Berkeley High Principal Pasquale Scuderi takes to Twitter

The Berkeley High Principal's Twitter page, launched on June 28

Students may be still enjoying long lie-ins and hours of minimal activity, but for Berkeley school faculty, the vacations are all but over as they prep for the new semester.

Witness Berkeley High Principal Pasquale Scuderi who has opened a Twitter account (@bhsinfo) and is already well at ease with the medium, providing information on dates class schedules will be available, details of assessments being devised by staff — even putting out recruitment notices.

Scuderi has also been live tweeting from a Safe Schools conference in Los Angeles. On August 5 he reported hearing “great presentations on school safety from Wayne Sakamoto, gang researcher and Joe Levy from Long Beach P.D.”.

As we write, BHS on Twitter only has 82 followers, so we urge any Berkeley High parents and students out there to swell its numbers in order to be on top of trending BHS news.

And for those whose summer started early and who may have missed it, read Berkeleyside’s comprehensive interview with Principal Scuderi, published on July 7.

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  • lauramenard

    Finally, a principal  attend a Safe Schools training. One of the official complaints I filed about five years ago regarding compliance with SB 187 Safe School planning was resolved by an agreement that  school staff would attend the county sponsored CDE training. Never happened.

    Questions continue about how BUSD interprets state legislation and cooperation between law enforcement and the school district.  BUSD contends the district is prohibited from reporting crimes such as strong arm robberies to BPD with the exception of incidents involving gun possessions and when  safety staff is overwhelmed and requires BPD assistance to control violence.  

    Here is a letter I recently received from the CDE regarding this matters.

    Dear
    Ms. Menard:

     

    You
    are correct about the stipulation that law enforcement work with the schoolsite
    council in the writing and development of the comprehensive school safety plan.
    When educators, law enforcement, classified employees, and parents work
    together to share information and develop an action plan, they can reduce the
    threat or reality of criminal incidents on school campuses. Education Code Section
    32281(b)(3) states:

     

    (3)
    The schoolsite council shall consult with a representative

    from
    a law enforcement agency in the writing and development of the

    comprehensive
    school safety plan.

     

    Education
    Code Section
    32282 states that the first step in developing the comprehensive school safey
    plan is “assessing the current status of school crime committed on school
    campuses and at school-related functions.” This assessment can be done
    without revealing any confidential information about individuals who may have
    committed school crimes.

     

    The
    Legislative intent is for everyone to work together to help create and maintain
    an orderly, purposeful school environment where students and staff are able to
    learn and teach. It would be disappointing if law enforcement agencies felt
    that they could not be part of this joint effort as intended in the school
    safety plan legislation.

     

    The
    Legislative intent is found in Education Code Section 32280:

     

    32280.  It is the intent of the Legislature that all California
    public schools, in kindergarten, and grades 1 to 12, inclusive,
    operated by school districts, in cooperation with local law
    enforcement agencies, community leaders, parents, pupils, teachers,
    administrators, and other persons who may be interested in the
    prevention of campus crime and violence, develop a comprehensive
    school safety plan that addresses the safety concerns identified
    through a systematic planning process. For the purposes of this
    section, law enforcement agencies include local police departments,
    county sheriffs’ offices, school district police or security
    departments, probation departments, and district attorneys’ offices.
    For purposes of this section, a “safety plan” means a plan to develop
    strategies aimed at the prevention of, and education about,
    potential incidents involving crime and violence on the school
    campus.
     

    Page
    6 of the Sixth Edition of Law in the School by the California Department
    of Justice summarizes the law this way: “Schools should begin
    developing their comprehensive school safety plans by thoroughly reviewing
    current crime reports and disciplinary actions. These reports should reflect
    unlawful activities and potential problems.” I hope you will be able to
    work with local law enforcement in response to the challenge of creating safer
    schools and protecting children’s welfare.

     

    David
    Kopperud

    Education
    Programs Consultant

    Counseling,
    Student Support, and Service-Learning Office

    Learning
    Support and Partnerships Division

    California
    Department of Education

    1430
    N Street, Suite 6408

    Sacramento,
    CA 95814

  • Bruce Love

    You wrote:

    Questions continue about how BUSD interprets state legislation and cooperation between law enforcement and the school district.

    Are you asserting that BUSD is violating the law?   If so, can you please be specific about how?

    At the beginning, you write that BUSD claims that there are certain crimes it must not report.

    Then, the letter you got from CDE seems to agree with BUSD on that point of view.

  • lauramenard

    Thomas,

    No thanks to engaging your insincere interest in this matter.

    REread the first sentence, which starts with Ms Menard, you are correct…..

  • Bruce Love

    You wrote:

    BUSD contends the district is prohibited from reporting crimes such as strong arm robberies to BPD with the exception of incidents involving gun possessions and when  safety staff is overwhelmed and requires BPD assistance to control violence. 

    I contend that BUSD is substantially correct about that.   CDE, per the letter you posted, seems to agree that BUSD is correct about that.   I understand you to be saying that BUSD is wrong and that CDE agrees with you.

    The letter from CDE does point out some things that you are correct about but notably does not support your opinion about crime reporting.

  • Heather W.

    Oh for the Love of g*d, Thomas Lord. How could you even argue that strong-arm robberies are in question as to whether they should be reported to the local police jurisdiction by ANY school district?  I cannot imagine ANYONE with any sense of self-preservation or sense of public safety would argue this point. It seems only to be a point designed to spark argument for argument’s sake. How pointless.  Laura was told she was right on many points; yet you pick this particular one to belabor. What is YOUR point? It seems to me that anyone who has been paying attention to Laura’s activism in working toward Best Safety Practices in our School System would know (perhaps not intuitively, but LIKE YOU  because they’ve been paying attention to Laura’s writings) that the POINT is that BUSD hides behind some sort of theoretical right to not regard CRIMES on school campus as crimes…. AGAIN, what is your point in arguing this? 

  • Bruce Love

    Upon reflection, I think Heather W.’s comment does actually call for a reply.

    Heather, Ms. Menard asserted that “questions continue” about BUSD’s interpretation of some laws about crime reporting.   She forwarded a letter from CDE allegedly in support of her position.   The problem is that the letter does not support her position on that matter.   In fact, it seems to support BUSD’s.

    So I asked her to clarify.   I asked her to be more specific:  was she actually saying BUSD is getting the law wrong on that crime reporting issue, and exactly how?  

    In response she refused to answer and threw some insults at me.  I tried to clear that up and you came back with … well, what you came back with.  But at least in there you asked what my “point” was.  That I can answer:

    We all apparently share the opinion that BUSD is a district with some serious problems.   Where we part ways is:

    I don’t think it is right to distort the facts and falsely represent the legal landscape while defaming BUSD before a credulous and nervous public.   To do so is to encourage BUSD to avoid communicating with the public.  To do so is to encourage many in the public to reach false conclusions about what kinds of change are needed.   Nobody is helped if the basic facts of the situation are gotten wrong.

    “All” that I ask — and, yes, it’s not a trivial thing to ask — is some rigor and precision in criticisms of BUSD, and some avoidance of ginning up controversy over false interpretations of what is going on.   There is plenty enough that is *actually* wrong with the district that there is no reason to go creating horribly distorted pictures of what’s wrong.

  • lauramenard

    For TL/BL

    Crime prevention top of mind for a Berkeley community

    May 5, 2011 12:10 pm by Tracey Taylor

    ]

    Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan expressed frustration at the
    Berkeley Unified School District last night, and in particular its lack
    of communication with the BPD, following a rash of crimes in a central
    Berkeley neighborhood, some of which were committed by students at
    Berkeley High School.

    “We don’t get good information from the school district right now,”
    Chief Meehan said. “We asked them: if there was a robbery you knew
    about, would you call us? And they said, ‘we would not’.”

  • Bruce Love

    Yes.  I think you are confusing two different issues there — but we should be able to sort it out one way or the other.   You’ve subtracted a lot of context out of that quote but let’s start to bring it back in, please:

    To what specific kinds of information to you think Meehan was referring there?  What is it, specifically, that you think BUSD is declining to disclose?   Is that specific information something that you think BUSD (a) must disclose;  (b) may disclose;  (c) legally must not disclose?

    For starters, as I recall, Meehan was talking about “a rash of crimes” in the surrounding neighborhood, about which BUSD’s knowledge would be indirect hearsay.    In your earlier post, you appeared to be talking about BUSD’s policies regarding the distinction between on-campus crimes that must be reported by the district and on-campus school disciplinary issues that must not be disclosed by the district.

    So, it seems to me like you are comparing apples and oranges.

  • Bruce Love

    Yes.  I think you are confusing two different issues there — but we should be able to sort it out one way or the other.   You’ve subtracted a lot of context out of that quote but let’s start to bring it back in, please:

    To what specific kinds of information to you think Meehan was referring there?  What is it, specifically, that you think BUSD is declining to disclose?   Is that specific information something that you think BUSD (a) must disclose;  (b) may disclose;  (c) legally must not disclose?

    For starters, as I recall, Meehan was talking about “a rash of crimes” in the surrounding neighborhood, about which BUSD’s knowledge would be indirect hearsay.    In your earlier post, you appeared to be talking about BUSD’s policies regarding the distinction between on-campus crimes that must be reported by the district and on-campus school disciplinary issues that must not be disclosed by the district.

    So, it seems to me like you are comparing apples and oranges.

  • Charles_Siegel

    To state the obvious, the letter says:

    ” It is the intent of the Legislature that all California public schools … develop a comprehensive

    school safety plan…. Schools should begin developing their comprehensive school safety plans by thoroughly reviewing current crime reports and disciplinary actions. These reports should reflect unlawful activities and potential problems.”

    Thomas, has the school produced a report that reviews unlawful activities and potential problems?  Has it developed a comprehensive school safety plan based on this review? 

    I don’t follow school issues closely, so I don’t know if it has developed the report and plan.  Please tell me if it has. 

    I do know (because it is obvious) that your claim that BUSD must not report certain crimes to the police is irrelevant to the question of whether the school has reviewed crime reports and disciplinary actions and developed a safety plan based on this review.

  • Bruce Love

    Charles:

    BHS claims to be in substantial compliance with safety plan law.  Each year the district must publish an “accountability report card” which contains some legislatively mandated information.   The status of the safety plan is among the information that must be reported.  Here is what they said about 2009-2010:

    School Site Safety Plan

    Berkeley High School dates back to the 1920s. The campus covers over 18 acres and strongly supports teaching and learning through its ample classroom and recreation space.

    The safety of students and staff is our primary concern. A variety of people visit the campus to volunteer in the classroom and participate in school events. During lunch, recesses, and before-and-after school, staff members, administrators, and safety officers supervise students and school grounds to ensure an orderly, safe environment.

    The school is always fully compliant with all rules, laws, and regulations concerning state earthquake standards and hazardous materials. Earthquake and fire drill are held monthly, and intruder drills are held at least once a year.

    Safety procedures, including elements of our Comprehensive Safe School Plan, are reviewed with school and district staff at the start of each school year. The plan was last updated and reviewed with school staff in spring 2010.

  • lauramenard

    BL/TL- For an amateur BDP reporter you might have consider checking facts before repeating buzz word complaint bureaucratic nonsense.

  • http://www.webhamster.com/ The Sharkey

    Laura, for your own peace of mind please stop engaging with Thomas Lord/Bruce Love.

    I don’t see the point in trying to have a serious conversation with anyone who claims to be concerned about safety at BHS but then spends countless hours engaging in knit-picking and dissembling targeted at anyone who’s trying to force some improvements out of a school that has a serious problem with guns and crime.

  • Charles_Siegel

    If that is their safety plan, it seems very obvious that they did not comply with this guideline:

    “Schools should begin developing their comprehensive school safety plans
    by thoroughly reviewing current crime reports and disciplinary actions.
    These reports should reflect unlawful activities and potential
    problems.”

  • Bruce Love

    Charles, that is not their safety plan — that is a statutorily mandatory annual report about the status of their safety plan (as I said).   Your conclusion about their compliance with that guideline isn’t justified – you apparently misunderstood what that quote from BHS is.

  • Bruce Love

    Here, by the way, is a draft safety plan for 2011-2012.

    http://www.bhs.berkeleypta.org/safety/2011-safety-plan-DRAFT.pdf

    I’ve been, in my view, gratuitously insulted quite a bit here.   I’ll respond simply by summing up my understanding of my critics position on the BHS and BUSD issues we discussed.

    * BHS is said to interpret the law about on-campus crime reporting incorrectly as evidenced by a letter from CDE which says nothing of the sort – but it is an insincere concern to ask for clarification.

    * A quote from Meehan apparently from a discussion of off campus crime is somehow asserted to be relevant to the legal issues of on-campus crime reporting — but it is knit-picking and dissembling to question the connection.

    * BHS is suspected (accused?) of not complying with state and federal safety planning laws in spite of reporting their compliance and in spite of their compliance being overseen by BUSD, the county, the state, and the federal government.   Although no evidence of such is offered, to point out evidence to the contrary is to “[repeat] buzz word [compliant] bureaucratic nonsense” in the manner of an “amateur reporter”.

  • Charles_Siegel

    It looks like pure fluff that they wrote to comply with the statutory mandate. It doesn’t say a word about crime.   

  • Bruce Love

    Well, Charles, why don’t you read one of the safety plans.  I linked to a draft of the plan for 2011-2012 in another comment here.

    The “accountability report card” is not supposed (and doesn’t) contain the safety plan per se:  it reports on the school’s degree of success or failure complying with the laws that surround the safety plan.

  • lauramenard

    Those of us working on this
    matter received word today from BUSD stating

    “We are changing our practice to report all robberies over which the
    school has jurisdiction to BPD. In addition, OCI staff and Safety Officers will
    receive a training regarding incident investigations; this will take place
    prior to the start of school.”

    Great news, now BUSD needs to sustain this reform by codifying procedures.

    1. incident reporting system including parent/student guide
    2. MOU- data sharing agreement with the police dept

  • lauramenard

    Federal law

    Victim of a Violent Crime – 20 USC 7912a

    A student who becomes a victim of a violent criminal offense while in

    or on the grounds of a school that the student attends, has the right

    to transfer to another school within the district. The District has 14

    calendar days to offer students the option to transfer.

    Seems like BUSD would find it a lot easier to  investigate, solve  and reduce robberies on campus than continue to pretend the education code defines robberies differently than the penal code. Or maybe it is time to drop a dime to our Senators’ and Congressmembers’ office about the lack of compliance with federal law.