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Police calm crowd registering for summer school in Hawthorne

June 28, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Police showed up in riot gear to control a huge crowd trying to register for summer school in Hawthorne Monday.

Amateur video shows a number of police officers gathered at the Opportunities For Learning Public Charter School (OFLPCS) campus Monday.

School officials were overwhelmed by the number of people who lined up early to register.

As many as 1,500 people were lined up trying to secure one of the less than 400 openings for free summer school.

According to Bill Toomey, the deputy superintendent of Opportunities For Learning, OFLPCS expected a summer influx of students already in its year-round program. But because the Hawthorne branch serves the Hermosa Beach school district, the organization did not anticipate such a spillover from Hawthorne.

While there are other programs that offer summer classes, those have stiff fees. The Hawthorne program is free.

The school canceled the enrolment altogether, much to the frustration of those waiting in line for hours.

"They just shut down the office. They didn't even open the offices. They didn't have the courtesy to say we going to give you a number for standing for this time, call, let us know you were there," said Hawthorne resident Dorali Rico. "Now we don't even know if he's going to get a chance to go to summer school."

Police said while many people were upset that registration was canceled, everyone left peacefully. School leaders posted signs asking parents to call for appointments to register.