Strike Day vandalism at American Indian school

graffiti on a sign celebrating American Indian Public Charter School's National Blue Ribbon award. Photo submitted by John Glover, director

John Glover, director of the American Indian Model Schools, sent me this photo today. He said he found this graffiti — and glue stuck in the charter school’s gate lock — this morning. Based on a neighbor’s description, he suspects the culprit was wearing a union T-shirt.

He writes:

If our neighbor hadn’t scared them off it would likely have been worse. … The neighbor described the vandal as a white male with a bright green shirt on. At the very least, you’d think they would be smart enough not to wear their OEA shirts when destroying school property.

Glover also said 40 of his students’ younger siblings are attending classes at American Indian today because their parents didn’t feel safe sending their kids to school and couldn’t keep them home.

Katy Murphy

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

  • http://www.skylinehs.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=77763&type=u&rn=6808095 David Orphal

    I hope and pray that a member of OEA did not result to vandalism. Vandalism is disgraceful and paints the position of the teachers in the worst possible light.

    Teachers have a right to strike. It is the ultimate weapon for employees to say, “No, thank you. I will not work for the wages and under the conditions that you have imposed. Good luck finding thousands of people as well trained and dedicated as us to do so.”

  • Nancy

    I have a child who attends Oakland Charter Academy on international Blvd. and I also dropped off my younger daughter their this morning after they were turned away becuase o low number of students at Lazear. They have many younger students who were not allowed to stay at the oaklnd district schools there today.

    Im glad they opened their doors. it is too bad that the hate is like this- what does this have to do with my kids?

  • TheTruthHurts

    Let’s hope this is the worst it gets. Disgraceful, but not all that bad. Lazear kids turned away from Lazear? Interesting.

  • Lauren

    Come on!!

    I dont believe these charter created stories! Why is the vandalism at the Indian school on the inside of the sign and within the campus? How obvious is that?

    Lazear nor any other school for that matter, is turning children away. The parents are choosing not to attend to support our rights!

    I would suggest that the reporters go to those charter schools at days end and see if there are parents from other schools there indeed!

    They are the enemy in this city, and parents should leave those schools and support our cause!

    Only by being united will we destroy the oppressive treament of teachers.

  • Tim

    Wow, this casts such a positive light on the teachers and their cause. I was on the fence before, but after seeing this I’m totally going to support whatever they ask for.

    If they weren’t involved with the teachers, these union thugs would be affiliated with garbage collectors or port truck drivers.

    I guess if the standardized tests ever include sections on intimidation and vandalism our kids are going to clean up!

  • Sara

    I was just told that there was Superglue in the front door lock at Oakland High so the swimmers that use the Live Oak pool in the early morning couldn’t get in to use the pool. Another instance of vandalism that hurts the union image.

  • rosa rodriguez

    simple students belong in classrooms!!!! they need their education, ousd teachers have you thought about that…. later dont ask why our children in oakland lack in education. hello! we are few days from state testing does that ring a bell? upset w/ ousd teachers.

  • Cheuy_Leuy

    What history is taught at this “American Indian Charter School…” What does the American Indian Movement stand for today? In the 1960’s and 1970’s native americans fought for beliefs such as the following:

    WHAT IS THE AMERICAN INDIAN MOVEMENT? Things will never be same again and that is what the American Indian Movement is about … They are respected by many, hated by some, but they are never ignored … They are the catalyst for Indian Sovereignty … They intend to raise questions in the minds of all, questions that have gone to sleep in the minds of Indians and non-Indian alike … From the outside, AIM people are tough people, they had to be … AIM was born out of the dark violence of police brutality and voiceless despair of Indian people in the courts of Minneapolis, Minnesota … AIM was born because a few knew that it was enough, enough to endure for themselves and all others like them who were people without power or rights … AIM people have known the insides of jails; the long wait; the no appeal of the courts for Indians, because many of them were there … From the inside AIM people are cleansing themselves; many have returned to the old traditional religions of their tribes, away from the confused notions of a society that has made them slaves of their own unguided lives … AIM is first, a spiritual movement, a religious re-birth, and then the re-birth of dignity and pride in a people … AIM succeeds because they have beliefs to act upon … The American Indian Movement is attempting to connect the realities of the past with the promise of tomorrow … They are people in a hurry, because they know that the dignity of a person can be snuffed by despair and a belt in a cell of a city jail … They know that the deepest hopes of the old people could die with them … They know that the Indian way is not tolerated in White America, because it is not acknowledged as a decent way to be … Sovereignty, Land, and Culture cannot endure if a people is not left in peace … The American Indian Movement is then, the Warriors Class of this century, who are bound to the bond of the Drum, who vote with their bodies instead of their mouths … THEIR BUSINESS IS HOPE.

    Excerpt from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Indian_Movement#1970.27s_Wounded_Knee_FBI_stand-off_at_Pine_Ridge_Reservation

  • lauren

    My second post(first was edited out i guess)

    I do not believe this charter school fabrications of stories. Whya is the tagging on the inside of the sign? If youve been there you know how tall the gate is.

    As for the students at the charter schools, why dont you guys go see if there are indeed students there?

    Parents are supporting our cause! We will stand together against oppression!

  • Harold

    OEA didn’t commit vandalism. No one, at this point, knows who did this.

    I challenge the folks at the Tribune to tell the whole truth. I talked to several support staff at my school… and they said OUSD tried to bully them into showing up to work today. I also heard that some of the Teachers at International High were subject to dirty-tricks as well.

    A lot of ire on this blog is being directed at Teachers and OEA for a letter sent out to parents. I hope Katy can shed some light on the underhanded (fear-tactics) being used by the central office.

  • Cranky Teacher

    It is possible that the glue and graffiti was put there by somebody hoping to discredit the union. I know no teachers who would ever consider doing something so stupid. Why should they? Kids didn’t show up for school today and the strike was a total success.

  • Cranky Teacher

    Harold’s right, the district told non-teacher employees that if they honored the picket line they would be written up immediately.

  • TheTruthHurts

    I don’t think anyone can say with any certainty what vandalism occurred and by whom at this point. I’d hate to think teachers were destroying property at their own schools.

    As to District bullying, Katy already posted the facts which we can interpret however we want. http://www.ibabuzz.com/education/2010/04/27/on-thursday-whats-a-school-secretary-to-do/ See post 26.

    If folks think parents want to send their kids to school during a strike as a political statement, they’re nuts. Parents are going to do whatever it takes to make sure their kids are safe and students and teachers marching around yelling is not an ideal environment – at least not for my kids. Tony Smith kept his kid home. If that’s the measurement of success, I guess there truly is a low bar in Oakland.

  • Cranky Teacher

    This is an outrageous p.r. statement by Brad Stam, as quoted in the Chronicle today:

    “Teachers have crossed at every school in the district,” said Brad Stam, chief academic officer for the district. “The students are not losing as much learning time as we feared.”

    At the big high schools only 2 out of every hundred students showed up, were herded into the auditorium for glorified babysititng … and Brad Stam thinks was a good day for learning????!!

    WOW, I hope he was quoted out of context, for his sake.

  • J.R.

    Some teachers are so bad, that they are nothing “but” glorified babysitters, so what else is new. You want everyone to acknowledge that all kids are different and that one size does not fit all, granted. How come teachers do not want to be judged on an individual basis, and only paid as a collective?why the fear? Why the double standard?

  • http://www.aimschools.org John Glover

    My staff and I are extremely proud of our schools and our students. We would never do anything to disrespect or damage our own campus. To insinuate otherwise is adding insult to injury.

    I have been yelled at and cussed at, in public, by representatives of OEA. It happened at an OUSD board meeting just over a week ago by Ms. Kappner, a recent candidate for the OEA presidency. And for what? I support all Oakland students and all Oakland teachers and schools that are doing a good job of providing kids a solid education. I even agree that most of our hardworking Oakland teachers deserve the raise they are fighting for.

    It is a shame that a few misguided individuals can cast a shadow over the rest of their colleagues. Do OEA’s values really represent the values of its membership? In this instance, I certainly hope not.

  • Katy Murphy

    American Indian wasn’t the only school visited by vandals in the wee hours. Westlake was one of several schools that reported superglued locks this morning.

    In Westlake’s case, the vandals — who appeared to staff to be adults — were caught on video…

  • Chris

    OH God!!!!!!! CHeuy Leauy huh! This is what all boils down too! Opression and the AIM movement- you know, the leftist slants are going to destroy the old guard.

    What is a right wing nut posted KK jargon-would that be edited out by the media police?

    The USA is in trouble when these left wing nut jobs educate the kids.

  • TheTruthHurts

    The more I think of it, if this person was wearing a union t-shirt, it probably wasn’t a union person. I mean, who’s that stupid? Unless they want to get caught? Unless they want the public to know.

    I don’t think that’s likely. It’s likely someone who wanted people to think it was a union person. Still, a risky thing to do.

  • Turanga_teach

    For Rosa,
    You’re absolutely right–students belong in classrooms. TEACHERS belong in classrooms. But working conditions and compensation in Oakland are among the worst in Alameda County, if not the entire Bay Area, and according to a recent survey conducted by the district, 55% of new teachers in OUSD leave within five years of their hire date.

    I walked the line today because tomorrow, I’m meeting with the new special education teacher I support: the person who’s the fourth replacement since I transferred out of his exact placement five years ago because the conditions were intolerable.

    Teacher attrition is hurting our kids. The contract dispute, which is about special education class size as well as teacher pay, has that concern at its core.

  • http://emeraldirises.blogspot.com/2010/04/oakland-strike-opinion.html Sarah

    Roosevelt also had glue in all the locks/doors this morning. It was there at some point before our admins arrived at 5:30 AM.

    Even if OEA didn’t do it, the spirit of striking definitely fueled the vandalism. This is yet another reason why I can’t stand with the union on this one.

  • Cranky Teacher

    Turanga_teach is looking long term, worried about the constant turnover and how it affects our most vulnerable young people.

    Sarah is focusing on the crisis of the moment — some nutcase put glue in some door locks.

    I’m proud to stand with Turanga, not Sarah.

  • harlemmoon

    Folks from San Francisco to San Diego are laughing at you, shaking their heads and wondering, frankly, just how dunderheaded the union could possibly be. I suspect it won’t be long before that question’s answered as OEA’s proven time and again just how ridiculously immature, unprofessional and uniquely absurd it can be.

    Hats off to ya! It was another great day for the annals of Oakland history.

  • Chauncey

    Of course Cranky Teacher is not “proud ” of Sara. Why would a union teacher see the viewpoint of a person who disagrees with him-he”s a teacher!

    The idealist in the education ranks will not ever agree to even listed to other perspectives-let alone agree. This is what they are spweing to your children on a daily basis. This stuff will not occur in classrooms in Moraga, or Orinda-if it does they study it like OUSD and students are lab rats. We, poor miniorites, sit back and let this happen?! What does that say about us?

    What the hell do you think they will talk about today! Brainwashing is a daily thing in OUSD and Administrators (who perhaps are all former teachers) stand by and let it happen-why? The union castrated them! Union propaganda and PTA parents with their tie dyed shirts will buy dnute for teahers and pat them on the back while their precious little Billy will engage in a discourse with their 2nd grade teacher about yesterday.

    Wait, do 2nd graders discourse? (NO They Listen and take it in)! Cmon parents?! Let those ex hippies take it, but we need more for our kids.

    Even Tony Smiths kid stayed home! Man you’ve got to be kidding me!

    District mentaility is pathetic. Teach on OUSD teachers-teach them about the movement, and the union- meanwhile charter schools housed your students!! Its all coming to an end.

    Now that was smart and innovative.

  • Harold

    maybe Sarah should blame the vandalism on the climate set off by the contract being imposed?

    maybe, the district’s actions play a part?

    thankfully, all the anti-Teacher, right-wing, comments on this blog, do not represent the greater -Oakland community.

  • http://emeraldirises.blogspot.com/2010/04/oakland-strike-opinion.html Sarah


    That may be the case, but the strike was voted on months before the district imposed. And while the district isn’t perfect by any means, but they are at least behaving politely. I have yet to hear of any district person or non-striking worker behaving inappropriately (correct me if I’m wrong!), but we cannot say the same of the striking OEA members.

  • Cheuy_Leuy

    For Sarah: Where in history did a union stiker every behave “politely”? I hope you are not one of the teachers all of the teacher bashers are referring to exactly.

  • harold

    @Sarah – wake up and smell the coffee. The district “threatened” classified employees. Katy, has reported on this. I can understand anyone’s anxiety over all of this labor strife, but get your facts straight.

    Imposing a contract on underpaid Teachers, is not “polite”!

  • J.R.

    thankfully, all the anti-Teacher, right-wing, comments on this blog, do not represent the greater -Oakland community.

    We are not necessarily right wing, but we are, productive tax paying citizens(whom you supposedly work for), and before you state “I am a taxpayer too”, think about where your taxable income comes from, will you? Another thing to think about, you have “wealth makers” and then you have “wealth takers”, and all the “wealth takers” agree with you.

  • J.R.

    Imposing a contract on underpaid Teachers, is not “polite”!

    “out here” In the real world we “make it”, or “break it” we are not mandated a guaranteed revenue stream via contract, just thank GOD that you do have that revenue stream.

  • harold

    “too big to fail” should apply to our children (our future)!

    @J.R. – you get what you pay for. Pay crap wages and guess what you will get?

    … and yes, i pay property taxes in Oakland.

    … did you notice how fast they turned on those printing presses when Paulson and Geithner went in and basically bullied Congress into bailing them out?

  • J.R.

    Our children future is important(and they need to embrace that), and speaking of that why has the majority Oakland’s flatland schools been low on API benchmarks? Does more money = better results?

    you get what you pay for. Pay crap wages and guess what you will get?

    Do you mean to tell me that the kids will get instantaneously better if we pay you teachers more? Or are you finally going to dump the bad teachers if we pay you more, or you are just going to try harder?

    How are you going to get better results than we have been seeing for the past two decades? It’s sound as though you are more concerned about money than the children’s future, now we see the truth.

  • harold

    more pay will retain the good Teachers. low pay will lead to high turnover. Too many bright, energetic, young Teachers, do their two years and bail to the surrounding districts. We need to stop the exodus.

  • J.R.

    look, in many communities they are dealing with a forced exodus(RIFs) of young highly talented, and energetic teachers, these are the times that we live in. No one cared to have the foresight to prevent huge payouts via the absurd pension system. Well now the bill has come due and payable. Everyone was into instant gratification, and didn’t care about the future, well not the kids will be paying the bill too.

  • J.R.

    One question, if they increased pay for the bottom tier of teachers(the new ones, who are definitely underpaid)would all the rest of the teachers accept that? It would raise the average salary, but I still don’t think that is what the real unspoken truth is here. The older teachers would “NEVER” go for it. That truly would be a stand on principle.