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LONG BEACH : Workshop Seeks to Ease Tensions at Jordan High

August 18, 1994|JOHN COX

About 100 students at Jordan High School will take part in training sessions to help ease racial tensions at the North Long Beach school.

A four-day workshop on cultural sensitivity will begin Monday, Jordan Co-Principal Mel Collins said. The group will also take field trips to hospital emergency rooms, jails and the county coroner's office to learn about crime and law enforcement. Trips have been scheduled as well to the Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance on the Westside and the Long Beach Civic Light Opera.

Racial tensions were high at times during the last school year. Last fall, police were called after a dispute between a black student and a Latino student escalated into several skirmishes. Twelve students were arrested for fighting. The district later assigned an armed police officer to the campus.

During the year, school officials reported 13 assaults against students on the campus and 154 fights between students.

Collins said he hopes the participating students will be able to encourage others at the school to resolve conflicts peacefully. The group includes students of different races and academic backgrounds.

"The more eyes and ears I have on campus, the better off we are," Collins said. "There's strength in numbers."

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