Friday, May 27, 2005

Dozens of students involved in racially motivated fights at two Los Angeles high schools

Associated Press:

Police detained more than a dozen students after separate brawls broke out at two high schools, the latest in a string of school fights on Los Angeles campuses that appear to be racially motivated.

More than 20 students were caught up in a fight at Jefferson High School on Thursday, and campus police detained about 15 of them, according to Los Angeles Unified School District spokeswoman Hilda Ramirez. There were no serious injuries, although two girls were treated at hospitals for hyperventilation, she said.

Police and district officials were investigating what sparked the fight, which came a day before the school had planned a dialogue to discuss recent violence. Racial and gang-motivated brawls broke out at the campus twice in April.

Jefferson students were dismissed early at staggered times Thursday and would be sent home early again Friday, Ramirez said.

At Los Angeles High School, two separate fights with several hundred onlookers escalated into "a brawl of some kind" in the afternoon, district spokeswoman Susan Cox said. The campus was briefly locked down and two students were detained. No serious injuries were reported.

"I'm told there were some racial overtones" to the violence, Cox said.

Students at Jefferson High said the brawl started with a fight between a black and a Hispanic student, which provoked other fights. Parents who flocked to the school reacted with concern and anger - and some threatened to pull their children out of class.

"I'm not prejudiced. I'm not racist. We all bleed the same color blood," Lilly Ficklin told KCAL-TV. "But my child is outnumbered. This is his last day here."

Another Brawl at Jefferson High

'Days of Dialogue' to Address Violence

Peace Rally Ends With Fight Among Students


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