Protesters rally near Lakeview to keep it open

July 15, 2012 8:30:09 PM PDT
Parents fighting to keep schools open in Oakland rallied Sunday night near Lakeview Elementary School -- one of the schools targeted for closure.

Even though protesters were kicked out of Lakeview Elementary, they are hoping to keep their movement alive. Just after 5 p.m. protesters arrived at Splash Pad Park, right cross the street from the school. They're calling it a sit-in and a celebration of their goal of calling attention to school cutbacks and closures in the city of Oakland. Some of the protesters were removed from Lakewood two weeks ago after an occupation that started last month.

Lakeview is one of five schools closed by the district. One of them will become a charter school. The plan is to convert Lakeview into administrative offices for the district, not the district headquarters, but that plan might not happen without a fight.

"It's where do we go from here? What are our next steps? Can we block the district from moving administrative offices into this elementary school, into this neighborhood school? And what else can we do to have fully funded public education against further program cuts?" said Jack Gerson, a former teacher.

Protesters won't say what their exact plans are. Lakeview has been fenced off since protesters were evicted earlier this month.

Oakland Unified School District says it had no choice but to close Lakeview and the other schools. Officials say that it will save more than $5 million and Oakland has more schools per capita than any other city in California, its size. Protesters aren't buying that excuse.


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