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Sunday, November 27, 2016

A Viewer Writes: Your story about the protest at Claremont Middle School

Mr. Albero,

I write to ask you to correct your story on our school protest which is linked below. It was NOT organized by teachers or administrators. As has happened numerous times in Oakland Unified School District since the election, students organized the protest. You rightly mentioned that teachers and administrators escorted them around on their march, but they did so only to ensure the students stayed safe. I was there and helped make sure that once the students got their message across, they returned to class and their studies.

Just today, there was another protest that stayed on campus at a different middle school, again organized entirely by the students.
Ours is one of the most diverse cities in the nation, and with that diversity comes a deep understanding of the important issues of our time - especially those that touch people of color. Unlike what some of your commenters said, our students - including the younger ones - have powerful thoughts about issues such as social justice, so the fact that they want to protest something that they see as wrong is not surprising in the least.

As for the allegation that the District or the school did not inform the parents until it was over, our first responsibility was to ensure the children, who left en masse, were safe as they walked around. Calling parents was not something we could do until we knew we had all the students safely taken care of.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

John Sasaki
Director of Communications
Oakland Unified School District


Anonymous said...

To believe the students were allowed to do this and are intelligent enough to plan and execute without school leaders / teachers is BS. They have indoctrinated the students so bad they believe the parents and the rest of us believe this BS. This idiot knows they were caught red handed and now he is spinning it to say the school / district is innocent. Sounds like an Obama, community organizer, spin.

Anonymous said...

Mr Sasaki,
You should loose your,job whats next muslims trying to convert christian kids.

Anonymous said...

Okay so staff escorted the students around on the march. This is helping to organize no matter how one tries to spin it. This is getting ridiculous. Schools are institutes for learning-period end of story. It's time for administrators to show leadership and say no to anymore of these protests. There are many public parks and other areas more appropriate for a protest. Freedom of speech does not ever mean interrupting others rights like the right to learn. This is doing nothing other then creating an uncomfortable and potentially UNSAFE environment from students who do support Donald Trump.

Anonymous said...

"..our students - including the younger ones - have powerful thoughts about issues such as social justice, so the fact that they want to protest something that they see as wrong is not surprising in the least.."

That may be true, but they aren't at school to protest, and that isn't the place to do it.

Further, regardless of the excuses outlined in the response, it is telling that the students can just opt to walk out and the 'administration' can only react.

Who runs that school?

I know what would have happened if we would have tried something like that when we were in school.

Anonymous said...

Great idea staying with the children as they left campus! Now you know each and every one that I'm certain violated your attendance policy. Now you can start handing out the suspension slips for skipping class. You guys are brilliant!

Anonymous said...

"It was NOT organized by teachers or administrators.. I was there and helped make sure that once the students got their message across, they returned to class and their studies."

It was clearly FACILITATED by the teachers and administrators. How do these middle school children just 'do' something like this on their own? Can they just get up and walk out with no consequences?

The parents have every right to be furious with you.

Smile said...

As a former teacher and administrator, this should never have happened. These students are not adults and should be dealt with accordingly in that quite a few rules were likely violated. If it is found that teachers and/or administrators were involved, they too too should be penalized. This election could be a great teaching tool in the history classroom not outside protesting. As I saw in my 31 years of education before retirement, too many liberals make the decisions. We need to emphasize that we are all in this together as a nation and we need to work together or we will fall as other civilizations have such as the Roman Empire!

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Sasaki,

First, allow me to remind you that you and the administrators, staff and teachers are responsible for operating a SCHOOL according to the rules that were in place long before this election. That means YOU and other responsible ADULTS enforce the rules and discipline CHILDREN that break them. It does NOT mean that the CHILDREN rewrite the rules. They left the classroom and disrupted the RIGHT TO LEARN of all other students who did not wish to participate. I don't care if it was only ONE student who did not wish to participate. Their RIGHTS matter too. This was an IDEAL real-world learning experience that your school could have used to TEACH (which is your purpose) these CHILDREN about how elections take place, why and how long the process has been in place, and how to peacefully object on their OWN TIME without breaking the law.

Second, every single one of those CHILDREN who protested should have been put in the gym or cafeteria or auditorium and a call placed to parents to pick up their CHILDREN. The police should have been called to monitor the situation until that happened. But, you didn't do that because it would have been too much work to issue discipline and process the CHILDREN out of school AND you would have had to answer to the parents of those CHILDREN who disrupted the school day AND the parents of the CHILDREN who were DENIED the right to learn.

Third, your message to these CHILDREN is that when they are not happy with the outcome of a situation, the rules don't matter. Only their feelings and their right to express them matter. Do you think a boss or police officer is going to care about their feelings? I give you an "F" for teaching these CHILDREN about the real are leading them down the path to FAILURE as a responsible, law-abiding, contributing member of society.

Fourth, you have opened the door for these CHILDREN to protest ANYTHING during the school day for eternity. You can not pick and choose which protests you allow because that would violate their rights. So if they don't like the school lunch today, or the homework assignment is too hard, or they think exams are unfair, they can protest because you allowed it previously.

Finally, you may notice that I stress CHILDREN. They are MIDDLE SCHOOL-aged CHILDREN. They have MUCH to learn about academically and socially. Their brains are still developing along with their bodies and their thought processes. At that age, they are merely repeating the opinions of the adults in their homes and communities. You could have initiated a constructive discussion in individual classrooms or had an assembly by grade that would have addressed their need to be heard instead of giving them control of the school. THAT would have kept them "safe", followed the school rules, and allowed the teachers to TEACH. In fact, who knows what kind of discussions could have taken place in the homes and community had these CHILDREN been offered the "other" side of the story!

Do your job. TEACH. LEAD. INSPIRE. GUIDE. Stop letting the chicks rule the chicken house.

A Wicomico County Parent

Anonymous said...

If you were so concerned with their safety, why did you not just have them stay in their classrooms where they should have been in the first place? You escorting them outside during "their march", only places you at a higher level of liability. Should one of those students went missing or were injured during the march, every adult present would be held responsible along with the school.

Your excuse is a poor and shows that one Every teacher and administrator who took part in this was as every bit a part of the whole procedure from the start. You are there to teach math, English, etc. you are NOT there to push your personal believes on anybody's child but your own. If you can not act as a professional and separate your personal life from your professional one then you should not be teaching. Finally, should one of the children had been my own I would not only go after the school but every adult there individually for taking my child on a field trip without my authorization. Any time a child is taken off campus or allowed to leave campus THE PARENTS MUST FIRST BE NOTIFIED. You allowed for these children to leave school grounds without proper authorization. The fact that teachers were present does not erase that fact. It would be the same as a teacher taking a group of kids out for lunch. Your excuse of concern for their safety is by no means going to work in a courtroom. I hope for just one of those parents to have to knowledge of the laws, and that they hold your %#*es to the fire. I sure as hell would.

Anonymous said...

I get it. I don't agree with the statements, but I do get it. Teachers and Administrators no longer have as much authority as they once did. They can no longer enforce the rules as they once were able to for fear of losing their jobs and/or being sued. From that perspective I do understand and somewhat empathize with. But on the other hand, it is your job to run the school system. If you can no longer control the children who is actually running the school? There has to be some form of punishment for the kids leaving school grounds, period. No matter what the cause. They are free to speak their mind and protest as they so choose, but when protesting breaks the rules, they should be punished accordingly. It is no different from someone losing their job due to political statements, they have every right to make them but they are not free from punishment from the employer. The same applies here. The kids are free to speak their mind, but if it breaks the rules then they should be punished. Period. Whether it is out of school suspension or in school suspension (if that still exists) the kids should be punished for breaking the rules.

On a side note, can you imagine the field day the media would have if Trump lost and kids protested like this for him? The amount of negative press would be astounding. But since it is for the liberal agenda, it is a great show of "solidarity and protest." Yet the right is to blame for all of out national problems...makes sense.

Anonymous said...

The school allowed it so that's an endorsement.

Anonymous said...

Future thugs.

Zorro said...

Wow, I love your comments....thought about joining Trump's education team? We could use a intelligent person like you to turn our schools reason I did not go into teaching .....the kids are very unruly.

Anonymous said...

"The school allowed it so that's an endorsement. "

There it is.

Paladin said...

Director Sasaki,

As a former Principal and Supervisor, I take issue with several of your points. First, it is the duty of the school to educate. While political events shape all of our lives, a responsible statement should have been communicated to parents and students prior to the election informing them of these points:

1. The school is an educational institution. Its purpose for being is to advance academic proficiency among the students.

2. While elections can become very emotionally charged with many points of view (all of which should be respected), the right of protest (walking out of school) is disobedience - Students should have been informed that doing so would be regarded as such, and should have been made aware of the consequences. Further, those consequences should have been employed fairly to all students taking part immediately.

3. If you were so concerned with student safety a 'robo call' could have been made in advance of the election informing parents (and backed up by a statement on the school division web page for reference) - This would educate parents as to the proper procedures that would be followed by the school system in the event such as this. Think to yourself, if in any other circumstance this occurred, how would 'en masse' student walkouts be handled?

You statement to the blog post is significantly faulty, your rationale is non existent, and nothing more than a very thinly veiled attempt to hide an accepted agenda held by many in the public school systems today.

Shame on you for manipulating and using children with no real reference point or insight about politics as a springboard to gain national attention
to a manufactured cause.



Anonymous said...

Wipe out this administration immediately! Now is the time to restore decency among our public school personnel. 40 Years of liberal miscreant and low life teachers with no sense of decency or dignity have ushered in this era of stupidity and general unawareness.
Clean out the liberals! Make school great again!