Reflections on the Historical Unrest in South LA and Contemporary Turmoil at Jefferson High School

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In our research, we will analyze the recent Black and Latino violence at Jefferson High School in South Los Angeles as our case study. In particular we seek to understand how various groups and individuals respond to such crises and what particular types of intervention strategies are being implemented at Jefferson High School. What is being done internally and externally to assess the situation, how is intervention being implemented, and who are the important constituencies? What transferable lessons can be learned from such conflict? We contextualize the recent turmoil at Jefferson High School by comparing and contrasting the factors that intensify community conflict by analyzing historical unrest within South Los Angeles. Grounded in theoretical understanding of racial tension, we will conduct interviews and engage in participant observation focusing on a number of constituencies impacted by the violence including: students, faculty, administrators, police, parents, government officials, and community members and organizations. What differing types of methodologies and interventions have organizations and individuals implemented to respond to the violence? What has proven successful and why? Furthermore, we will look at other schools that have and have not experienced such interracial violence in the past and draw comparisons to the Jefferson High School case study. Through such qualitative analysis we hope to identify strategies that were successful at managing outbreaks of violence on school campuses.


Regina M. Freer




Anderson Endowment

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