(KRON) — Chabot Elementary School in Oakland was on lockdown Tuesday morning due to a bomb threat, the Oakland Police Department confirmed. The school was cordoned off with yellow police tape and officers from several agencies and K-9 officers are deployed at the school.
The bomb threat was called in around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday before school started. Students that were on the campus were safely reunited with parents, according to Oakland PD Capt. Lisa Ausmus.
OPD was working with Alameda County Sheriff’s Office K-9 bomb dogs to investigate. No explosive device was located. As of around 12:40 p.m., the campus was declared clear by OPD.
There has been a social media backlash against Chabot Elementary School trending Tuesday morning in reaction to a “Playdate Social for Black, Brown and API families.” A major conservative account tweeted about the event, describing it as a “race segregated ‘playdate social’ for all students except white kids.”
KRON4 reached out to the group behind the playdate event, the Chabot Equity & Inclusion Committee and received a statement that read in part:
“Not only have we been continuously getting hate mails, the school has been receiving calls nonstop and Trump supporters and other unhinged racists have been spreading the school’s info by posting the address of our kids’ school for the whole internet to see. We have received a threat that has triggered an investigation by OPD which is now being considered a hate crime.”
The emailed bomb threat had “racial undertones,” according to Capt. Ausmus. OPD also confirmed that it was investigating a “hate speech incident.” In a statement, the Oakland Unified School District said the threats — including the bomb threat — were in response to the Playdate event on Saturday.
The event, OUSD said, “was intended to build and promote positive affinity spaces for students and families of color.”
“Chabot is a diverse school community with more than half of the student population identifying as students of color. This playdate aimed to create an affinity space where Black, Brown, and API families can build and sustain connection and belonging at the school,” the district added.
KRON4’s Will Tran spoke to Briana, one of the organizers of the playdate.
“I find it very concerning that people feel the need to spread the flyer, spread false narratives about it being a ‘whites not allowed’ event,” she said. “Nowhere on that flyer did it say that no one was turning anybody away at the door if they were white. Anyone could come, but the space was meant for Black, Brown and Asian families.”
Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to speak out about the incident.
“I am outraged that our children, educators and neighbors have been targeted by malicious threats,” Thao tweeted. “My office is in contact with Oakland Unified School District and [Oakland PD] as we seek answers. We are monitoring the situation closely.”
OPD investigators are working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to determine if there is any connection between the bomb threat and the hate speech incident. Police say the investigation is ongoing.
Oakland PD will be maintaining a police presence near the school for the remainder of the week, according to OUSD.