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Berkeley High student is attacked on campus District spokesperson says attackers came from outside

By David Scharfenberg Daily Planet staff
Thursday April 18, 2002

Four males entered the Berkeley High School campus Wednesday afternoon and one assaulted a BHS student in the outdoor lunch area behind the “C” Building, according to school officials and students. 

Details of the attack were sketchy, district spokesperson Marian Magid said the attackers were not BHS students. 

Magid said one of the attackers struck the victim twice before the group of four fled the scene, and the victim suffered a cut next to his mouth. 

Magid said the assailants and victim “did appear to know each other.” She said there were not any indications that the attack is gang-related. 

The incident is the latest in a string of high-profile attacks at BHS this school year. In the fall, a group of students in ski masks carried out a number of assaults and in December, an attack on a sophomore, who has since transferred out of the district, left the victim with heavy dental bills, according to his father. 

The Wednesday attack took place around 2:40 p.m. just after sixth period ended, Magid said, and police arrived on the scene shortly thereafter.  

High school administrators told all the students who finished their school day after sixth period to leave campus, according to Magid, while those who had a seventh-period course remained at BHS. 

Laura Menard, a parent who is active on safety issues, arrived on campus shortly after the incident. She said the high school will have a difficult time dealing with these types of attacks next year because the Board of Education has voted to cut the high school security manager. 

“Next year, if someone isn’t here managing the connections, it’s not going to happen,” said Menard. 



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School board President Shirley Issel said she is confident that there will be “enhanced security” at BHS next year. Under the board’s plan, two discipline deans, put in place earlier this year, will take over supervision of the high school’s safety officers. 

Superintendent Michele Lawrence has suggested that she will add more safety officers to the force next year as well. 

Issel said the district will respond swiftly to the Wednesday incident. 

“I know this is going to be looked at very closely to see what steps need to be taken to ensure that our students are safe,” she said. 

Students interviewed by the Daily Planet said they are not fearful for their safety at the school. 

High school administrators and security staff and the Berkeley Police Department did not return calls by the Daily Planet’s deadline.