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California public elementary threatened for hosting racially segregated playdate

As a precaution, Oakland Police Department will be maintaining a presence near the school for the remainder of the week.

Published: August 31, 2023 11:00pm

(The Center Square) -

​​(The Center Square) - A California public elementary school held a racially segregated playdate on campus, resulting in national backlash and a false bomb threat that required the school to evacuate.

According to a news release from the Oakland Unified School District, Chabot Elementary and its Equity and Inclusion Committee hosted an official school event — a “BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) Playdate” on August 26 to “build and promote positive affinity spaces for students and families of color.”

That same release also noted more than half of students at Chabot identify as “students of color,” making white students — who were not invited to the event — a minority.

“It must be confusing for students of all background to be told on one hand that the district’s policy of ‘promoting action in solidarity with others’ while, on the other hand, having large events that disclude large portions of the student population,” said education expert and California Policy Center Vice President of Government Affairs Lance Christensen. “If the district’s eight-year-old ethnic studies policy means teaching students how bad it was that people used to show preference based upon skin color by currently showing preference by skin color, it’s time for district officials to re-up their professional development in logic.”

As news of the event went viral, including an event poster being reshared by the widely known Libs of Tiktok social media account, the school began to receive “threatening calls and emails,” including a bomb threat. Chabot was evacuated after officials became aware of the threat, and school was canceled as the Oakland Police Department conducted a sweep of the campus. Because the threat was sent early in the day, only 30 students were on campus at the time.

While none of the Oakland Unified School District board members responded to inquiries from The Center Square, District 1 Director Sam Davis spoke to The Oaklandside about the situation.

“They’re trying to be more welcoming to families of color at the school,” said Davis. “They had a families-of-color playdate at the school recently, a few days ago. Maybe just one parent posted something online about being upset about that, and it led to all of this drama that I’m sure is 99.9% people who don’t live in Oakland or have nothing to do with the school, sending angry email messages.”

As a precaution, Oakland Police Department will be maintaining a presence near the school for the remainder of the week.

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