‘When I came out, I saw blood’: Teacher stops stabbing at high school

Turlock High psychology teacher Ryan Tribble.
(Turlock Unified School District)

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Tuesday, Nov. 9. I’m Justin Ray.

A teacher in Stanislaus County told The Times about his harrowing experience of intervening in a recent stabbing at a Central Valley high school.

On Nov. 5, Turlock High psychology teacher Ryan Tribble had just finished saying goodbye to his students at the end of first period just before 9 a.m. when he heard, “Mr. Tribble, there’s a fight, there’s a fight!”

“I start going toward the door and then I hear [the assailant has] got a knife. And so I just started running and I jumped the rail. I saw that it was one of my students,” Tribble says. “When I came out, I saw blood. There was a lot of blood.”

The stabbing, in which a student was attacked by another student, took place in an open field on campus where P.E. and the school’s sports teams practice. Neither student has been named, but they are both seniors, the Modesto Bee reported. It isn’t clear what motivated the altercation.

Tribble says he didn’t feel nervous to confront the student.

“When I got up to him and I just looked in his eyes, man, I just saw a scared human being who was angry,” Tribble says. “I don’t remember if he had the knife. I don’t remember if he had already dropped it by then. I just kind of put my hands on his shoulders and was like, ‘Hey, it’s me, it’s Mr. Tribble.’”

Video and images have been shared on social media platforms showing the moment. Shortly after, a school resource officer arrived on scene to detain the suspect. Tribble said he went to find the victim, and located him after following a trail of blood.

Turlock High School.
Turlock High School.
(Turlock Unified School District)

The student alleged to be behind the knife attack has been booked into juvenile hall for attempted homicide, Turlock police said. The victim is in stable condition. The Turlock Unified School District said counselors and student support clinicians are available to assist the many students and staff who witnessed the attack.

“We are very thankful for the swift action by a THS staff member who intervened on behalf of the victim to prevent further injury,” Turlock Unified said in a statement. “Our immediate focus is on the social-emotional well-being of our THS and school communities as well as maintaining safe environments for students and staff.”

On Monday, the school district put out a statement addressing rumors of “potential retaliation for Friday’s events.” The disctrict said police investigated and determined that a threat shared on social media was not credible. “However, as a precaution, we will continue to be extra vigilant with campus security…. We encourage students to follow our ‘see something or hear something, say something’ protocol.”

Tribble says he still has not yet processed what happened and has taken the week off. Although he didn’t plan on being a hero that day, he says his decision to intervene is in line with morals he has tried to teach students.

“The whole reason I started teaching is just to show these young kids in a community in which I grew up that you could be a good human. You don’t have to agree with everyone, but you can be a good human and to do your best and all things that you do,” Tribble says. “I’ve always taught love, compassion, kindness and understanding in my classroom since Day One.”

And now, here’s what’s happening across California:

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Educators are moving away from traditional point-driven grading systems, aiming to close large academic gaps among racial, ethnic and economic groups. The trend was accelerated by the pandemic and school closures that caused troubling increases in Ds and Fs across the country. Los Angeles and San Diego Unified — the state’s two largest school districts, with some 660,000 students combined — have recently directed teachers to base academic grades on whether students have learned what was expected of them during a course — and not penalize them for behavior, work habits and missed deadlines. Los Angeles Times


Column: L.A. County’s sheriff called me a ‘vendido,’ a sellout. Let’s talk about selling out. Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva logs onto Facebook Live every Wednesday and addresses the public. On Oct. 20, Villanueva brought up a column by The Times’ Gustavo Arellano critiquing the move to allow deputies to wear cowboy hats. “I have a name for your new [column] if The Times decides to give you a regular [slot],” Villanueva said. “It’ll be called ‘Ask a Vendido.’” The Spanish term means a sellout. “I thought about the sheriff’s vendido crack again after reading an explosive Times investigation,” Arellano writes. Reporters found that the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department has made more than 44,000 bike stops since 2017 that did little to nab actual criminals. Seventy percent of those incidents involved Latino cyclists. “Their findings made me ask: Who’s the real vendido?” Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

Get to know Nikole Hannah-Jones and ‘The 1619 Project.’ The Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist will join us for a conversation with Los Angeles Times Executive Editor Kevin Merida on Nov. 30. The event will be held at the California African American Museum next to USC (you can get tickets here). Ahead of the big night, Hannah-Jones shared some of her favorite books, music and other diversions. Los Angeles Times

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If you’re a fan of this newsletter, you’ll probably love our new daily podcast, “The Times,” hosted by columnist Gustavo Arellano, along with reporters from across our newsroom. Every weekday, it takes you beyond the headlines. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts and follow on Spotify.


From its small start as a gathering of like-minded women in a basement, EMILY’s List has grown into a political powerhouse that builds campaigns and steers millions of dollars each election to hundreds of pro-choice Democrats, in races from city council to the White House. Laphonza Butler, a longtime labor organizer and California political strategist, currently leads the organization. As a Black woman, Butler is the first woman of color to head it, so from the start she brings a different image and perspective to a group some may associate more readily with suburban white women in puffy jackets marching, latte in hand, against Donald Trump. Los Angeles Times


The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department recorded dozens of privileged conversations between defense attorneys and their clients for much of the last year and, in at least one case, the recording found its way to the district attorney’s office. The confidential meetings between lawyers and criminal defendants were recorded between last December and May, and again between August and October, as the Sheriff’s Department implemented protocols aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 inside its jails. “There were periods of time when professional visits were inadvertently recorded due to unforeseen delays in the phone system disabling the recording feature,” sheriff’s spokesperson Lt. Amber Baggs said in a statement. San Diego Union-Tribune

23-month-old boy killed by stray bullet on highway while sleeping in car seat in Oakland. On Saturday, a 911 caller reported a gunfight between two drivers on Interstate 880. A stray bullet entered a white Lexus. Inside the vehicle was a family with three children, including a 23-month-old boy who was in his car seat. His family identified him as Jasper Wu. The shooting happened during the family’s drive home. Police are asking the public for help identifying the people responsible for the shooting. ABC7

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On Monday, the city of Los Angeles began imposing some of the nation’s strictest COVID-19 vaccine verification rules, covering a wide variety of indoor retail businesses and venues. The requirements are significantly broader than the rules that have been in place in across L.A. County for the last month. Officials say requiring customers to document their inoculation status as a precondition of patronizing select businesses will help reduce the risk of coronavirus spread in higher-risk settings. The Times published a rundown on the new restrictions and penalties faced by those who don’t comply. Los Angeles Times


Why Jews should join L.A. street vendors’ struggle. “Despite a state law that was supposed to ease licensing for street-cart vendors, few have been able to get the necessary permits. They remain at the whim of authorities who cite them and confiscate their goods,” Rob Eshman writes. He explains that Jewish people were the first pushcart vendors in America, starting in 1889. Eshman argues that the Jewish community could lend a helping hand in the legal and political battle “not just because it’s the right thing to do, but also to show we haven’t forgotten where we came from.” Forward

On Nov. 10, Los Angeles Times photographer and correspondent Marcus Yam will discuss his work in Afghanistan during a special edition of Ask a Reporter presented by The Times in partnership with Arizona State University. Yam will be in conversation with Times foreign and national editor Jeffrey Fleishman at 7 p.m. PT (learn more about the event here). The Times recently published an in-depth story about the lives of Afghan women following the Taliban takeover. Los Angeles Times

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Los Angeles: 70 San Diego: 68 San Francisco: Cloudy 61 San Jose: Rain 65 Fresno: Rain 63 Sacramento: Enjoy these photos of kittens discovering heated floors. Rainy 58


Today’s California memory is from Wanda Haiche:

My first California memory is my certainty that I’d never visit there. As a Connecticut kid, I watched the “Mickey Mouse Club” and felt awe whenever our B&W TV showed images of Disneyland. The Beach Boys got me through high school. In the mid-1990s my son moved to L.A. I snow-birded for a few years and my first visit produced the memory of Christmas shopping in shorts!! Seriously?? I relocated in time to enjoy the Y2K turnover as a permanent Angelina. I’ve been to Disneyland many times. Sometimes our fair state drives me batty, but I feel incredibly lucky to have found my “real” home here.

If you have a memory or story about the Golden State, share it with us. (Please keep your story to 100 words.)

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