School Climate & Safety

Second High School Shooting Rocks Calif. District

By Lisa Fine — March 28, 2001 3 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The California district where two students were slain this month was rocked last week by another shooting, in which five people and the alleged gunman were injured.

An 18-year-old senior allegedly took a gun to Granite Hills High School in El Cajon on March 22 and opened fire. Three students and two teachers were injured in the frenzy before the gunman was shot by a police officer at the school with whom he had exchanged gunfire, said Capt. Bill McClurg, a spokesman for the El Cajon police.

The suspect was identified by police as Jason Hoffman, 18, who allegedly brought a handgun and a shotgun to the school shortly before 1 p.m. According to police, he fired shots near the administration building of the 2,900-student school, located in the eastern suburbs of San Diego.

Agent Richard Agundez, an El Cajon police officer assigned to the school, responded to the shots immediately and fired at the suspect, who ran into the street.

The school went into a lockdown, and police let students leave room by room. Parents were able to pick up their children across the street at a park, Capt. McClurg said.

Police said no one suffered life-threatening injuries. The suspect was taken into custody and was scheduled last week to undergo surgery for his wounds.

The school was closed the following day, but classes were scheduled to resume this week.

The incident was the second school shooting this month in the Grossmont Union High School District, where a student at Santana High School in Santee opened fire March 5, killing two students and injuring 13 students and staff members. (“Student Tips Called Key To Avert Violence,” March 14, 2001.)

“No community should have to go through this even once,” said Doug Langdon, a spokesman for the 22,000-student district. “For this to happen twice just compounds the tragedy.”

The Grossmont Union High School District this month became the first in the nation to be awarded financial aid under a federal program designed to help districts deal with the aftermath of violence. U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige announced March 16 that his department would give the district $50,000.

Counseling and Support

The district has been providing ongoing counseling and heightened security at Santana High since 14-year-old Charles A. Williams allegedly opened fire with his father’s .22-caliber revolver. It was the deadliest school shooting since 14 students and one teacher died at Columbine High School in Jefferson County, Colo., in April 1999.

“In the aftermath of a school shooting, we need to give our students and their families important counseling and support services to help them to cope with the consequences,” Mr. Paige said in a prepared statement.

The federal grant is the first of its kind under a program called Project School Emergency Response to Violence, or Project SERV, created last year with a $10 million appropriation from Congress to assist districts in helping students and staff members recover from traumatic events such as shootings on campus. The U.S. Department of Education’s Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Program oversees the initiative.

While Project SERV is still on the drafting board, department spokeswoman Lindsey Kozberg said last week that guidelines giving districts access to grants for both short- and long-term assistance were in the works.

Santana High School was flooded with counselors, crisis- management teams, and police officers in the days immediately following the shooting incident there. The federal government itself sent some 200 counselors, and additional mental-health professionals poured in from San Diego and Orange County, Calif., district spokesman Mark E. Pettis said.

Staff Writer Darcia Harris Bowman contributed to this report

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the March 28, 2001 edition of Education Week as Second High School Shooting Rocks Calif. District

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Achievement Webinar
How To Tackle The Biggest Hurdles To Effective Tutoring
Learn how districts overcome the three biggest challenges to implementing high-impact tutoring with fidelity: time, talent, and funding.
Content provided by Saga Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Reframing Behavior: Neuroscience-Based Practices for Positive Support
Reframing Behavior helps teachers see the “why” of behavior through a neuroscience lens and provides practices that fit into a school day.
Content provided by Crisis Prevention Institute
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Mathematics Webinar
Math for All: Strategies for Inclusive Instruction and Student Success
Looking for ways to make math matter for all your students? Gain strategies that help them make the connection as well as the grade.
Content provided by NMSI

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School Climate & Safety From Our Research Center How Much Educators Say They Use Suspensions, Expulsions, and Restorative Justice
With student behavior a top concern among educators now, a new survey points to many schools using less exclusionary discipline.
4 min read
Audrey Wright, right, quizzes fellow members of the Peace Warriors group at Chicago's North Lawndale College Prep High School on Thursday, April 19, 2018. Wright, who is a junior and the group's current president, was asking the students, from left, freshmen Otto Lewellyn III and Simone Johnson and sophomore Nia Bell, about a symbol used in the group's training on conflict resolution and team building. The students also must memorize and regularly recite the Rev. Martin Luther King's "Six Principles of Nonviolence."
A group of students at Chicago's North Lawndale College Prep High School participates in a training on conflict resolution and team building on Thursday, April 19, 2018. Nearly half of educators in a recent EdWeek Research Center survey said their schools are using restorative justice more now than they did five years ago.
Martha Irvine/AP
School Climate & Safety 25 Years After Columbine, America Spends Billions to Prevent Shootings That Keep Happening
Districts have invested in more personnel and physical security measures to keep students safe, but shootings have continued unabated.
9 min read
A group protesting school safety in Laurel County, K.Y., on Feb. 21, 2018. In the wake of a mass shooting at a Florida high school, parents and educators are mobilizing to demand more school safety measures, including armed officers, security cameras, door locks, etc.
A group calls for additional school safety measures in Laurel County, Ky., on Feb. 21, 2018, following a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., in which 14 students and three staff members died. Districts have invested billions in personnel and physical security measures in the 25 years since the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo.
Claire Crouch/Lex18News via AP
School Climate & Safety 'A Universal Prevention Measure' That Boosts Attendance and Improves Behavior
When students feel connected to school, attendance, behavior, and academic performance are better.
9 min read
Principal David Arencibia embraces a student as they make their way to their next class at Colleyville Middle School in Colleyville, Texas on Tuesday, April 18, 2023.
Principal David Arencibia embraces a student as they make their way to their next class at Colleyville Middle School in Colleyville, Texas, on Tuesday, April 18, 2023.
Emil T. Lippe for Education Week
School Climate & Safety 4 Case Studies: Schools Use Connections to Give Every Student a Reason to Attend
Schools turn to the principles of connectedness to guide their work on attendance and engagement.
12 min read
Students leave Birney Elementary School at the start of their walking bus route on April 9, 2024, in Tacoma, Wash.
Students leave Birney Elementary School at the start of their walking bus route on April 9, 2024, in Tacoma, Wash. The district started the walking school bus in response to survey feedback from families that students didn't have a safe way to get to school.
Kaylee Domzalski/Education Week