GLENDALE (CBSLA) – With an investigation continuing into a fight that broke out on the campus of a Glendale high school last week and allegedly involved members of the football team, the school’s football game set for Thursday night has been canceled, district officials announced Tuesday.
It’s the second game in a row Hoover High School will forfeit. The team’s game against Pasadena High School on Oct. 6 was also scrubbed in the aftermath of the brawl, which occurred around 1 p.m. Oct. 3.
The Hoover High School Tornadoes had been scheduled to host Burroughs High on Thursday night.
According to the Glendale Unified School District, in light of last week’s brawl, “football practices have been suspended while the district continues to review the circumstances that contributed to the altercation.”
“The Hoover football schedule will resume once we feel comfortable that our players and coaches can participate in the game safely without distraction,” according to the district. “Hoover is expected to play their final two games of the season.”
The team is scheduled to play Crescenta Valley High School on Oct. 19 and Glendale High School on Oct. 25.
On Monday, GUSD Superintendent Winfred B. Roberson Jr. issued a statement denying that the entire football team had been suspended or that the team’s season had been canceled.
Rumors about the cause of the fight have been circulating among students and parents, prompting Roberson to warn against the spread of “misinformation and rumors” until school officials can get to the bottom of what sparked the melee.
“Spreading unsubstantiated rumors heightens anxiety and fear,” he said. “That is unfortunate and counterproductive.”
The fight erupted last week at the school at 651 Glenwood Road. Video posted online showed what appeared to be dozens of students taking part in the fracas, with some throwing punches. Police and school officials said no injuries were reported, and students returned to classes around 1:50 p.m.
Students told CBSLA it was a result of ongoing racial tensions between two groups of students, reportedly including members of the football team.
Some parents told reporters the brawl may have been the result of tensions between the school’s large Armenian student population and the generally black or Latino football student-athletes.
Several media reports emerging since the brawl suggested that the fight began when a student allegedly spit at a special-needs student, prompting members of the school’s football team to step in and defend the special-needs student.
One parent told reporters Monday that a threatening message had been posted online after the fight suggesting that non-Armenian students at the school would be shot. Roberson said, however, that there “have been no further credible threats against the campus,” insisting the campus was safe.
“This was a serious situation and the district is taking it very seriously,” Roberson said Monday. “GUSD is working collaboratively with all responsible stakeholders to address the underlying circumstances and perceptions that may have contributed to the incident. Regardless of what may have motivated the incident, resorting to violence is never an acceptable option. We appreciate that key parent and student leaders at Hoover are spearheading the effort to help us move forward.”
Roberson said the school has deployed additional security on campus since the brawl.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)