Community speaks out after Cheltenham school fight

CHELTENHAM TWP, Pa. (WPVI) -- Concerned parents, students, teachers met Monday night to address the horrors that played out in the hallways of Cheltenham High School last week.

Thundering her questions away to the superintendent, Cheltenham student Paige Kytzidis argued Wednesday's brawl was not the first.

"They do occur, and they are regular, and it's like 'oh, another fight today,'" Kytzidis said.

Four students were arrested after the melee that erupted during first period. Three safety officers and seven teachers were injured, including a substitute who was knocked unconscious.

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RAW VIDEO: Fight erupts at Cheltenham High School

"When you allow teachers to be intimidated, whether the students are black or white, there's a problem," parent Elizabeth Karras said.

The superintendent candidly admitted almost half of Cheltenham's staff surveyed feel unsafe walking the school's halls.

The district is now looking to add more safety officers to the campus, ways to reduce hallway traffic, shortening lunch, and reinforcing disciplinary policies.

The teacher's union is hopeful about the changes as are the Cheltenham community.

"I think it's more about making sure action comes from it and it's not just words," Natasha Patterson of the teacher's union said.

But for students like Paige Kytzidis, whose words brought the packed auditorium to its feet, she is optimistically waiting.

"I have faith in time. I think things need time to move, so I think at least a year for students to visibly see effects in the school," Kytzidis said.

Meanwhile, Action News has learned the injured teacher has not been cleared to return to work.
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