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Berkeley High School students had guns in backpacks, district says | #schoolsaftey


Berkeley police and Berkeley High School staff seized two firearms from students’ backpacks on Sept. 27, 2023. Photo: Jeremy Franklin

Two guns were found in Berkeley High School students’ backpacks Wednesday, according to a statement from district officials and letters forwarded by high school students’ families.

Berkeley police seized one gun from a backpack of a student they had taken off-campus, according to a letter from Superintendent Enikia Ford Morthel and Interim Principal Tonia Coleman, which several people forwarded to Berkeleyside.

School staff found another gun in a backpack a different student had left on campus before leaving, and the school staff turned the backpack over to police, according to the letter.

“While we have no evidence of any threats made to students or staff, nor of either gun being brandished on campus, these are deeply concerning incidents,” Trish McDermott, a spokesperson for the Berkeley Unified School District, wrote in an email. “Any weapon in the possession of any person on campus, other than our school resource officer, is a threat to the safety and well-being of our school community.”

School administrators and counselors were available to students, and the “district has also shared counseling resources with Berkeley High School staff,” McDermott said. Berkeley High School also maintains a webpage dedicated to mental health resources.

More information was not immediately available, including precisely where the guns were recovered and whether either student may be facing criminal charges.

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Alex N. Gecan joined Berkeleyside in 2023 as a senior reporter covering public safety. He has covered criminal justice, courts and breaking and local news for The Middletown Press, Stamford Advocate and…
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