The images have sent shockwaves across Newport Beach and Costa Mesa, with politicians and school officials strongly condemning the behavior. Newport-Mesa Unified School District officials are investigating the incident and are holding a town hall meeting tonight.
But to some students, the photos underscore larger attitudes in the school system that have sown divisions. At Newport Harbor, she said, students group themselves along racial lines: Hispanic students with other Hispanics, whites with whites. It is less intentional than unconscious, she said: “White people stay together, Mexicans stay together. We naturally just do it because we know that’s the way it is.”