Oakland High rallies to fire Principal Mok
Principal let Secret Service interrogate students, put up barbed wire, locked school gates
June 15, 2003
"We are really pushing for the policy to be changed in the school district, and specifically for Mr. Mok to get fired. He's (violated) a lot of people's civil rights, and we want to have recognition of the laws that he has broken," said Mary Jane, an 11th grader at Oakland High who helped to organize the June 6 rally outside of the gates of Oakland High. One of the students' demands was to fire the principal of the school, who a few weeks ago was in the news for allowing the Secret Service to interrogate two students without notifying their parents before or after the governmental terrorist act.
"During the (March 5) walkouts, Mr. Mok put up barbed wire, he locked the gates (so that the students couldn't leave) and he told parents when they called, and were upset, that he never locked the gates and never ordered anyone to lock the gates. We were locked in during a fire, and it might not have been serious, but if it would have become serious, what would've happened? Who has the keys to the locks? What if something had happened to the person with the keys? We would've been locked in," said the very articulate Mary Jane.
"He threw away flyers I spent my own money (buying). I spent over $260 on flyers and newsletters, and he threw them away. Students were suspended for holding leaflets. Security guards took them from us and then told us that we need to have the war because Saddam Hussein is like Mussolini and Hitler. And whether that is true or not, you are not supposed to impress your opinions upon youth," said Mary Jane. "We've had teachers like Mr. Hegen kick people out and say racist things, and Mr. Mok has propagated this kind of stuff. He likes this kind of atmosphere. He wants to keep us down."
It's ironic that over this week, we will commemorate the student uprising that took place in Soweto, South Africa, on June 16, 1976, where the apartheid government was trying to impose a white settler colonial language on the students. In Oakland, it's white Ameriklan [American] ideas that the Prison States of Amerikkka [America] is trying to impose psychologically.
"We are trying to get Mr. Mok fired out here because he treats his students like they don't matter, and we're tired of it. It's the end of the school year, we're out here doing our finals trying to get this over with and he has hassled us the whole year. So the end of the year comes and we're ready to start over and go into the next year, and we are remembering all of the shit that he did," said Tierra, an Oakland High 10th grader.
"They let the (Secret Service) come up in here and interrogate some students," Tierra added. "I think that it is stupid. They don't want to come here for nothing [anything] else.
"Everybody in Oakland is getting shot and doped out. They don't want to use the CIA to stop that, but they get a (so called) threat against the president and now it's something, feel me. That doesn't make no [any] sense," said Tierra about the contradictions that are staring her in the face, as she lives in Oakland, which is one of the many spots where the CIA is and has been dumping trillions of tons of drugs over the years to fund counter-revolutionary operations all over the world (read "Dark Alliance" by Gary Webb).
The elite rich and powerful people who run Oakland still remember when the Black Panther Party, founded by Defense Minister Huey P. Newton and Chairman Bobby Seale, jumped out of the ghetto ready to organize their way to a life where we are free to not pay taxes to a government that is oppressing us.
This psychological terrorism - suppression of the students' rights to an education, suppression of the students' right to free speech, suppression of the students' right to have parental and legal representation present during an interrogation and suppression of the students' right to assemble - was brought up during the student-led rally, along with ways that the city's elites are trying to block and hinder the same kind of youthful revolutionary energy today that started the Black Panther Party in West Oakland on October 15, 1966.
The students were locked in a school that was partially on fire, and the school district and the city, the state and the federal government have yet to respond in a manner that would show that they respect the students' human rights. That should show you what they truly think about us.
"I got suspended like three times, so (Mr. Mok) was like, 'If you get suspended, you are up out of here.' But I was like, 'i only failed one class.1 He said, 'So what, you're out of here.1 So I've been up out of (Oakland High) for a couple of months. I've been taking independent studies, every Thursday," said James a 15-year-old 10th grader who has been shot to the curb in a city that he lives in and that charges him taxes for everything he buys.
"I check in on 35th Avenue with Mr. G, but now I passed that, so they are trying to get me back in here. But Mr. Mok ain't [is not] trying to feel me. I got my grades up, but he ain't [is not] trying to let me back up in here."
At the rally you heard violation after violation from numerous Oakland High students, and yet Principal Mok is still employed. Maybe a few people higher than he is need to go - better yet, a government that supports and cultivates this kind of activity needs to go.
The Oakland Unified School District is in debt $70 million dollars, and the state of California has now taken over the school district, even though the state is in an even bigger debt crisis. For the purpose, I guess, of easing some of the financial pressure, the Oakland Unified School District has laid off over 330 teachers and counselors for the next school year in schools where inner city Black and Brown students already go without books, work on outdated computers and study in classrooms that are already too packed to learn in.
"Some of these teachers in these schools are very good, like my teacher, Ms. Paine. She is a Spanish teacher, she is Black, and she is the funnest Spanish teacher that I ever had," said Tierra.
"I had an F in Spanish, and now I have an A, and they fired her, and gave her a pink slip," lamented the young Sista [Sister]. "A lot of these teachers got pink slips, but not the old ones because they have seniority. They've been here. So they are kicking out all of the good ones to save all of the old ones that need to go. Out with the new and in with the old. This is a new generation. (The new teachers) understand our thought process; (the old ones) do not. They're old-school. They are stuck in the past. It's different now," spit out Tierra.
This lunch time rally made me feel good to know that there are pockets of resistance springing up everywhere, and more and more people are starting to step up and oppose what is going on in this corporately globalized world. Just like the [Black] Panthers, I believe that the youth are the spark of change, and I was appreciative to be among such young souljahs who refuse to let the violation of their rights go unchecked.
In a financially and morally bankrupt school district, Mr. Mok is just one reflection of where this thing that the city of Oakland calls "education" is going. Every high school in Oakland has an armed police officer on campus, but not enough books. What's the most important? When will we realize that the new policy in this country is not to just put us in jail, but to put the police, an occupying army in our community, in our schools, along with barbed wire fences so that we will be "educated" as to what jail is like? Instead of just taking us to jail, they want to bring the concentration camps home to our communities.
"Standing up for your rights is nothing that you should be afraid of," stated Alisha, a 16-year-old Oakland High student, who was participating in the rally.
Our best defense is exposing to the world what is truly going down [occurring] so that we can rally up the necessary forces to combat Bush's homeland security plans, which aim to eliminate any dissent that anybody has nationally against his fascist regime and return a majority of Amerikkka's Black and Brown people into slavery - just this time they won't be picking cotton or tobacco on the plantation, they'll be stitching clothes for Eddie Bauer and Victoria Secret in their cells - unless we stop him.
Email JR at fire@.com