Oakland School Board Meeting 101

Children parading at Oakland School Board meeting

Oakland Education Association (OEA) and their supporters’ communication tactic of choice, repetitive loudness, met its  match at the February 25th Oakland School Board meeting, when pre-kindergarteners  paraded hand-in-hand while John Lennon song’s, “All the People,” played. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbcHAV3ah5g&feature=youtu.be

Smiles filled the room and civility reigned-in disgruntled discourse for most of the six-hour meeting. Mothers and fathers took pictures of their babies and spectators graced each other with respect, too often absent because of OEA members and supporters noisily expressing dissatisfaction with their contract.

The children’s grace was infectious that night. Decibels quieted and calm emerged. From this sea of tranquility rose early childhood educators and parents. They spoke with pride and  each gave one-minute speeches in support for Superintendent  Antwan Wilson’s proposed Early Childhood Education Program. All board members’ faces reflected agreement with their presentation.

After parents had their say, they bundled up their babies and disappeared into the night. Slowly peace faded into noise and the meeting continued with typical pretense, no disrespect intended. That is just business as usual for the Oakland United School District; however for a brief moment in time, pre-kindergarteners, our future, showed us another way—hand-in-hand.


Author Profile

Gerald Green is a 25-year cancer survivor. Green released his memoir Life Constricted: To Love, Hugs and Laughter in 2010, which chronicles his family’s saga and victories over his three bouts with cancer: tongue cancer in 1995, neck cancer in 1997 and prostate cancer in 2008. His chapter, Fatherhood Love, appeared in the second edition of Black Fathers an Invisible Presence in America published by Routledge in 2011. Green’s poetry has appeared in the Healing Journey, an on-line publication, and The Monthly, a premier magazine of culture and commerce, which published one of his essays. Green’s writings like his article Prostate Cancer’s Time Zone reflect the importance of early cancer detection and the healthy impact of a loving family. Green is a member of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) and the American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN) ECOG-ACRIN Head and Neck Cancer Committee and the Cancer Research Advocates Committee.

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