OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) — A play day organized for elementary school children in Oakland triggered a firestorm among far right-wing voices on X over the weekend, followed by a bomb threat called into the school on Tuesday.
Students were instructed the stay home as Oakland police officers and the Alameda County Sheriff’s bomb squad swarmed Chabot Elementary School. No explosives were found. Here’s a timeline of how the incident unfolded.
Saturday, August 26: Play day for kids
The Chabot Equity and Inclusion Committee organized and hosted a free event, “Playdate Social For Black, Brown, and API Families,” with games and snacks for kids. The event’s cheerful flier wrote, “If you family identifies as Black, Brown, or API or are the parent/caregiver of a Black, Brown, or API student, come hang out while we get a chance to know each other and build our community.”
1 p.m. – 3 p.m.: The 2-hour play day was held in Chabot Upper Yard.
Oakland Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Kyla Johnson-Trammell said the playdate aimed to create an “affinity space” where Black, Brown, and API families could “build and sustain connection and belonging at the school.” Chabot Elementary School has a diverse community with more than half of the student population identifying as students of color, Johnson-Trammell said.
Monday, August 28: Social media post goes viral, and threats begin
A parent who disagreed with the event posted the flier on Reddit. A far-right wing X account tweeted the flier and wrote, “A California elementary school reportedly held a race segregated ‘playdate social’ for all students except the white kids.”
The post racked up 1.3 million views and a tidal wave of negative comments blasted the event as “racist” against white students.
Noon: School district officials were notified about threatening messages. The school district immediately contacted the Oakland Police Department. Police officers went to the school before the school day ended to provide security.
Multiple threatening emails, phone calls and social media posts were received, OUSD officials said.
Tuesday, August 29: Bomb threat
7:30 a.m.: An employee with the Oakland Unified School District notified OPD of a bomb threat. “Officers immediately responded to the scene, established a perimeter, and began the safe evacuation of approximately 50 students and staff members,” Oakland police officer Kim Armstead wrote.
All students were reunited with their parents and guardians. Students who were just arriving for school with their parents were instructed to return home.
10:30 a.m.: The Chabot Equity and Inclusion Committee said it received racist and threatening emails. “Not only have we been continuously getting hate mails, the school has been receiving calls nonstop, and Trump supporters and other unhinged racists have been spreading the school’s info,” a committee member stated.
One of the threatening emails allegedly threatened a “race war” and wrote, “We’re going to put you back in chains or in the jungle where you belong.”
Police said the bomb threat contained “racial undertones.”
OPD collaborated with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit to ensure the school was safe to re-enter. No explosives were found.
Noon: Law enforcement officer declared the campus safe.
“OPD is actively investigating a hate speech incident and any possible connection to the bomb threat,” Armstead wrote. The FBI is assisting OPD to investigate the bomb threat maker, and police are probing a “hate speech incident.”
6 p.m.: The school district superintendent said a police presence will remain near Chabot Elementary School for the remainder of this week. “We plan to welcome students, staff and families back to the Chabot campus tomorrow morning with coordinated safety and mental health support in place,” the superintendent wrote.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by PostX News and is published from a syndicated feed.)