance with state law.

    As I have said many time, BHS is it’s own animal. There lies the problem.

    How can any of you suggest the safety officers have protocols, they too make it up as they go, the school is in reactive mode, remember the first student caught carrying a gun back in Feb, was allowed to walk away from the campus monitors to make a phone call, he took off running. And the principal and Supt responded with nonsense about the safety monitors not having the same legal authority of cops, both are not true, school officials have greater legal authority for search and detention. There are serious reasons why the police chief is recommending restraints are used in weapons situations, it is because everything I have said about these recent weapons incidents is true, the students were not disarmed or restrained while the monitors waiting for the police.

    Again, as I always remind folks, until you have lived through the dysfunction at BHS specific to safety issue, your assumption, theories, and applying of common sense are meaningless.

    Why do you think the district marginalizing folks who have direct experience with the FAILURES of BHS ?

    THOMAS TROLL LORD, I am not asking for your glorious thoughts.

    Nor do I want to hear the opinions of anyone who has not been through a student security related matter.

    Berkeley easily suppress it ‘s community with divide, marginalize, placate and conquer tactics. And I thought I moved to an courageous intelligent community back in 1979. HA!

  36. Expulsions such as in the case of a weapon is automatic – there is usually a conference and the student is placed in an alternative usually more restrictive placement that is not special education – if the student is special education a hearing must be held to determine whether of not the infraction was related to disability.
    The rules are pretty much universal within the us!
    my experience is from Chicago, however the procedure is usually the same

  37. Well if BH Security has to call the police before they can take any position against expelled student there is a bigger problem that one would think! Can the Bh Security detain a trespasser. Why not!
    if they could detain a trespasser then the expelled student should have been detained until police could get to the school.
    imagine approximately 4,000 students and no policeman on campus. This is not right!

  38. Perhaps we are all jumping to conclusions here… It’s quite possible that the young man in question did not have a nefarious purpose at all in returning to campus. For example, he might have realized that the copy of Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment which he checked out last month from the student library was soon overdue and he did not want to compound his troubles with an overdue library fine or have his library card blocked or privileges revoked. Just saying…

  39. > he would first have to be actually convicted before part of his sentence could
    > include being banned from campus.

    No, you are confusing bail and probation. TomLo^h^h BruceLove further confuses both of those with parole.

    Clearly this kid hasn’t been convicted of anything yet, in fact I’m not sure he was even arrested — I’m losing track of one gun-on-campus-case from the other. At any rate, the judge who sets bail can attach whatever conditions he or she sees fit — in this case I’d be surprised if that didn’t include “stay away from BHS”. If the kid didn’t follow that condition then bail would be rescinded and the kid goes back into custody until the trial. At least, I believe that’s how it works for adults, juvenile court may differ.

    > The security staff asked the kid to leave and called the cops to enforce that request. The
    > security staff are not cops and I imagine they risk lots of liability if they behave like cops.
    > I don’t think it’s fair to complain that security asked him to leave: I believe that is their
    > protocol. I think security followed their protocol. We have no right to rewrite that protocol
    > in a discussion forum.

    I think we have every right to question their “protocol”, because it’s clearly broken. And to your point, the “safety officers” aren’t cops. If a non-student enters campus and poses a threat (and it’s not a stretch to assume this kid is a threat), they should call the cops immediately .. not confront the individual and ask them nicely to leave, or worse “wink-wink, better scoot while I count to 100 and then call the cops”. It’s a case of an immediate threat requiring immediate, affirmative action. Anything less marginalizes the safety of the other kids, and that’s why I’m upset about the broken priorities here.

  40. Tiz, amen. And, fwiw… I think the legal contour here is that once told to leave, if the kid remains, he is trespassing — which is, what, serious misdemeanor, right? Any parole conditions and such are distinct and appropriately managed with caution. The incident is the kind of thing that can come up during his (legally guaranteed) re-admission hearing down the road — the cleaner he keeps his nose, the better that can go. At his age, the carrot of re-admission might not be all that meaningful. Let’s pray for the young man, secularly or otherwise, so to speak.

    As a community, I think we’re ok bandying about some general principals and I think we turn into an unruly mob when we, especially so fact-deprived, start arguing about how best to micromanage particular cases here — what exact punishment to dish out in a case we have only a sketch about. Give the system just a little benefit of the doubt, at least, at that level of detail. We don’t have the level of factual insight to justify some of the pontification and anti-kid moralizing going on here — and that’s appropriate that we aren’t privy to some of those details hard as that may be to swallow.

  41. Berkeley Safe Neighborhoods Committee
    Post Office Box 13665
    Berkeley, California 94710

    April 12, 2011

    William Huyett, Superintendent
    Berkeley Unified School District
    2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way
    Berkeley, CA 94704

    Phil Kamlarz, City Manager
    City of Berkeley
    2180 Milvia
    Berkeley, CA 94704

    Dear Superintendent Huyett and City Manager Kamlarz:

    The Board of the Berkeley Safe Neighborhoods Committee (BSNC), representing one hundred twenty nine neighborhood watch groups throughout the City of Berkeley, is writing this letter because of our strongly-held view there is an imperative need for close cooperation between School District and City in order to resolve the serious issues regarding violence in our schools.

    The recent widely-reported gun incidents at Berkeley High School and Berkeley Technology Academy are extremely disturbing. However, it is even more disturbing that incidents of violence, involving guns, drugs, gangs and gambling by our youth in and around our schools have been occurring for at least the past nineteen years. These recent incidents represent a continuing pattern that must be addressed immediately before someone is fatally injured. On March 31, 2011, Berkeley Police Chief Michael K. Meehan wrote to you stating his recommendations. In that letter, Chief Meehan stated that “more than incremental changes are required.” We emphatically agree and the District and City working together must provide the leadership to effect meaningful and lasting changes.

    Chief Meehan’s March 31st letter contained several recommendations including the following:

    â—Ź Long-Term, Close the BHS Campus
    The Chief states this is the highest priority. We agree and further suggest that City and District commence working on the details now so that a target date such as next Fall can be set to begin implementation.

    â—Ź Improve the BUSD School Security Program
    The Chief states that his top recommendation for the BUSD security program is ensuring that responding police officers can “easily recognize and coordinate with staff during incidents.” The Chief also calls for increasing security training and equipping security officers with restraints. We agree.

    â—Ź Additional School Resources Officers (SROs)
    The Chief recommends that the District “materially support’ additional officers both at the high school and middle schools. We agree. The financial burden should be shared between City and District, and both should collaborate in the application process and in a strong lobbying effort to secure grant funding for at least three SROs.

    â—Ź Require Visible School Specific Identification Cards
    The Chief outlines several possibilities that could make the use of such identification cards effective and valuable to school personnel, students, parents, and law enforcement. He further advises that the use of identification cards should commence in middle school so their use is a matter of course when students begin high school. We agree and we point out that School Director Thurmond from the West Contra County School District which has had considerable experience with school violence problems also recommended the use of identification cards to you. Mr. Thurmond also extended an invitation to share experiences with you. We urge you to accept this invitation. We additionally urge District and City to use the full range of law enforcement tools to prevent non-students from loitering in and around school grounds with the intent of drug sales or other criminal activity.

    â—Ź Increase Attention and Support on Highest Risk Students
    The Chief is quite clear in his recommendation that a “comprehensive anti-truancy program can help prevent crime and victimization” and that a “data-driven early warning system designed to ensure that students starting down the wrong path receive increased attention in the way of support and enforcement” should be established. We are deeply concerned that there is no City-District anti-truancy partnership in place in Berkeley. Some ten years ago, the former East Bay Public Safety Corridor made just such a recommendation. Other cities in the Bay Area have put in place exemplary anti-truancy programs. The District and City should jointly explore the practices of cities such as San Francisco which has an anti-truancy program considered by many to be quite effective. It is an old saying, but worth repeating – our children cannot learn, if they are not in school. The link between truancy and the potential for future criminal behavior is well documented and City and District should proceed to formulate and implement an anti-truancy program and a data-driven early warning system.

    We must also remember that for each act of violence there is a victim. Any data-driven system must also provide the necessary monitoring and services that will ensure the protection of victims from retribution, as well as ensuring the provision of adequate support assistance to victims for the trauma experienced.

    Equally important, but not categorized in Chief Meehan’s letter is his recommendation that BUSD should have “an advanced data collection, analysis, sharing and reporting program” and that BUSD needs to ensure that the Berkeley Police Department “is notified of all incidents that require reporting to local law enforcement and all incidents that require suspension or expulsion.” It has been reported to the Board that parents will go to the Police Department directly in the evening regarding school-related incidents and that reported robberies and thefts at school are higher than what the District reports to the State. It is essential that we have accurate data if we are to effectively deal with safety in our schools, reduce rumors, and ensure that programs are focused.

    While we have written about law enforcement issues, we acknowledge that the work that needs to be done will also require the best efforts of our many social service providers. We have not commented
    on any of these programs, but we want to assure you that we believe they must be provided in any comprehensive program to address the school violence problems we face.

    In closing, we emphasize that providing a bright future for all of our young people requires true institutional change not just glossing over problems only to have them break out again and again. It is essential that it be recognized that the problem of safety in our schools is a shared City and District responsibility. You must work together to find the lasting solutions that are vitally needed.

    Yours truly,

    Trudy Washburn
    On behalf of the Board
    Berkeley Safe Neighborhoods Committee

    cc: Members of the Berkeley School Board
    Mayor and Members of the Berkeley City Council
    Chief Michael K. Meehan


  42. Tom, if what you say is correct, and this kid was found guilty of both a federal and a CA crime (which is unlikely, he’d likely only be tried in CA court), he would first have to be actually convicted before part of his sentence could include being banned from campus. I bet it is a legally fuzzy area, the area of how far a school expulsion order goes. A school’s order does not have the effect of a judicial order. We don’t know if the expelled kid has been prosecuted (or begun to be prosecuted) in the legal system.

    Tom, your comments are a tad inflammatory. The security staff asked the kid to leave and called the cops to enforce that request. The security staff are not cops and I imagine they risk lots of liability if they behave like cops. I don’t think it’s fair to complain that security asked him to leave: I believe that is their protocol. I think security followed their protocol. We have no right to rewrite that protocol in a discussion forum.

    My first reaction to this story was a surge of compassion for the kid. Oh, I know he did something very seriously wrong and his world has a very serious right to protect itself from his poor choices. He is a kid. A kid who did something wrong and he is being punished. It sounds to me like this kid need a new school. Society still has an interest in getting this child educated, getting his needs met. He probably came to school cause that’s his world, all he knows. Maybe he was trying to do business (sell drugs?) but the mom in me wonders if he just wanted some companionship. Get the kid a good social worker, get him in a school for other troubled kids: they exist right? Let’s save this kid, not run him out of town. Yesl keep him away from BS during the expulsion. If the system takes a healing approach to him instead of merely punitive, we might end up with a productive citizen. If all we do is lock him up, we’ll get a lifetime criminal.

    I have been ambivalent about the role security officers play at BH. I want them to wear uniforms!! I want them to be tough when kids break the rules!! But I would also like them to be men (they all seem to be guys, how come?) that the kids trust, that the kids see as role models of positive men in their lives and I’d like the kids to see security officers as their friends. In such a guise, kids might turn to them before things get too hot and I think we have seen this: the recent gun incidents came about cause kids who do talk to the securuity guys talked to them.

    I think the system at BH is working. I think this expelled kid, recently found with a gun, is still what he was before expelled: a kid making poor choices who need a lot of help. I hope the school and the social service system finds some for him. Oh, don’t get me wrong: I don’t want guns at BH and I want punishments like expulsion to mean something. I don’t say let the xpelled kid back in: I say, help him. He was at that school trying to get a human need met, probably just a need to socialize. I swear I am not all liberal heart goodie two shoes. All I’m saying is help the kid more and he’ll stay out of BH and stop bringing guns where they don’t belong.A win win.

  43. Considering this kid committed both a federal crime AND a felony by CA law, if he was brought up on charges wouldn’t staying away from BHS be a likely condition of his bail? Even still, did BHS take any measures beyond expulsion, like seeking a restraining order?

    According to the article in the Tribune the ex-student was “asked to leave” by the BHS safety officers BEFORE they called the police. WTF? If a potentially violent non-student is encountered on campus, why isn’t calling the policy priority #1 with these guys? I don’t get it.


  44. Does anyone know how an expulsion works at BUSD? Is it at all like parole, where violators are punished?

    What kind of punishment (if any) would someone receive for returning to campus after being expelled?
    If BHS doesn’t do something in response to this, it would make an expulsion and banning from campus pretty meaningless.