Oakland school closures: Protester hurt during clash with security determined to keep fighting

ByTim Johns via KGO logo
Thursday, August 11, 2022
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A man protesting against Oakland's school closures is planning to sue the district after sustaining injuries from a clash with a security guard.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Anger and frustration at a rally outside La Escuelita School in Oakland Wednesday afternoon as tensions have been rising over the closure of several schools in the Oakland Unified School District.

Last week, it reached a boiling point when protesters occupying one of the closed schools clashed with district security officers.

RELATED: Security officers clash with protesters occupying East Oakland school

"Someone said, take him down. I went down. Sustained injuries. I was put in handcuffs," said protester Max Orozco.

Orozco showed ABC7 bruises on his arm, and a cut on his lip.

Injuries, he claims, he got from from an encounter with one of the security personnel.

"I got my chest and I got my back. Also, my neck," Orozco said.

RELATED: Oakland Unified school board votes to close or merge nearly a dozen schools

Orozco says he's been to the ER twice for his injuries and plans on pressing charges.

But despite his self-described pain, he tells us he's determined to keep fighting to reopen the now closed schools.

After Wednesday's rally, he joined dozens of other parents at OUSD's first school board meeting of the academic year to criticize the events that unfolded.

The meeting was the first time the public has heard from OUSD officials since last Thursday's incident.

RELATED: Community members stage takeover of shuttered elementary school in Oakland, hoping to save it

"There were physical confrontations between those attempting to enter the building and security vendor staff. The incident is officially under review, however, the district does not condone violence against anyone," said OUSD Superintendent, Dr. Kyla Johnson-Trammell.

Even though the majority of the OUSD board voted to shut the schools to address a budget shortfall months ago, not all members agreed with the move.

"This is the things that make it really hard for us to move forward as a community. Where even when there is an effort to do things the right way and change the direction, we fall back. And we fall back in a spectacular fashion," said Oakland school board director, Mike Hutchinson.

And with school board elections coming up in November, Orozco says the fight is far from over, as he himself plans to run for a seat.

"We can repair all the damage that has been done. And hold every single person accountable for these attacks on our community, on our children," he said.

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