OAKLEY (KPIX) — A few dozen people gathered at Oakley City Hall Saturday, not all of them from Oakley. What happened here this week is now part of the statewide fight over reopening schools.
“It’s not, honestly, the light we would want on our city” said parent Rebecca Mears. “It is unfortunate that it came to that but unfortunately they were caught red-handed making inappropriate and unprofessional comments.”READ MORE: Lake County Luxury Hotel, Housing Project Raises Concerns Over Wildfire Risk
Originally planned as a protest against the school board members who have now resigned, Saturday’s event became a call for open schools.
“Five days a week, on campus, now!” one speaker said. “That’s what’s gotta happen.”
“We are from Brentwood Unified School District,” explained Chandra Bates. “Unfortunately, we just pulled our kids from the district because the school has not been transparent and has not let parents have a choice in getting the kids back to the classroom.”
The infamy of the Oakley School Board video and the larger dispute over how and when students should return to class drew people from all over.READ MORE: Theft Leaves San Jose Couple Bereft: 'We’re Heartbroken, All Our Precious Things Are Gone'
“I live in Placer County — in Roseville,” said Jonathan Zacherson, founder of Reopen California Schools and an organizer of the rally.
“I’m thankful that Newsom has finally changed course a little bit, instead of siding with the plans to keep schools closed, like SB 86 will,” Zachreson said.
This group does feel its movement is gaining momentum. Most of the discussion Saturday wasn’t about what was overheard on Wednesday. It was about what comes next.
“Stand out front, get more parents,” a speaker told the crowd. “Tell them to open the doors and look us in the eye and tell us what they’re doing about what’s happening to our children.”MORE NEWS: Indoor Restaurant Dining Resumes, Movie Theaters Reopen in SF and Santa Clara Counties
“It has been a good lesson for me to research the people that I vote for,” Bates said. “I will never again be complacent when it comes to filling out my ballot.”