Beatriz E. Valenzuela, Daily Press (Victorville, California), April 2, 2009
At least 10 Silverado High School students were arrested Thursday following an on-campus fight ignited by racial tensions, officials said.
Two large groups of students–one black and the other Hispanic–were facing off during the high school’s first lunch period, according to Karen Hunt, spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Victorville station.
The disturbance forced school officials to call in assistance from the Sheriff’s Department.
Officials arrested four students for assault, two for assault on a school official and at least four other students for challenging others to fight, Hunt said.
Thursday’s fight between black and Hispanic students is not the first racially charged incident at Silverado High School this year.
In early March, three Silverado students were arrested during a school lunch for being involved in what San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Victorville Station officials called a “riot.”
However, Silverado Principal Art Sanchez said that incident was really just a fight between two students.
One black and one Hispanic juvenile were arrested for inciting the incident, and a third unidentified student was arrested for battery against a school personnel, officials said.
“We did have some racial tension earlier in the year,” Sanchez said. “But we stayed on it. We meet with all the kids, we bring them in, we talk to them, we connect with kids and prevented a lot of (fights). There’s a lot of racial tension in the community–we’re not the only one.”
He credits the school’s two school resource officers, ongoing communication between students and staff and his morning meetings checking in with security personnel with cultivating a better campus climate.