Protesters opposed to school police shutdown board meeting in Antioch

Protesters were so loud Wednesday night, they shut down a school board meeting of the Antioch Unified School District.

Dozens of demonstrators, many appearing to be students, protested outside the district headquarters, while the school board was holding a special meeting inside on whether to hire police officers for the middle and high schools.

The protesters are opposed.

On a school district audio feed the sound of thumping can be heard. 

Board President Diane Gibson-Gray said, "We need to call police to continue the meeting."

Gibson-Gray was one of three board members who were inside the district building. The two other board members attended remotely, including Crystal White-Sawyer.

"It sounded like someone was breathing, like a knocking sound constantly, like every few seconds. Yes it was difficult to hear," said White-Sawyer.

Board member Mary Rocha told us by phone protesters tried to block her from entering.

"When I went to the door I can't get in. They put their bodies, blocking me. I'm telling you it was quite a ruckus."

For a while, board members listened to letters from the community read aloud. Some favored having the school resource officers, or SRO's.

"Having school resource officers will be a huge part in improving safety," read one comment.

"Police are told to control or punish. They have no place in schools," read another.

The protesters became so loud the school board held a 30 minute recess. But when the board returned, it could not continue.

"They are beating on the door. We cannot have a meeting right now," Gibson-Gray says on the audio feed.

"I think its frustration built up within the protesters," said White-Sawyer.

The board re-scheduled for Thursday at 7 p.m. That meeting is expected to to happen remotely.