VAN NUYS–Feuding between Hispanic and Armenian students at Ulysses S. Grant High School in the San Fernando Valley blew up last Thursday after a dispute between two girls–one Armenian–the other Hispanic. An ethnic brawl followed which involved 200 students and had to be stopped with the intervention of a dozen Los Angeles police officers wearing riot gear. The hostility between Armenia’s and Hispanics has been a continuing problem on the Grant campus as well as several other high school campuses throughout the Los Angeles area.
Another violent incident occurred at Grant in 1994 which resulted in the stabbing of two Armenian boys and the drive by shooting of a Latino boy. Administrators date the feud between the two ethnic groups to the 1980’s–and many students interviewed on the Grant campus are not too optimistic that the feuding will die out anytime soon. Below is an announcement issued by local Armenian organizations on the matter:
The Armenian American Community Organizations of East San Fernando Valley are extremely concerned by the recent outbreak of violence that took place at Grant High School in Van Nuys.
We are encouraged by the sense of urgency demonstrated by the Los Angeles Unified School District and Grant High School officials to conduct an immediate and thorough investigation to ascertain the source of tension which gave rise to this unfortunate incident.
Until the roots of this ongoing conflict are properly identified–we ask that all interested parties refrain from unfounded speculation that may only serve to fuel further tensions and exacerbate this problem.
It has become increasingly clear that this conflict will only be solved through the combined and active efforts of district and school officials–community organizations–public officials and–of course–the parents of the students and the students themselves.
The undersigned organizations remain prepared to actively participate in any serious effort to alleviate this problem.
Armenian National Committee of East San Fernando Valley
Armenian Youth Federation of East San Fernando Valley
The Armenian Relief Society of East San Fernando Valley
Committee for Armenian Students in Public Schools