Santana Ten Years Later


Today marks the ten-year anniversary of the shooting at Santana High School that rocked the community. I had moved into the neighborhood about a year before, and was actually teaching at a high school in San Diego when it happened. I remember being on my prep period and turning on the radio to hear what was happening. I had taught at one of the schools in Santee the year before and knew several of my 8th grade students were there at Santana, so I was worried about them. It was a relief that none of them were directly involved, although one girl was in the area when it happened. I was also extremely saddened when I heard about the deaths of Randy Gordon and Bryan Zuckor. It hit home even more when I learned that Randy’s family lived just a couple blocks away from me – I would drive past the house on my way home from San Diego every weekday.

Today Mayor Randy Voepel, who had been elected just weeks before the shooting, will lay roses at the Santana High School sign at noon today as part of a public memorial/acknowledgment of the day. Santana itself held a more private ceremony to keep the media away – not surprising after the way the national vultures descended on the school and community ten years ago. I won’t be there, not because I do not want to but because of work commitments, but I will still remember.

There are a number of good retrospectives – and some not so good ones – on this day, but perhaps the best I have read was written by former KUSI reporter Larry Curly who has lived in Santee for many years and was one of the first on the scene (he lives just blocks away from the school). Check out his article on Santee Patch.

In closing, I think the way we can best remember the victims and heroes of this tragedy is by remembering to listen to the kids – our own, our friends’, the ones we run into during our days. If we can listen, really listen, to what they are saying maybe we will have fewer tragedies in the future. Just something to think about.

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