Oakland parents rally after assaults at elementary schools

Parents are demanding a safer environment for their kids after two different cases of inappropriate touching at schools in Oakland.
March 12, 2014 4:37:24 PM PDT
Oakland police released a sketch Wednesday of a suspect in two different cases of inappropriate touching of schoolchildren in the city's Fruitvale District.

Then, about 200 people from one of those schools marched through the streets demanding a safer environment for their kids.

This all follows a January 28 assault on the campus of Think College Now Elementary School and another incident last Friday at World Academy Elementary" on 28th Avenue.

This latest incident was a bold assault on campus of a young child in an afterschool program. Parents organized a march to say nothing like it can happen again.

Less than a week after a 7-year-old child was groped by a stranger on campus, parents, and students from Oakland's World Academy poured onto the neighborhood streets to send a message to the police and their community.

"Our goal is to basically get out the message that we're here," parent Paul Byrd said. "We're going to stay positive and we want everybody to know we're all together in unison to protect these young ones."

In the meantime, Oakland police released a sketch of a man they believe assaulted a World Academy second-grader on campus last Friday.

He is described as a white or Hispanic male, 20 to 40 years old, 6 feet tall, 180 to 200 pounds, black hair and mustache, with a rash or birthmark on his forehead.

"The subject was on school campus, approached a young girl, inappropriately touched the young girl," Officer Frank Bonifacio said. "She was able to struggle and get to an adult and let the adult know what happened."

Police believe the same suspect may have also groped a 6-year-old student on Jan. 24 at nearby think college elementary school. She too, got away.

These parents say they want the schools and police to do more to make their campuses and community safe, but they also realize that making parents and each other more aware is a big first step.

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