California School Locked Down After Brawl Involving 600 Students

Published May 10, 2008

| Associated Press

A high school was locked down Friday after hundreds of students fought in a lunchtime brawl that had to be quelled by police.

About 600 students were involved in what appeared to be a gang-related fight that started around noon at Locke High School, Los Angeles school district spokeswoman Nadia Gonzalez said. Four students were arrested.

Several students were injured but nobody was hospitalized, officials said.

Music teacher Reggie Smith described to the Los Angeles Times a chaotic scene where it was difficult to distinguish between trouble makers and those trying to avoid the mayhem.

"The kids were crazy, running from place to place jumping on other kids," Smith said. "Some of my kids were crying because they were walking to class with kids and they got jumped. The officers on campus were overwhelmed."

The Times reported school officials separated Latino students from black students.

Campus police were overwhelmed and called on the Los Angeles Police Department for help with security. About 50 Los Angeles police officers, some of them in riot gear, responded to the school.

Gonzalez said students were kept in their classrooms and no parents or outsiders were allowed on campus.

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