OAKLAND -- In a call to action, teachers and parents at Alliance Academy Middle School protested Wednesday morning in response to unsafe school conditions and repeated violence.
They are concerned about deteriorating classrooms and several racially motivated fights and alleged gang activity going on in the classroom and throughout the 1800 98th Ave. campus.
Students have also been seen drinking alcohol or smoking marijuana in class, said Joanna Hernandez, a teacher at Alliance.
Teachers and staff say they have not been able to immediately report these incidents because of faulty communication and a lack of action by Alliance administration.
"We cannot continue to watch things happen," Hernandez said. "It feels like we're putting kids in danger day after day because of leadership."
Not every classroom is equipped with a functioning telephone, and those that do work usually cannot connect to one of the six phone lines in the main office, which handle internal and external phone calls.
Leticia Vega, whose son is an eighth-grader at Alliance, is among the handful of parents who protested.
"I have a friend whose kid had an incident with drugs at the school, and it's not fair because the kids need more security," she said.
There are two security officers in charge of the 360-student middle school and Elmhurst Community Prep School; both schools share the same campus.
"Two security guards for a nearly 800-person campus is not out of the norm, but obviously things aren't working as they should there, and the staff is upset," said Troy Flint, Oakland Unified School District spokesman. "There's a good chance we can address that measure by adding an additional security guard."
Alliance Academy received a $3 million School Improvement Grant about three years ago, but Hernandez said teachers haven't been included in the discussion of how the money should be spent and is concerned about where the funds are going since they haven't seen an increase in security or repaired classrooms.
Angela Woodall contributed to this story.