No one injured at after-school fight at Tech

It sounded intense from the police scanner, but Oakland Police Sgt. Jack Peterson described an after-school scuffle this afternoon at Oakland Technical High School as “a whole lot of nothing.”

The fight happened as the students were leaving school. There was just one security officer on duty, and so he called for help, said Peterson, who supervises OPD’s schools unit. Three police officers were at the scene.

Peterson said no one was hurt, and no one was arrested.

Troy Flint, a district spokesman, said the conflict was between two girls, and that a large crowd gathered to watch and take photographs.  He said no one else became involved.

Katy Murphy

Education reporter for the Oakland Tribune. Contact me at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.

  • Former OUSD Educator

    Keep watching Oakland Tech! This school is far far from the safe and equitable school that the principal, Sheilagh Andujar, and others who benefit from the inequities at the school represents it to be. For example, you posted a blog entry a few weeks ago about Oakland Tech’s Pre-Engineering academy and the teacher in that program. If you investigate further into Oakland Tech and the Pre-Engineering academy, while we are all happy for the successes of those students, it is an unwritten rule at Oakland Tech that certain students (e.g. Special Education students, general average students, and especially not the far below basic, below basic, and even the basic students) are not welcomed in the Pre-Engineering program, Paidaia, and even certain teachers. The teacher, Parker Merrill, you mentioned in the entry is clear that he only will teach certain students and the principal, Sheilagh Andujar, supports his and others’ discrimination of students.

    Now, I’m sure that someone will respond to this posting opposing the facts that have been outlined, however, it is probably because that person or persons are benefiting greatly from the inequities and disparate treatment of students and some staff and faculty at Oakland Tech.

  • Doowhopper

    As an OUSD sub for the past six years,I have had many occasions to work at Tech and some of what you say about the school being inequitable in its programs has some validity.That is typical of most schools who like to hide their deeper problems and accentuate the positive aspects of their campus.
    Yet I must admit that Tech is a lot better than it was a few years ago.It is more diverse now and the quality of teaching and disciplinary procedures are much improved.
    I think the academies tend to be rather selective and maybe even elitist for a reason.You certainly can’t expect Special Ed students to compete with kids in higher level Physics classes.Of course there are many”regular”students who could do quite well in an academy setting but I can see Ms Andujar and Mr Merrill’s concern that the quality of the program might suffer if the selection process includes nearly everyone interested.
    My big gripe at Tech is that there is still way too much laxness regarding tardy students being allowed to stroll into class anytime without a pass and the ignoring of vile and destructive language.If I said what many Tech students said in front of a teacher back at my old high school,an automatic three day suspension would have been implemented.
    But,its the ghetto,right?So you KNOW how THOSE students are.

  • Realist

    OUSD educator:

    You accuse the principal and engineering teacher of discrimination. Where is your proof?

    Anyone can enter Paidea, and if they are willing to work hard, come to class on time, behave themselves and treat others with respect, they get to continue!

    Engineering is the only academy at Tech that admits kids based on merit. So what? There are other academies that are self nominating if engineering is “not your thing”.

    Just as there are special classes for kids faced with the challenges of special ed, there needs to be challenging classes for kids up to the task. We will be doing a dis-service to all our kids if we don’t provide the extra attention and support for those who need it, and don’t challenge the ones who are ready to move on. Putting kids of disparate abilities in the same classes benefits no one.

    Oakland Tech happens to be popular because of the Paidea and Engineering programs. I for one am thrilled that the programs at Tech are keeping more families in public school. We should celebrate this, and look for ways to reproduce it, not look for ways to tear it down.

  • Nextset

    Sometimes it just hurts liberal minds to think that those that can’t cut it are excluded from academic programs. Too Bad, So Sad.

    The academic academies have no place for special ed or low IQ students. There are alternative schools for them. Deal with it.

    The fact that the students at this school think a public brawl on campus is entertainment and are ready to go to one and take photos tells me that the school has a long way to go to meet my quality standards. So the place can’t be “elitist” or too discriminating as far as I’m concerned.

  • Realist

    Nextset, I think its great that Tech has programs for kids at all levels, as you know, one size doesn’t fit all. I have no problems with classes that require certain standards to be met, that is part of life. Not everyone is going to go to, or want to go to, MIT.

    Since Tech is a public school, it is required to educate all children, so being “elitist” or “discriminating” isn’t something public schools can engage in.

    Although it is too bad that a fight occurred on campus, I know that scholyard fights aren’t limited to Tech. Fights occur at almost all schools, including some well known private schools in the area, and suburban schools through the tunnel.

    Fortunately at Tech they have a great conflict resolution program, peer mediators, and policies in some classes that if students even stop to watch fights, they will be released from participation in that class. I think these efforts go a long way in setting expections and consequences for bad behaviour.

    I’m not sure how much you really know about Tech, and I think you would be pleasantly surprised if you stopped by one day and paid a visit. Remember, one bad apple doesn’t ruin the whole bunch!

  • Nextset

    Actually I went to Tech two summers for summer school… Biology, Physics and Typing – I forgot the rest. At the time the Summer School program was run by UC Berkeley and staffed by UC Grad Students and others as teachers. The high school students came from all over the East Bay.

    Public schools can discriminate and should just as SF USD does with Lowell High School. You have a separate academic campus by application and testing only – and you provide alternative schools for impaired students. The “regular” schools you try your best to maintain minimum standards at. There, we have discrimination… And it’s sorely needed at OUSD.

  • Realist

    I agree. It would be good to have a strong, all academic, public high school in OUSD. Perhaps more families would consider public school then. That being said, I think the Paidea program and some of the academies at Tech fit the bill quite well until OUSD can figure out a way to make the aforementioned happen (I won’t hold my breath).

    Not sure when you were last at Tech, but have a look at their website for starters (www.oaklandtech.com), Paidea and Engineering are quite impressive.

  • Nextset

    I really liked my time at Oakland Tech. The building was facinating, I loved the hot cinnamon rolls at 8am in the cafeteria, the classrooms were large, airy and had lots of natural light. The labs were better than at my usual public school with superior equipment. The typing room was also superior to anything I’d seen at other schools.

    But that summer school program was run with 2 teachers in every classroom – who ran the place with aromatherapy and stalinism. Charming, friendly and tougher than any teachers I’d had in high school. They would have made good nuns (and I suspect they’d had Nuns when they were younger). We got a lot of work done – one school year each summer (classes were 3 or more hrs long as I remember). Tardies and absentism got you expelled rather quickly because they had to certify your attendence for a high minimum number of hours. We were told not to get sick or injured or you were out regardless of why. There was no such thing as an excuse for not turning in assignments or any other deadlines – if you failed to perform you were just out, it doesn’t matter why. Most people did OK, some withdrew for personal reasons.

    Needless to say there were no fights or backtalk. We were confronted on day one with a list of relatively adult expectations that were clearly communicated with consequences that were instantaneously delivered. No one raised any voices. All classmates were capable of doing the work in the first place because there were prerequisites for most classes and nobody was there if they hadn’t met them and applied for the class. There were no dummies, nobody held the class back.

    Now that was a real school.