The superintendent of Wilkes-Barre Area School District said Wednesday there is a serious racial issue inside G.A.R. High School.
Students left the high school Wednesday without incident after a savage attack last Thursday left a teen with his hand nearly cut off by a machete.
Students and some officials said racial gangs inside the school led to the attack. Wilkes-Barre Area Superintendent Dr. Jeff Namey said experts in race and gangs will meet with faculty and students in light of the recent attack.
“We really need to sit down with those who have a better understanding perhaps of the situation and try to learn from them and listen from what they have to say and pay close attention to whatever recommendations and suggestions they may have,” said Dr. Namey.
School officials said the attack happened just out of view of several security cameras mounted around G.A.R. High School. Police said a machete recovered is still being analyzed in a crime lab.
James Marinello teaches a course on gangs at Kings College and said the biggest threats in this area are “wanna-be” gangsters.
“They are dangerous. They want want to be so much like their brothers. You just give a kid a chance to act like a Crypt or a Blood they want to be so the peer pressure is so great they want to be like that,” said Marinello.
Some students said the attack was fueled more by power than by race.
“I think people want to control people, but not really about race really. People really do demand to be on top,” said ninth grade student Ian Valles.
Some parents feel the school can only do so much.
“I commend them for making the effort but ultimately I think it falls on the parents. It’s the parents responsibility and they should be held responsible for the actions of the kids,” said Kevin Davis.
“Tell your children this. You join a gang, you get arrested. You join a gang, you drop out of school. You join a gang, you get stabbed. You join a gang, you go to jail. You join a gang, you end up dead,” added Marinello.
Police have not yet made any arrests in last week’s machete attack outside G.A.R. High School in Wilkes-Barre.