Parents and teachers at Tilden Elementary School, which serves a large number of disabled children, showed up to the board meeting tonight to ask why the school still doesn’t have a working fire alarm or intercom system.
“The potential for disaster with tragic consequences is far too great,” said Kathleen Boos, a teacher at Tilden.
Boos said teachers have to run up and down, knocking on doors, whenever there’s a drill or a crisis. The phones often don’t work, she said, and the school was recently encouraged to buy Walkie-talkies as a temporary solution.
District staff said they had hired an architect to draw up plans for a fire system in response to the Williams Act complaint the school had filed. They also said fire watchers have been monitoring the campus at night.
“It is a pressing issue, and we are working on a solution for this school,” said state administrator Vincent Matthews.
Kathy Rieves, a Peralta Elementary School parent, recalled the March 2007 fire that destroyed much of her child’s school.
“C’mon now. Look what happened to us! What would have happened if the 250 children who attend Peralta Elementary School were there when somebody burned our school?” she asked. “A fire can happen while those babies are in school!”
Are there similar safety concerns at other Oakland schools?
image from Shermee’s Web site at flickr.com/creativecommons