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Berkeley School Board Weighs Solutions To Gun Problem

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BERKELEY (KCBS) – A school board meeting to discuss the rash of guns at two Berkeley high schools came just hours after another gun-related lockdown at Berkeley High School.

A parent reported seeing someone with a black gun in his waistband near the campus Wednesday afternoon, according to Berkeley police. Authorities lost sight of the suspect at the edge of campus near Martin Luther King Jr. Way just north of Bancroft Way.

Sgt. Mary Kusmiss said a group of people was detained there, but no gun was found.

Joyce Flemming and other parents at a special meeting of the school board that evening said several similar incidents have left them both fearful and angry.

“I’m scared for my daughter. I’m scared for my friends. I’m scared for her teachers,” Flemming said.

KCBS’ Tim Ryan Reports:

Last Tuesday, two Berkeley High School students were arrested after a gun they brought to school went off in a school bathroom, and a third student was arrested later that day for having an unloaded handgun, school officials said.

Seven students have been caught since the first of the year carrying guns onto the Berkeley High School and Berkeley Technical High School campuses.

The district has deployed more security guards, and a text tip line is being set up. Parents want the district to consider mandatory identification and metal detectors.

The president of the Berkeley High School student body, Raymok Ketema, pleaded with the school board not to change the open campus policy despite concerns about strangers wandering onto the school grounds.

“You guys try and consider some alternate solutions and something that would be less drastic,” Ketema said.

Other students also testified that they prized Berkeley High’s open atmosphere, much to Flemming’s dismay.

“You’ve got to lock the school down,” she said.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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