Students Say Racial Tensions to Blame for Brawl at Paramount High School West

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School administrators in Paramount are addressing a brawl that broke out at Paramount High School West. Students said racial tensions on campus sparked the fight, and they said it's not the first time.

Administrators said racial comments were made as the fight took placed, but denied the school has an ongoing racial issue.

Still, students and parents are concerned.

"I thought this was going to be a safe environment because it's Paramount, but when the first fight happened, I was kind of getting worried that it was going to happen again. My prediction was right. It did happen again," one student said.

The fight took place between about a dozen students. It was caught on video and posted to social media.

"Of course there's racial tension. There's racial tension in the world today, and kids take all of this as keys and cues as to what is acceptable and how we can interact with each other," parent Jacinda Montgomery said.

A lockdown was issued immediately after the fight. A school event honoring the academic achievements of students was canceled.

Students said the principal is planning a series of assemblies to address the fighting.

The Paramount Unified School District Superintendent released a statement Wednesday.

On Tuesday, March 26, a fight occurred at the Paramount High School West Campus involving a dozen students. School staff, security, and law enforcement responded immediately.  No students were seriously injured. Any reports to the contrary are false. The students responsible for this fight have been identified, and will face consequences in accordance with district policy and state law.

The Paramount High School West campus is a safe place for students to learn. The 1,000 9th graders who attend school there are incredible young men and women. Unfortunately, the actions and poor decisions of a few students has cast the school in a negative light. As we have investigated this fight and related matters, we have learned that they result from small numbers of students behaving improperly and making inappropriate comments toward one another.  While some of those comments have been racial in nature, they are not indicative of a heightened racial tension at the school.  Instead, they are indicative of this small group of students not being able to work through their conflicts the correct way.  Regardless, this conduct is unacceptable, and the school and district are acting accordingly.

The school’s teachers, counselors, social workers, and administrators are working together to remind the students of the behavioral expectations that we have as well as the consequences. Discussions between staff and students are taking place that emphasize the importance of good behavior, respecting one another, and the proper way to respond when there is conflict. We ask that the parents of students attending Paramount High School West assist our efforts by talking to their students about the importance of these things as well. District staff, security, and local law enforcement will continue to work together with the school to monitor the situation.

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