Lakeview Elementary School was supposed to close at the end of the school year, but families, teachers and local activists who opposed the Oakland school district’s decision to close schools kept it open for two and a half weeks longer. They turned the school on Grand Avenue into a summer program and overnight camp, complete with movie night (“Star Wars,” shown in the school auditorium) and s’mores, history lessons and gardening class.
I was planning to stop by today for a day-in-the-life-of piece on the People’s School for Public Education, but Oakland School Police beat me to it. Around 4 a.m., the officers ordered about 15-20 people sleeping outside the school, including two children, to leave. The dispersal was peaceful. Two people, including organizer Joel Velasquez, were cited and released.
By the time I arrived this morning, the protest signs and tents had been taken down. A couple of activists, who hadn’t been there overnight, came to collect their things. OUSD work crews were there, already preparing the site for its new tenants: the Family and Community Office and other administrative offices. (Note: The OUSD headquarters on Second Avenue is not moving.)
But that doesn’t mean the end of the Lakeview sit-in. There’s a rally at 5 p.m. today, and organizers vow to continue the struggle. The district is taking security precautions at the other elementary schools it closed, said OUSD Spokesman Troy Flint.
On the subject of school closures and what they will have saved the district financially, after one of them — Lazear Elementary — becomes a charter school (causing enrollment loss): I again requested a breakdown today.