Teachers, students protest outside of Oakland school board members’ homes against school police
Oakland teachers and students protested outside of two Oakland Unified school board members’ homes Friday to urge them to eliminate the district’s police department. Dozens of protesters filled the streets in front of the homes of school board president Jody London and school board member James Harris holding signs and banners that said “OPD out of OUSD,” and “Black power matters; black lives matter.”
Community group the Black Organizing Project and other activists have been calling on the district to dissolve its police department for years. In March, when school board members identified $18.8 million in cuts to the 2020-2021 school year in order to balance the district’s budget, they considered eliminating the police department but ultimately decided not to. At that time superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell ordered a report to be completed by September on how cutting the police department would impact student safety.
The Black Organizing Project and the teachers union, the Oakland Education Association, are again calling on the school board to eliminate the police department in the wake of the George Floyd killing, and national outrage over the police brutality and racial injustice. School board member Roseann Torres will reintroduce the proposal at a school board meeting Wednesday.