Leah McDonald, Daily Mail, October 10, 2018
Several students were disciplined at a high school in California after a violent brawl broke out on campus which parents believe was a race riot.
A video posted online last Wednesday shows dozens of students at Herbert Hoover High School in Glendale involved in an altercation that has resulted in suspensions.
Police were called to the school around 1 pm Wednesday at the end of the lunch hour where dozens of students were involved in the melee.
Several stories have been floated around regarding what started the fight, including a bullying incident.
Parents told KTLA that their children say there is racial tension on campus between Armenian students — said to be the largest ethnic group in the school — and football players, who are mostly black, Latino, and other ethnicities.
Parent Iris Lopez said: ‘I know a lot of the students are very stressed and they can’t concentrate, and they don’t want to be at school. And what are we supposed to do?
‘Our kids are supposed to go to school to get an education, not to worry about getting in a fight or getting jumped’.
Tensions boiled over into violence after an incident involving a special needs student who attempted to hug an Armenian student, parents said.
At that point they say, the Armenian student refused and supposedly spat at the special needs student.
Football players then became involved in a fight with Armenian students. Some parents say the spitting never took place.
A screenshot of a Snapchat message shared with KTLA read ‘whoever’s not Armenian we’re going to shoot’.
Parents said that message circulated Thursday night, yet they were not informed by school administrators until Friday, one hour after classes had begun.
Parents met with school administrators on Monday to address the violence and threats. One parent said they feel that there is not enough security at the school.
District Superintendent Winfred Roberson Jr. issued a statement Monday afternoon, saying unsubstantiated rumors were heightening anxiety and fear in the campus community.
‘Speculation about any motives and triggers for this altercation are very premature,’ the statement reads in part.
‘The district is still gathering all of the facts and interviewing witnesses to the incident to determine exactly how and why this occurred.’
Roberson also said ‘adult supervision’ on the campus has been increased to ‘maintain order’.
KTLA spoke to a security guard on site Monday, who said she doesn’t generally work there, but the school has hired extra security because of the incident.
The students involved have been disciplined, Roberson added, noting that the ‘entire football team was not suspended or disciplined’.
However, the superintendent said he could not go into the specifics of the repercussions or which students were involved.
According to parents, multiple students were suspended. District officials are continuing to investigate the fight.
‘This was a serious situation and the district is taking it very seriously,’ Roberson said.
‘GUSD is working collaboratively with all responsible stakeholders to address the underlying circumstances and perceptions that may have contributed to the incident’.