'Machete' Actor Takes on School Over Massive Student Brawl Caught on Tape

About 40 students were involved, parents and students believe was race-related

May 12, 2016, 2:26 PM

— -- Movie star Danny Trejo is speaking out about a mob attack involving about 40 students at a Los Angeles high school. The incident, which was caught on tape, has sparked outrage from students and parents who believe it was gang-related and racially charged.

At a meeting held at Sylmar High School on Wednesday, administrators spoke about the massive brawl. Trejo, best known for his role as "Machete" in several action films, spoke up from the audience. He said the people of the community need more of a voice.

"You're not listening to them," Trejo told school officials during the meeting, gesturing around the audience of students and parents. "That's who we should be talking to -- parents and them."

The actor grew up not too far from the Sylmar community and had a troubled past, including several stints in prison. He said the kids need to be more of a priority.

"This is our future," Trejo added. "All these kids."

Many students and parents believe the attack targeted black students, which they claim is a regular problem with a local gang that includes some students at the school.

"That's why we walk around in groups, because if they catch you by yourself, I'm pretty sure something is going to happen," sophomore Shane Bennett told ABC station KABC-TV in Los Angeles.

A statement from LAUSD superintendent Michelle King, released on Tuesday, said "appropriate action is being taken" and "additional school police have been deployed to the school."

"The investigation is still under way, so we cannot comment on specifics," Barbara Jones, spokesperson of the Los Angeles Unified School District, told ABC News.

Jones confirmed some 40 students were involved in the kerfuffle and 12 sustained "minor injuries." No arrests were made.

"No one was transported by paramedics or required hospitalization," Jones added.

Principal of Sylmar High School, James Lee, told KABC he was prepared to tackle the rising tensions on the campus, head-on, by putting together a task force of students, parents and administrators. However, he said he was not ready to accept the students' assessment of Monday's lunchtime brawl that involved several boys punching and kicking each other.

"I don't really want to identify it as a gang issue yet," Lee told KABC. "I think we really need to dig deeper and identify what's behind all this."

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