Parents Demand Security Increase After Racial Tensions Escalate Into Brawl

HAWTHORNE (CBSLA.com) — Parents met with school leaders Wednesday night to demand more security at Hawthorne High School after they say racial tensions escalated into a violent brawl on campus.

The hour-long meeting filled the room to capacity, and became heated itself at moments as parents disagreed over how the issue should be addressed.

The brawl, which was captured on video and shared over social media, was racially motivated. The video shows kids punching and shoving each other, as others are heard screaming.

“Teachers are here to teach, not to babysit,” parent Cecilia Hortado said. “So if I cannot handle my kid at home, then this is what’s going to happen.”

Other parents argue that not enough is being done to protect their children while they are at school. Threats of additional fights on campus are already being made.

“It’s not going to just end because it happened yesterday,” parent Tomiki Mathews said. “It’s not just going to be over with tomorrow.”

While school officials say extra security will be on campus through the week, parents say they want it through the rest of the year.

“I don’t want this to look like a prison,” Principal Mark Newell said. “We know we can have a good, positive relationship with our students here with the security that we have.”

The school also plans to have counselors available for students.

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