Thursday, February 27, 2014

Fights Prompt Oakland Officials to Review Violence Prevention, Security at Fruitvale Elementary School

By Doug Oakley
Staff Writer
Bay Area News Group
OAKLAND -- Oakland school officials visited Fruitvale Elementary School Tuesday to review violence and safety plans and staffing levels after student cell phone videos surfaced of kids fighting on campus. 

A parent at the school alerted authorities to the videos, said Oakland Unified School District spokesman Troy Flint. According to a KTVU news report, one of the videos show kids hitting and kicking a student on the ground. 

On Tuesday, the district sent a regional officer to the school, along with two people from the school district's behavioral health unit who oversee counseling and programs related to anti-violence campaigns, bullying, drugs, discipline and teacher conduct. 

"They are going to look at what the anti-violence curriculum is over there and if they are taking advantage of what we have on campus internally and if there is a need for special enforcement," Flint said. 

Fruitvale Elementary School, located two blocks east of Fruitvale Avenue, has 436 students, according to the state Department of Education. The district is reviewing the school's budget to determine if it can afford to hire a second playground supervisor, Flint said. 

"I wouldn't classify this as an out-of-control school," Flint said. "I think once we became aware of the magnitude of the situation, there was a quick response." 

He added that the videos "definitely had an impact" on school district officials beyond scattered reports of fighting at the school. 

"Maybe we have some systemic issues there we need to discuss," Flint said. 

Later this week the school district will send out a letter to parents and the larger community on its findings and a plan of action, Flint said. 

Contact Doug Oakley at 925-234-1699. Follow him at

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