“Whoever’s not Armenian we’re gonna shoot.”
Several high school students have been disciplined after shocking footage of what parents described as a racially-motivated melee between dozens of teens at Glendale, California.
Students involved in the brawl at Herbert Hoover High school on Wednesday, October 3 were remanded to separate rooms Monday, October 8 and spoke little during “restorative circle” sessions with school counselors, according to KTLA. During the day, Hoover principal Jennifer Earl met with a series of parents seeking answers and commitments while Glendale Police maintained a visible presence at the campus.
A video posted online Wednesday, October 3 shows dozens of students at Herbert Hoover High School in Glendale, California involved in an altercation that has resulted in suspensions.
The fight reportedly erupted during lunch period on Wednesday, starting as a dispute between two students and quickly grew to involve dozens. Police arrived around 1 P.M. to restore order, as the fists continued to fly.
No serious injuries were reported. Although several stories have been floated around as of what started the fight, including a bullying incident.
Parents told KTLA their children say there is racial tension on campus between Armenian students, who are said to be the largest ethnic group in the school, and football players, who are mostly black, Latino and other ethnicities.
According to the Daily Mail, parents said tensions boiled over into violence after an incident involving a special needs student who attempted to hug an Armenian student.
At that point, the Armenian student refused and supposedly spat at the special needs student. Football players then jumped to his defense, with other students quickly joined in. Some parents said the spitting never took place.
“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 suppose to do?” a concerned parent Iris Lopez told KTLA. “Our kids are supposed to go to school to get an education, not to worry about getting in a fight or getting jumped.”
Tensions Didn’t End After The Fight
A screenshot of a Snapchat message shared with KTLA read “whoever’s not Armenian we’re going to shoot.”
Parents said that message circulated the night on Thursday, October 4. Yet parents were not informed by school administrators until Friday, October 5, one hour after classes had begun.
Parents met with school administrators on Monday, October 8 to address the violence and threats. One parent said they feel that there is not enough security on campus.
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 read. “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 didn’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.”