Blogging Bayport Alameda

November 14, 2017

Fear mongering

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:04 am

Yesterday two press releases hit mailboxes at approximately the same time from both the Alameda Unified School District and the City of Alameda.

From AUSD, which emailed out this short blurb redirecting folks to the joint statement made with the City and Police Department:

LMS Visitor Posed No Threat, APD Says

Over the weekend there was considerable talk on social media about a former AUSD student who visited Lincoln Middle School last week and made some disturbing comments. The Alameda Police Department (APD) has investigated the incidents and interviewed the former student. Please see this joint statement from APD, AUSD, and the City of Alameda for details.

And from the City of Alameda:

Following an autodialer message sent to the Lincoln Middle School (LMS) community last week, social media reports over the weekend detailed two incidents in which a young man visited the LMS campus last week and made some disturbing comments. Families understandably have had concerns about the comments and questions about how this situation is being handled. We are writing today to let you know how the situation has been handled and prevent the spread of speculation and fear on social media.

AUSD Superintendent Sean McPhetridge, Chief of Police Paul Rolleri, and LMS Principal Michael Hans jointly worked to respond to this situation over the weekend. We would like to reassure all community members that officers with the Alameda Police Department (APD) have investigated the situation, interviewed the young man in question, and believe he does not pose a threat to LMS or any other campus in Alameda. No crime has been committed, and the young man who was questioned apologized for the remark. He also apologized for unintended concerns that were raised because of it, and has agreed to stay away from the campus.

To help reassure families, APD stationed several officers at LMS throughout the day today. In addition, LMS staff have been briefed on the incident, including being made aware of the young man’s identity who made the comments, as have all AUSD principals. At the end of the day today, APD will re-evaluate the deployment of officers on campus.

Please know that all AUSD schools drill for campus intruder incidences, and many APD officers are trained in school crisis intervention and response. We believe that as a community we are fully prepared to assess and respond to a wide variety of circumstances so that we can keep students, staff, and the community safe.

Essentially this was in response to this social media post by the MAYOR OF ALAMEDA who posted the stuff below the “Update” over the weekend essentially scaring the shit out of most of the parents of Alameda Unified students without a whole lot of the information even though, according to Lincoln Middle School families, there was already an autodialer message that had been sent to all families on Thursday.


This sort of non vetted posting of information without going through the proper channels is ridiculous.  Instead of putting out the one, unified message the Mayor pre-empted the entire process and just word vomited whatever she thought would be most appropriate without asking about what steps had already been taken (aka notification over auto-dialer) and what should be done in order to not scare the shit out of everyone. I’m sure a lot of people here shake their heads at or laugh at the way that Donald Trump is reckless with his words, particularly on social media but would dismiss the same recklessness of our local officials because she’s super friendly to you at public events.  But it’s these sort of time that calls for a level of circumspection this this Mayor seems incapable of being.



  1. You’re way off base on this one as I don’t see that the Mayor did anything wrong. And considering that there was another school shooting today (Northern California) maybe it’s a good idea to try to keep people as informed as possible locally on such matters.

    Comment by Todd — November 14, 2017 @ 1:50 pm

    • @Todd I agree that being informed is a priority, but to post something like this before the matter is settled and facts are determined is irresponsible at the very least. Rumors flying around is dangerous and putting people through unnecessary panic is reckless. The authorities need to mitigate the situation at hand, she should have let those who were directly involved inform the public and *then* made a statement that was factual. Too many people are already leaping onto their social media accounts and sharing everything without fact-checking.

      Comment by mydogsrbarkin — November 14, 2017 @ 4:45 pm

      • A matter of opinion or agree to disagree. But panic is in the eye of the beholder, that is one fact. In this day and age most of us have learned how to navigate to/through the info they see or want. And it’s far too late for any of us to put the genie back it that social media bottle.

        Comment by Todd — November 14, 2017 @ 6:06 pm

  2. Well I suppose that was a little bit more nuanced than your average Trump tweet so she’s got that going for her at least.

    Comment by Rod — November 14, 2017 @ 2:45 pm

  3. Our Mayor is the head of state in Alameda and bears leadership responsibility beyond anyone else in government. By putting forth an extra effort and demonstrating great strength of character, she made a conscious decision to keep Alamedans informed in a matter of obvious urgency, and not to be held back by the concerns of political thumb suckers all in a tither about dotted i’s and crossed t’s. Trish Spencer deserves nothing less than a medal for her superlative performance to keep the people directly informed.Thank you Mayor Spencer!

    Comment by OneOfTheManyDaves — November 14, 2017 @ 7:39 pm

  4. slow news day

    Comment by MP — November 14, 2017 @ 7:58 pm

    • I wish it were, but it wasn’t. What actually happened was that today a gunman went on a shooting rampage in northern california and attempted to enter an elementary school.

      Comment by ant — November 14, 2017 @ 10:42 pm

      • Sadly – and frustratingly – that type of story doesn’t remarkable anymore.

        Comment by MP — November 15, 2017 @ 7:17 am

  5. I agree that the mayor’s judgement was suspect. Instead of sharing facts gathered by an official source, she was simply repeating what was told to her by a parent – and admits so in her statement. Was this parent there? Did this parent personally interact with the student? Unlikely. What’s more likely is that a kid said something to another kid, rumors spread around campus, a student went home and told her parent the rumor, the parent told our mayor the rumor, and the mayor repeated the rumor in a public forum that scared people. That’s a pretty irresponsible move for a political figure.

    Comment by Ron Parodi — November 14, 2017 @ 10:48 pm

  6. Information on this situation should have been disseminatedby one source only, the Public Information Officer for the school district. It should contain factual information only, including a description of actions taken by the Police Deplartment.
    The Mayor should know this.

    Comment by dc — November 15, 2017 @ 7:40 am

  7. Todd; panic is indeed in the eye of the beholder. A parent panics when they think their child might have been shot dead. Even after the facts released by the police department I’d race to the school, I think any parent would.

    I’m a cynic. I don’t think most people know how to navigate through information they need or want. I wish I more faith in people’s ability to step back and think critically about what the read. Look at Pizzagate. The guy who shot up the restaurant with an AR-15 STILL believes in the conspiracy of children being held in a back room. Still believes even after his arrest and admitting that he “handled it badly”. After that incident, five other establishments were called and threatened with the same action; to “finish what he started”. It spreads like a fire.

    Anyway, I hope I’m wrong, and I hope you’re right. In this climate I’m discouraged.

    Comment by mydogsrbarkin — November 15, 2017 @ 12:29 pm

  8. …this information is from Wikipedia, which ironically I turned to for the story. Wikipedia isn’t always a reliable source itself.

    Comment by mydogsrbarkin — November 15, 2017 @ 12:31 pm

  9. Oh brother, I give up on this blog. So much potential, wasted. If you enjoy reading posts that are consistently biased against the Mayor, landlords, and certain political leaders- read on. If you’re interested in something more representative of Alameda, and balanced- this isn’t it. Enjoy your bubble!

    Comment by Brian K — November 16, 2017 @ 4:57 am

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