A series of fights at Santa Monica High School — allegedly between African American and Hispanic students — ended with school officials imposing a lockdown at the school Friday, April 15th.
Lockdown is a procedure in which activities at the school stop, students return to classrooms, and the outside gates of the school are closed.
At least six fights occurred on campus during the lunch hour, witnesses said.
Santa Monica Police arrived at the scene at 12:44 p.m. and broke up one fight in progress, said Santa Monica Police Lt. Frank Fabrega.
When another fight started in the presence of police officers, Santa Monica Police called for police reinforcements from Beverly Hills and Culver City.
“We had a maximum deployment of officers,” Fabrega said.
“More than 20 officers from Santa Monica were there. Most officers completed their work by 1:30 p.m., but some officers stayed until 3 p.m. to make sure the perimeter was secured,” he said.
School officials ordered all students to return to their classrooms and a handful of students refused to cooperate with the order.
Fabrega said police could not determine if the fights were motivated by race or related to gangs.
Witnesses said the first fight occurred between an African American student and a Hispanic student.
The fight drew a crowd of onlookers.
The other fights also occurred between African American and Hispanic students and attracted a crowd of onlookers.
School officials said they knew tensions between students were occurring by late morning.
Fabrega said no arrests were made and no injuries were reported.
School officials will handle disciplinary actions that could involve suspensions and expulsions.
Santa Monica High School is in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District.