Sunday, March 11, 2012
L.A. School Denies Racial Tension Led To Massive Brawl
CARSON, Calif. — Classes are proceeding normally amid heightened security at a Los Angeles-area high school where eight students were injured in a courtyard brawl.
Los Angeles Unified School District spokeswoman Monica Carazo says that 10 extra patrol cars from the district’s police department are at the campus of Carson High School on Thursday, but there have been no further incidents.
A melee involving about 30 students erupted Wednesday during the school’s midmorning snack break. The cause of the fight is still under investigation by the school police.
Carazo says that first period attendance Thursday was 83 percent, lower than normal 90-plus percent.
A brawl involving dozens of students that left eight students injured at a Los Angeles-area high school was an unusual incident for the normally peaceful campus and was not racially motivated, contrary to initial reports from authorities, school district officials and police said.
“Descriptions of these fights as racially motivated have not been substantiated,” LA schools police Chief Steven Zimmerman said in a statement on the melee at Carson High School Wednesday. “This campus has no current racial issues.”
Principal Windy Warren said student leaders at the ethnically diverse campus of more than 3,000 students assured her of the same thing.
“This is a very unusual incident for the Carson campus, which has been very peaceful this entire school year,” she said.
At least 30 students traded punches and kicks in a series of fights that erupted in a campus courtyard during a 10 a.m. snack break, said Monica Carazo, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Unified School District.
School police, with assistance from sheriff’s deputies, quelled the disturbance.
The brawl left eight students injured, Warren said. Four were taken to hospitals and four were treated by the school nurse. The extent of the injuries of the hospitalized students was not clear.
Seven students were arrested or suspended, the principal said.
The district said in a statement that despite earlier reports, investigators couldn’t substantiate that the Wednesday melee at Carson High School was brought on by racial conflict.
Schools police Chief Steven Zimmerman says the ethnically diverse campus of more than 3,000 students “has no current racial issues.”
The school was placed on modified lockdown with students confined to their classrooms, but they were allowed to go to lunch and were dismissed at the usual time.