OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) — Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) teachers, parents, and families have already rallied outside of La Escuelita Elementary School ahead of Wednesday night’s school board meeting. They claim that the district is retaliating against educators and community members who protest school closures and policies.

Outraged, upset, and disappointed, OUSD families and teachers are protesting recent decisions by the school district.

“Angry at the continuing recklessness of this school district that’s supposed to be defending public schools,” said Oakland Education Association Representative Craig Gordon. “That’s supposed to be all about public education that has been consistently acting to privatize public schools, closing them, underresourcing them, then closing them, finding reasons to close them and then turn it over to private interests.”

Gordon is a longtime educator in the city. However, as of Monday, he’s now a former substitute teacher.

He says he was wrongfully fired out of retaliation after he joined protestors occupying Parker Elementary on Thursday who want to keep the school open.

Video from Thursday shows security officers trying to get them out.

“They were very aggressive and violent towards the people who were in there,” Gordon said.

Parker Elementary is one of the dozens of schools that OUSD plans to close or merge over the next two years. Many people have joined the fight to keep their doors open — saying the closures will negatively impact students of color.

“The district should be ashamed of what it is doing to attack the rights of students and families in the city instead of protecting them,” Gordon said.

KRON On is streaming news live now

The group is now calling for school district leaders to stop its retaliatory tactics and immediately reverse the decision to terminate teachers who’ve spoke out against the closures.

“We’re not going to back down and we’re not going to let them intimidate us and try and pick us off one by one or be deterred by the violence that we saw last week or threats of firing or any of that,” Gordon said.

KRON4 reached out to OUSD for a response to these claims but haven’t heard back yet.