Tuesday, August 30, 2011

What A Way to Start the School Year--2 Oakland Schools Locked Down

Welcome to Class Students and Here is Your Bathroom (image by Editor B)
I’ve written about numerous school lockdowns in LAUSD (see here, here and here), many of which were gratuitous overkill. This week, Oakland unified began their school year with lockdowns at Castlemont High and East Oakland Pride Elementary, in response to a carjacking in West Oakland. According to a report by the Bay Citizen, it seems the response by school officials may have been warranted, at least initially.

The police chased the stolen car into East Oakland and then chased the suspect by foot, ending with an exchange of gun fire. Under these circumstances it certain makes sense to keep children secure in their classrooms. However, children at the elementary school were locked down in their classrooms from noon until 2:30 pm, while the high schoolers were still locked down as of 3:15 pm.

It is highly improbable that the risk to students lasted a full two and half hours. But even if it did, how could they justify letting the K-5 kids go home, while the teenagers were still under lockdown? If it was safe enough for the younger children to go home, then it was most likely safe enough for the teenagers to leave their classrooms and use the restrooms, get drinks of water and attend their final classes of the day.

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