Tag Archives: Berkeley High School
Feds launch civil rights investigation into Berkeley School District’s response to sexual harassment claims
The federal Office for Civil Rights has launched an investigation into whether the Berkeley Unified School District inadequately responded to sexual harassment claims at Berkeley High School, thereby creating a “hostile environment on the basis of sex.”
Failure to adequately respond to sexual harassment claims is a federal offense under Title IX, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded educational program. The Office for Civil Rights, which is a sub-agency of the Department of Education, opened the investigation after receiving a complaint letter in December from Heidi Goldstein, a parent of two Berkeley High School students. The office’s investigation was launched in late January. … Continue reading »
Update, Jan. 24, 8:45 p.m. The Berkeley Police Department said the two arrests referenced by Principal Glenchur were for incidents that happened Friday: A 15-year-old was arrested on suspicion of possession of a BB gun on the school campus; and a 14-year-old was arrested on suspicion of being a non-student who refused to leave, and reentered campus. Both were Berkeley residents, according to Police Lt. Jennifer Louis. Berkeleyside will request additional information from the Berkeley Unified School District, which has not responded to a request made Friday regarding those arrests, as well as the police department.
Update, Jan. 23, 4:36 p.m. School Principal Kristin Glenchur sent a statement to the school community at 4:23 p.m. reporting that police have made two additional arrests in connection with Thursday’s fights, “and additional administrative consequences are being considered.”
Glenchur wrote that Friday was a normal day for Berkeley High: “Dismissal was quiet today. We had 3,000 students completing finals without incident. The campus was fully functional, and I’m very happy with the efforts of our staff and the support we received from our district and community partners.”
Berkeleyside asked the Berkeley Police Department earlier on Friday about the additional arrests, but no information has thus far been provided.
Update, Jan. 22, 6:41 p.m. Police arrested a 15-year-old boy in the 2100 block of Milvia Street following the 2:15 p.m. fight downtown, said Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats by email at 6:35 p.m. His city of residence was not immediately available, but he was arrested on suspicion of battery. … Continue reading »
The Berkeley school district is seeking the community’s input as it ramps up its search for a new principal for Berkeley High School.
The high school is inviting parents and stakeholders to attend a meeting in the BHS Library on Tuesday Jan. 13 to share their thoughts about the leadership skills they believe are needed for the school.
The high school has been without a permanent principal since Pasquale Scuderi stepped down at the end of the last academic year, and took up the position of Berkeley Unified’s assistant superintendent for educational services. Scuderi was principal of Berkeley High for four years. … Continue reading »
Until yesterday, UC Berkeley junior Franchesca Cavagnaro had never been to a protest. While walking on the Cal campus Wednesday afternoon, she came across a crowd, many hundreds-strong, of demonstrators gathered on the steps of Sproul Hall. She liked what she saw and knew she wanted to be part of it. She joined the group as they marched to the Campanile.
Despite the location, the protesters were not Cal students. They were all Berkeley High students who, as part of an event, carefully organized by the school’s Black Student Union, had walked off their downtown campus at 2:30 p.m., skipping the last class of the day, in order to make their voices heard in the uproar over the recent police-related deaths of young black men. … Continue reading »
Berkeley High School students are expected to stage a “peaceful walkout” today, Dec. 10, at 2:30 p.m.
A message about the event went out over the Berkeley High email list just after 1:30 p.m.
According to the note, from Principal Kristin Glenchur, the administration is aware of the demonstration and will not allow students who walk out of class to come back to campus, or to make up work they miss.
“Their plan is to leave class immediately after fifth period and walk out to Civic Center Plaza where they have organized speakers,” she wrote. “They intend to march after school up to the Cal Campus. Given the last several nights of protests, it is possible the gathering could include a large number of non-students.”
Another group plans to meet at the Cal campus at 4 p.m. to watch a live-stream of a Michael Brown-related tribunal in Ferguson, Missouri, and then plans to march.
CINEMA GRILL It’s Alameda’s moment, given the number of new food businesses that have launched there recently, or are about to. First up is Cinema Grill which opened last month within the Alameda Theatres Cineplex complex. Cinema Grill features “eclectic comfort food and a craft-cocktail program inspired by Hollywood’s golden age.” On the menu: CLT sliders, sweet potato fries, Ahi tuna poke, burgers, pizzas, tacos, land and sea gumbo, as well as ice cream sundaes. Patrons can imbibe and eat at the restaurant or while movie watching. Start by grabbing a beer, glass of wine or cocktail and take it with you into the auditorium through the “backstage pass,” a private corridor connecting the restaurant with the cinema. If you reserve a seat in a designated area of the theatre, you can order food and drinks to be delivered to your seat from the restaurant through a mobile paypal app. Cinema Grill is at the Alameda Theatres Cineplex at 2301 Central Ave. Connect with them on Facebook. … Continue reading »
Over the summer, Washington Elementary School in Berkeley got a new set of portable classrooms. The new classrooms replaced a group of portables which dated back to the 1960s, even though they were installed originally as a temporary measure. The new ones come from Berkeley High School. They were removed from there in order to complete the high school’s $46 million new construction project.
The decision to replace very old portables with seven less-old portables on Washington’s annex campus on McKinley St., across from the school’s main campus, was not popular with many Washington parents who say an underlying problem not being addressed by the district is overcrowding at the elementary school. … Continue reading »
Earlier this year, some male students at Berkeley High School created “slut accounts” on Instagram. The accounts included photos of female students with misogynistic, sexual captions. A number of the instigators were suspended as a result. However, a group of students who have launched an anti-sexual harassment campaign on campus say the punishment doesn’t help curb the culture that set the stage for the incident in the first place.
Similarly, the student campaigners, mostly juniors and seniors, say the policy and preventive actions finally being taken in the wake of sexual assaults on college campuses nationwide are happening too late in students’ lives.
The group has launched “BHS Stop Harassing” with a goal to educate its peers about inappropriate behavior and where they can seek help — and to eventually improve what it perceives to be the vastly inadequate sexual harassment policy and preventive education at Berkeley High. … Continue reading »
In March 2014, Jake Silverstein was tapped for one of the top jobs in journalism: the editorship of the New York Times Magazine. A 1993 graduate of Berkeley High School, Silverstein, 39, has deep roots — and a deep affinity — for Berkeley. Surprisingly, he didn’t write for the Berkeley High Jacket, but he did pen stories for the high school’s literary magazine and acted with an independent theater group. His first real professional journalism piece was an East Bay Express story on Ed Gong, the famed piano mover.
Silverstein is a poet, author of the 2010 fiction/non-fiction hybrid book, Nothing Happened and Then it Did: A Chronicle in Fact and Fiction, and a barbecue lover. His deep love of long-form narrative nonfiction took him from the Big Bend Sentinel in Marfa, Texas to the editorship of the Texas Monthly which was nominated under his stewardship for 12 National Magazine Awards. It won four, including one for general excellence.
He grew up in an intellectual family in Oakland. Silverstein’s mother, Marsha Silverstein, is a psychotherapist in Berkeley who also works with the Ann Martin Center. His father, Murray Silverstein, is a poet and an architect with the Berkeley firm JSWD Architects. He is also the co-author of numerous books, including Dorms at Berkeley: An Environmental Analysis and Patterns of Home: The Ten Essentials of Enduring Design. (Silverstein used his father’s business address to get into Berkeley High.)
Silverstein was in Berkeley recently to give the keynote address at The Latest in Longform: The Berkeley Narrative Journalism Conference 2014. For many of the journalists in the room, there was one overriding question: will Silverstein’s West Coast upbringing (and his years in Texas, another sort of western frontier) give a different spin to the Gray Lady? … Continue reading »
On the evening of Nov. 12 we sent an invitation to each member of the Berkeley School Board and to members of the leadership team of the Superintendent’s office at the Berkeley Unified School District, asking them to support a fundraising initiative for a student-led organization called #BHSstopharassing.
The students of #BHSstopharassing are planning an educational “teach-in” event for later this month to build community awareness about sexual harassment at Berkeley High School and about students’ rights under … Continue reading »
Berkeley High alumni Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer (aka, comedy group The Lonely Island) returned to Berkeley High School a week ago Sunday to shoot footage for a project that aims to chronicle their lives in Berkeley.
The three TV personalities, who met at Willard Middle School and moved on to Berkeley High in the 1990s, worked together on Saturday Night Live for eight years.
After they left SNL, Samberg made several movies and is currently starring in the award-winning show Brooklyn Nine-Nine, now in its second season. … Continue reading »
In response to unruly behavior on the Berkeley High campus Oct. 24, and the current absence of top leadership at the school, Berkeley Unified School District Superintendent Donald Evans has asked the school’s former principal to take a more active role in the day-to-day running of the school, and has committed to having a new principal in place by July 1, 2015.
In an email sent to the Berkeley High community Tuesday, Evans said the problems that occurred on Rally Day at Berkeley High demonstrated that the district had “much more work to do.”
A Berkeley High staffer was sent to the hospital with a head injury sustained during what the school described as a mob scene involving an estimated 500 mostly junior and senior students “participating in hazing and bullying behavior,” chanting and throwing objects, including glass bottles after school let out on Friday Oct. 24. While trying to break up the mob, two additional staff members were hit. Fifteen students were found to be intoxicated and were suspended. … Continue reading »
I am a senior at Berkeley High School, I’ve been in school Leadership — a student government organization — for all four years, and I was present at Friday’s Rally Day mob scene. I know it got completely out of hand. It is 100% unacceptable for anyone to be physically hurt, and the firecracker that sounded like a gunshot was frightening. Reading through multiple articles, comments and responses from the administration, … Continue reading »