On Wednesday night, the Antioch Unified School District held a special meeting to discuss the possible funding of school resource officers which the City of Antioch was awarded a grant and the city is seeking partial funding by the school district.
Nearly 50-minutes into the meeting, protesters began pounding on the walls and doors during public comments. Previously to that part, at one point in the meeting, the meeting was paused due to the distraction and when they came back, Trustee Ellie Householder asked for a recap as she was remote.
Trustee Gibson-Gray (38:03 mark) provided a recap saying:
“They have breached the building; we are still in the boarding. I don’t know who they are. They are in t-shirts, they are protesters. I don’t know anything beyond that, I am sorry,” stated Gibson-Gray.
By the 47-minute mark, through the video, you could hear the pounding on the walls and doors.
“I am hearing a lot of noise on my end,” stated Householder. “Its getting pretty difficult to fall along.”
Gibson-Gray responded that “protesters were banging on the building, and unless we absolutely cannot hear, I am going to continue the meeting.”
Trustee Crystal Sawyer-White confirmed it was loud saying it was like someone was breathing.
At that point, Gibson-Gray called for a 30-minute recess.
By the 102-minute mark, the meeting resumed which Householder confirmed she was hearing a lot of noise which could be heard in the video. The meeting was postponed until 7:00 pm Thursday.
Gibson-Gray confirmed the protesters were in the lunchroom, beating on the doors and they could not have a meeting.
According to Trustee Diane Gibson-Gray, she said Thursday, she sustained a bruise on her arm from hitting a door jam when a protester was nudging an employee out of the way during an exchange. She also noted that she was trapped in her car after protesters surrounded her vehicle on all four sides. She requested Antioch Police to escort her out of the situation. Ultimately, protesters did not move after Antioch Police were attempting to defuse the situation. Gibson-Gray asked another officer to give her a ride home and she would pick up her vehicle later.
Last week, in a 3-2 vote, the Antioch City Council agreed to accept the grant, but with the caveat the Antioch Unified School District pick up 50% of the bill in an amount of approximately $375k over a 3-year period.
If the school district approves, the city and school district would split costs and have a School Resource Officers at the following schools:
- Antioch High School
- Deer Valley High School
- Antioch Middle School
- Black Diamond Middle School
- Dallas Ranch Middle School
- Park Middle School
The grant is for $750,000 over three years which amounts to $125k per officer position for the duration of the grant, or $41,667 per officer per year. The maximum cost of each officer including salary and benefits is $167,458 per year. The net cost to the city would start at $125,791 per police officer per year. If all six positions were filled, the initial cost would be approximately $754,756 the first year and increasing annually thereafter.
The meeting will continue Thursday with the same agenda.