The 2015 Berkeley High yearbook is being recalled due to an offensive comment on one of its pages. Photo: Melati Citrawireja
Police took a student into custody on the Berkeley High campus on Thursday. Photo: Melati Citrawireja

By Tracey Taylor and Emilie Raguso

Update, 5:30 p.m. Berkeley High Principal Sam Pasarow issued the following statement to the school community by email. It appears below in full.

Dear Parent & Guardians,

This email will provide additional details regarding the lockdown procedure that we implemented during Period 4 this afternoon.

The Berkeley Police Department received an anonymous tip that one of our students was seen in the community with a weapon in his possession. We promptly locked down the campus, and located the student and interviewed him. We determined that there was no weapon and lifted the lockdown before the bell for Period 5.

The lockdown protocol was executed effectively and safety staff and administrators responded promptly, and in coordination with BPD. While a weapon has not been recovered, we will always exercise an abundance of caution in these situations or in response to reports like this.

In keeping with our desire to continuously improve student safety protocols and our responses to any potential threats to campus safety, we will conduct a full review of the reports we received and our immediate actions and responses with our staff, the Berkeley Police Department, and our district partners.

Student safety is — and will remain — our top priority.

Update, 1:24 p.m. Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats said authorities have not found a gun at Berkeley High, despite receiving a report of a student with a weapon.

Coats said the police department received a call earlier in the day that a student had a gun. Officers contacted school officials and worked with the school to locate the student.

Coats said it was her understanding that the lockdown had been lifted. (This was confirmed by a source inside the school at around 1:23 p.m.)

She said police planned to contact the student’s parents to let them know police had detained him, as per department policy.

“We don’t have any crime that’s been committed yet, as far as we know,” said Coats.

Said Principal Sam Pasarow in a recent robocall to parents: “All students are safe. We have no injuries to report.”

Pasarow said a “detailed update” will be forthcoming and confirmed that the lockdown had been lifted.

Original story, Oct. 8, 1:13 p.m. Berkeley police officers detained a student at Berkeley High School on Thursday afternoon after receiving an anonymous tip that the student had a gun.

According to Berkeley Unified School District spokesman Mark Coplan, police received an anonymous tip that the student had a weapon. Berkeley High was on lockdown from around 12:30 p.m. and police were seen by students in the hallways.

Coplan confirmed the student was detained, and said police were still conducting an investigation at around 1 p.m. The school continued to be on lockdown. Coplan did not know whether a weapon had been found.

Berkeleyside has requested more information from the Berkeley Police Department.

This story was updated after publication due to the ongoing nature of the incident.

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Berkeleyside staff

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