More than 2,000 local parents got an automated call from San Leandro High School Prinicpal Linda Granger Friday evening, informing them that a loaded hangun had been taken away from a student earlier that day.
In an earlier version of this story, Morgan Mack-Rose, president of the San Leandro Unified School District Board of Trustees, said this was the first time a gun had ever been recovered on the school campus.
But reader feedback prompted a cross check with police Monday, and it appears there may have been prior gun incidents near or on the campus. School and police officials are researching the record and the story will be updated as they become available.
Meanwhile, Monday morning will be the first chance for students and parents to get together to discuss an incident that was kept under wraps until Friday evening when automated messages in English and Spanish went out to the households of about 2,700 high schoolers.
The incident occurs at a time when school officials from San Leandro and San Lorenzo will hold a three-way meeting with San Leandro City Council members on Monday night at 7 p.m. at the David Karp Room at the Main Library on 300 Estudillo Avenue.
San Leandro High senior Jack Martin, who is student representative to San Leandro's school board, characterized the incident as surprising and scary, while putting it in the best possible light.
"It comes as a shock but there is also relief that it (the gun) wasn't put to use in any way," Martin said.
The incident began at about 10:45 a.m. on Friday when a San Leandro High School teacher called campus security officers after a student who was texting in class refused to hand over his cell phone.
Campus security officials escorted the student out of the room and to the front office, where a search turned up loaded handgun in the student's backpack, police said. Some marijuana was also discovered on his person, according to police.
San Leandro Police Officer Louie Brandt, who is assigned to handle school security, placed the young man under arrest. Police said a parent was notified and the student was taken to Juvenile Hall.
Mack-Rose said police could not tell school officials why the student was carrying a loaded weapon. But she said police interviews of the student suggested that the incident was not gang-related nor was the weapon being carried as part of a plan to harm any student or teacher.
High school faculty were assembled after classes ended Friday to get briefed on the situation. But the incident was handled so quietly that students lingering outside the campus on Friday afternoon had no idea anything was amiss until the automated calls commenced.
Now that the news has had time to circulate, the campus will likely be buzzing Monday morning as students, parents and school officials react to this wake-up call.
Meanwhile, school officials here are asking their peers in other districts for ideas on how to respond. For instance, Berkeley had a more serious incident earlier this year in which a gun was fired on campus.
"We're certainly not the first school to have dealt with this," Mack-Rose said. (Another reference to the first-time nature of the incident was cut here.)