Friday, April 28, 2006

Racial tensions spilled over in a standoff involving hundreds of Latino and African-American students at San Leandro High School leading to 10 arrests

Katy Murphy:

Police say no one was seriously injured in the incident, which followed a fight earlier in the week. Other fights took place Wednesday after school, including one at a bus stop on East 14th Street.

The lunchtime standoff at the crowded high school took place on a warm spring day during standardized testing week. Principal Amy Furtado said the incident appeared to be racially motivated, and that it stemmed from a Tuesday fight between "a handful" of Latino and African-American students.

But the Tuesday incident that apparently fueled the problems between the groups had nothing to do with race, she said.

"All of a sudden, it had just become a very racial thing," Furtado said. "I think tensions have been exacerbated tremendously by the immigration debate going on."

Furtado said the presence of 10 to 15 police officers on Wednesday likely diffused the situation before it got worse. Sensing that such problems might occur after Tuesday's fight, Furtado said, she had called in extra security. And on Wednesday morning, before the standoff, mediators pulled students out of class to try to resolve conflicts and rumors.

Furtado said about 10 police officers came to the campus to supervise the lunch period today and that she will continue to call in extra security until the conflict subsides. At 7 p.m. on May 4, parents and educators will talk about how to address long-term safety issues at the school during a United Parents meeting in the cafeteria.

"We've got issues that we have to face," Furtado said. "We're going to take a really proactive role."

Police patrol high school after fights

Police Arrest Several After Fights At High School

Racially Charged Brawls Erupt At East Bay High School

Racial Tensions Simmer At San Leandro High

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