Chabot Elementary School Evacuated After Racially Motivated Threat

Chabot Elementary School principal said the threat was in response to a social event held for BIPOC families on Saturday.

Chabot Elementary School Evacuated After Racially Motivated Threat

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OAKLAND, Calif. — An elementary school was evacuated Tuesday morning after it received a threat that had “racial undertones,” according to law enforcement.

Oakland Police Captain Lisa Ausmus said officers responded to Chabot Elementary School around 7:30 a.m. and evacuated the campus, reports KTVU. The threat was emailed to the school’s principal before the start of the school day when about 30 students and staff were on campus. Other families arriving for student drop-off were turned away.

Police officers and canines from the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office searched the school and deemed the campus safe around noon. Classes were canceled for the day.

The principal said the threat was in response to a social event held for BIPOC families on Saturday.

“Hi there you racist pieces of [expletive]. Just wanted to stop by and let you know that if you keep this [expletive] up, we’re going to put you back in chairs or in the jungle where you belong,” the email said. “Go ahead and keep pushing for segregation. If you want a race war we’ll [expletive] give you one and you won’t like how it ends. Have a wonderful day.”

Tamila, who asked that her last name not be used, is part of the school’s equity and inclusion group that organized Saturday’s event. She told The Oaklandside that she and other members of the group started receiving hateful emails on Sunday after a flyer about the play date was posted on Reddit. The emails included racist remarks and threats to do harm to the group if it continued its events.

“While I made the decision to send my son here, I’m also willing to do the work that goes behind that, which means making sure that these families and these groups understand that they belong here, just like everyone else does,” she said. “We’re not letting up on it. We’re not going anywhere.”

The threats followed a wave of emails and social media messages denouncing the event. Oakland’s District 1 school board Director Sam Davis said the event was intended to foster racial equity and build community for children of color, and that the messages have been “pretty hateful and just deeply offensive and racist.”

“Maybe just one parent posted something online about being upset about that, and it led to all of this drama that I’m sure 99.9% are people who don’t live in Oakland or have nothing to do with the school, sending angry email messages,” he said.

In a statement released Tuesday, Oakland Unified School District (OUS) officials said they first became aware of threatening messages on Monday morning and contacted Oakland police. The department began preparing a report and sent officers to the school Monday before classes ended for the day. OUSD also sent in support staff.

When the school received the threat on Tuesday, officials again reported it to OPD and students and staff were evacuated as a precaution.

“This incident, along with multiple threatening emails, phone calls, and social media posts are being taken seriously by Oakland Unified School District and the Oakland Police Department. The FBI is also now involved in this active investigation,” OUSD wrote in a statement. “The mayor’s office has committed to maintaining a police presence near the school for the remainder of this week. District and city leaders, in partnership with the school administration, will host a community town hall next week.”

Ausmus said Oakland police were also investigating threats made against private residences but declined to say whether they were related to the school threat.

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About the Author

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Amy is Campus Safety’s Executive Editor. Prior to joining the editorial team in 2017, she worked in both events and digital marketing.

Amy has many close relatives and friends who are teachers, motivating her to learn and share as much as she can about campus security. She has a minor in education and has worked with children in several capacities, further deepening her passion for keeping students safe.

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