Adam Lanza opened fire at a Newtown, Connecticut elementary school this morning. Current reports assert at least 26 students and teachers of Sandy Hook Elementary School lost their lives, according to NBC news. NBC further reported that Lanza was found dead inside the school with at least two firearms. It is believed that before driving to Sandy Hook Elementary School, Lanza had fatally shot his mother.
My heart aches to hear of yet another school shooting, the chaos and fear of which no child and parent should ever have to endure. As some children were rushed to safety, parents desperately waited to hear of their loved ones’ fates. As the tragedy unfolds, the entire school system remains on lockdown.
Newtown Tragedy Adds to This Year’s Sobering Statistics
Sandy Hook is a K-4 school with about 600 students, and some of these children may never fully recover from being subjected to this utter terror. What happens when schools re-open and they are expected to go about their daily routines in a building now associated with screams and death? The localhas posted a photo of a line of crying, frightened young students holding hands as they escaped the multiple rounds of gunshots that sent these innocent children and their parents into hysterics.
The United States has experienced a number of mass shooting rampages this year. Just this Tuesday two people were killed before the gunman took his own life in an Oregon shopping mall. The mass shooting at a movie theater in Colorado in which 12 people died still burns in the memories of many. At 26 and counting, today’s tragedy more than doubles the death toll of the Colorado shooting, and to the victims and their families is just as senselessly horrible. My sincere thoughts go out the traumatized community of Newtown as they cope with this alarming breach of safety.
Do Schools Need Greater Safety Measures?
Schools have an obligation to provide safe environments to their students and staff. Ensuring safety prevails often includes having security personnel on the premises during school hours, which is the case in hundreds of high schools across the nation. While the security personnel may be present in high schools to protect the students from each other as much as from outside threats, shouldn’t these same proactive measures be in place at elementary schools to protect young children who cannot protect themselves? This tragedy should prompt school systems across the nation to re-evaluate their current security and think about heightening protection for their students.
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