Violencia racial en escuelas de Virginia, EE.UU.

Angela Forest, Daily Press, Newport News, Va.
May 23–NEWPORT NEWS — School officials have stationed four additional security officers at Warwick High School in the past few weeks after two students were assaulted in separate incidents that some say were racially motivated.
Warwick Principal Varinda Robinson sent a letter dated May 17 to parents about the assaults, which happened on April 27 after a fire alarm was pulled at the school’s Copeland Lane building. Officials believe a student triggered the alarm.
Along with adding to the five security officers already based at Warwick, other policies already in place or instituted since the incidents include:
Having teachers be more visible during and between classes and in «strategic locations in the building.»
Regularly communicating with parents via letters. Conducting ongoing security checks.
Filing charges against any student who commits an assault.
In April, one student was punched in the face at one end of the building and another student suffered a concussion after hitting his head in a stairwell on the opposite end of the building, said Warwick Principal Varinda Robinson.
Both were taken to the hospital.
The attacks occurred outside the view of school security cameras, Robinson said.
Some students who were interviewed said the students were attacked because they were white. Robinson said the attackers were black.
«Unfortunately, there is no way to determine whether or not it was racially motivated,» Robinson said. «I’d like to say hopefully it was not.»
After reviewing videotapes and interviewing students, three students are now being recommended for long-term suspension, Robinson said.
«We have a couple of students we’ve identified and the appropriate actions were taken with those individuals,» Robinson said. «So we were able to get a few of them.»
Long-term suspension can range from 11 days to 364 days. It is different from expulsion, which automatically removes students from the regular classroom for 365 days, said district spokeswoman Michelle Morgan. Students in either category are usually referred to an alternative school.
Warwick officials have taken measures throughout the school year to increase safety and head off incidents before they happen, Robinson said. At least eight times this year the school requested extra security or asked police officers to monitor students when school opened and around the Christmas and Easter breaks. Mobile and hand-held metal detectors have been used on a random basis near entryways, in classrooms and on the buses, Robinson said. In addition, drug-sniffing dogs have checked lockers and walked through the building «several times this school year.»
«For students who may be thinking about doing something, this might derail them,» Robinson said.
The reason the letter to parents was sent weeks after the assaults was to allow time for school officials to do a thorough investigation and make sure they had correct information, Robinson said.
«We’re trying to home in on making sure everyone is safe and conclude the year without incident,» she said. «We’ve done all kinds of things to let students know we’re serious.»
Copyright (c) 2006, Daily Press, Newport News, Va. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News. For information on republishing this content, contact us at (800) 661-2511 (U.S.), (213) 237-4914 (worldwide), fax (213) 237-6515, or e-mail

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