Now the Oakland cops have begun investigating the case of Zachary Cataldo, the 7-year-old Piedmont Avenue Elementary student who was repeatedly beaten by fifth-graders while school officials apparently planned their next long weekend. A group of bullies, you may recall, beat Cataldo numerous times, knocking out four of his teeth and ultimately fracturing his skull. When Cataldo's father complained about the harassment, school officials allegedly rolled their eyes and make sounds that indicated they were concerned, but did nothing. Now that his son has been hospitalized for head trauma, and the story has hit the press, the local cops have started asking questions about the affair, while hundreds of outraged Chronicle readers started raising hell. District officials stopped talking yesterday. Which is probably wise, since they can't seem to say anything that doesn't sound like they're disinterested, soulless bureaucrats. Take this gem by Oakland school administrator Denise Saddler, talking about the violence epidemic at Piedmont Elementary: "We monitor the data regularly." Good to see the brutality ledger is up to date, Denise.