Several hundred students walked out of class at Sylmar High School on Thursday to show solidarity just days after a lunchtime brawl left some bloodied and bruised.
Videos posted to social media showed crowds of students gathered near the football field and other areas of the campus, chanting, "Sylmar united, not divided!" Another image showed students forming a circle in what appeared to be the school quad.
Students said the walkout and rally was in direct response to media coverage of Monday's brawl that was captured on cell phone video and widely shared on social media.
Top news of the day
Early on, a few students said the fight, involving as many as 40 students, may have been race related, but many students disputed that.
"It was no race wars. It was nothing like that," said Sebastian Cooks, a student at Sylmar High. "I want everybody to know we're apologizing. We never meant for this to happen. Sylmar is a good school."
Another student said the brawl was blown out of proportion and misinterpreted.
"Every school has their fights here and there but what matters is what happens after that and how we unify after that," Luis Segundez said.
The fight was a continuation of an argument that happened at an after prom party over the weekend. The cause of that argument still isn't clear.
At a school meeting Wednesday night, actor Danny Trejo joined students and parents who voiced strong opinions on race and student safety.
"The first time Mexicans and African Americans got together, we got a black president," Trejo said during the lively discussion. "So, good things can really happen when we get together."
LA Unified School District Superintendent Michelle King released a statement Thursday following the student walkout:
"We appreciate the show of unity by students of Sylmar High School and the Sylmar Leadership Academy and their enthusiasm in expressing support for their schools. However, this should not overshadow the importance of instruction and student learning, and the District does not approve of activities that take students out of the classroom."
Some students were picked up by their parents following the morning walkout, saying they didn't feel safe.
LA Unified School Police were still investigating the on-campus fight. The District also vowed to present an "action plan."