An Oakland Unified School District board meeting Oct. 23 turned violent when OUSD police drew batons and used force against parents and educators, who were protesting the district’s school closures. Six people were arrested.
CTA President E. Toby Boyd issued a strongly worded statement condemning the violence:
“CTA condemns the heinous acts of violence perpetuated Oct. 23 by Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) police officers against Oakland parents, students and educators who were peacefully protesting proposed school closures. There is no room for these actions in our schools or anywhere in society. We hold responsible the OUSD Board and Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell for creating the atmosphere that led to police officers wildly swinging batons at unarmed teachers, parents and students, causing physical injury and emotional distress. They should be free to speak up on behalf of all students without fear of violent attacks.
“The 310,000 CTA members stand with Oakland Education Association in its demand that OUSD immediately:
- Enact a moratorium on all planned and future school closures;
- Issue a public apology to our students, parents and educators for the use of police barricades, over-policing, and violence at the Oct. 23 board meeting;
- Defund the OUSD police force, and redirect those funds toward the counselors, nurses and other supports Oakland students need; and immediately suspend, investigate and discipline officers for their behavior.”
On Friday, Chaz Garcia, Oakland Education Association second vice president, also issued a statement on behalf of the OEA officers:
“Last night, OUSD police pushed, choked and clubbed peaceful elementary school parents and educators who were protesting school closures. We hold the OUSD Board of Directors and Superintendent Johnson-Trammell responsible for setting the stage for this violence by erecting barricades, and for the actions of their police force. The Oakland Education Association condemns these acts of policing and violence in the strongest possible way, as we have opposed (and went on strike against) the harm done to our students by school closures, the harm done when a Board member choked a teacher in March, and OUSD’s continued spending of over $6.5 million on OUSD police while underspending on counselors, nurses, and school psychologists that our students need.
“Oakland students, parents and educators deserve better than what the OUSD Board and Superintendent Johnson-Trammell are giving us.”