AirTalk for October 14, 2011

Latino students at Glendale school scared straight?

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Glendale's Hoover High School targeted select students for questioning in an attempt to prevent them from pursuing a life of crime and now deals with the ACLU's accusations of racial profiling.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California is suing Glendale Unified administrators and three law enforcement agencies over a "textbook case of racial profiling." That's how the ACLU describes what happened on a September day at Hoover High last year.

They claim 55 Latino students were rounded up during lunch, then searched and interrogated by police. The students were questioned about gang affiliations, tattoos and scars. Glendale school officials said the racial profiling charge is "ridiculous."

Spokesman Steven Frasher described it as an educational effort to deter students from falling into gangs. "We are going to try and do all we can to protect any student we fear is going to be at risk for being sucked into a criminal lifestyle," Frasher said. The suit also names Glendale and Los Angeles police departments and the L.A. County Probation Department.

Why did police show up at Hoover High that day? Did school officials and police break the law by detaining students without specific cause? Were all the detained students Latino? If so, why? What is the situation with gangs at this school?

Guests:

David Sapp, staff attorney, ACLU of Southern California; one of the lead attorneys working on the case

Steve Frasher, public information officer, Glendale Unified School District


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