A vicious attack outside G.A.R. High School in Wilkes-Barre Thursday may have been racially motivated.
Police said a 14-year-old boy nearly had his hand sliced off by a machete during a fight with another boy. Police still haven’t identified any suspects and said they don’t even know if the attacker is a student at G.A.R.
Parents and students said the attack shook up the community and added racial tensions continue to build.
“If you put two alpha males in one room it`s really going to happen. It`s going to be crazy. Blacks are an alpha male, Dominicans are an alpha male. It`s just crazy. You can`t have it,” said eighth grader Maquahn Kemp.
A mother of a student who didn’t want to be identified said parents broke down in tears when they learned of the brutal attack.
“My son told me he didn’t want to panic but what else are you supposed to do? You don’t send your child to school for this. You just don’t. This is zero tolerance. That’s what it’s supposed to be. Police need to be out here. Let parents know it’s okay for your child to walk in this building and out of this building safely,” the mother said.
Police kept a close eye on groups of students as they left school. Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tom Leighton said this was just an isolated incident and the city is a safe place for parents and their children.
“We have a great agreement with the police officers in the schools, but it’s continued because of the cooperation we have working hand in hand with the school district to ensure children are safe while they are in school,” said Mayor Leighton.
Police said the student injured in the attack underwent several surgeries on his hand and is expected to recover.
The superintendent said anti-bullying programs are in place at the school, but also admits racial tensions have been on the rise.
Anyone with information on Thursday’s attack is asked to contact the Wilkes-Barre Police Department.