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School, city officials meet with Justice dept.

By David Scharfenberg Daily Planet staff
Tuesday March 19, 2002

Carol Russo, conciliation specialist for the U.S. Department of Justice, has held a series of meetings with city and school officials in recent weeks focused on violence at Berkeley High School, according to a spokesperson in Mayor Shirley Dean’s office.  

Russo, based in the department’s Western Regional Field Office in San Francisco, has not returned repeated calls from the Planet. Superintendent Michele Lawrence has referred queries to Dean’s office. 

“The meetings focused certainly on increasing safety at the high school through better communication between the city and the school district,” said Jennifer Drapeau, Dean’s chief of staff. 

Drapeau said city and school officials focused, in particular, on improving coordination between the police department and the school’s security staff. 

Drapeau said Russo held meetings with city and school officials, including Dean and Lawrence, on Feb. 11 and Feb. 25. She said Russo met with Dean alone, during a round of information-gathering meetings, several weeks prior to the Feb. 11 meeting.