Berkeley High School students take part in day of healing after racist threat

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- Students and faculty at Berkeley High School participated in various activities Wednesday designed to end racism following a racist threat that prompted a massive student walk out last month.

A month ago a student at Berkeley High School threatened to kill African American students on December 9.

The threat was left on a computer for everyone to see inside the library. "Basically it has never left, racism has never left and it's still alive today. It's just that we put a cover over it," Angel Robinson said.

The student is no longer at the school and on Wednesday students had a day of healing to talk about racism.

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Officials said a report of a shooting on campus was made, but found out it was fabricated and they are investigating. So, for the most part it was a positive day at the high school.

A majority of African American students opted to go inside Berkeley high's theater for a day of conversations and healing.

Wednesday's gathering was called "Take Back the Day." One of the parent organizers said he hopes there is a silver lining to that hate crime. "I'm thinking there is so much potential for good to come out of that event," Darryl Bartlow said.

Other students were able to stay in classrooms to discuss racism in our society and at the school. "We really hope this body of students that are working on this issue now, are going to be the real tide of change," Berkeley Unified School District spokesperson Mark Coplan said.

School administrators took extra precautions to ensure everyone felt safe throughout the day. "We have extra security officers and as you can see this is the only point of entry on the campus at this time. We generally have four to five points of entry," Berkeley High School Principal Sam Pasarow said.

The district attorney's office has yet to decide if the boy accused of making the threat will be charged with a hate crime.

The entire school also met for an assembly meeting. "I don't want it to be pushed on people who are not ready for it. I feel like we can't educate people unless they want to educate themselves," Robinson said.

Many at the high school said they feel ending racism starts with educating youth and accepting bias.
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