Thursday, February 17, 2005

Suburban Dystopia - L.A. Style

With a new Pacific storm bringing a week of rain to a soggy Los Angeles, we shall soon be watching the eroding hillsides and swollen arroyos of the region, including the Santa Clarita Valley. But the pristine suburban setting that has made this community a much sought-after address is now, apparently, a little bit of suburban dystopia, according to this article in today's LA Times:

Families have long flocked to this master-planned community 35 miles north of downtown Los Angeles because of the pristine parks and high-performing schools in the fervent belief it is a good place to raise children.

But some families who moved to the Santa Clarita Valley to escape the noise, crime and decay of the city are finding that life is not so comfortable in the manicured suburbs.

The valley has been roiled over the last few months by claims from at least half a dozen African American families that their children have been targets of intolerant, even racist, behavior from their white peers. They say the white teens have continually bullied, harassed and attacked their children at school and off campus for no apparent reason, other than the color of their skin.

The attacks, they said, occurred when youths were walking home from school, going to the park or visiting friends. The incidents have shaken the community because the alleged assailants are not skin-head outsiders but other teenagers who live among them in the pricey subdivisions.

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