Post Brawl, Hoover High Seeks to Defuse Tension, Restore Confidence

What exactly ignited the brawl remains unclear.

Five days after a student brawl at Glendale's Herbert Hoover High School, district officials offered assurances of "heightened adult supervision and support" in an email issued Monday.

Glendale Police maintained a visible presence at the campus.

During the day, Hoover principal Jennifer Earl met with a series of parents seeking answers and commitments.

Parents were told some two dozen students were suspended. Others believed to have been involved in the brawl, or connected with either of the two clashing sides, were being kept apart in "restorative" sessions with counselors, several parents said.

Many students are remaining silent in the restorative circle discussion sessions, one Hoover senior said.

"The school is safe and resuming regular instruction," stated the district email from Winfred Roberson, Jr., Superintendent of the Glendale Unified School District, and addressed to GUSD families, staff, and community members.

The brawl erupted during the lunch hour Wednesday, beginning with a dispute between two students that grew to include dozens. Order was not restored until police arrived. Weapons were not used, and there were no serious injuries.

Since then, threats and trash talk have continued to swirl on social media.

Some parents remain critical of the district for not doing enough to defuse campus tensions.

"It's not fair for our kids to go to school every day scared," said parent Lili Gonzalez.

"There have been no further credible threats against the campus," stated Roberson's email.

Several parents spoke of tensions between a group of Armenian-American students and members of the football and baseball teams.

Last Friday, the District placed two football coaches on leave and cancelled that evening's game. The district maintained it was not cancelling the season but also could say when the team will be allowed to resume playing games.

What exactly ignited the incident remains unclear.

A week earlier, a student allegedly spat on a special needs student and another student went to his defense, word spread on the campus. The school district has declined to discuss what its investigation is finding.  But Monday, a parent active in the PTA, Kirsten Hersh, said she was told that the spitting incident was a rumor that never actually happened.

Regardless, some parents see underlying tensions that go beyond the school.

"This is a community issue," said parent Nathan Bond. "And the parents, the administrators here at the school,  and city officials need to work together to fix."

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