Students Disciplined After Caught-on-Video Brawl Described by Parents as Race Riot at High School in Glendale


By Steve Gabey, Wendy Burch and Elizabeth Espinosa

GLENDALE (KTLA) — A meeting was held Monday, October 8, after video posted online showed what appeared to be dozens of students involved in a melee at Hoover High School in Glendale last week.

Students involved in the fight — described by concerned parents as racially motived — were reportedly kept in separate rooms on Monday and speaking to counselors in “restorative circles.”

Police were called when the brawl broke out last Wednesday on the upper quad on campus at Hoover.

Parents told KTLA their kids say there is racial tension on campus between Armenian students — said to be the largest ethnic group in the school — and football players, who are mostly black, Latino, and other ethnicities.

“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 supposed to do?” parent Iris Lopez asked. “Our kids are supposed to go to school to get an education, not to worry about getting in a fight or getting jumped.”

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Tensions boiled over into violence after an incident involving a special needs student who attempted to hug an Armenian student, parents said. At that point, they say, the Armenian student refused and supposedly spit at the special needs student.

Football players then became involved in a fight with Armenian students. Some parents say the spitting never took place.

The tension apparently didn’t end there.

A screenshot of a Snapchat message shared with KTLA read “whoever’s not Armenian we’re going to shoot.” Parents said that message circulated Thursday night, yet they were not informed by school administrators until Friday, one hour after classes had begun.

Parents met with school administrators on Monday to address the violence and threats. One parent said they feel that there is not enough security at the school.

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 reads in part. “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 doesn’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.”



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