Racist emails, bomb threat at Oakland school follow weekend playdate

Chabot Elementary was evacuated on Tuesday morning after the school received a bomb threat that contained racists undertones, according to Oakland police.

Oakland Police Capt. Lisa Ausmus said officers responded around 7:30 a.m. to the K-5 school, located at 6686 Chabot Road in the Rockridge neighborhood, and evacuated the campus.

The bomb threat came in before the start of school, so only 30 students and staff were on campus. 

Ausmus said the threat was emailed to the school's principal.

"I will say that the email had some racial undertones in it. And we’re currently investigating that right now. We have asked the FBI, and they’re going to come in and assist us with this investigation," Ausmus said.

The police captain would not go into detail about whom the email targeted.

KTVU has learned the school's principal and a second staffer were targeted by bomb threats. Oakland police also checked their homes.

The Oaklandside noted that the timing of the bomb threat coincides with a series of inflammatory social media posts and hateful emails after the school community recently organized a play date for BIPOC families.

The wave of messages and comments might have been triggered by a right-wing social media account that described the event as a "race segregated 'play date social' for all students except the white kids."

Libs of TikTok, a conservative social media account, tweeted about the play date during the weekend and called the school "racist against white people." 

However, Sam Davis, Director of Oakland’s District 1 school board, explained to The Oaklandside that the play date was intended to foster racial equity and build community for children of color. Chabot Elementary is a predominantly white school in an affluent neighborhood.

Parent Tamila Jackson is part of Chabot Elementary's equity and inclusion group, which organized the Saturday event.

"They decided to start emailing us threats, asked if we wanted a race war, it was something mentioned of being locked in chains and released back in the jungle where we belong," Jackson said.

Police and K-9 dogs from BART police and the Alameda County sheriff's office swept the school. Officers left the campus and removed yellow tape at noon. The school district says Chabot will reopen on Wednesday after it was given the all clear today. 

In a statement, Oakland Unified School District said they are taking the incident; including the threatening emails, phone calls and social media posts seriously. They say the community is on alert. 

"Chabot is a diverse school community with more than half of the student population identifying as students of color," schools' superintendent Dr. Kyla Johnson-Trammell wrote. "The District first learned of these threatening messages yesterday, shortly before noon. We immediately contacted the Oakland Police Department (OPD) which began preparing an internal intelligence report and sent officers to the school before classes let out for the day."

The superintendent says the Mayor's Office has committed to maintaining police presence near the school for the remainder of the week. District and city leaders, along with school administration will host a community town hall next week sometime. 

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Police show up at Chabot Elementary School in Oakland. Aug. 29, 2023