OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Protesters disrupted an Oakland Unified School District board meeting and climbed over barriers, causing school district police to intervene Wednesday evening, school district officials said.
Six were arrested after the chaotic disruption, which was held in the Great Room at La Escuelita Elementary, according to John Sasaki, the OUSD director of communications.
The school board heard before the meeting that protesters were going to attend and decided to put up metal barriers in front of the stairs as a precaution. Oakland Unified police officers were also present.
Oakland Unified School District board meeting tonight. OUSD police pulling, shoving, hitting, and arresting parents and teachers protesting school closures. Disproportionate and immediate OPD response. K-5 kids crying inconsolably. cc @mayaashleyyy @KPIXtv pic.twitter.com/YWajVpUEaJ
— Cheshire Isaacs (@cheshiredave) October 24, 2019
At 6:30 p.m., about half an hour into the meeting during the public comment period, some attendees jumped over the barrier after a woman finished giving her statement, Sasaki said.
No board members were injured and they immediately vacated the room after the disruption. The podium was knocked over, but public comments continued while the board members stayed in a separate room.
The six who were arrested were transported to the OUSD Police office, cited and then released Wednesday evening.
“Oakland Unified School District and the Board of Education respect and support the public’s right to voice their concerns through peaceful protest. The Board still must be able to conduct its business,” Sasaki said in a statement Wednesday evening.
Sasaki said Wednesday’s incident was the third board meeting in a row that was disrupted. A similar disruption occurred two weeks ago, but the podium was taken away and that prevented anyone from speaking at that meeting.