BUSD petitions for restraining order against former track coach

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Alexandre Bui/File

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Berkeley Unified School District attempted to file a restraining order Nov. 20 against Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School’s former track coach in order to protect the athletic director and cross country coach.

A workplace violence restraining order against Richard “Rick” Stanley Holtzman was petitioned by BUSD in an attempt to protect the middle school’s employees Fred Sims, athletic director, and Anna Bretan, cross country coach, from potential threats.

Neither the employees involved nor the respondent could be reached for comment on this dispute.

The petition does not state whether or not the former coach resigned or was fired because of his actions that led him to receive a restraining order from the district.

“(Holtzman) made a credible threat of violence against the employee by making knowing or willful statements or engaging in a course of conduct that would place a reasonable person in fear for his or her safety or the safety of his or her immediate family,” read the petition.

BUSD notified Holtzman on Sept. 29, but he ultimately disregarded it. The district issued a follow-up notice about a month later that never reached him. Given his lack of compliance, the petition stated that Holtzman will most likely attempt to evade service of process.

The petitioner requested a sheriff or marshal to watch over the respondent because of potential threat of violence or stalking and to pay the court costs.

The order states that Holtzman must stay at least 1,000 yards away from Sims and anyone associated with him, including Bretan, any track meets or competitions, the middle school and King School Park.

“The District is fully committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of its students and staff and adopts whatever measures are appropriate to uphold that commitment,” said BUSD spokesperson Charles Burress in an email. “In some cases, including this one, we cannot provide further comment because they are confidential personnel matters.

Contact Mark Henry Salupen at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @salupen_markdc.

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