If you’ve driven past the OUSD central office in the last few days, chances are you’ve seen a few parents with signs by the front steps. If your windows were down, or if you work in the building, you probably heard Aaliyah Jones yelling something along the lines of ”It’s time for a change!”
Jones is a parent at Sankofa Academy, a new, small K-8 school in North Oakland where Washington Elementary School used to be. She and her sister, Shawn Acree, say discipline has deteriorated during the last two years and that she is tired of seeing the problems discussed “in countless meetings” but not addressed.
Armed with a list of demands, Jones and a few other parents, including Acree, have been demonstrating on Second Avenue every weekday since last Thursday. She says she has no time-line for ending the protest, and that a march to City Hall is in the works for next week.
“It might take days and days to get the attention we want, but we need to make a change,” she said.
If you know of any Sankofa students, parents, staff or neighbors who might like to share their experiences with the school — or with middle school discipline in general — I’d love to talk with them.