News In Brief: School district set to vote on gun safety measures

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Following the recent spike in firearms on the Berkeley High School campus, the Berkeley Unified School District Board of Education will decide whether to approve several measures aimed at increasing safety on school campuses at its meeting Wednesday.

The board will consider safety recommendations, including the creation of an Ad Hoc Advisory Committee on Safety - which will consist of six district employees, four parents and two students - the addition of two safety officers on the Berkeley High campus and the installation of interior locks on classroom doors. These measures, some of which are already under way, were formally proposed April 5 by the district in a status report, detailing its response to weapons on campus.

"The overall goal is to carry all of these responses and actions that have been taken to the next level," said district spokesperson Mark Coplan. "We want to bring it to the board, show the board steps that have been taken and what will be taken in the future."

At the meeting, the board will discuss the role of the advisory committee that will study proposed security issues and present recommendations to Superintendent Bill Huyett, according to the report.

The Berkeley Police Department, community members and students will also have the opportunity to respond to the steps taken by the district to improve safety and make their own suggestions, Coplan said.

In a March 31 letter to Huyett, Berkeley police Chief Michael Meehan made several suggestions to improve campus safety and expressed the department's willingness to continue working with the school in the future.

"Part of the actions taken have been to establish and schedule classes that (the department is) going to give to our staff," Coplan said. "They're equally invested in our schools as they are in our streets."

Contact Jessica at [email protected]

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