School Authorities Reevaluate Violence Prevention After Tragic Death

Cindi Santana

School authorities are reevaluating school policies regarding teen dating violence and abuse after the tragic death of Cindi Santana, a South East End High School student who was stabbed and killed by her ex-boyfriend, Abraham Lopez.

The LAUSD has taken note of the warning signs, reports CBS Los Angeles. At a board meeting Tuesday, the school district’s board passed an anti-violence initiative to address teen dating violence and abuse.

Superintendent John Deasy will appoint a Prevention Coordinator and a Prevention Liaison to every school who will work with students, teachers, and parents on abuse education and intervention techniques, reports NBC 4.

The program will cost an estimated $2 million dollars and board members are currently working on fundraising, reports ABC 7 Los Angeles.

In a press conference announcing the initiative, board member Steve Zimmer expressed the hope that these new programs would prevent another tragedy from happening again. Intersection South LA quotes Zimmer: “policy is not consolation, and policy can’t reverse the tragedy, but what we’re trying to do today is make sure that anywhere in this district, when someone comes forward, or a family comes over, that school will have the resources to make sure this never happens again.”

ABC 7 Los Angeles also notes that Zimmer directly addressed the county’s young people: “to students out there who today feel afraid, uncomfortable, insecure, know that something is just not right, please say something. Don’t be silent.” Huffington Post, 12 Oct 2011

The school has not addressed concerns that proper precautions were not taken to prevent this tragedy. Shortly before the attack, Cindi’s mother contacted school officials with her concerns. It is unclear wether that warning produced any action to protect Cindi while on school grounds.