Assault on principal, staff death roil Rosemont High campus

Gemma Costuna , Rosemont High School

“Attention all students and staff, we are now in a shelter in place. Please stay in your classrooms until further notice.”

The warning sounded through the Rosemont High School campus on May 4, just before lunch. It signaled what turned out to be a frightening and sad day for students and staff, one that brought an attack on principal Elizabeth Vigil and news of the death of assistant principal Jeremy Predko.

Students became concerned and worried because of the lock down. Some students posted photos and videos of the situation. Reposts began to circulate on social media only minutes after the schoolwide alert. 

As CBS Sacramento described the incident, “Principal was knocked to the ground and lost consciousness while dealing with a combative student allegedly under the influence of drugs”. 

Vigil was taken to the hospital, as was the student found under the influence, who left on a stretcher. 

According to a staff member, Rosemont continued to get calls from “community members” asking what happened. However, administration and staff said they were not at liberty to disclose anything beyond the information in a press release to news outlets.

Without clear details, rumors circulated on campus: A freshman on drugs had attacked multiple adults. The student was under the influence of psilocybin (shrooms). The student had assaulted a female teacher. 

When students looked out through windows, they saw more than five police cars, three fire trucks, and an EMT ambulance parked in front of the school. Four helicopters circled above the campus. 

Then, in the middle of it all, an email announcement to all students shared news of the unrelated death of Predko that same day. Predko’s family did not announce the cause of death.

According to Rosemont’s controller, Jennifer Rodriguez, many students felt a different vibe and energy the next day at school. The attack and correlation to drug use had reportedly scared some students and caused them to reevaluate their intention to do drugs.

Vigil showed her strength when she returned to school the next Monday, May 8, surrounded by love and support from students and staff on campus. A symbol of perseverance during her final months as principal, Vigil had previously announced her retirement as of Aug. 1, the start of the 2023-2024 school year.

Fast forward a week later, Chris Gosney, Associated Student Body director, spoke on the situation during the 0 period ASB meeting. He told the class he was aware rumors, misinformation and gossip were being shared about the incident involving Vigil. He said his daughter heard rumors at her elementary school.

Gosney said that while it is frustrating, “All we can do is focus on the good . . .” 

Officials said the main focus now is building up the positive climate at Rosemont High. Student government planned events, such as a Day of Play during lunchtime filled with activities and sports, a Double Feature Movie Night, senior festivities, and a final farewell to seniors at the Senior Goodbye Rally. 

Meanwhile, students are left to wonder about a couple of questions: What is the fate of the student who assaulted Vigil, and who will be chosen to replace her?