By Frank Gallo
Three weeks ago a brawl that broke up at Hoover High required a massive response from the Glendale Police Department. No one knows how many kids participated in the fight that took place during the lunch break on October 3/2018, but at least 26 kids were disciplined for their involvement.
“Danny went behind the cafeteria and started crying, so we went to confront the kid that had pushed him” said Guillermo, a student at Hoover High. According to some of the kids, Danny, a special-needs kid had been bullied by an Armenian classmate. But, according to some of the Armenian students, other kids including members of the football team were bulling one of the Armenian students. This situation took place on Friday, September 28/2018 and tensions continued escalating over the following days with the exchange of text messages between the students.
The problem went unobserved by school officials but tension continued mounting up until October 3.2018. “That day, one of the Armenian members of the football team was approached outside the cafeteria by a friend of the kid that pushed Danny” said Guillermo, “that is when the fight started.”
At this point is hard to determine if ethnic or cultural differences were the reasons for the brawl or if some of the recent school arrivals felt isolated by their classmates, but it is clear that tension were running high and school staff failed to gauge the problem. Teachers and school staff were not aware of how serious the situation was or the administration chose to ignore warnings by the football coach. Furthermore, the administration was poorly prepared for what took place on October 3, 2018, in a school with about 1,500 students.
The school had not addressed the situation with the students and there were not enough patrol officials on duty. Consequently, when a fight broke up on Wednesday Otc.3/2018 many kids whose tempers were already high quickly took sides in the fight. Tensions that had been mounting up for days, or maybe even weeks went un-noticed or were completely ignored.
According to K, Nam a School District spokesperson, district officials and school staff are trying to diffuse the tensions by working on a practice called ‘restorative circles’ that serves to promote dialogue between individuals and to create understanding among groups with different cultural perceptions, Unfortunately, this solution might have come a little too late for some of the students and for the football team. Possibly as many as four of the football team members have transferred to other schools and other of the football team members no longer want to participate in this school activity which might result in the cancellation of rest of the football season for Hoover High.