The Oakland School Board is scheduled to vote this Wednesday on leasing Santa Fe Elementary to the Emeryville School District, and turning Lazear Elementary over to the Charter School Operators. We will not allow this to go through. We are taking direct action to prevent these school closures.
Rally and Pack the Board Meeting 4:30 Wednesday, March 28th, 1025 2nd Avenue, Oakland CA.
We are in a strong position to stop ALL of the school closings now. Because of the strength of the new civil rights movement in Oakland and at UC-Berkeley, on March 5th Oakland Superintendent Tony Smith was forced to announce that there will be no additional school closings next year and that currently the district is financially sound.
This makes all the more clear that there is NO reason, other than a racist, political attack on the black and Latino communities and youth of Oakland to go ahead with the five school closings. The School Board can and must reverse its vote and keep Lakeview, Lazear, Santa Fe, Maxwell and Thurgood Marshall OPEN.
Closing Lakeview, Lazear, Santa Fe, Maxwell Park, and Thurgood Marshall Elementary Schools, will result in large pockets of under-serviced, underprivileged segregated communities, with no public school available.
Closing elementary schools will force Latina/o and black families unwilling to allow their children to be bussed to a distant school, to face two onerous options- move out of their homes into new neighborhoods or send their child to a second rate charter school. We must make clear that we will not allow our schools to be closed.
We must refuse to let our places of learning for kindergarteners up to fifth graders be turned into office space, abandoned buildings, charter schools or anything else. Everyone – young, old, and in between — must mobilize to this meeting and demand that the only acceptable decision is for these five schools to stay open as the public elementary schools they are now. If we assert the power of our numbers and don’t take no for an answer, we can win.
This is a plan to force the young people of Oakland to tolerate and expect a life of discrimination; this plan is to implement the New Jim Crow! When the district cowardly voted 5-2 to deprive school children – overwhelmingly black and Latino, but also Arabic, Asian, and white — of their right to their school community, hundreds of students, parents, teachers, and community supporters filled the meeting in unanimous opposition to the vote.
These parents and community members vowed to keep fighting by any means necessary for their schools and all the schools. This fight is not over, it has just begun! WE can win if we act now! Occupy OUSD!