OAKLAND, Calif. - Controversy around the conflict between Israel and Hamas persists in the Bay Area. On Tuesday, an Oakland high school faced criticism after a Palestinian flag was flown above the school.
Freelance reporter Zach Haber first posted a photo of a Palestinian flag flying over Fremont High School. It is unclear who raised the flag and how long it had been up, but many Palestinians consider this flag a symbol of their identity and freedom.
By Wednesday, the flag was gone.
Some took to social media and voiced their concerns that Oakland Unified School District is not doing enough to protect its Jewish students.
"And people wonder why Jewish families don't feel safe in OUSD right now," a comment read.
Shira, a parent of Israeli and Arab ethnicity, has a son in seventh grade in the Oakland Unified School District.
"Our students are struggling to keep up after Covid with their math and their reading and I don't understand why this is such an issue here. And, if it was about peace, there would have been an Israeli flag and a peace sign as well," said Shira.
Shira said the display of that flag can be seen as divisive.
"It causes real damage on the ground to the students, and it causes more divisiveness and puts our children in harm's way. We already have to deal with violence on school grounds and now we're going to have to deal with geopolitical conflict," she said.
Zoya Vies is a Walnut Creek mom of six children and stepchildren whose family migrated from Russia to flee anti-Semitism there.
"It is very clear. When you fly a Palestinian flag over a public school, that you are taking a stand. If they were taking a humanitarian approach and their resolutions and their thoughts and their ideas were around bringing home hostages or around peace, as a whole, in the region, that would be one thing. But they’re clearly taking a stand," said Vies.
The Oakland Unified School District had responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.