TURTLE CREEK, Pa. (KDKA) – Woodland Hills High School students are back in the classroom Monday after learning remotely on Thursday and Friday.
The district had canceled in-person learning after they were made aware of credible threats of retaliation after a massive fight last week.READ MORE: 30 Students 'Positively Identified' In Woodland Hills High School Cafeteria Brawl
Superintendent James Harris said they have identified 30 students who were involved and they will be punished based on their involvement.
Harris says he wanted students coming back to class Monday to start off on the right foot.
“What I told the students was, ‘Do not let these other students define your image, who you are,’” Harris said.
Harris says they held an assembly to reinforce rules to prevent another brawl.
“We are not tolerating this. We’re not going light on people. We’re not putting things under the carpet like people have said,” said Harris.
Harris says they’re enforcing current protocols and implementing new programs.
“Changing classrooms or going to restrooms or other places, [students] have to have a pass, security is going to be placed strategically around the building. We’re using cameras more effectively,” said Harris.READ MORE: Woodland Hills Varsity Football's Friday Night Game To Limit Capacity Following School Fights
The high school also has extra security, metal detectors and staff standing by to offer support.
Harris even gave students his phone number in case they have any problems.
“You can tell when a student comes in with this head down or her head down with their hoodie up, they’re going to have a bad day. So we’re trying to get them first and then pull them in,” said Harris.
Harris says they’re implementing a new initiative called Reaching New Dreams and Recognizing Talents, led by inspirational speaker Devantae Butler. It will help students improve their academic and behavioral skills.
“Woodland Hills School District, I think, is really doing a lot and they really care about the students they teach,” said Delia Lennon-Winstead, who has grandchildren in the district.
But she says district leaders and parents need to work together to transform these students.
“If you got angry kids coming into the school that don’t know things, don’t care and feel they are unwanted and unloved and stuff, and they act out,” said Lennon-Winstead. “That is how the violence starts.”
Harris says they’ll keep parents informed. He also wants them to know that they stopped the troublemakers from entering school Monday, but always welcome new ideas to provide a safe, educational environment.MORE NEWS: Woodland Hills High School Moves To Virtual Instruction Due To 'Credible Threats' After Fights At School
Harris says they’ll continue to review film to punish any other students involved in fights. They could be suspended, expelled or face a criminal citation.