BHS head of security accused of identity theft

Berkeley High School, where Billy Keys coordinated security

Billy Keys, who headed up security at Berkeley High School and who was instrumental in formulating new policies after the spate of gun incidents at the school in 2011, has been arrested on allegations of identity theft.

Berkeley police took Keys into custody on Thursday after an investigation, according to an email sent out by BHS Principal Pasquale Scuderi Friday afternoon. Keys has been placed on administrative leave while the school district looks into the matter, Scuderi wrote.

“In an attempt to head off speculation and to be out in front of any rumors, I want to inform you of a very difficult development that has occurred within the Berkeley High School Community,” Scuderi wrote. “…BHS will continue to hold the highest expectations for all of its staff and students and place no one above consequences if and when their actions jeopardize the integrity or security of our school.”

The details of the identity theft are not yet clear as Scuderi’s email came too late on Friday for Berkeleyside to contact the police department.

Keys, Berkeley High School’s safety officer, has been a fixture at Berkeley High for a decade and is well known to students. Himself a graduate of Berkeley High, Keys’ role included dealing with truants as well as students who get in fights or steal. Keys is the head of the security force that patrols the school and stands by entrances and exits. He also chaired the parent-staff safety committee for years.

After there were a number of gun related incidents at Berkeley High in 2011, including one where two students shot off a gun in a bathroom, Keys served as part of the Ad Hoc Safety Committee looking into safety issues at the school. The group presented a set of recommendations to Superintendent Bill Huyett that included beefing up patrols around the school, restricting access to the campus during school hours, and closing some gates.

Students see security changes at Berkeley High [09.02.11]
Berkeley High security officers play multiple roles [04.04.11]
Berkeley releases safety plan to reduce guns at school [04.05.11]
School safety committee issues safety report [06.24.11]

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  • Current BHS Student


  • Current BHS Student

    Yet you send your kids to BHS with the lowest common denominator and with students who are protecting bad behavior. With Berkeley’s relaxed laws on Marijuana use and underage drinking, we are all protecting bad behavior! 

  • ChrisR

    Yes another reason why a large percentage of the kids in the City don’t go to BUSD, particularly after elementary school.  I have asked probably 25 kids of all races and backgrounds over  the last few years what they thought of their experience at BUSD.  Not one was effusive. Some of the girls, jocks, and party types more or less thought it was okay to good, but many did not.  Very few of the boys liked it unless they were an athlete or basically into the party scene, which I hear is quite good.  Almost all of them said when asked how safe it was that it was either not that safe or safe if you were careful and brought nothing of value–talk about a lousy way to spend high school.  Say what you will about Orinda, San Jose, Marin, Walnut Creek, etc., even Lowell in SF, but my impression is kids in most schools in those areas tend to have a much better public high school experience. Its not money, because BUSD actually has as much or more money per student, once the massive bonds, donations and general revenue are included as many if not all of the schools in those areas.