GLENDALE (CBSLA) – A decision to abruptly cancel the Herbert Hoover High School homecoming game isn’t going over well for many students, players and parents.
The Glendale school said it wanted to prevent any further violence following a massive brawl on campus earlier this month.
Video posted online showed what appeared to be dozens of students taking part in the fight, with some throwing punches.
Some community members have said the fracas may have been the result of tensions between the school’s large Armenian student population and the generally black or Latino football student-athletes.
However, the the Glendale Unified School District has not supported those claims.
“If you try to sweep it under the rug and say it was a cultural difference – you’re not – it was a race riot,” said football coach Jay Cohe.
He’s outraged the district cancelled the homecoming game – the fourth matchup cancelled this season.
“They tried to say they felt like it was a safety issue, but there’s no safety issue with kids, I felt like, who were exercising their first amendment right, they were just protesting,” Cohe said.
Micah Willingham-Harvey is one of those students. He’s a senior on the team and covered the school’s name on his jersey as a protest to the district.
“It’s very frustrating, you know, to be told at the last minute you can’t play homecoming just because over some tape,” he said.
But the district claims safety is the reason for cancellation. They sent out an email stating they “have heard increased rumors of possible disruptions at the homecoming game that put student, employee, and spectator safety at risk.”
The parents said they’re not buying it.
“Our kids were going to be escorted from the bus to the field and back on the bus,” said Moriah Patron. “There was going to be extra security. If there was a threat, that announcement should have came days ago.”
Instead, it came three hours before the game – a move that affected two high schools on the last game of the season.