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Brawl breaks out at Camp Scudder

Officials believe fight was racially motivated

Posted: February 7, 2009 1:24 a.m.
Updated: February 7, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
A riot at Camp Scudder sent two juveniles and eight staff to the hospital, a county probation official said.

"We had a major disturbance (Thursday) night that involved 31 females, and was racially motivated," said Kerri Webb, Los Angeles County Probation spokeswoman.

The fight broke out at 8:30 p.m. between black and Hispanic juveniles at Kenyon J. Scudder Juvenile Probation Camp, Webb said. It took 35 minutes for all 16 staff members to regain control, she said.

The brawl sent two juveniles and eight staff members to Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, where they were released the same night, Webb said.

Deputies transported 16 minors to the Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall in Sylmar were they will be charged for crimes committed in the brawl, Webb said.

"We believe the situation was handled appropriately and we are pleased that there weren't more serious injuries," said Tony Bell, spokesperson for Supervisor Michael Antonovich.

An investigation into the incident is ongoing, Bell said.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will change the way business is done at Camp Scudder next school year.

The Board of Supervisors approved the Comprehensive Education Reform Report in a unanimous 5-0 vote Oct. 14, 2008, according to Anna Pembedjian, justice deputy for Antonovich.

The 35 items included in the report will improve education for Los Angeles County Juvenile Probation Centers and Camp Scudder is included, she said.

"The issue is how we can improve the delivery of education," Pembedjian said.

The report calls for a possible charter school arrangement that shifts the educational responsibilities from the Los Angeles County Office of Education to the Los Angeles Department of Probation, said Roger Gitlin, Camp Scudder teacher.

Los Angeles County Office of Education and probation split responsibilities, with probation handling the law enforcement and supervision duties and the office of education focused on the classroom. The new agreement gives probation unfettered control, Gitlin told The Signal in November 2008.

"This is a power play by probation," Gitlin said.

The recommendation also calls for teacher salary cuts, and Gitlin thinks some current teachers will balk at lower salaries, forcing the school to hire new teachers.

"The idea of a charter school compromises teachers," Gitlin said.

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