We, the General Assembly of Occupy Oakland, condemn the Oakland School Board’s decision to close Lakeview, Lazear, Marshall, Maxwell Park, and Santa Fe elementary schools, and reassign the students to other public schools. Closing the schools will separate children from beloved teachers, breaking lines of continuity that, in some cases, stretch back three generations. It will destroy community networks, threatening the bonds between neighboring families who meet every day at school. It will make it even harder for working parents to be involved in their childrens’ educations. It will force some of the students into dangerous situations – kindergarteners will be put on public buses alone to make complex crosstown journeys. The district had promised to provide bus tickets for the children; they’re going back on that promise now. This will impact attendance, criminalizing children who can’t make it to school, who can then be arrested by truancy officers. It will demoralize the children, making them feel worthless and nwanted. It will make our neighborhoods less safe and less beautiful.
Occupy Oakland stands in solidarity with the students, parents, and teachers of Lakeview, Lazear, Marshall, Maxwell Park, and Santa Fe elementary schools in their ongoing efforts to fight the school board and stop the closure of the schools. We resolve to throw our weight behind actions organized by parents, teachers, students, and their communities. When possible, we will offer our time, experience, networks, and resources. We resolve to provide logistical and emotional support for working parents. We will look to them for leadership, and ask them what kind of help they need. We will save our public elementary schools.