Two separate and disturbing incidents that occurred on the Alameda High School campus today. No students or staff were physically harmed, but we want everyone in our school community to have the correct information about what happened and understand what AHS, AUSD, and APD are jointly doing in response.
The first incident occurred sometime in the late morning, when a former AHS student went onto campus and began acting erratically. A group of students filmed the man and promptly brought it to the office. Office staff alerted campus security, and they found him in Kofman Auditorium, talking to a dance instructor. The young man then went to the front office, where Principal Ithurburn engaged him and took him into his office, and another teacher was able to identify him.
Principal Ithurburn and the young man continued to talk while the Alameda Police Department and Alameda Fire Department Care Unit was called. The Care Unit staff confirmed they knew the young man and removed him from campus by about noon. Some minutes later, AHS staff requested that the Care Unit staff do a safety check on him, as he had alluded to students being afraid he would “shoot up the school” some years ago.
The second incident occurred just after 3:00 pm, when a different man entered a classroom, approached a girl, and touched her face. The teacher asked the man what he was doing. The man left the room, encountered two girls in the hall, and asked if he could kiss one of them. The teacher followed him out of the room. The man fled the building before staff could implement a shelter in place or lock down.
The teacher continued following him all the way to the Fruitvale Bart Station, where he asked for assistance from BART Police. BART officers took a picture of the man, but he was lost at the station.
Alameda PD has begun an investigation into the identity of the second intruder. The Superintendent and other district administrators are also supporting the team. There are many details being sorted through at this time by both police investigators and school administrators. We will share additional information where it is relevant and appropriate to do so.
We know these incidents sound scary and would like to emphasize that AHS staff continually discuss and plan for such intrusions and knew to call APD quickly for both intrusions. We plan to assist the police department in their investigation in every way possible and will also be debriefing and reviewing our own response with the Alameda High team, including safety protocols, campus supervision responsibilities, and other safety related measures.
Additionally, we have tonight been in contact with the Chief of Police and are confident that Alameda PD is vigorously investigating these incidents.
We have also notified school leadership teams districtwide and reminded all school leaders to review their foundational safety and security protocols and to heighten their awareness of campus security in the wake of this week’s incidents.
Again, we recognize this is unsettling news and want to assure you we are taking this incident and our follow up extremely seriously. There is no issue or responsibility more important than the safety and security of our students and staff.