HBGSD: Racial tensions not cause of Monday’s fight at Harrisburg High

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Following a fight in the cafeteria at Harrisburg High School on Monday, school officials say what's happening inside school hallways is not as bad as it seems from the outside.

"It was a very unfortunate situation, it really was," said Dr. Sieta Achampong, Harrisburg High School Principal. "But that is not the day-to-day operation or the day-to-day structure that occurs, or incidents that occur in our building everyday."

Some students at the school, also wanting to make it clear the labels they feel are being put on them, like they are animals, are not correct.

"I feel like our school is a safe place to learn, we have a safer learning environment," said Kapree Wells, Harrisburg High School Senior. "The image portrayed that we aren't learning is incorrect."

Dr. Achampong said the fight Monday was not race-related and started over a misunderstanding between a few girls. She's been working to change the atmosphere at the high school and this fight will not change that.

"Just like I said to our parents and students when I did a speech Tuesday. We are not going to give up on you," said Dr. Achampong. "I am not going to give up on you. I need our community to not give up on our young people."

School officials are working to help students overcome the trauma they see in their communities, like homicides and gang violence. School leaders want to figure out more ways the community can come together to help these students.

"We are gonna do this, it's gonna take time but we are gonna do this," said Dr. Achampong. "It's gonna take time. We are not going to get tired, we are not going to get weary. We may get a little bruised and bumped but we are going to do this and we are going to do this together."

A meeting set for Thursday (1/17) to discuss concerns at the school and how to move forward has been postponed due to pending inclement weather. School officials remind parents they can always contact their child's school with any concerns.

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