PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - A community meeting was held Monday night outlining changes after fights at Cheltenham High School.
"Why wasn't anything done when very clearly students have need services or intervention in our school?" said a senior at Cheltenham High School who led a fiery night of remarks during a community meeting in response to last week's violent fights at the school.
"We the students have been blamed for creating this climate and although we can accept some responsibility we cannot bear everything on our shoulders,” said Paige Kytzidis, a senior and President of Student Government. School officials called the meeting to outline changes the district plans to make to combat the violence. But Kytzidis told the crowd students have been begging for help stopping this for years.
"We have never gotten a reaction like this despite all the circumstances and all the altercations where students have been injured and no one has done anything. Or students have been clearly neglected because they've been fighting or they say they need help and not one does anything," she said.
Superintendent Wagner Marseille says they’ve made more than a dozen changes including relocating a district security manager to the high school fulltime, brought additional emotional supports to the school and increased supervision. Still some adults say parents need to take responsibility.
"I think a lot of it lies on the parents. I think the children should know that there is only acceptable behavior in school," said Barbara Hall whose children graduated from Cheltenham High School.
"I think it goes both ways but I think it's up to us as parents to morally prepare our children for the outside world and how to resolve conflict and that's not something that the school should be tasked with doing. They can lend support,” said Danelle Ross. Her daughter Camille is a 10th grade honors and A-P student. Camille says her experience at Cheltenham isn't what was captured on video last week.
"The insularity certainly helps because when you’re not exposed to that kind of thing you just don’t think you should do anything else," said Camille.