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Hoover High tries to get back to normal in brawl aftermath

Hoover High tries to get back to normal in brawl aftermath
Students walk by Hoover High on Wednesday afternoon shortly after police were called to break up a brawl. (Raul Roa / Glendale News-Press)

Five days after a brawl at Hoover High School led to a campus lockdown and a police response by roughly two dozen officers, Glendale Unified School District officials are still investigating the cause of the melee.

District Supt. Winfred B. Roberson sent an email Monday afternoon looking to dispel “a lot of misinformation and rumors” in regards to the incident.

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The email stated that school instruction was back to normal this week with extra security guards and Glendale police officers, some students were disciplined, the varsity football team was not suspended, the football season was not canceled and no additional threats were made.

While classes were back to normal, the situation was anything but.

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An official within the school district, who was not authorized to speak, confirmed that some members of the football coaching staff had been put on administrative leave pending a school investigation.

While some Hoover students have been disciplined, including some believed to have been suspended, it is unclear how many were football players.

District director of communications Kristine Nam said she was unable to confirm any names of the coaches who may have been placed on leave and would not confirm how many students were disciplined until the investigation was completed.

The Hoover High football team was supposed to have hosted Burroughs High School on Thursday at Glendale High’s Moyse Field, but that game has been forfeited.

Nam said that, while the season has not been canceled, despite rumors to the contrary, she could not confirm when the team would next play.

Burroughs High football coach Rand Holdren expressed some frustration in not having a game this week, but was understanding of the circumstances.

Last week, Hoover forfeited to Pasadena after the fight.

The football team is at the center of the investigation because it is believed that members of the squad were involved in the brawl that spread throughout the campus.

Several rumors have different groups involved for a couple of possible reasons, including defending a special needs student.

However, none of those rumors have been confirmed.

District officials are investigating several videos from social media to try and find the source and rationale behind the fracas.

“Speculation about any motives and triggers for this altercation are very premature,” Roberson wrote in his email.

“The district is still gathering all of the facts and interviewing witnesses to the incident to determine exactly how and why this occurred. If warranted, additional appropriate disciplinary steps will be taken once that review has been completed,” he added.

The student group Humans of Hoover posted a video in which some students praised the district’s efforts in the fight’s aftermath, but others were also critical of a lack of preventative efforts.

On Monday, several parents asked to speak with school and district officials.

Some parents coming out of those meetings expressed concern that there may be a group of Armenian students involved in the situation, according to KTLA.

Nam said Roberson and principal Jennifer Earl met with parents individually and not as part of a group discussion.

“They wanted to hear from all of our parents and students who had to speak,” Nam said of district officials. “It was important to be available.”

While a district meeting has not been planned, Nam confirmed that the school’s PTA was in the beginning stages of such a get-together to address the brawl and how best to move forward.

Oct. 9, 1:20 p.m.: This article was updated with further information about the football team forfeiting another game this week.

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