Thirty years ago today, two San Diego Unified employees were killed during a shooting spree on Cleveland Elementary School in San Carlos. The deceased were Principal Burton Wragg and head custodian Mike Suchar. Eight children and a police officer were also wounded in the attack, which the Los Angeles Times called the first high-profile school shooting nationwide. The shooter, then a teenage girl, infamously told a reporter she did it because she didn’t like Mondays.

Wragg and Suchar are now memorialized with a plaque and abstract sculpture at the offices of San Diego Unified, and the school later closed. Thanks to reader and active parent Sally Smith for pointing it out to me one day and reminding me that the anniversary was coming up.

Here is an old Union-Tribune article about the emotional impact of such shootings, done in the wake of the Santana High School shootings in 2001. NPR also explored how the shooting impacted gun policy.

Feel free to send me your reflections, memories and concerns at


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