Press ReleasesSeptember 05, 2012
Public Counsel to Provide Legal Support to Oakland Parents and Students in New School Police Complaint Policy
OAKLAND -- The Black Organizing Project, a group of Oakland parents, teachers and students concerned about the role of policing in public schools, has launched a public education campaign about the new Oakland School Police Department civilian complaint policy unanimously adopted by the Oakland Board of Education this summer.
People who need help filling out the complaint form can get legal assistance directly from Public Counsel, the not-for-profit law firm that helped draft the new complaint policy with Oakland community members and the ACLU of Northern California.
As students started their second week of the new school year, Black Organizing Project (BOP) members handed out flyers and talked to students and parents at three Oakland schools from September 4-6. The brand new policy, the first for the Oakland School Police Department, was approved on June 27, 2012 and now goes into effect.
“This first of its kind policy will help ensure that all members of the school community are treated fairly and with respect by members of the Oakland School Police Department, and that will mean a positive change on campus for everyone,” said Jackie Byers, parent and BOP member.
The new complaint forms can be used to report situations where Oakland residents believe an officer did not treat them or someone else appropriately, highlight officers who handled situations exceptionally well, and make general recommendations about the Oakland School Police Department.
All complaints of misconduct or commendations should be filed within 120 days of the incident. Forms should be available in six languages at all Oakland Unified School District campuses and online at ousd.k12.ca.us.
“Oakland parents and students want safe schools for all, and protecting their rights is a big step toward that goal,” said Laura Faer, Education Rights Director at Public Counsel, who will help monitor the implementation of the new policy and assist students and parents with the complaint process.