The following letter was sent to parents of Valencia High School students Thursday afternoon in regards to a physical fight involving several Hart District students on Friday, October 17, 2014.
Dear VHS parents,
We are aware of many rumors currently circulating following the fight that happened on Friday evening.
Valencia High School, with support of the Hart School District, is taking this situation very seriously and the safety of our students continues to be our top priority. Social media has seen many posts that reflect only a small portion of the entire story.
Any time a conflict arises between students on a campus, an investigation is initiated immediately. In a case such as the fight that occurred on October 17, 2014, the school was alerted to the fight and began taking statements the morning of Monday October 20, 2014. At this time, 21 written incident statements have been garnered. Multiple interviews have been conducted. Additional video footage has been recovered. The video footage is approximately 3.45 minutes in length as opposed to the snippet that has been circulating on the internet. The snippet shows a very narrow view of one segment of a complex altercation that started at the beginning of the week of October 13, 2014. There were students involved from VHS as well as other local schools including at least one former student who is now an adult in the community.
The administrators of the other schools were contacted immediately as was law enforcement. The continued online postings have led to further investigation which is ongoing at this time.
Disciplinary action has been taken against seven students based on the evidence of their actions which violated board policy and education code. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act prohibits the school or District from disclosing specific information about any student and his or her disciplinary actions, so while the community may not be privy to the actions being taken by the school, we would like to assure everyone that action is being taken.
Also, it is important to note that education code dictates the maximum level of discipline that may be issued to students based on the severity of the infraction along with other factors including the disciplinary history of each individual student. Discipline is not arbitrary and cannot be assigned without a full investigation and supporting evidence.
We hope the community will support our school and the District as we work together to provide safe learning environments for all of our students.
Valencia High School