OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) – The Oakland Unified School District removed school resource officers, but with this recent shooting of a 13-year-old at a middle school, should there be more security on campus? KRON4 News has part of the story.
“Babies shooting babies at a school campus, should be shocking. It should be troubling, and again, it should be an immediate call to action,” Mike Huthinson of the OUSD Board of Directors told KRON4.
But does that call to action include armed police officers on the campuses of schools in the Oakland Unified School District? The question comes in the wake of a 13-year-old student being wounded after being shot by a 12-year-old student at James Madison Middle School in Oakland.
OUSD board director Hutchinson says he is not in favor of bringing back ousd’s school police department that was disbanded back in 2020. He tells KRON4, “do we want our schools to be a place where there are armed officers? Do we want our children to have to experience metal detectors just to get in school? These are some of the serious questions that as a community we need to address but I don’t think that having armed police officers on campus is the way”.
KRON4 found a mix of views by some Oakland City Councilmembers on whether or not OUSD should have a police presence at schools. Councilmember Sheng Thao tells KRON4, “any solution that puts more guns in schools is out of balance and out of stop with our values in the city of Oakland.”
Oakland City Councilmember Loren Taylor spoke to KRON4 about his views as well, “we had a police department as part of the school district before. something to definitely consider. I am not so sure that we want to run back to creating a stand-alone police department.”
The middle school shooting took place in councilmember Treva Reid’s district. She spoke about what she is hearing from parents.
Councilmember Treid told KRON4, “I think we need to sit down and have that conversation with the parents. What we heard clearly yesterday from parents is that they are disappointed with the lack of security and presence at the school.”
The president for the Oakland Police Officers’ Association, Barry Donelan, told KRON4, “just understand that they made the choice to eliminate the school’s police and don’t have anything to fill that void.”
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No one is officially asking at this point, but if asked, does OPD have the capacity to provide school resource officers at OUSD? Oakland Police Officers’ Association President Donelan says no.
Donelan tells KRON4, “not in this current form. We just don’t have enough officers to take the volume of 911 calls we have coming in daily.” Oakland Unified School District Director Mike Hutchinson says security will likely be one of the subjects discussed at nexts week’s OUSD Board of Education meeting.