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School Administrators Zero in on Troublemakers

Ann K. Williams
Staff Writer

February 10 -- Two students were thrown out of Santa Monica High School this week for making the inflammatory CD that is being blamed for the latest display of racial tension on campus, Samohi Principal Dr. Ilene Straus told The Lookout Friday.

Straus’s comments seemed consistent with earlier reports that the recording -- which makes slurs against Mexican-Americans -- was made by students involved in a gang-like on-campus group, or “krew,” as some students say. (see related story)

“We are not going to tolerate this,” Straus said. The offending students have been transferred off campus.

School officials believe the CD provoked a backlash of widespread hate graffiti targeting African –Americans which greeted students and teachers as they arrived on campus February 3rd.

The school and police are working together on “active leads” and have “pretty strong information” that the vandals behind the fighting words are not from Samohi, although they were able to avoid detection by the school’s video surveillance cameras, Straus said.

Straus gained experience in dealing with interracial conflict at the high school last April when a lunchtime melee put the campus in lock down.

Ironically, the divisive incident actually helped bring staff and students closer together, Straus said.

“We’re a much stronger community” after going through last spring’s ordeal, she said.

At a recent school-wide staff meeting called in response to the latest incident, teachers reported that most students are angry about the graffiti, Straus said.

“This is our school. You are not going to come in and do that to our school,” has been the overwhelming student response, she said.

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