Oakland parents and teachers announce plans to sit-in to stop school closures

Protests against Oakland school closures

As 5 elementary schools are set for closure at the end of this school year, displacing around 900 children to schools 10 miles away with no transport provided, parents and teachers announce plans to sit-in to save their schools.

The five public elementary schools set for closure in Oakland, which serve predominantly black children, will be turned into private charter schools and district administrative offices by the Oakland Unified School District.

The pupils from these five schools have been displaced to schools up to 10 miles away, and there is no guarantee of transport provision.

Oakland has been a hot bed of radical political organising, and the fight for education is part of this. In response to the planned closures, parents and teachers have announced plans to sit-in at Lakeview Elementary, on June 15th, the last day of the school year.

The parents and teachers have released the following statement:

Quote:
The district has not listened to lawsuits, pleas from parents and teachers, or protests. We know the money exists, but still they insist on closing flatland schools serving predominantly black and brown children. We say no more excuses! We’re keeping the schools open the last way left to us, by sitting-in. But we cannot do this alone. We need your support! Demand the district and the politicians give us full funding for quality education in neighborhood public schools. Join the fight for our kids’ futures!

There are a number of planning meetings scheduled before the sit-in (see above link), and support from anyone in the area is being encouraged.

The sit-in will kick off with a community speakout and BBQ, a solidarity rally, leading to nightly solidarity watches. On Monday 18th June, a free, week-long social justice programme for children will be held at the school. Anyone wanting to get involved or have more information about these activities should email education4the99 [at] gmail.com

The parents and teachers have issued the following demands for the sit-in:

  • Don’t Close the 5 Schools!
  • Keep All Neighborhood Schools Open!
  • Children’s Needs Before Administration’s!
  • Stop Attacks on Teachers and School Workers!
  • Teacher Conditions=Student Conditions.
  • Refuse to Pay the Unjust State Debt!
  • Fully Fund Quality Public Education for All Students!

Please post any updates if you have them. Good luck and solidarity to all involved!

Posted By

Ramona
Jun 12 2012 19:14

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  • We’re keeping the schools open the last way left to us, by sitting-in. But we cannot do this alone. We need your support!

    Oakland parents and teachers

Attached files

Comments

Hieronymous
Jun 16 2012 00:38

I received a flier from one of the organizers of this event. It seems clear that they're trying to distance themselves from Occupy Oakland.

Here's from the back of the flier:

Quote:
Our Principles Of This Action

This is a parent, teacher, and student led action.
Please respect and abide by their principles:

• Refer all interviews to parents, teachers, and
people directly impacted by education struggle
who are on a sit-in committee (they will be
wearing a special shirt).

• Do not confront the police.

• No Black Bloc tactics.

• No Drugs or Alcohol. This is intended to be a
children and family atmosphere.

• No Violence/destruction of property.

• Occupiers will be people directly affected by
education struggle and who work on a sit-in
committee (wearing special shirts).

• This is a peaceful action.

bastarx
Jun 15 2012 23:13

Sounds like a good recipe for isolation and defeat.

Hieronymous
Jun 16 2012 07:28

Yeah, once the press conference began a trusted comrade who was there left and was critical of its activistism.

UPDATE: another member of the organizing committee told me that the president of the Oakland Education Association, the teachers' union, was scheduled to be there and that there were about 50 people setting up tents outside at nightfall, where they planned to sleep. There's a rally planned for 2:00 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday).

Of course there are official and unofficial bureaucrats involved in the organizing because the leadership is based on a popular front. The greatest weakness, in my opinion, is the strategy of pandering to the bourgeois media.

bastarx
Jun 16 2012 02:31

Was this coming from bureaucrats of some sort?