Discovery of Gun on Campus Jolts San Leandro High

A loaded handgun was taken from a second-year student Friday and though the weapon was not used and the incident does not seem to be gang-related, it is a wake up call.

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.)

Maxie September 17, 2011 at 09:27 AM
Marga the Menace, Now that you found out you cannot challenge my so called "lies" (as you call them) because I won't give you something or share anything with you that you will try to pick apart... you're trying to pick on other people, now. You don't belong in here. Your not supporting being part of the solution. You are attempting to cause problems and create disruptions. Why are you still here?
Fran September 17, 2011 at 02:35 PM
We will ever find out if the gun toting kids were from out of the district, legally or otherwise? Doubtful. If all three turned out to be, I think it would warrant a review of the current policies. The elephant in the room.
Mike September 17, 2011 at 06:15 PM
If you were a private citizen moving your children out of district it says one thing, if you are an insider(elected official) it says another. It smacks of using a political office for favoritism(rightly or wrongly). I will be interested to see what you do when it gets really tough(middle and high school) since you really have no options at that point if you send your kids to public school. If you do not believe McKinley is not doing a good job educating kids what does your husband and the school board tell the other parents who keep their kids in their district school? "Tough luck that your not special and can't send your kids to the top elementary school in the district like me since I'm so well connected." If McKinley is lacking tell your husband and the rest of the school board to bring up the standards. Since your a parent volunteer at the school, by the amount of time you spend responding to web sites you obviously have the time. Don't take the lazy route and transfer your kids, make a difference.
Brenda September 17, 2011 at 07:05 PM
Marga, why are these home visits dangerous? I think all the kids at the high school should be verified, especially under the current circumstances. For you to say that I have "antagonism against children" is just plain cruel. I hope to God you never become a school counselor. If a kid came to you and was in danger or had a serious problem, the first thing you would want is "evidence". That makes YOU part of the problem!
Marga Lacabe September 17, 2011 at 08:48 PM
Mike, I hear you. And I agree that under the old transfer system, it would smack of favoritism. One of Morgan Mack-Rose's accomplishments, before she was elected to School Board, was to lobby the Board to change the intra-district transfer system. Before, I believe, it was up to each school principal to decide which students got transferred. Now, it's a lottery system. I do think they give priority, however, to children from overcrowded schools - which McKinley always is. Now, for what I can see, most of the kids who ask for transfers from McKinley to Roosevelt are, indeed, middle class kids and, in particular, children of immigrants. That is unfortunate, as it is indeed reinforcing what's really a class separation, but I don't know that there is a solution. Parents who didn't want to gamble with the transfer system have basically taken their kids out of McKinley altogether - either sending them to private school or moving. I also understand your feelings about "staying and working to improve" it. Before my kids started school that's /exactly/ how I felt. I joined the PTA the year before my oldest started Kindergarten, so I would have a good understanding of the school environment and how I could help. I also specifically chose to not ask for a transfer to Roosevelt, like so many of my friends were doing, because I wanted to give McKinley a chance. And I did...
Marga Lacabe September 17, 2011 at 09:00 PM
I did give it a chance, but one person (or ten) cannot fight a tide. The teachers at McKinley are wonderful, hard working and committed, and the kids are bright, but most of them do not enter Kindergarten with the basic skills needed to succeed, and they lack support outside school. We can talk about the social causes for this, and as I've said before, I do think we should think creatively about how to address them, but the fact is that they are there. What this means is that it takes McKinley teachers much longer to cover the same material. When my daughter started 2nd grade, she was still given 3-letter words in her spelling homework, while Roosevelt kids were asked to write full essays. And because McKinley is a "failing school" under No Child Left Behind, there is little time for kids to do anything but English and Math which I think robs all of them of the education they actually need. But the district's hands are tied, if they don't improve those scores they school can eventually be taken over. Asking for a transfer to Roosevelt was not a decision I took lightly - which is why I didn't apply until she was into 2nd grade (but was denied). I weighed the different factors a lot, but ultimately I realized that my first duty is to my children and not to my political ideals. I've written all this, not because I feel I need to give you a full answer, but because I think it's important for all of us to have a discussion about how to address the problems in our schools
Marga Lacabe September 17, 2011 at 09:09 PM
Brenda, think about it.It's a very unfortunate fact of life that not all these children reside in white picket fence houses, raised by two loving parents. Indeed, almost by definitions, the children for whom you need to do in-situ residency verification are those who are not living in formal situations. So school representatives do not know what they will find when they knock on those doors and go into those houses. In some of them there may be guns, drugs, drug deals, abusive adults, anything you can imagine. I won't respond to the rest of your comment. I'll be happy to answer your questions with factual information, but I'm not your psychologist so I'll let you rant to others.
Marga Lacabe September 17, 2011 at 09:10 PM
Fran, we won't find out about any of the minors. We do know that the 18-year old former SLHS student was a San Leandro resident.
Barry Kane September 17, 2011 at 09:27 PM
I just want our schools to be desired, be role models of all that is good in public education, have good results and be on par with our neighbors to the East, at least on par with Castro Valley, for the benefit of both our students and our City. I would raise expectations, have tough behavioral rules, institute uniforms to level the playing field and remove trouble makers and slackers quickly, helping the majority to succeed and keep up with where they need to be for their grade, while giving the more troubled kids an environment to be more successful in. There are great examples to copy in many urban areas. Why can't our schools be one of those national success stories "trumpeted" on CNN? I have no children, but believe our public schools are the back bone of our society and are a key representation of our community and a major contributor of our cities reputation and image.
Marga Lacabe September 17, 2011 at 10:03 PM
Barry, I want this same things too, but we have to play the hand we are dealt, not the one we wish we were dealt. We don't have the same demographics as Castro Valley, so it is unreasonable to expect our schools to produce the same results as Castro Valley's unless we are willing to invest resources both in and out of the classroom. I'm all for raising expectations, but the reasons why they tend to be lowered is to make those expectations achievable by the students. Expecting them to do things they don't have the background or resources to do just leads to frustration. I'd welcome a much stricter discipline code, but we also need to be able to identify and provide treatment to children with behavioral problems such as ADHD. Schools are also under a mandate of educating all children, so they can't just expel children that misbehave. They district has expanded Lincoln High, where the "troublemakers" go and it's now (or will be soon) also accepting middle schoolers, but there is no place to put problem elementary school students and these alternative education centers are very expensive at a time we have few resources. Uniforms make absolutely no difference, as many studies have shown. You have to be wary of those national success stories trumpeted on CNN. Often they have mud feet (see the scandals in Atlanta & DC).
Alexa Velarde September 18, 2011 at 12:06 AM
Marga, I seriously tried to ignore you, but your comments are so stupid I couldn't help myself. "troublemakers""problem students"?? I sure hope I never meet you in person. My son has been harassed and threatened by other students since he was in Bancroft Middle School, to the point that as much as he tried (and God knows how involved I tried to be) he fell through the cracks and ended up in such disruptive classes that there were days that he would beg me not to go to school and I would help him catch up. Well, now he's behind and is now HAPPILY attending Lincoln where he is surrounded by other kids that MUST get it right or loose it all. DO NOT EVER AGAIN CALL MY CHILD A TROUBLEMAKER OR A PROBLEM STUDENT...I'd love to be around for when your own child has to go thru this...maybe then you would understand, why don't you just shut the heck up!! you post too much!!
Maxie September 18, 2011 at 12:36 AM
Mr. Kane,...Thank you!!! Well said!!
Brenda September 18, 2011 at 02:35 AM
Marga, did you go to these homes? Did you go along on a "home visit"? You have no basis for your allegations, just like you said to me. And by the way, you said I should report any kid that does not live in this district. Are you stupid? Yea right, so I report one kid, the word gets around, suddenly someone's a "snitch" and that kid gets jumped or worse. You have no idea what your dealing with here and what kids today are capable of. There has been 3 incidents of guns on and around the school grounds and school has only been in session 3 weeks! Man, get your head out of your ass and wake up! By the way, what's wrong with school uniforms? I probably speak for a lot of us when I say I'm sick and tired of seeing "gang colors" and baggy pants that hang off their butts.
Mike September 18, 2011 at 02:40 AM
I did not attack her I merely pointed out that an elected school board member moving their kids to a school out of their neighborhood could be viewed in a certain manner. Being an elected official brings makes these facts a matter of public interest. It is not fair that if McKinley is not up to the level of Roosevelt that every parent can't just move their kids. I feel this appears to smack of favoritism. Lottery or no lottery. Political cronyism at its small town worst
Barry Kane September 18, 2011 at 02:56 AM
Uniforms de-costume the atmosphere and take the competiton out of the brand wars.
Marga Lacabe September 18, 2011 at 03:03 AM
Mike, the points you make are legitimate - but it's also clear that you are raising them as part of an attack against me. First of all, you are raising them within a discussion that has little to do with the issue of school transfers. You are only bringing this issue up here to fuel up the "three furies". Second, you are writing anonymously, not using your last name, and therefore hiding the fact that your comment is part of a pattern of personal attacks against me, based (I hope) on political differences. But the issue itself is legitimate, it's something that would come to my mind if it affected another politician, which is why I responded fully to you. As for me, as much as I enjoy mud fights, I think it's time to get off the play ground. Have fun, Mike!
Marga Lacabe September 18, 2011 at 03:11 AM
Barry, I know it would seem that that's what happens, but it plays out differently in the schools. There is relatively little competition about clothing at Roosevelt, where my girls are now. Neither of my girls has felt any pressure to buy certain brands, though they are both developing their own styles which I really like. We shop mostly at Thriftown, and neither has expressed any type of shame about shopping there or desire to shop elsewhere. At McKinley, where they have uniforms, fashion was of much greater importance. The popular girls - and even in 2nd grade, it was clear who was popular and who was not - were the "fashionable" girls. How a girl can be particularly fashionable when she's wearing a white shirt and a blue skirt, I don't know - but I guess brands, styles, jewelry and hair styles all add up to the image. Or maybe it's just attitude.
Barry Kane September 18, 2011 at 03:35 AM
I am talking about High School where peer pressure really sets in and people have stolen coats, shoes, etc because of the label.
Barry Kane September 18, 2011 at 03:36 AM
and they can develop there very own style of clothing outside of school.
Barry Kane September 18, 2011 at 03:37 AM
Maxie September 18, 2011 at 05:30 AM
Thank you for the wonderful link, Alexa. It's people like you who have had experience, and want to help and make a difference, and take action.
Maxie September 18, 2011 at 07:41 AM
Article about the 2 related gun arrests after this one. http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_18905951
Alexa Velarde September 18, 2011 at 08:07 AM
ATTENTION EVERYONE: There's gonna be some sort of a meeting this Monday night at the new SLHS Theater at 7PM. Everyone is welcomed, one of my kids that comes around just informed me that teachers are offering extra credit for attending, I think this is great, I hope some of the kids are able to open up and express their feelings and maybe give a few suggestions for safety improvement. I have school and I can't attend, my "co-furies" I hope that you guys can make it, please keep me posted. I'm surprised the one that's well connected didn't let us know about this meeting....wonder why lol
Alexa Velarde September 18, 2011 at 08:08 AM
oh BTW, this meeting has to do with these gun incidents
Maxie September 18, 2011 at 09:29 AM
Alexa...Brenda...God Bless both of you. You two, and your children, really know the truth and facts about whats going on. You've lived through, and are still standing strong against the insanity of dealing with a certain part of the school system thats sick (including those select "few" that "work" in it) and the trouble and despair it all can create to good students and their families! Thank you for sharing your experiences. People need to LISTEN and WAKE UP here!!
Alexa Velarde September 18, 2011 at 07:02 PM
GREAT! here's the link for the SL Patch announcement: http://sanleandro.patch.com/articles/this-week-in-review-8bbb28c6?ncid=wtp-patch-readmore I really hope that a lot of kids and parents show up, so the discussion is not left up to the blinded ones that must have EVIDENCE in order to do something...come on now, not even cops think this way.
Brenda September 18, 2011 at 07:51 PM
Thank you for the update Alexa! I hope we all can come to some kind of solution!
Alexa Velarde September 19, 2011 at 05:13 PM
FINALLY! some kids speak up! can you believe? they're actually used to the fact that they KNOW guns are brought to school. Here's what one of them said: "Cisneros did admit feeling less safe but not only because of these three incidents. “Now that kids from Oakland are coming here and some of Oakland is really bad, I feel less safe,” he explained, correlating this to the recent events." Here's the link: http://sanleandro.patch.com/articles/san-leandro-high-students-not-surprised-by-gun-discoveries?ncid=wtp-patch-headline
Brenda September 19, 2011 at 08:36 PM
What a great article. Finally!
Maxie September 19, 2011 at 09:46 PM
DITTO!!! Thanks, Alexa! I'll repost that link too, on other websites I go to. Its perfect! I visited the page a few minutes ago, and submitted a couple comments in there. No doubt, there is at least one person there, that will "challenge" the "lies" I wrote. It's going to be very interesting, what will be said at the meeting tonight! Take good care, and we'll talk to you later! :)


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