After his email on Sunday afternoon, Principal Karl Losekoot appeared on M-A Today! today with another message for all students and staff in response to Friday’s incident where a student was pinned down by police officers right outside of school.
Losekoot began, “I will start by acknowledging that this weekend and this morning have been difficult and emotional. You cannot watch the video from the police interaction and say it is not troubling. It is.”
He continued to describe an anecdotal conversation he had with a student this morning, who said, “I do not feel safe on campus,” and asked Losekoot what he should do.
Losekoot responded, “What a great question. My suggestion to this student and to anyone asking, ‘What can I do?’ is to keep the question alive. I don’t think we can answer that question today, but I think it is important that we keep asking it, and keep working towards a goal where every student feels safe and where each student feels that they are an integral member of this community.”
He continued, “My first answer to this student and others is to try and understand the details of this incident as much as possible. Unfortunately, on social media, many misconceptions and inaccurate assumptions are being made. I urge you to examine these assumptions and ask questions.”
Then, Losekoot asked viewers, “What questions do you need to ask us or the police to more fully understand the situation?”
In an email sent on Sunday afternoon to all students and parents, Losekoot clarified that the rumors about the police call being in regards to water guns confiscated on campus are false. In the email, he also shared that a site administrator called for police department support due to a harmful interaction with a student involving physical contact and several verbal threats made toward a staff member.
In an update, Atherton Police Commander Dan Larsen reported, “The Atherton PD was dispatched to M-A following a call for service when a subject was reported to have pushed a school administrator against a wall and yelled homophobic slurs at him.”
Still, the administration has not yet commented on the physical condition of the student and little about the actions of the police officers in the circulated videos of the incident. See footage of the incident here.
In the email, Losekoot said, “I cannot speak to the decisions made by Atherton police when interacting with the student; However, given the rumors circulating, I would like to share the site’s perspective as to what led to the interaction.”
M-A’s administration provided teachers a Google Form to record questions or concerns students have about the incident, and Losekoot encouraged teachers to welcome that conversation.
Later in the announcement, Losekoot mentioned a student-organized protest, intended to “provide an opportunity for students to speak.”
Black Student Union leaders organized this protest during lunch today in B-5, while dozens of other students created posters for it in the PAC cafe. The protest is planned for Wednesday, May 3rd, at 4 p.m.
Losekoot added that M-A had extra counselors for students to speak with at lunch in the PAC.
He concluded, “Again I wanted to say thank you to M-A for being great.”
Watch Loosekoot’s announcement here: