Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Race war between Hispanic and African-American students in a Texas school

Sharon Brooks:

Parents of students involved in a fight at Memorial 9th Grade School say they were kicked off campus after trying to get answers about the fight between a group of Hispanic students and a group of African-American students that happened this morning.

A group of Hispanic parents and other concerned citizens gathered at the PAISD Administration Building on 5th Street in Port Arthur after the parents were kicked off the campus. The group forced a meeting to get answers from PAISD officials about the fight and the race issues they feel caused the fight.

According to Elida Resendez, an undetermined number of black students attacked three boys and one girl, all Hispanic. Resendez said this is the latest of numerous attacks on Hispanic students by blacks at Port Arthur schools.

“My son is going to ninth grade next year,” Resendez said. “He goes to Edison, now. He is scared to death. He told me, ‘I don’t want to go.’”

Resendez said she feels the black students are to blame for this attack and others. She spoke of an attack on an Asian student, as well, saying that he was beaten badly because of his race and was hospitalized for a long time. Resendez also said she feels that the principal of the school carries a lot of the blame. She said she and other parents are calling for a new principal at the school.

“I don’t know if it’s because he is black, but nothing is being done about the black students attacking Hispanics,” she said.

Raquel Munoz’s daughter is a seventh grade student and shares the campus with the older students involved in the fight. Munoz said her daughter called her from a friend’s phone and asked her to come get her from school.

“She was scared to death,” Munoz said. “I called the school to find out what had happened, and they wouldn’t tell me anything. They were very rude and hung up on me. When someone finally did speak to me, she said, ‘No, there’s not a problem.’ They didn’t want parents to know because they knew we would be upset.”

During the impromptu meeting, Munoz spoke to Dr. Morcease Beasley, spokesperson for PAISD.

“Just because many of us cannot speak English, we can’t get anything done,” Munoz told Beasley.

Beasley responded that the issue was not about race and that the parents should look at the individuals involved rather than the race of those individuals.

“Those (Hispanics and blacks) were the ones involved in the fight,” Munoz responded. “That’s why I brought it up.”

Munoz also said the campus needs security.

“I went to school in California,” Munoz said. “When you walked onto the campus, there was someone there to ask you what you were doing. There is no one at the door of the school here. Anyone can just walk right in and wander around. I have come up to the campus and no one approached me to even ask what I was doing there.

“My son was approached by a group of black boys at school, once. They beat him up. He had a cut on his forehead, and he went to the hospital. What really makes me mad is that the school is trying to hide what’s going on.”

Marcos Oceguera was one of the boys who were attacked. Oceguera said the fight started before school at around 7:15 a.m.

“It was before the first bell,” Oceguera remembered. “We were just standing around, hanging out. Then these black kids, all hyped up, started coming up to us. They started hitting and jumping everybody. There were lots of them. They grabbed me and pushed me into a corner. Then, lots of them started hitting me.”

Oceguera said this is not an isolated incident and that blacks and Hispanics often fight at his school.

Beasley agreed that the fighting between the two groups has been going on for some time.

Principal`s Position Reassigned Following Fight Between Blacks And Hispanics

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