Sunday, October 22, 2017
Students, Parents Protest Hate Group at Middle School
By Evan Barnes (Sports Editor)
Published December 13, 2007
Evan Barnes for Sentinel Photo
Will Rogers Middle School students unite to protest recent harassment from an anti-Black group.

Latino and Asians form group F.A.B. (Acronym for F*** All Blacks)

Concerned students and parents rallied outside Will Rogers Middle School in Lawndale last Thursday to protest members of an anti-Black group who have harassed students over the past two months.

The group call themselves F.A.B., which stands for “F*** All Blacks,” and on November 30, one of their members struck a Black student, Ferrari De la Fuente, after de la Fuente told the principal about the group.

After being called a snitch and other derogatory terms, De la Fuente says one of the girls hit her with a binder and she hit her back in self-defense. Both girls were later suspended.

De la Fuente said that six girls harassed her “every day after school, in the morning and during lunch” and despite telling the administration about it, nothing had happened prior to Nov. 30.

“I told the principal, my teachers, my mother and the assistant principal, but they didn’t do nothing about it,” De la Fuente said.

According to several students, F.A.B. is a group composed of mostly Latino, with some Asian, members. Tanya Howard, De la Fuente’s mother, said that she personally addressed several of them after an earlier incident with her daughter.

Howard said she spoke to principal Theresa Nielsen several times but after the meetings, the verbal harassments continued.

According to principal Theresa Nielsen, the plans discussed in the meetings were carried out but she attributed the breakdown to students who chose to ignore what the school set up.

When asked about F.A.B., Nielsen said that after talking with several faculty members and doing an internal investigation around campus, it was her conclusion that this group did not exist and to her knowledge, there were no racial tensions at Will Rogers.

She added that she believed it to be nothing more than an isolated incident between two students, which she attributed to immature, adolescent behavior.

Both girls, not just De la Fuente, received tickets for battery and Nielsen said they are welcome to return to school, provided they schedule counseling sessions on campus.

However, Howard said when she initially refused to sign the ticket, the entire family was threatened with arrest. They went ahead and signed it with no room to debate it at the time.

She also stated that she planned to transfer her daughter out of Will Rogers. Since the incident, De la Fuente has stayed at home but the school has tried to keep her academically on track by keeping her updated on homework.

Several of the students who protested said that F.A.B. did exist and they had been verbally harassing Black students for past two months. As they stood on the corner of 154th Street, they carried signs of protest against the group, calling for the end of racism.

Three of the students came from various high schools and said that action needed to be taken so incidents like these won’t repeat in the future.

“If no one says anything, it’s going to keep happening,” said Kenny, a sophomore from Fairfax High School. He also mentioned that there was a similar group at his middle school before it was broken up by administration.

Black and Latino tensions have been a major issue this year, most notably with several incidents in the Harbor Gateway community earlier this year.

As the students stood with their signs, Howard said that she and others made plans to have another meeting with the superintendent. The meeting was scheduled for yesterday at the school district office.

The irony of the incident is that despite being targeted for being Black, De la Fuente is half Cuban, something not easily visible from the outside. Her mother also commented that her daughter is a straight-A student who had never been in a fight before.

According to the school’s website, the student ethnicity breakdown is 66.2 percent Hispanic with the Black/Non-Hispanic population at 16.6 percent, the second highest total.

Categories: Local

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