Honoring Sergeant Ron Helus


Dr. Kim Stephenson

Cam High’s students gather in the stadium on Nov. 8 to honor Sergeant Ron Helus after he was killed in the Thousand Oaks mass shooting.

Following the Thousand Oaks mass shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill, Cam High held an assembly on Nov. 8 to honor fallen hero Sergeant Ron Helus who was killed when responding to the scene.

Cam High’s principal, Dr. Kim Stephenson, gave Cam High students the option to attend an assembly to pay respects for the sergeant as his procession passed by Cam High on the 101 freeway.

The assembly was held in the stadium and closed off to the public. It began at the start of third period and ended around 10:35 A.M.

Stephenson said the assembly was spontaneous. The idea was presented to her by Ms. Rochelle Sullivan, the copy machine technician, and organized quickly.

Ms. Lori Pristera, English teacher and ASB adviser, said, “[The idea was: everyone] would come out together and wait for the body to pass, and join the first responders and everyone in honoring the deputy. It was very quickly put together but clearly successful.”

According to Stephenson, there were very few students in the hallways and the quad since majority of students attended the assembly.

During the course of the assembly, students remained silent while waiting for the vehicle carrying Helus’ body to pass by the school. Stephenson signaled the procession’s arrival by raising her hand.

Deputy Mike Legge, Cam High’s School Resource Officer, said, “I worked in Thousand Oaks for about six years with Sergeant Helus. [I was] not surprised that he would be the first one in the door, but shocked that he actually died. Very sad, obviously.”

Legge said that the amount of students that showed up to the event was a huge show of support for law enforcement. According to Stephenson, the sheriff department and law enforcement appreciated the gesture.

Jared Guese, sophomore, said, “I thought it was a good way to show respect to the fallen, especially Helus. I liked how the school gave us the opportunity to pay respects.”