Greenhaven Plaza fights: Are they still happening?

By Gerardo Lopez, Clarion Staff Reporter

On September 27, John F. Kennedy parents and staff received an email and robocall about ongoing fights after school in the Greenhaven Plaza on Florin Road.  Some John F. Kennedy students have been involved in many altercations  such as fights between students and drug use by students. In the email, Kennedy Principal David Van Natten recommended Kennedy students do not go to the plaza after school, and that if students don’t have anywhere to go after school they can enroll in extracurricular activities such as After School Safety and Enrichment for Teens (ASSETs), various athletics and club options. 

Taco Bell, pictured here from December 2021, located in the Green-Haven Plaza shopping center where recent fights between students took place.

Teachers encouraged students not to approach the Plaza or anyone near it after school. Nearby business owners have seen the trouble that the students have caused and then involved the Sacramento Police Department.  At one point an adult allegedly carried a firearm onto the premises; however, this has not been confirmed.  

When asked about the fights, student’s reactions were usually ones of caution.

Michael Yee, Kennedy sophomore, said he likes to keep a distance.

Freshman Angel Nava stated that “I just sit here and watch” instead of getting involved in any altercations near the plaza or anywhere else. 

Overhead view of the Green-Haven Plaza shopping center, where the mentioned Taco Bell is located.

When asked about the situation by email, Van Natten advised students to stay clear away from the plaza even if their intentions are good ones and suggested that students take extracurricular activities instead.  

Van Natten has also said that it is not only Kennedy students who are responsible for the trouble near the plaza, but sometimes it is individuals not associated with the school. Although it is easy to see why one might assume that Kennedy students are the ones responsible for the altercations since Kennedy high school is that largest school in the area. 

So, are the fights still occurring in the plaza? The answer is that ever since Van Natten sent the call and email to parents, the number of altercations at the plaza has decreased. Van Natten believes the sharp decline is because of increased awareness and ideas from families, students and the larger community. 

Van Natten said there are still small scale incidents in the area, partly because some students and unassociated individuals still congregate there.

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