Shooting Occurred Despite Santana's Prevention Efforts









 Following the recent school shooting at Santana High School in Santee,

Calif., national school-safety experts are wondering what more could have be

done to foster a safe and secure environment for learning, the San Jose

Mercury News reported March 6.

California is considered a leader in violence-prevention efforts, but despite

the $1.1 million in safe-school funding the Grossmont school district

received last year, the measures weren't enough to stop a school shooting.

Santana High School had well-trained safety officers, provided

conflict-resolution courses, encouraged students to inform administrators of

potential threats, and employed additional counselors to help detect and

defuse students' emotional trauma before it could erupt into violence.


"We were prepared to respond. We had things in place for good communication.

Yet we don't know why this happened," said Karen Degiescher, Santana's

principal. "This is an administrator's worst nightmare."


Prior to the shooting, Santana High School had just implemented a new

conflict-resolution program called the Peace Council. The program teaches

students how to resolve on-campus conflicts through talking to one another.


"It's ironic," said Marge Cole, who oversees school-safety programs for the

district. "This school is probably one of the district's best in promoting

school safety."