By The Signal Editorial Board
It can happen anywhere. And now it’s happened here.
There was a mass shooting at Saugus High School on Thursday morning. Multiple victims were shot. As of this writing, at least two students were killed.
Immediately after the shooting, we saw what’s best in our community.
We saw #SaugusStrong.
We saw first responders — Sheriff’s Department and Fire Department personnel, including some who were off duty — tending to the wounded, and doing their best to render the scene safe. We saw sheriff’s deputies and firefighters rush to the scene within minutes, with one thing on their mind: saving lives.
We saw construction workers, just engaged in a day’s normal work, their routine interrupted as they dropped what they were doing to help students flee the campus by crawling under the L.A. aqueduct pipeline along the school’s southern border.
We saw neighbors taking in strangers, shielding them from danger by welcoming them into their homes along Centurion Way.
We saw faculty, school administrators, and other campus personnel taking care of priority No. 1: Making sure our kids were safe.
Whether they were barricaded in a classroom, treating the wounded, reacting to the scene in the quad of Saugus High School or merely trying to comfort those who were traumatized, the community came together as one.
We saw rival high schools supporting their crosstown counterparts. Hart High School’s ASB prayed for those at Saugus. West Ranch High School’s boosters changed their Friday night football game theme to all-blue, in support of Saugus, and tweeted: “Today we are all Saugus Centurions. We love you Saugus. #saugusstrong.”
And Saugus athletics tweeted: “Thank you to all the first responders and Saugus Staff who protected our students today. We will not let this senseless act define us. Our strength and resolve will be felt across the world. #SaugusStrong.”
That’s the big take-away from the shooting at Saugus High School. This is a tight-knit community, and the community has come together in a time of crisis.
It will, predictably, be politicized by people beyond the Santa Clarita Valley’s borders, and within, too. There will be talk of gun control, and what should be done to prevent such things. But at this point, we are just concerned with one thing:
We are hurting. Our community is hurting. It’s still very fresh. All we are thinking about right now are those students, teachers, parents, neighbors and others who were impacted by the shooting on Thursday morning.
There will be lessons to be learned. There will be procedures to refine. There are tales of heroism. There are tales of tragedy.
And, there will be debates about guns, and how to control access to them. That debate is ongoing, and we find it distasteful that there are those who immediately turn to politics when a community is reeling.
Right now, our hearts are breaking, for the kids and parents who were affected. Right now, we are grieving, along with the entire community.
But this community, when it counts, is united and resilient. That’s what’s most important right now. And nothing else. #SaugusStrong.