Your Star Will Always Shine
By Shannon Olds
It has been over two years since Monique Palmer's death. On May 14, 2011, Mr. Camacho and Lincoln’s A.S.B was planning to host the 3rd Annual San Diego High Schools Best Dance Crew Competition in Lincoln’s new gym. The funds raised at this event were suppose to go toward a scholarship that Mr. Camacho created to keep Palmer's memory alive.
Monique Palmer’s passing has taken a heavy toll on Lincoln High. Her tragic end has finally found relief. According to a story dated Monday, October 4, in the Union Tribune, a man by the name of Frederick Garcia Cruz, 22, pleaded guilty on February 10, to 2 counts of first-degree murder. Cruz agreed to a sentence of 50 years to life, for the murders of Monique Palmer, 17, and Michael Taylor, 15. The teens were gunned down December 6, 2008, several blocks from Lincoln High. It took 2 years, but it seems like justice is finally playing its role.
But there is one person whose life has been changed forever by her death, and is now a child short. Tracey Swafford is still, to this day, dealing with her new life without her daughter. She marked the day of her daughter’s death as, “the worst day of my life and a parents worst nightmare.” Her future psychiatrist, a.k.a Monique Palmer, was to be her first child to make a difference. “Monique was my hero,” Swafford said through her tears, “she was such a good person with a bubbly attitude that loved life.”
Being that her child’s death was due to gang violence, she wants parents, children and gang members to see her pain, so that maybe she can have an effect on those that are thinking about, or want to be a gang member.
But Monique’s mom is not alone in missing her daughter. Mrs. Jackson-Hubbard, a teacher in Social Justice, and God-aunt of Monique, also misses her bubbly attitude. “I miss the way she would come to class in the morning with breakfast. If the room was quiet, she would wake us up with the smell of her food and vibrant personality,” said Jackson-Hubbard.
Not only did her death hurt Jackson-Hubbard, but it also changed her life. “I am extra sensitive when it comes to the relationship I have with my students. I value the good times we have everyday.” Jackson-Hubbard felt that Monique would be one of the graduating seniors to return to Lincoln and visit teachers, do community service and interact with the younger students. She felt that Monique would have made a positive difference.
Jackson-Hubbard thinks that Monique’s death was a result of children being lost, confused and trying to raise themselves. “They seem to lack some moral obligation to be good people,” said Jackson-Hubbard.
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