SYLMAR, LOS ANGELES (KABC) --A racially-charged schoolyard scuffle was caught on camera at Sylmar High School, and outraged parents met with officials Wednesday evening to address the racial tension. Hollywood star Danny Trejo also spoke out at the meeting.
Trejo, the blockbuster actor and San Fernando Valley resident, attended the meeting at Sylmar High School, which was organized after a violent brawl broke out on campus Monday.
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The meeting began with school administrators, including new Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Michelle King.
But when it became apparent the public would have no opportunity to speak, the man who played Machete, cut in.
"You're not listening to them. They'll come up here and tell you," Trejo exclaimed to cheers as he pointed to the crowd. "That's who we should be talking to. Parents and them."
And so the format changed and suddenly students were given the floor to speak.
"I don't feel safe at school," one student said. "We have to walk around in groups at school because we don't feel safe."
Students said Monday's fight was with gang members, some of whom are students at the school who target the black population.
"That's why we walk around in groups. Because if they catch you by yourself, I'm pretty sure somethings going to happen," sophomore Shane Bennett said.
"They walk together in groups. They're basically doing the same thing you have to do in prison," Rickey Madden, the father of three Sylmar students said.
"I don't really want to identify it as a gang issue yet. I think we really need to dig deeper and identify what's behind all this," Sylmar High School Principal James Lee said.
Lee said he planned to put together a task force made up of students, parents and administrators to fix the problem, but in the meantime the students need to feel safe after violence invaded their school.
"Before this whole fight happened this was one of the safest schools in the Valley," Sylmar High School Senior Body President Melissa Contreras stated.
"This is our future," Trejo said. "All these kids."
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Trejo does not have children who attend the school, but teachers urged him to participate in Wednesday's meeting and he jumped at the opportunity to help the community.