sitting on the edge of the sandbox, biting my tongue

November 2, 2011

Occupy Oakland Occupies Public Schools

We went to downtown Oakland last weekend, and found a curious #Occupy Oakland flyer.  This time they wanted to “liberate” Oakland and “Shut down the 1%”.  To this end they called for general strike and mass day of action.  “All banks and corporations must close down for the day or we will mach on them,” — they threatened, bold in original.

Truancy call

#Occupy Oakland calls: “Everyone to the Streets!  No Work!  No School!”  That the later is not happening is interesting, especially considering that the teacher’s union got involved.  Oakland Education Association endorsed Occupy Oakland and their “general strike”.

For some reason the Oakland teachers’ union came up with the slogan “We Are, We The 99%”, which is confusing because 99% of Oakland kids do not attend Oakland public schools.  Families living in posh neighborhoods send their kids to private schools, and the charter school movement is gaining momentum.  One can make an argument that although unionized teachers teach the bottom whatever percent, it’s because the poor people are stuck with them.  In effect, Oakland teachers are proud of exploiting poor families.*

One East Oakland elementary, Bridges Academy at Melrose, sent out a bilingual flyer inviting student families to join the Occupy “general strike”.   On its front page, Bridges Academy boasts a “Si, Se Puede” poster at a rally in Sacramento.  So it’s that kind of school.  Conservative minority parents — if there are any in the neighborhood — beware.  Of course, Bridges Academy’s parents are poor, so even if they disagree with the obnoxious political posturing of people to whom they entrusted their children’s education, they don’t have very many options.  Perhaps they should be given priority in charter schools.

A link to a newsletter promises to tell a familiar gimmicky story “about 5th graders learning through art and [Bridges Academy at Melrose] school composting program”.  One suspects this school does not provide quality education.  In fact, according to the news video to which they linked, only 46% of students met CA standards.

Bridges Academy at Melrose

Should public elementary schools be driven by the narrow ideology of the teachers and the unions even if the community shares this ideology?

I think it’s irresponsible of teachers to leave their classrooms, even if the students will get a substitute.  If teachers run off to any trendy downtown rally, one suspects that they don’t think their classroom job is too terribly important.

That a public elementary school uses students to to radicalize parents, especially considering that many of the parents belong to immigrant population poorly educated about American history and political culture, is deplorable.  How would a student at Bridges Academy feel if his parent refuses to show up at a political rally promoted by the school?  And what if, God forbid, the parent actually disagrees with the school district bureaucrats and teachers?


*There is a movement among liberal East Bay parents to put their children where their mouth is, and forgo private schools altogether.  As a result, scores in Oakland schools are rising a bit.  While public schools in certain gentrified East Bay neighborhoods are now also gentrified, it is not true of every school in every district.

UPDATE: H/T Alina Adams:

Communist Occupy Oakland

Pimply, snotty Communist marching on Oakland branch of Wells Fargo.



  1. Have you seen this photo…

    Any questions?

    Comment by Alina Adams — November 2, 2011 @ 12:27 pm

  2. These fools may end up getting what they deserve sooner than they think when there is no more money to pay teachers.

    Comment by Conservatives on Fire — November 2, 2011 @ 2:05 pm

    • I hope school choice movement will sort things out. It’s really gaining momentum. Lower class parents love it, and even liberal papers like LA Times are editorializing for charter schools.
      When unions are so politicized, parents should have a choice to have their kids educated by a non-union teacher.

      Comment by edge of the sandbox — November 2, 2011 @ 2:11 pm

  3. Snotty is definitely the right word.

    Comment by nooneofanyimport — November 2, 2011 @ 6:57 pm

  4. The noble profession of teaching strikes again. Remember, it’s all for the children.

    Comment by Infidel de Manahatta — November 3, 2011 @ 3:41 am

  5. One can’t characterize the entire movement by interpretations of a few pictures and an outsider’s perspective of why people are participating. I helped close down a different Wells Fargo branch, where we broke nothing, cleaned up graffiti, and calmly talked to police who said to keep protesting… And I’m not pimply, snotty, or a communist, I just know we can do better.

    Comment by Sadie — November 3, 2011 @ 8:55 am

    • This has little to do with the substance of my post, but here we go: The picture is of a pimply snotty Communist. Soak the rich is a communist kind of thing. I oppose mob rule (as in closing down private enterprise). Your friends broke glass and set downtown on fire. Own up to it.

      Comment by edge of the sandbox — November 3, 2011 @ 9:51 am

      • It is very true that my comment didn’t address the substance of your post. I was taking issue w/ what comes across as angry meanness behind the post. The substance of your post seems to boil down to the fact that you don’t agree w/ the occupy movement, so you don’t want people who do to have any power to affect your life. The point of the movement is to make a change, and why not get our future (children) involved in bringing that change about. I believe that regardless of whether or not we agree on the movement, my comment still holds merit in that one cannot ask everyone to explain the actions of the few, or take personal responsibility for things they did not do and could not control. We can however, take responsibility for trying to make sure that damage and violence doesn’t happen again, because those broken windows and drawn on walls don’t speak for me or what I stand for.

        Comment by Sadie — November 3, 2011 @ 2:12 pm

  6. 15% of the teachers went so I heard.

    Comment by Harrison — November 3, 2011 @ 10:08 am

  7. […] has anything to do with Communists.  And so Sadie came to my humble blog, noticed the post about Occupy Oakland occupying public schools and objected the picture of an Oakland Occupier in Commie gear blocking entrance to Wells Fargo […]

    Pingback by #Occupy PR Day as Hosted by Edge of the Sandbox « sitting on the edge of the sandbox, biting my tongue — November 4, 2011 @ 8:57 am

  8. […] great occasion to re-post this picture: Occupy Oakland Commie occupies Wells Fargo during the last week's "general […]

    Pingback by Snickers! « sitting on the edge of the sandbox, biting my tongue — November 10, 2011 @ 2:56 pm

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