Lessons Unlearned


Politicians are looking for lessons from the murders at Santana High in Santee, California. Here's one they might miss: An awful lot of the "lessons" learned at Colorado's Columbine High seem not to be true.

Santana administrators had taken every measure to prevent or prepare for a Columbine-style tragedy. Every classroom had a telephone. Experts had wired the campus with extra radios and loudspeakers, and the principal was SWAT-trained to handle hostage situations. The dress code forbade "hateful images," gangsta wear, and anything else the administration deemed inflammatory. Counselors met regularly with students individually, to help with "anger management" and sometimes to mediate disputes.

And in case you're wondering, California has some of the country's strictest, most intrusive gun laws. Those didn't prevent the shootings either.