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Parker Community School raided by OUSD security and OPD

Parker Community School.png
Hanisha Harjani
Protestors gather at the front door of the school, trying to locate Max Orozco - a parent organizer who was detained by OPD on Thursday evening.

The East Oakland campus of Parker Community School was raided Thursday night by Oakland Unified School District security guards and the Oakland Police Department.

Dozens of protestors gathered at the entrance of the school, trying to keep the door open. OUSD security guards had arrived earlier in the day and detained parent organizer and community member - Max Orozco - in the building. The protestors at the door were trying to get inside to make sure he was safe.

Orozco is a parent at La Escuelita - that’s another school that’s been affected by OUSD’s budget cuts this year. He is also running for the District 2 seat of the school board in the upcoming election.

When he finally exited the school, his face was bloodied and he was in handcuffs being escorted into a police car. OPD officers would not say where he was going.

He was not the only one who was hurt. Many protestors complained about injuries. June Nelson has been teaching at Parker all summer. She describes her confrontation with district security. "They threw me over a table and then said, 'Why did you push that table at me?'"

Another source – who wished to remain anonymous due to concerns about their job security – also described the events they witnessed. "Someone got knocked in the head. Someone was hit in the stomach quite hard. People were grabbed. People were thrown around."

As of now, however, OUSD security and Oakland Police have left the premises and the school remains in community hands.

Council-member Carroll Fife and Director Mike Hutchinson were also at the scene talking with folks about the incident. There were questions about who had sanctioned the security presence on the school's campus as the school board has been on hiatus since end of June and isn't set to meet until August 10.

Hanisha Harjani is in the KALW Summer Training Program and produces news stories for Crosscurrents