HOLLISTER, Calif. — Hundreds of high school students rampaged through town here Tuesday, throwing rocks and beer bottles, vandalizing City Hall and stomping on cars in a protest over a new grading system.
Three students from San Benito High School were arrested, but there were no reports of serious injuries, police said.
Pictures were smashed and part of the school's public address system was broken, Police Lt. Joe Daughenbaugh said. He said about 400 to 500 of the 1,650 students at the school marched en masse through the town, an agricultural community 50 miles south of San Jose.
At least one police car and one private car were damaged in the protest, which lasted about an hour until students returned to the school for talks with administrators shortly before noon.
"It was close to a riot," Daughenbaugh said. "I've been here 15 years, and I've never seen anything like it." He said that students have been complaining about a new grading system but that the violence was "somewhat spontaneous."
"After they left the school, it just got worse," Daughenbaugh said. "They stormed City Hall and ran through, vandalizing it. Then they marched down (California) Highway 25, which is the main street through town, and started blocking traffic."