by Tessa Stuart
Oakland Unified School District is bracing for the protests associated with today’s March 4th “Day of Action,” against of fee-hikes and budget cuts. Yesterday morning, the school district’s Twitter feed posted the following messages to parents:
“Parents, please talk to your child tonight about his or her plans for 3/4. This is especially critical for middle and high school families.”
“Tell your child that school is the safest place for students to be on 3/4 and that s/he should join in the planned & afterschool activities.”
“We want kids to stay in school but we cannot forcibly prevent them from leaving. If they leave, we'll stress the need to be safe & lawful.”
OUSD teachers will be joining in solidarity with students and faculty from UC, CSU, and California community colleges in protesting statewide cuts to education. A message that appears on the school district’s web site reads: “On March 4, 2010, OUSD and its labor unions will join students, teachers, staff, education advocates and hundreds of local, state and national organizations to protest the devastating budget cuts forced on school districts by the Governor and the Legislature.”
In addition to picketing and leafleting, there are fire drills planned for all schools to “symbolize the ‘state of emergency’ afflicting public education.” OUSD has also designed a special curriculum that includes lesson plans about school funding and civil disobedience that teachers are being encouraged to use today.