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Carson High brawl started by rival tagging groups

March 8, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
The brawl at Carson High School was initially thought to be racially motivated, but now it appears it was started by rival tagging groups.

As students arrived at school on Thursday, more sheriff's deputies and police officers were on hand than usual. Students were also asked to fill out a questionaire about what they knew about the fight during their first-period class.

"I don't think anything's going to happen anymore. I think it's already over," said student Karina Camarena.

A student's cellphone captured the violent campus brawl that involved 30 students, leaving eight of them injured and three arrested. Students say the mid-morning melee in the school courtyard involved two tagging teams and may have stemmed from a previous off-campus confrontation.

"There was like a new tagging crew, and getting in conflict with an older one, and that kind of ignited the flame," said student Kemet Okara.

Four of students were taken to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center for abdominal injuries, and four others were treated by the school nurse.

Local civil rights leaders are demanding action from the LAUSD, specifically, sensitivity training for school staff and security cameras for every class.

"We want our kids ... to be able to come here to school and get a good education without being worried about being bullied, harassed or beat up while they are trying to get an education to make a better future for themselves for tomorrow," said Eddie Jones of the Los Angeles Civil Rights Association.

According to an LAUSD spokesperson, attendance at Carson High School was down on Thursday. The students who did go to school say teachers addressed the violent outbreak in class.

"We had to write a reflection on how we felt and stuff," said student LaJoice Hale.