[BHS Etree] ADMIN - Civic Center Park Issues

BHS etree bhs at lists.lmi.net
Wed Nov 30 21:47:59 PST 2011

Dear BHS Families:

Since our return from Thanksgiving break we have noticed an increase in the number of campers in Civic Center Park directly across the street from the northern perimeter of our campus. 

To date we have had no negative interactions with the campers. That said, we wanted to inform parents that as a result of the encampment, the foot traffic and population in the park have, in our estimation, increased significantly during lunch and after school. These increases, from our perspective, appear to include a number of people who may not be connected to or interested in the advocacy being conducted by the actual Occupy Berkeley movement.  

I wanted to share this information with families not to be alarmist, nor to in any way disparage the expression of free speech that some of the campers are exercising, but rather to be candid about a situation that has complicated our supervision of BHS students in the park during the lunch hour and after school. Keeping an eye on our students is a bit more challenging in the park at present with administrators and safety staff having to visually identify BHS students amongst increased numbers of adults, young adults, college students, teenaged non-students, and almost 90 tents. 

We will continue to monitor the situation and will regularly consult with district, city, and law enforcement representatives, as well as folks involved in the movement, so as to stay current on all developments and on the plans of all involved. We will also make daily assessments of any impact the camp might have on our campus and we will share any concerns about student safety that arise promptly with our parent community.

As always we will have two administrators monitoring the park during the lunch hour, and we continue to offer plenty of supervised space on the campus for students to eat lunch. 

My intent is not to cause unnecessary anxiety, nor to overstate risks, but simply to share some details of a developing situation that, at a minimum, has presented us with some logistical and supervisory concerns. 

Pasquale Scuderi
Berkeley High School

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