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Wednesday, January 27 2010 - 08:56 PM
Incident at Eastside High School
The details are sketchy, but what one student described to me as a “riot” broke out shortly before noon today at Eastside High School in Lancaster.

I arrived at the school at 11:45 AM and found at least twenty Sheriff’s squad cars, unmarked police vehicles, two ambulances and paramedics’ fire trucks jamming the parking lot.

I was told there were at least two injured students as well as an adult who I saw being wheeled out on a gurney while receiving oxygen. According to one of the teachers, the dispute began between black and hispanic students and quickly escalated.

01/27/10 - 09:03 PM
PKShaw says...
Why can’t we just say ‘a dispute between students that quickly escalated’ instead of also including their race/ethnicity. Does it really matter?
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01/27/10 - 09:06 PM
Ray Cunneff says...
I should add that the staff at Eastside H.S. was very nice and helpful and some seemed a bit embarrassed by what had happened there. I got the impression that this was a very unusual event at that school. The school is still under construction and most activities are being conducted in temporary buildings.
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01/27/10 - 09:11 PM
Ray Cunneff says...
PK,
I’m just telling you what I saw and heard. Race was clearly the issue that sparked the fight. There was one teacher who came into the principal’s office upset because one of the students had called her a “racist”.
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01/27/10 - 09:14 PM
dbeardw says...
PK I agree with you EXCEPT that there are dynamics at work that pit hispanic and black students against each other. It’s a phenomenon that needs to be explored, but not necessarily reported as such. However, if it is regularly occurring in a community, that should be a scenario that should not be overlooked.

There are many individuals researching this because the battle between blacks and hispanic students is occurring across the country and has escalated over the last ten or so years.

On a reporting basis, that information is key and is tracked by many studying the dynamics between these two groups.

More and more the fights between students on high school campuses are between these two groups? Why is the question that needs to be answered and resolved at the root cause —

It also happens in prisons.
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01/27/10 - 09:16 PM
dbeardw says...
There’s a time to ignore race and a time to understand how it comes into play in a given situation.

These fights on campuses primarily between the same racial/ethnic groups is important to note otherwise they will not stop.
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01/27/10 - 09:28 PM
SychophantSlayer1 says...
is Ray cunteff trying to be a journalist now? lol
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01/27/10 - 09:32 PM
Ray Cunneff says...
PK,
Your point is well taken. Had the circumstances been different, I might have omitted any reference to race or ethnicity. But all the conversations I had or overheard among the students had to do with race and the tensions between small groups on the campus. I also got the impression that these tensions were not shared by the general school population.
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01/27/10 - 09:42 PM
ritcsilv says...
It will most likly be on the chanel 4 news along with last night Lancaster Council meeting. This area just keeps getting the good news coverage.
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01/27/10 - 09:44 PM
Ray Cunneff says...
I did not see any media at the school today. This may be the only first-hand account you’ll see.
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01/27/10 - 09:50 PM
138hwy says...
What an idiot.

“Why mention race.” lol When fights/riots break out at Palmdale High and/or Pete Knight High, don’t we all KNOW that it blacks vs. hispanics? “does it really matter.” Hell yeh it does! Especially if one has a son or daughter whho attends these (hell-holes) and must be subjected to these yearly riots.
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01/27/10 - 09:59 PM
Ray Cunneff says...
Certainly these situations are not unique to any one school. There was a similar incident at Pete Knight HS on the last day of our son’s junior year (he graduated in 2007). In that case, it was started by female gang members from Palmdale HS and quickly escalated to include parents and security staff. A small incident can turn into a large event very quickly.
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01/27/10 - 10:01 PM
138hwy says...
Nice post kelter…
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01/27/10 - 10:05 PM
dbeardw says...
Matt, I don’t agree with your assessment of who starts what. I’ve seen it the other way as well.

What is so stupid to me is that you have two groups of kids (blacks and hispanics) fighting and neither group is taking full advantage of educational opportunities.
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01/27/10 - 10:06 PM
138hwy says...
re: kelter post. People have to start to “just say no” when they are threthened or badgered. “Hispanics don’t go for that.” Good for them!!
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01/27/10 - 10:07 PM
dbeardw says...
Matt. my you sound so hostile.

I don’t think Ray was saying or projecting that it is a unique situation. Neither is it acceptable to downplay it because you say, Matt, that it happens every day. I too have substituted and even spoken to groups of kids on both sides about these issues.

But the point still remains why? The two least academically equipped groups fighting it out all the time. What’s the root cause?
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01/27/10 - 10:14 PM
dbeardw says...
138hwy – I’ve seen black kids kick butt. I’ve seen Hispanic girls kick butt. So what’s your point. If you sit back and cheer them on where do we get. I’ve had kids sit in my classes and talk about shootings like they’re routine occurrences. Once the class mocked a girl who got shot in the leg and was crying.

As an aunt who lost a 19 year old nephew to a gun shot to the head because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time — I don’t find it macho or acceptable or amusing.

Also I have to tell you 138hwy, the white kids often are on the sidelines egging them on. It’s like divide and conquer don’t you think?

They all become losers.
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01/27/10 - 10:16 PM
138hwy says...
“What is the root cause?” Basically the “root cause” is because 75 % of black households have no man/father figure at home. These punks need their asses kicked at an early stage in life.
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01/27/10 - 10:21 PM
138hwy says...
Make it mandatory that ALL youngsters be required to attend “bootcamp” for 12 weeks or so.
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01/27/10 - 10:21 PM
dbeardw says...
And then when we put a lot of deputies on these campuses, parents get upset.

My two sons came out of Quartz Hill High School. One is a sophmore at a university with a 3.95GRA. He’s straight As for the most part. Three semesters on the dean’s list. He admires that guy Will Smith played in the movie The Pursuit of Happiness — Ron Gardner. The guy pulled himself up by his bootstraps and became a multi-millionaire.

He’s very light skinned. He caught it from all races but he ignored them. He told himself he wasn’t going to get caught up in that crap. He wanted to be somebody. He’s an economics major.

That’s what I’m saying. The kids have to have a higher power — a greater goal — a deeper interest than just fighting each other to show they’re macho.

My son got an early lesson in let crap roll off your back. They teased him and tormented him to death because of the color of his skin — all races did.
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01/27/10 - 10:36 PM
newstoday says...
Ray We had a reporter there in minutes. The story, as much as we could squeeze out of the school and Sheriff is posted.

www.avnewstodayonline.com
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01/27/10 - 10:39 PM
ritcsilv says...
So many of the black kids at the school that I work for all they way to do is play basketball or bang around on something and call it music.
They think that either they are going to be a basketball star and make it into pro or some rap star what do they need an education for that.
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01/27/10 - 10:46 PM
Ray Cunneff says...
Glad to see I got the basic story right. But there were a lot more than 12 Sheriffs cars at the scene. The male adult that I saw being taken to an ambulance on a gurney did not appear injured. He was sitting upright with an oxygen mask on his face. My first impression was a heart attack, but I can’t say for certain. I also heard that at least one of the students had been stabbed, but I cannot confirm that.
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01/27/10 - 10:47 PM
Denise_Latanzi says...
I’m mad as hell. If the Violence Free Zone program was still at EHS, this never would have happened. That program made EHS one of the safest environments for students in the district. Removing it was a huge, huge mistake.
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01/27/10 - 10:53 PM
Ray Cunneff says...
Denise,
When and why was the Violence Free Zone program removed?
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01/27/10 - 11:01 PM
Ray Cunneff says...
Until a year or two ago, Eastside was sharing space at Pete Knight HS, so the Violence Free Zone program could not have been in place for very long.
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01/27/10 - 11:17 PM
Denise_Latanzi says...
This is EHS 4th year on our permanent Lancaster Campus.
The Violence free zone program was put in place at both EHS and Pete Knight High Schools by Emmet Murrill. The program brought in mentors for kids, and created a buffer zone around the high school that kept kids from loitering and creating the atmosphere that lends itself to after school fights.
They worked with Campus security and the Sheriff’s to diffuse on campus situations.
They reached out to and targeted at-risk students, helping them to bring their grade up, teaching mediation techniques and conflict resolution skills.
Most importantly, they had an open door, and kids could just walk in and talk if they were having trouble at home, trouble at school, trouble with other students.
It was an incredibly effective program and the results in the school and in the surrounding neighborhoods. Crime, vandalism and break ins, all dropped off. The number of fights on campus decreased significantly, and all kids had safe passage home.
As an EHS parent, my daughter is a senior this year, the difference between her campus experience in 9th grade, before the program started, and 10th, when the program was on campus, was incredible.
Even when the program first went away, it still had an impact, but this year the problems are back at EHS with a vengence.

As a parent, I truly admire what that program brought to the school. Everyone fought for it, school district administrators, EHS staff and teachers, EHS students, and Emmet himself. The city refused to fund the $50,000 necessary to keep it there. The cheapest law enforcement tool they had, and they dumped it, and along with it, the school that was headed to being one of the absolute safest in the Valley now has more problems than AVHS.
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01/27/10 - 11:30 PM
CASimons says...
Yes, PK, race does matter. It is time we take responsibility for our communities! The culture of a ‘Black’ church is diffreent than the culture of a ‘White’ church and the ‘Asian, and ’Hispanic’ as well. Race is not only the color of skin. ‘Tis the culture of the communities involved. I have taught k-12 in different districts from SCV to the AV.
Matt’s ‘security gaurd’ was the Language Dept. mentor at the middle school I was teaching at. I am not surprised he left.
By not addressing each communities problems and how it is dealt with, we will never get a handle on this.
Now, I had students of all races that were there to learn, even when they had lousy family environmemnts. I also had students who came from educated ‘functional’ homes that should have been in Juvenile Hall.
Yes, this starts at home and then is supported in the educational culture of each campus.
To ignore race is to stick our heaqds in the sand!
I have to agree with Matt completely on this!!!
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01/27/10 - 11:33 PM
CASimons says...
Damn, I enjoyed Denise’s post. As a member of a Education family, I can see the benefit of this program. Damn, she might have a point.
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01/27/10 - 11:58 PM
Denise_Latanzi says...
Ray,
The program closed at EHS about a year and a half ago because the city refused to provide matching funds for it even though they were well aware of its effect on dropping crime in the neighborhood surrounding EHS (I live under a mile from the campus).
I’m not sure if the program is still active at Pete Knight, I hope it is.

Anyone who knows me is well aware of how passionate I am about this school. The campus is beautiful, the teachers are great, the staff is the best in the Valley. While the city is right now trying to develop a city run Charter School that will cost a hell of a lot of money, all Eastside wanted was a way to create an exceptional campus.
Instead of trying to create something new for a few students, they should have worked with the program at EHS to expand it to ALL campuses to make a difference for ALL Lancaster high school students. The program WORKED, the city gave it an award and acknowledged its fantastic success when Hearns was mayor, then 6 months later dumped it. I don’t even have to add here that when dumping it, Parris was incredibly rude and insulting to both the Superintendent of the district and Emmet Murril, but I’ll add it anyway.

I don’t understand the mentality of people who will refuse to invest a couple dollars for something is proven to be highly effective, but they will spend millions to try to create something different that benefits only a few. It makes no sense to me.

Ray, I’m sure you know Emmet, if not I’d be happy to make the introduction. I’m sure he’s also still upset about it. It wasn’t just that they dropped the program, it was that they left all those students, some who were making amazing progress, with nothing.
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01/28/10 - 12:01 AM
PKShaw says...
Was it the city’s responsibility to fund it or the district’s?
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01/28/10 - 12:07 AM
dbeardw says...
Denise — I did the evaluation for Mayor Rex and the city council on Eastside High School’s Violence Free Zone Program. Emmitt and I have been friends for ions and remain the best of friends today.

The mayor used my evaluation that I did in both narrative and rubric form to not give them the $25,000 they requested. People were angry with me for some time.

If anyone reads the report they will see that I gave the program high marks As and Bs in most areas. The only thing I really questioned was the additional funding. I even suggested running the program on the $25,000 as a scaled down model.

Rex publicly said at the meeting that he would donate $5,000 or so of his own money to match the $25,000. At that point everything got bogged down.

Emmit knows I went back to try to get the program resurrected for the $25,000 in a scaled back model. Mayor Rex was not receptive and I think the spirit of those running the program had been broken.

That was one of the last tasks I did for Rex and the City. Later on when I learn about the money the city wastes on other things, I felt ashamed that I had not stood up sooner and fought for that program. I felt ashamed that I took the evaluation task on as an outside consultant merely coming in to evaluate a program as opposed to letting someone else do that job.

I should have been an advocate because I would have known how to save the program as opposed to being used to negate it.

I wore the wrong hat — but as the evaluator I told the unbiased truth and thus my conscience does not bother me and Emmitt and I remain extremely close.

But later I told Rex if he can give $10,000 to put people on a bus and ship them out of town, or throw some of the other cash he has dumped into Titan projects…….he could have given the school $25,000 to save children.
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01/28/10 - 12:10 AM
dbeardw says...
PKShaw says…
Was it the city’s responsibility to fund it or the district’s?"

It was both the city and the school district’s responsibility to help. It is time for us to stop drawing lines down the middle of the road and talking about does it come out of your wallet or mine.

If the City of Lancaster can spent money on Titan projects like Amargossa Creek to the tune of about $8 million, they can contribute to save children’s lives to the tune of $25,000.

So yes, PK, it was both’s responsibility. Helping children doesn’t stop at the front steps of city hall.
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01/28/10 - 12:13 AM
Denise_Latanzi says...
CAsimons- as much as I hate to burst whatever perception you had of me before this post, this is who I am.

I have 6 kids, 1 graduated from Littlerock High, 1 from Valencia, 3 from AVHS. My experience at Littlerock was ok, though my son was a senior when he entered so he only spent a year there. My experience at Valencia was very good, its a great school. My experience as a parent of AVHS students not so good- Campus issues, issues with teachers, issues with staff. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of the teachers there are awesome, but its a tough environment.

I did not live in EHS boundaries when my daughter first started there, and I fought to get her in. My reasoning at the time was as EHS was in its first year on its permanent site, and only its second year operational, there would only be 9th and 10th graders on campus- a smaller environment. They, at the time, were also limiting enrollment because they were in temporary classrooms, so the school was pretty small.

I’ve been engaged with the schools here since we got here, I’ve been a judge and mentor for senior projects, a “band mom”, a classroom volunteer. This is the stuff at the end of the day that is important to me.

EHS means a lot to me. I could go on about the programs on campus, the clubs and teachers that really make a huge difference, but I won’t, I’ll stick with the Violence Free program.
Any program that teaches kids to aim for success, to become rule followers and understand why those roles are important is a program that should be applauded. Those programs create adults who aim for success, who obey the law, who contribute to their communities. Programs like that are a win-win for everyone involved and they are CHEAP to run.
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01/28/10 - 12:20 AM
dbeardw says...
Ray Cunneff says…
Until a year or two ago, Eastside was sharing space at Pete Knight HS, so the Violence Free Zone program could not have been in place for very long."

Ray that was my dilemma in doing a very accurate evaluation. There was not enough hard evidence and more anedotal evidence. I needed some quanitative data — hard cold numbers and a longer period of time in which to judge.

Pete Knight High School got full funding for the $360,000 because A.C. Warnack wrote out a check. I guess they could not find a donor at that level in Lancaster.
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01/28/10 - 12:22 AM
dbeardw says...
Hey Ray, when I substituted at Eastside we were in those modulars — very depressing.

Pete Knight was in a brand new school.
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01/28/10 - 12:28 AM
Ray Cunneff says...
The administrative staff at Eastside is still in the ‘modulars’. It looked to me that the campus construction still had a long way to go.
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01/28/10 - 12:28 AM
Denise_Latanzi says...
PK, if the program reduced crime in the neighborhood, and it did, then it should have been the responsibility of both the school and the city. One could argue that the city has no responsibility to provide for its citizens, but we both know that is not true. Senior centers, libraries and community houses or programs that provide for after school opportunities often fall to the cities to provide and they improve the quality of life for everyone. What benefits the city more, a program that reduces on campus violence and off campus crime for an entire year, or a “bark in the park” where people take their dogs out for 1 day to a dog park? Which one would have cost the city more money? I’m sure you know the answer- It’s a Bark in the Park.

Diana, I saw the council meeting where you gave your report, and I strongly disagreed with you then as I do now about “scaling down” the program. The program worked, and instead of scaling it down, they should have looked at expanding it. If you took EHS results into the neighborhoods around AVHS and Lancaster High, the impact on the community would have been huge.

I also should have been more explicit about the funding- $50,000 was the total for the entire project, they were only asking for 1/2 of that from the city. Worse, as they have had to expand sheriff patrols in the area since the program went away, they are probably spending way more than $25,000 dollars now to do something ineffectively that the program provided excellent results for.

Worse yet, the district was only looking for a 1 year commitment from the city to give them time to pursue other funding options.
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01/28/10 - 12:51 AM
PKShaw says...
But was there any guarantee that the district would have spent any funds given to them by the city on this program?
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01/28/10 - 12:51 AM
RealSteve says...
newstoday

Nice quick write up. Any bets if the AV Press Big Fish Wrapper will cover the story in tomorrow’s fish wrapper?
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01/28/10 - 01:20 AM
CASimons says...
PK with the close ties that the City has with the District, I am sure there would have been tight strings attached as far as oversight. As well, the previous reports on this page stated the program worked.
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01/28/10 - 02:23 AM
avres says...
The Eastside riot overshadowed a Quartz Hill altercation in which two girls came to school wearing the same colored nail polish. It got really ugly when one of the girls threatened to slap the other girl right in the face.
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01/28/10 - 06:21 AM
marino says...
Zactly what Matt said.

Teenage boys without fathers around are going to make and find trouble. I though about making trouble as a teenager many times. Sounded like a lot of fun.

Tried it once. Dad found out. Never tried it again. That was back in the day when that type of dicipline was legal. These days kids sue their parents.
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01/28/10 - 05:31 PM
ritcsilv says...
The paper today reported that the riot at Eastside High School was a fight between two teens and a deputy got hit and had to go to the hospital. If the report is right the this was blown up wide open.
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01/28/10 - 05:53 PM
Sincere says...
Wasn’t it the report from Diana Beard-Williams that killed the No Violence Zone?
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01/28/10 - 06:50 PM
Ray Cunneff says...
ritcilv,
Even having been there, it’s impossible for me to know just how big (or small) the altercation was. I think anyone seeing the enormous Sheriffs presence, ambulances and fire trucks in the parking lot would conclude that something major had happened. Certainly the students described it as something big.
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01/28/10 - 07:06 PM
ritcsilv says...
Ray I work at a local school and yes the students made it bigger than what it was. Ones that have childern there pulled their students out of school because one of their kids said it was a riot that how it was brought up to me.
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02/02/10 - 07:46 PM
Cagy Wolf says...
I see DBW blaming it all on the" white kids egging it on", fact is Matt is partly right but hispanics are among the most racist of races. Ever hear of La Raza? Schools all over the country is going though the same thing and its being keep quiet. Most of you people have either your heads in the cloud or up your asses. Later idiots.
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