Principal’s Corner: A Message to the Oakland Tech Community

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I write you to appreciate our entire Tech community for their support of our students and to provide an update to the social media threats surrounding Oakland Tech. Yesterday (Nov. 19, 2019), a student posted video of himself on social media after inflicting harm on a peer. This post went viral and incited anger in other members of our community who then posted additional threats. These posts were seen by many people and some have decided to become involved.. We always prioritize student safety, and encourage students to bring forward any information that relates to any member of our community being in danger. Problems that originate and spin on social media are very difficult for us to control, but we work with online platforms and the authorities to attempt to have the posts removed.

Throughout today, we worked to restore our community after yesterday’s incident. We also became aware of a number of social media posts circulating that refer to threats towards specific Oakland Tech students. We heard that there were threats made against our school community, but after an investigation, we believe these were no more than rumors. Unfortunately, the rumors and social media posts escalated and exaggerated the claims, spreading fear and anxiety throughout our community. We want our community to know that these claims have yet to be substantiated.

As always, Oakland Tech responded to these circumstances with an abundance of caution. We reported all of the information we received from parents, students and staff members to the Oakland School Police and Oakland Police Department. Officers continue to investigate each lead but have found no credible threat to Oakland Tech. We will continue to follow our security protocols, including maintaining minimal points of entry to our campus, stationing a security officer at our front door to monitor entry and exit, requesting a temporary on-campus police officer as a precaution to be stationed at the site. Today we have had two police officers on campus the entire day. Our campus will continue to be monitored by security, administrators, and additional support staff. All school programs and activities are happening as planned.

The social media threats have indicated that we must continue to build the culture of our school to address racism and the stigmatization of students with disabilities. We pride ourselves on being an inclusive community where all people feel safe and supported. We are proud of our diversity and the work we have done and continue to do to support all members of our community. Our Culture and Climate team will determine our next steps to address the culture issues that have arisen.

We request that members of our school community report concerning incidents directly to the administration, and we appreciate those that do. As we tell our students, it is through our collective action and advocacy that we continue to own our community and uplift each other in doing so. A huge thank you goes to all our students, staff, and families who worked with us towards this effort.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us directly as we are committed to ensuring students continue to learn and have a safe, positive, and productive experience here at Oakland Tech.

In Unity,

Staci Ross-Morrison

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