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7 arrested in race-tied school fight

first_imgSANTA CLARITA – A fight between two boys Friday at Golden Valley High School escalated into a brawl among 20 more, and later ended with the arrests of seven students. Ranging in age from 15 to 18, the students were booked on suspicion of battery on school grounds, said Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Larry Gump. Gump said students fought along racial lines. There were no weapons or injuries reported. “It was black and white versus Mexican,” said sophomore Martin Romo, 15, who witnessed the fight. “I’ve never seen that before at school. I was scared.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant Sixteen squad cars lined the school’s perimeter and two sheriff’s helicopters hovered overhead at times as the school went into lockdown and students were ordered to their sixth-period classes, where they sat for the rest of the day. The sight alarmed some parents, who were already angry that the school didn’t notify them about the fight; instead, they got the news from their children, who called from cell phones or sent them text messages. Parents said that when they called the school to verify the story, they were advised not to come to the campus and told that the situation was under control. “Are you kidding me?” yelled Norma Johnson, who rushed to the school to pick up her son. “Who will protect him when he leaves school?” The Canyon Country mother stood with about 50 other parents outside a gate and gave their children’s names to school officials, who located the students and reunited them one by one. Robin Adams was the first parent to arrive at the school. She rushed over after learning from her daughter on campus that her 15-year-old son had been jumped by another student during lunch. School officials told her to wait outside for more information, and she paced around the entrance, holding the hands of two small children. The Canyon Country mother said some boys had cornered her son, a football player, in the bathroom days earlier and threatened to fight him, but then stopped when an adult walked in. “He’s been scared,” she said. Pat Willett, spokeswoman for the William S. Hart Union High School District, said the fight had its roots in an off-campus altercation at a party days before. As school let out Friday, students were ordered via loudspeakers to keep moving and get off the campus. They huddled on an island of grass in the parking lot as their rides arrived. The district also employed more buses to take students home immediately. Meanwhile, Principal Jacque Snyder and other school officials asked deputies to keep the news media off campus even though state law allows reporters and photographers open access to public schools. As they waited for their ride home, sophomores Christine Lopez and Fabiola Guillen said they were eating lunch when suddenly they saw everybody running across campus. Then a bell rang and everyone was ordered to sixth-period classes. They were surprised when they learned that the fight was among races. “Everyone gets along here,” said Lopez, 15. “It’s rare that race got involved.” After the campus cleared, the seven students in custody were escorted in handcuffs from the school’s main office by deputies to waiting squad cars and vans parked on school grounds behind a gate guarded by more deputies. Snyder did not comment on the fight and referred phone calls to the district office. Golden Valley High School opened in August 2004 to students in grades nine and 10. Juniors were added this year. Sue Doyle, (661) 257-5254 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more