GLENDALE — An altercation on the Herbert Hoover High School campus in Glendale in October incited decades-old racial and cultural strife among Armenians and other ethnic groups, reflecting on the larger issue of racism across the country.
The consequences surpassed those involved in the fight, forcing the Board of Education to cancel the infamous “Battle for the Victory Bell” amid reports of threats, noting the safety of students as their priority. The cancellation of the annual football game, held between rivals Glendale High School and Hoover High School, upset parents and students alike who staged a walk-out amid frustrations with the Glendale Unified School District due to a lack of answers and clarity about the brawl that occurred among ethnically diverse students on October 3, 2018 — a fight that quickly went viral.
“We are looking into ties to integrate a transition program,” said Board of Education President Greg Krikorian, regarding the influx of immigrants into the school district. He noted that the incident became a bigger issue than it should have because proper measures were not taken at the outset.
“Our district made the mistake of not getting in front of it,” said Krikorian, who assured that the Board of Education will continue to come up with solutions as they meet with parents in the school district, which he describes as “civil and calm” conversations.
While Hoover High School and the Glendale Unified School District led a thorough investigation, details of the fight remain murky, the only constant being the agreement that the incident stemmed from a misunderstanding among different cultural groups on campus. The Glendale Unified School District stated that the initial cause was a verbal argument between two students, one of whom was offended when the other used profanity in front of a girl. Rumors, however, began swirling that the fight originated when a student spat on another with special needs, misinformation that the Glendale Unified School District said was “repeatedly proven false by site administrators and later by the district.”
In light of the incident and all of the surrounding controversy, the Board of Education has taken the stance of “communication, not confrontation” with an effort to find “common ground and common purpose” within the larger Glendale community.