Chabot Elementary School in Oakland was closed due to a bomb threat containing racial undertones

Chabot Elementary School in Oakland had to evacuate its premises and cancel classes on Tuesday due to the receipt of bomb threats and threatening emails related to a recent event.

At approximately 7:30 a.m., Oakland Police received a bomb threat before the school day began at a location identified as 6686 Chabot Road in the Rockridge neighborhood of the city. During the evacuation, only a small number of students and staff were present at the school.

To ensure safety, the Oakland Police collaborated with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, including their K-9 and bomb units, to thoroughly search and clear the school campus.

The threat sent via email to the school’s principal contained elements with racial implications, although specific details about its content were not disclosed by an Oakland Police spokesperson. Additionally, the FBI was involved in the investigation to determine the origin of the threatening email.

Captain Lisa Ausmus informed the media that there were other bomb threats reported at individual residences, but no specific information about these threats was provided, except that they were not directed at students’ or parents’ homes.

On Tuesday afternoon, the police announced that they were conducting an investigation into a “hate speech incident” and its potential connection to a bomb threat directed at the school.

The school had recently faced criticism on social media after an event was held on Saturday for Black, Brown, and AAPI families. Some critics described the gathering as a “no whites allowed” playdate.

Notably, a far-right and anti-LGBTQ Twitter account, formerly known as “Libs of TikTok,” labeled the school as “racist against white people” on Monday.

In response, the Oakland Unified School District issued a statement on Tuesday, clarifying that the playdate was intended to create a safe space for Black, Brown, and API families to connect and foster a sense of belonging. They emphasized that this event was part of their broader efforts to promote equity and inclusion throughout the district. The school community, known as Chabot, is diverse, with over half of its students identifying as students of color.

The district and the Oakland Police Department are taking this incident seriously, given the multiple threatening emails, phone calls, and social media posts. The FBI has also become involved in the ongoing investigation.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the school’s website remained inaccessible, and there was a significant police presence both outside and on the campus.

“I am outraged that our children, educators and neighbors have been targeted by malicious threats,” said Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao in a post on X.

On Tuesday afternoon, OUSD announced the clearance for the school’s reopening on Wednesday. In the coming week, district and city officials, along with school administrators, will convene a town hall meeting.

The district stated, “We are prepared to welcome students, staff, and families back to the Chabot campus tomorrow, implementing comprehensive safety measures and offering mental health support.”

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