Two Berkshire Middle School students remain suspended following two separate incidents of potential threats to students at the Birmingham school, as administrators continue to investigate one of the threats.
The first incident occurred following a cyber safety program at the school on Monday, March 5, when students reported to a teacher that they overheard another student alluding to school violence. Berkshire principal Jason Clinkscale sent an email to parents later on Thursday, March 8, to inform them that while some students thought the statement might have been made in a joking manner, the student was identified and removed from school pending the completion of the investigation.
“These are not comments that can be taken lightly, and the school and district are following through and working with the Berkshire police liaison to ensure student safety. The students that reported the incident did so after attending a cyber safety program at the school on Monday, March 5, during which the presenter discussed cyber bullying, cyber safety and talked about the recent events out of Parkland, Florida,” Clinkscale wrote to parents.
On Friday, March 9, Clinkscale sent out another email to Berkshire families regarding a second threatening comment by another Berkshire student, who threatened to shoot another student with a gun.
“We have once again had reports of a different Berkshire student making threatening comments to another Berkshire student during an art assembly that occurred yesterday (March 8). Specifically, the student in question made a threat that alluded to shooting another student with a gun,” Clinkscale informed families.
“At this point, we are investigating this situation with the assistance of the Beverly Hills Department of Public Safety. As with any concern of this matter, we have thoroughly searched the student, their personal belongings and their locker. Thankfully, there has been no weapon or item of concern found at school. The student has been removed from school and is being supervised at home. At this time working with police, we do not believe that there is any credible threat to our Berkshire students and staff and this matter will continue to be investigated.”
On Thursday, March 15, Birmingham Schools spokesperson Marcia Wilkinson said that both students remain suspended, with one of the situations still under investigation.
“Without question, this pattern of students making disturbing threats at Berkshire and in schools across our nation is extremely concerning. Therefore, as we have in the past, we will continue to meet with our students in town hall meetings and assemblies to talk about this very important topic,” Clinkscale said. “It is also important that we do everything possible to ensure that our students feel physically and emotionally safe in our school.”