Educators rally for Oakland school board to vote to eliminate schools police department

Bay Area

OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) – A big vote expected to take place in Oakland on Wednesday, the school board is deciding on whether or not to keep the Oakland school police department.

They are the only school district in Alameda County to maintain its own officers.

Dozens of people honking, holding signs and asking for the school board to vote to eliminate the Oakland schools police department.

The Black Organizing Project, a local organization working for racial social and economic justice, has been asking to remove police from Oakland schools for years now.

Oakland educators now stand in solidarity with the organization and are looking to replace uniformed and armed officers with counselors, nurses and mental health staff.

“Things that students actually need in order to thrive and to learn instead of over policing,” Amanda Seton said. 

“We know that to create real safety, funds need to be directed to providing basic services that students need to have counselors, to having restorative justice people who are trained in that not uniformed officers who are armed whose presence produces fear,” Becca Rozo-Marsh said. 

On Monday afternoon, people stood outside the Oakland School District Headquarters on Broadway — Dancing, painting the street, and asking for support from community members.

School board members plan to vote on dissolving the school district’s police department on Wednesday.

Oakland educators say they want the board members to vote on the resolution as is and not make any changes.

“Really hoping that on Wednesday every single board member votes yes on the George Floyd Resolution and really heeds the call from Oakland and across the country that we do not need police in schools,” Seton said. 

“We know that having police in schools leads to the criminalization of young people, disproportionately Black and brown young people in our schools, it leads to more punitive measures, it prevents schools from being safe for all students,” Rozo-Marsh said. 

The school will vote on Wednesday and according to the school district spokesperson, there appears to be a great deal of support for eliminating the police department.

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