2012-03-15 / Schools

Student’s death hits continuation school hard

Cause of death is under investigation
By Anna Bitong

Conejo Valley High School student Dustin Christian died last week at his home in Thousand Oaks, according to the school’s principal and the Ventura County coroner’s office.

The cause of the 17-year-old senior’s death on March 7 is not yet clear. Toxicology reports won’t be available for several weeks, said Shasta Gainer, senior deputy medical examiner.

Dustin had attended Thousand Oaks High School before transferring to CVHS about two years ago and attending off and on, said CVHS principal Martin Manzer.

“It’s very sad. Dustin had an infectious personality and was well-liked around campus. It’s been an emotional several days for us,” Manzer said.

The principal was not on campus when he was informed about Dustin’s death by assistant principal Bob Watson, who went to each classroom with secondary education director Jeff Davis to break the news to students and teachers. A crisis team later visited the school to help them deal with their grief.

“The district has responded with a lot of support,” Manzer said.

Students asked to hold a memorial for Dustin on March 9, Manzer said.

Holding flowers, candles and posters, they remembered their classmate and friend. The death has hit the tight-knit community of 197 students hard, the principal said.

“This has had a big impact on a small campus,” he said.

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