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Authorities Hope to Find Missing Albany Schools Student, Ask Community for Help

As of 6:15 a.m. Thursday, John Scott remained missing, according to the Albany Police Department.

Police are looking for a missing 16-year-old Albany schools student who hasn't been seen since about 1:15 Wednesday morning, and appears to have taken a gun and ammunition from his home, according to information released by authorities.

"We are most concerned about the juvenile's safety," said community engagement specialist Karina Tindol of the . "He's made no threats to any schools or any people."

Albany schools were on alert, and then locked down  on March 2.

Superintendent Marla Stephenson said, in a at 2:30 p.m., that the lockdown was prompted by "an unsubstantiated report that the student was sighted" in Albany. 

"The district implemented emergency lockdown procedures at 11:05 a.m.," she wrote. "The sighting was not corroborated therefore lockdown procedures were lifted." 

"No threat has been made to anyone on a school site, or staff," she said Wednesday afternoon.

Normal school operations resumed as of about 1 p.m. Police said they increased patrols around school campuses in the afternoon.

Stephenson said the student, identified by authorities as John Scott, attended this year. She said he was not expelled from Albany schools, but is no longer living in Albany.

One high school student said he knew John "back in middle school."

"He was really nice. He used to sell candy. I haven't seen him in years," said Paulie Kennedy, 16, a junior at . "I hope he can get some mental help or something. That would be better than locking him up. He's just a kid." 

Kennedy said Wednesday's lockdown surprised him. 

"Albany is such a small town. It's scary to think that kids here have access to weapons," he said.

"It tells you something about society," continued Joseph Zavala, 17, who was standing nearby. "Anything can happen at any time."

Parents and students stayed in touch during the lockdown via e-mail and electronic messaging.

"I can say that the kids are scared but doing well," wrote parent Gretchen Davidson, just before noon Wednesday via e-mail. "My daughter just called from AHS saying they are on code red status. lights off and under desks due to a threat of some sort."

"We're in the corner of a dark classroom hungry because it's lunch...it's been 57 minutes so far," wrote high schooler Nir Maoz via an electronic messaging service, about 12:30 p.m.

"People are bored and hungry," he wrote, as the lockdown stretched into the lunch hour.

Another parent said she received a text from her daughter at Marin, at 10:20 a.m., that all the schools were on lockdown.

Superintendent Stephenson said there had been "no threat to students or staff," but "we are taking every precaution to protect your children." Before the lockdown, "we were on alert," she said.

"We've never had a district-wide lockdown in the 12 years I've been here," she added.

John Scott is 5 feet 5 inches tall and 130 pounds, and was last seen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans and black tennis shoes, according to a runaway "at risk" juvenile report sent out by on Wednesday morning.

John lives in El Sobrante and is a MacGregor student, according to authorities.

Wednesday morning about 1:15 a.m., John’s father reported him missing to police, after coming home from work to find his son missing, according to the report.

John may be upset about some recent problems, said police. Authorities believe the teen took the gun and ammunition when he left.

All efforts to find John have been unsuccessful, and police are asking for help from the public. 

Albany Police said they have been in close contact with school officials, along with the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department, about this case.

As of about 12:05 a.m. Thursday, John Scott remained missing.

Any questions about school district operations should be directed to the Albany Unified School District at 510-558-3750. If you have seen John Scott, or have information on his whereabouts, please contact Albany Police at 510-525-7300.

Everybody makes mistakes ... ! If there's something in this article you think should be corrected, or if something else is amiss, give editor Emilie Raguso a call at 510-459-8325 or shoot her an e-mail at emilier@patch.com.

lisa jaramillo March 07, 2011 at 12:26 PM
the law of california, pertaining to our children, does not and will not hold any one we drop our children off to, unless there is a signed personal contract between whom you drop your child off to and the one recieving your child..resposible for..thieft and personal body harm, no matter what the circumstances.... I was a preschool teacher and a C.A.S.A volunteer for years..they have no legal obligation.. THATS WHY I KNOW THIS WAS A GIFT
lisa jaramillo March 07, 2011 at 12:35 PM
AMEN!! i agree....
lisa jaramillo March 07, 2011 at 12:56 PM
I just keep going back to not being able to thank every one resposible for looking after my babies: the law of california, pertaining to our children, does not and will not hold any one we drop our children off to, unless there is a signed personal contract between whom you drop your child off to and the one recieving your child..resposible for..thieft and personal body harm, no matter what the circumstances.... I was a preschool teacher and a C.A.S.A volunteer for years..and beyond that, my uncle looks after all of us..being the northern cali. judge for LIFE..(thelton henderson) The teachers/administration, have no legal obligation to keep our children safe.. i think we should all give thanx to the fact that this young man was found alive.. when my oldest went through albany high school..2 persons comited suiside.. one was her best friend
Margaret Tong March 07, 2011 at 01:41 PM
Are teachers not 'in loco parentis?' while the pupils are in school?
Emilie Raguso September 24, 2012 at 02:55 PM
Albany Patch is preparing a list of questions from readers for school board candidates. We've scheduled, in conjunction with St. Alban's, candidate forums in October. (BOE: Oct. 10; CC: Oct. 17) Details here: http://patch.com/A-ybgT Please comment back ASAP to let us know your questions for school board candidates, or email me at albany@patch.com.

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