Five-year-old boy squeezes through Lydiksen fence during school

PUSD: Student did not leave campus; staff addresses gate problem

Lydiksen Elementary School is reviewing safety measures after a 5-year-old boy was able to slip through a chain-locked fence at the campus last week.

The story made the rounds in local news and social media over the holiday weekend after the boy's mother reached out to a Bay Area TV news station and described how her son managed to squeeze through an apparently unsecured gate during recess on Aug. 30.

The mother, Cristina Peterson, told KGO-TV/ABC7 that she learned about the incident from another parent, which made her "wonder if the school would have disclosed this to me" otherwise.

Neither the boy nor any other student actually left campus property that day, according to school officials.

Lydiksen principal Jacob Berg said maintenance staff are assessing the site for potential security upgrades. Berg also credited staff on supervision that day for ensuring "no students left campus or were harmed in the gate and fence area."

"It was brought to our attention last week that there were safety concerns related to a gate and fence area on the Lydiksen Elementary School campus," Berg said in a Sept. 2 letter to the community. "The issue with the gate and fence area was resolved, and the Pleasanton Unified maintenance department will evaluate the area this week to determine if even more improvements can be made."

According to Pleasanton Unified School District spokesman Patrick Gannon, a teacher's aide "spotted the student squeezing through a locked fence" and told a teacher from another classroom about the incident.

The chain used to lock the fence was tightened by removing eight links soon after to prevent more students from passing through, Gannon said.

"The school has since discussed the importance of communicating incidents such as these to families in a timely manner," Gannon told the Weekly. "However, we hope to not have students attempt to leave campus in the future and have taken measures to prevent this from happening moving forward."

PUSD said no similar past events have been reported, but Peterson reported that several parents contacted her "to share their support and tell me that they had concerns with the school in the past." She did not share details about the nature of those concerns.

"Campus safety is always of primary importance on our campus, and we take the supervision of all of our students very seriously," Berg said. "We will continue to work diligently as a campus staff to maintain a secure campus at all times."

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Like this comment
Posted by James Michael
a resident of Val Vista
on Sep 3, 2019 at 9:21 pm

James Michael is a registered user.

Was this one of the schools that got the new fences?

58 people like this
Posted by Concerned Parent
a resident of Birdland
on Sep 3, 2019 at 9:55 pm

Christina Peterson (the parent) posted an over the top rant on a Pleasanton Facebook page. The she then called the news and got a lawyer. Talk about an over reaction. I get that she was upset but she her post was ranting and expletive filled. She is so embarrassed now that she removed the video.

Next time, call the school and have a conversation about it. Be a constructive member of the community and a partner in your child's education.

Instead of trying to grab 5 minutes of fame off the back of your kid.

34 people like this
Posted by DKHSK
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Sep 3, 2019 at 10:06 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

OMG!!! A 5 year old boy acting like a...5 year old boy!!!!!!!

Stop the presses!

Oh brother.


6 people like this
Posted by Concerned Parent
a resident of another community
on Sep 3, 2019 at 10:55 pm

In 2015-2016 My Wife reported numerous time about safety and security to Lydiksen principal Jacob Berg and teacher in a meeting.( about the same topic in this news). We also showed how kids can come out of back gate and also how some xyz person can enter inside the school. Mr. Berg in return said, anything else and walked out of the room.

I am glad Cristina Peterson reported.

19 people like this
Posted by Jenna
a resident of Del Prado
on Sep 4, 2019 at 6:07 am

I watched the Facebook video. Well, about 20 seconds of it. I get that she was upset but did she think she was going to make a better point using "F" words.
No doubt she was upset but calling the news, and getting an attorney.
Hopefully she had a nice talk with her son about this....minus the strong language.

22 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Mohr Park
on Sep 4, 2019 at 6:58 am

Im pretty sure her lawyers advised her to remove it as anything in it could be used in court. Total over reaction. someone see dollar signs.

7 people like this
Posted by Ben
a resident of Canyon Meadows
on Sep 4, 2019 at 8:25 am

@resident....someone HOPING to see dollar signs. LOL
And the attorney taking that case is hoping also!
She can't hide her rant cause it's all over the internet now.

5 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Sep 4, 2019 at 8:38 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

35 years ago, our 5 year old daughter was upset, walked out of the classroom w/o the teacher noticing, and then the three blocks home. No one called me to say she was missing; I called them. The fencing was in fine shape (and won’t stop determined little people or anyone else). The real lesson though? This was when Walnut Grove was over 1,000 students.

We do not want large schools, but I think it’s what staff will say we have to do.

29 people like this
Posted by Billybob
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 4, 2019 at 9:28 am

Ya, sue the district then there’ll be so much money left for fences and security. Boy tried to leave school, school stopped him. Where’s the story? Other then helicopter Mom loses her mind!

Like this comment
Posted by Banned recess activities?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 4, 2019 at 10:05 am

If the classes are so large as stated here, tag is banned, playing basketball is banned, playing soccer is banned, and there are "no running" rules imposed by the principal at recess, it is no wonder that children are attempting to leave campus.

Is everything banned at recess? What exactly are the children allowed to do? Are there any teachers out there during the lunch recess supervising or is it only noon supervisors/yard duties?

[Removed because it is inflammatory, unconfirmed information from an anonymous source on another website.]

9 people like this
Posted by Carole Lee Manning
a resident of Danbury Park
on Sep 4, 2019 at 11:04 am

Carole Lee Manning is a registered user.

When my nephew was 5 years old he simply walked off the campus of a Sonora Elementary School. When asked where he was going he said he was going to look for another school because he didn't like this one. He is now 39 years old, a pilot for FedEx Airlines, married to an RN and has 4-1/2 beautiful/smart kids.

2 people like this
Posted by Pete
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 4, 2019 at 11:54 am

Is there not any student leadership mechanism in place that could assist? Or is this about something else? Does every elementary school have same cell phone rules? Are there other schools with no running policy? What are the facts that relate to the problem? This problem...
Was I suppose to run away in third grade because being left handed/smudged writing created my hands to be slapped. Or maybe being fat and made fun of. Perhaps, having a single mom caring for infant sisters made me run away. Get to the damn problem, solve it...get a life...!!!

9 people like this
Posted by Sue Thayer
a resident of Birdland
on Sep 4, 2019 at 12:02 pm

Slippery little suckers! Web Link (sfw)

18 people like this
Posted by stop the blame
a resident of Birdland
on Sep 4, 2019 at 3:03 pm

I wish we would calm down and take responsibility for ourselves and our kids. The kid knows not to "squeeze" through a gate. If he doesn't, this is a good time to teach him. This summer I had to come to a complete stop downtown (along w the cars behind me) because 3 kids were riding their bikes in the middle of the street. They made no effort to move. One of them was the kid who was involved in the hit and run last spring. So many people wanted to throw that mini van driver in jail and that kid is back at it! Kids make mistakes... teach them and take it easy on blaming others.

19 people like this
Posted by LouEllen
a resident of another community
on Sep 4, 2019 at 4:47 pm

Stop the Blame; I agree with you. Kindergarteners know squeezing through a fence is not okay behavior. Next they’ll be climbing OVER the fence!

3 people like this
Posted by Pete
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 4, 2019 at 4:55 pm


12 people like this
Posted by Ed
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Sep 4, 2019 at 7:26 pm

And if it's her kid that climbs over the fence I bet she won't be saying a word. Because she can't blame that on anyone else but the kid.
Not everything that happens at school is the schools fault.

14 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Sep 5, 2019 at 6:00 am

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

Over reaction.

10 people like this
Posted by Confused
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 6, 2019 at 6:58 pm

A child squeezes through a gate on school grounds, a teacher brings him back through the gate, and the parent goes ballistic? I can't believe this was even discussed beyond the principal telling maintenance to make sure the gate doesn't have a gap. I would understand if the child was not being monitored and left campus, but it doesn't sound like that is what happened? Am I missing something? Was the child in danger? I am so confused.

10 people like this
Posted by Chris
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 6, 2019 at 8:14 pm

The FB post the mom made, made it pretty clear that she was going to try and sue. did that work out. Talk to your child, talk to the school. Instead she openly shamed a lot of good people trying to do the best they can....Next.

3 people like this
Posted by BarbFasse
a resident of Castlewood
on Sep 7, 2019 at 2:01 pm

BarbFasse is a registered user.

Can we discuss what happened and did not happen at PMS this past week? A BB Gun brought and shot on campus at a student and never got lock down and parents weren't told until end of day.

7 people like this
Posted by To BarbFasse
a resident of Amador Estates
on Sep 7, 2019 at 4:00 pm

To BarbFasse:
As a Pleasanton Middle School employee, please know the situation was handled incredibly well. Yes you didn't receive communication until the end of the day. But I imagine it's because the kid who brought the BB gun was caught before school even began. Anyone involved was immediately sent to the office and under close supervision. I fully believe that if administration let parents know during the day, there would have been chaos as parents were texting students and showing up to school hysterical.

There was no lockdown because the situation was resolved quickly and efficiently.

Like this comment
Posted by FiredUp!
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 9, 2019 at 12:46 am

Why isn’t anyone talking about the shooting at PMS last week that isn’t getting reported locally? Did anyone hear about that?

2 people like this
Posted by Reply
a resident of Amador Estates
on Sep 9, 2019 at 1:08 am

To: Can you clarify? Brought the BB gun to school or brought the BB gun to school and shot someone? I just want to be sure the administrators followed the law. Not notifying parents to prevent chaos from ensuing should not be up to the administrations discretion. There could have been other plans that hadn’t been carried out that day. The administration is not the police, judge or jury. Sadly this leaves us parents with little faith in the administrators to protect our children.

3 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Sep 9, 2019 at 7:38 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

If this PMS story is accurate, I think once the student and BB gun were controlled, parents should have been informed. We have to give administrators time to resolve before they are writing to inform. My experience is (a) the police should be called and (b) if there are flashing lights, you inform the district office immediately.

8 people like this
Posted by Jeremy Walsh, editor
associate editor
on Sep 10, 2019 at 8:53 am

Jeremy Walsh, editor is a registered user.

Thanks for the reports. We contacted PUSD regarding the Pleasanton Middle School incident, and spokesman Patrick Gannon confirmed that a witness came into the front office at school last week to say they had seen a student bring a "small, hand-sized" BB gun to campus. The school immediately called Pleasanton PD, which responded. The incident was resolved before school started and the student is "facing potential disciplinary action." No threats were made by the student toward any classmates or staff. Families were informed once the district said they were able to verify all of the information received was accurate.

1 person likes this
Posted by Mishandling of situation
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 10, 2019 at 11:40 am

According to Pleasanton Rants and Raves, the child who *reported* that another child had the BB Gun is being possibly transferred? Why is the kid who reported the fact that a child had a BB Gun on campus facing repercussions?

If true, this is wrong in so many levels. The child who did the right thing by reporting the BB Gun to school staff should not be penalized whatsoever for doing the right thing and reporting it.

If children who report weapons on campus are then transferred off to another school, what does that mean will happen the next time that someone finds out a knife or gun is on campus. Will they choose to remain silent?

The Pleasanton Weekly should find out what in fact is going on by delving into this situation deeper.

Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Sep 10, 2019 at 12:07 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

I can see where a parent of the informing student may feel it is best to move their student to another school if they think the student isn’t safe. Repercussions for the student with the BB gun don’t always mean expulsion or transfer. This wasn’t a very bright idea, but we can’t assume harm was intended.

5 people like this
Posted by Jennifer
a resident of another community
on Sep 17, 2019 at 2:39 pm

The mother overreacted. Take responsibility for your children. All she had to do was tell her child not to sneak through fences, and contact the school. Contacting the media (and a lawyer) makes here look greedy and unstable. I feel sorry for her child.

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