The Green Hope Falcon

A Thousand Oak’s Penetrating Impacting: In NC and CA

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A Thousand Oak’s Penetrating Impacting: In NC and CA

A view from Conejo Valley Botanic Garden, Thousand Oaks, CA

A view from Conejo Valley Botanic Garden, Thousand Oaks, CA

Wikimedia Commons

A view from Conejo Valley Botanic Garden, Thousand Oaks, CA

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

A view from Conejo Valley Botanic Garden, Thousand Oaks, CA

Uma Bhat, Staff Writer

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“When started hearing all of the commotion in the media, I thought at first that I might know someone. I lived there for seven years and taught at Sequoia Middle School, the feeder school for Newbury Park [High School],” Mr. D’agostin said. “which is where I think the shooter went.”

Over the past two weeks, California has suffered a series of hard blows, including two of the most destructive wildfires in state history, some of the worst air quality in world history — but also another mass shooting, claiming the lives of twelve innocent people. Mr. D’agostin, Green Hope Biology teacher and former long-time resident of A Thousand Oaks (CA), personally took the shooting as “a hit closer to home”.

“It definitely was more personal for me since I didn’t know if anyone I knew was affected immediately,” he said. “but gun violence has become the new normal nowadays, so it [gun violence] comes as less and less of a surprise as it occurs more often.”

The shooting in a Thousand Oaks has proven to be just another statistic in a growing trend of mass shooting, coming just barely two weeks after a mass shooting in a Philadelphia synagogue. Sanguinary gun violence has struck the country as somewhat of an epidemic, leading to the deaths of 15549 people in 2017 alone.

Green Hope, one of the many schools that made headlines last academic year for its massive, widely-broadcast walkout, also is home to Ellie Key (2021), another former Thousand Oaks resident and a former student of Newbury Park High School.

“When I first found out about the shooting, it was five in the morning,” Key said. She seemed deeply impacted by the shooting, referencing her childhood in Newbury Park and how she was “shocked” because no one knew where she was from before the shooting occurred. She said that she “couldn’t believe” what happened in what she thought was a “very small, close knit, safe community”. She mentioned that her friends also stayed home from school after the shooting occured, citing that “they were all deeply impacted”.

The impact gun violence has taken on students, directly and indirectly, has been tremendous. While Ellie was wholly rattled by the shooting in California, she isn’t the only student to have faced former neighbors filing her in on gruesome tales of savagery. During the walkout last year, former Marjory Stoneman Douglas students Megan Sharma and Debarpita Bhattacharya spoke vividly of their experiences learning about the tragedy occurring in their previous communities.

While Mr. D’Agostin and Ellie both have different views on what needs to be done in order to reduce gun violence, D’Agostin calling for stricter gun legislation and Ellie calling for an approach targeting the mental health of gun owners, what’s safe to assume is that gun violence won’t be going away until some change is made to the way guns ownership operates in America.

About the Writer
Uma Bhat, Staff Writer

A passionate journalist, Uma Bhat, Class of 2021, feels right at home at The GH Falcon. She plans on using her experience from writing for a magazine,...

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A Thousand Oak’s Penetrating Impacting: In NC and CA