MODESTO — Discipline problems at Elliott Alternative Education Center this week were captured on several YouTube videos that since have been removed.
A nearly eight-minute film posted Tuesday and taken down Wednesday appeared to have been taken by a student using a cell phone. A school milk carton can be seen in the student's hand, suggesting that the incident happened at lunchtime.
It begins with a tense standoff among young men. School staff members step in front of small groups, telling them to return to class. An alarm blasts and over the loudspeaker come instructions for a school lockdown.
At first, students appear to drift toward the classroom wings. But then the crowd, roughly 100 strong, turns and ambles toward the school parking lot. Female staff members, all smaller than the students, try to block their path with arms spread. Their orders to head back to class go unheeded.
The slow-motion escape treads toward a high chain-link fence, which the teachers try to lock. Viewers join in an easy climb and leap over the fence.
At this point, about seven minutes into the video, a police siren screams onto the scene and the pace picks up. A jump back over the fence, a jog past a pile of fist-fighting students (no visible injuries), and the video ends.
Modesto police Sgt. Ivan Valencia said there were no arrests from the incident and no serious injuries.
Some 654 students attend Elliott Alternative Education Center. Most of its students left the district's regular high schools because of discipline issues. Elliott tailors student classes to help them graduate.
Superintendent Pam Able said the school normally has a school resource officer on campus two days a week. But the officer was in court Tuesday at a hearing involving the Jan. 2 murder of Elliott student Marty Kent in the 900 block of Leon Avenue in south Modesto.
Bee education reporter Nan Austin can be reached at email@example.com or (209) 578-2339, and on Twitter, @NanAustin.