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In 2005, a brawl involving 500 students erupted at the school, possibly related to Hispanic and Armenian tensions according to Sgt. More recently, in 2008, a shouting match broke out at an Armenian memorial assembly when a group of Hispanic students began squaring off with a group of Armenian students, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
Though no arrests were made, two-dozen school officers were called in to the campus due to fears of violence. The 2008 Los Angeles Hate Crime report put out by the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission reported that while crimes against Armenians and Middle Easterners fell, Armenians were targeted by Latinos in 80 percent of the cases.
Students, polarized by their ethnicity, have tended to fragment into ethnic groups, and petty arguments have often escalated, says Kevin Welsh, Hoover High’s principal, who, after 28 years, will be retiring this year.Outside of this humble shop on West Adams Blvd., however, it’s been a different and rocky story, from discrimination and name calling to violent confrontations and murders that have strained relations between the two ethnic groups for years.The most well known incidents have involved students from Herbert Hoover High School in the Los Angeles suburb of Glendale, about 40 minutes northeast of the bakery.“It seems like you have a lot of kids who are trying to do to another group what has been done to them,” says Archila, whose wife, poet Lory Bedikian, is Armenian.“Many come to this country with a lot of anger, or they learn anger here.