Group raises security concerns after Hempstead HS brawl

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A student brawl caught on camera at Hempstead High School is raising concerns about security at the school.

Cellphone video shows students pushing and shoving and school security breaking it up. The brawl happened Wednesday, and the video was emailed to members of the media, state lawmakers and the state Education Department today by a public relations firm for the group Hempstead for Hempstead.

That group says trouble at the school has increased since new superintendent Dr. Shimon Waronker took over in June. The group wants ousted school board member LaMont Johnson restored to the school board. The school board voted in June to remove Johnson after it found he had disclosed the names and addresses of district employees, in violation of district policy.

“What we're seeing now is an elevated amount of fighting and violence in the schools, and consequently he's actually the only sitting trustee, at the time, who has law enforcement expertise,” says Carmen Ayala, of Hempstead for Hempstead.

The school superintendent told News 12 over the phone that the fight looked worse than it was and that no one was seriously injured. News 12 asked if Waronker didn’t feel the need to call police about the brawl.

“When students fight, it doesn't necessarily mean you have to call police,” said Waronker. “Security was there immediately. Everyone handled it.”

The superintendent said Hempstead for Hempstead is “trying to highlight anything that's not positive as opposed to highlighting positive events.” Waronker also says it's completely inaccurate for Hempstead for Hempstead to say fights have increased at the school this year.

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