This morning, a 16 year old gunman opened fire at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita. Authorities said that there were five students shot and one additional student injured though not shot. Two of the injured students died in the hospital. The suspect is in custody and being treated at the hospital.
The Sheriff’s department is currently investigating rumors that the suspect posted social media threats. This comes two months after six Hart District students were detained on felony criminal threat charges for posting online threats of a school shooting, according to the LA Times.
Saugus High School students were prepared for an active shooter situation, having had drills to practice how to react. One student said, “The drills helped us because they said if you’re not in a classroom, find a classroom,” according to CNN.
However, no amount of practice can truly prepare someone for an active shooter situation.
“We weren’t by a classroom, but we couldn’t run over there because we thought he was over there. We ran through the fence, luckily it was open, and we got as far away from campus as we could. We just kept running because we didn’t know where he was. We learned just to run,” the student continued according to CNN.
Saugus students worked actively to fight for change to bring school shootings to an end. They took part in the March For Our Lives movement in March 2018 after the Parkland shootings. They met with local leaders. A few Saugus students hosted a town hall meeting about gun control at College of the Canyons, according to the SCV Signal.
The Hart District created more in-depth safety measures for all schools in light of the rise in school shootings.
There have already been at least 30 shooting attacks at schools resulting in death or injury in 2019, according to USA Today.
However, this school shooting hits too close to home for many Granada Hills Charter (GHC) students, many of whom have friends and family who live in the Santa Clarita area. Many GHC teachers and staff also live in Santa Clarita.
Like Saugus High School, GHC also participated in the March For Our Lives movement with a demonstration on the quad as well as lunchtime activities including speeches and meetings with local politicians. Like Saugus High School, GHC has also updated its safety procedures and practiced active shooter drills. Like Saugus High School, it is also impossible to truly prepare GHC students for a situation like this, one fraught with emotion and terror.
This latest shooting serves as a stark reminder that we need to be vigilant. Not just in looking for danger, however though that is important, but also in looking out for those who need help. If someone is sitting alone at lunch, invite him or her to sit with you. If someone is being bullied, speak up. If someone is having a tough time and needs to talk, be there for him or her. If you are ever concerned about something you see or hear, seek out a trusted adult.
If the world was a kinder place, that would go a long way toward lessening the number of shootings we experience.