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:
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!