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Fairlands Parents To Air Safety Concerns After School Intruder Arrest | #schoolsaftey


At Pleasanton school board’s Thursday meeting, frustrated parents will demand answers to how a convicted robber broke in & spent the night.

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PLEASANTON, CA — Several frustrated and determined Fairlands Elementary School parents plan to use the public comments portion at tonight’s school board meeting in Pleasanton to press for answers on last week’s arrest of a campus intruder and the school’s subsequent lockdown.

The Pleasanton Unified School District meets at 5 p.m. for a closed-door session, followed by comments at 6 p.m. at city facilities at 4665 Bernal Ave. Proceedings can be viewed via livestream by Tri-Valley TV and online.

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“A 365-degree review of the incident at Fairlands with the Pleasanton Police Department needs to be done to determine what went right and, more importantly, what went wrong so that corrective measures can be taken,” said Tomasz Borys, a parent of two Fairland students.

A convicted robber, Rhodney Henderson, 32, was discovered in a storage room Friday at the West Las Positas Boulevard school — after he purportedly broke in overnight, slept on a couch, helped himself to cafeteria food and took three kitchen knives, according to news reports.

Henderson was arrested without incident by the Pleasanton Police Department, and the school was placed on lockdown from 10:47 a.m. to 11:20 a.m., PUSD Superintendent David Haglund said in a statement emailed to parents.

“With recent publicity of the Fairlands security breach, our children have become even more vulnerable to attacks,” Borys said. “If it was this easy for a violent criminal to not only be on campus for over 14 hours, but to also hide weapons throughout the campus, how are we keeping our schools safe from a person with an intent to inflict deadly harm?”

Borys was among several parents who met to discuss their school safety concerns and to band together to address the PUSD board.

Highlighted by the group as the most imperative issues were:

Routinely unlocked school doors and gates:

“After Uvalde, many parents emailed Fairlands administration with concerns over the front door and other security concerns, but were brushed off by administration. Fairlands had an incident 10 years ago when armed men came to the school. How many more close encounters do we need before a basic security measure is taken to secure the lives of our students and the staff?”

Review and overhaul of current security and lockdown processes:

“This includes changing the procedures custodians take while cleaning the campus; creating a group of individuals to do a sweep of the campus at night and day for weapons, drugs, and unauthorized individuals; a security assessment of the property, and a comprehensive lock-down training and active-shooter training.

“Superintendent David Haglund stated ‘students and staff remained in their classrooms with the doors locked, blinds closed, and lights off’ but this is not entirely true. 4th and 5th grade students were at recess and were locked out of classrooms with no place to shelter – many kids were panicked and one student even tried hopping a fence. It was chaos and terrifying for the students and staff.”

Accountability and transperancy:

“Superintendent David Haglund and Fairlands Principal Heidi Deeringhoff must take responsibility for the lapse in security and personally ensure that a security plan is put in place alongside a timeline of when actions will be completed. Communication must be frequent and transparent on the update of the security plan so we can work as a community to bring safety to our schools – our children are depending on us.”

The PUSD meeting’s public portion begins Oct. 12 at 6 p.m. and can be viewed via livestream by Tri-Valley TV and online.

Requests for comments from district, school and police officials were not returned by the time of this posting, but will be added if made available.

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