April 21, 2015
Christmas Time Tragedy in Newtown Connecticut
On December 14, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut, the day had started out as any normal school day at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Until raging twenty year old, Adam Lanza, simply walked right through the front door killing twenty-six people. The Sandy Hook shooting on December 14 devastated many parents, children, and even people that were not linked at all to the shooting. There have been plenty of devastating school shootings, but this shooting has caused many schools and even businesses to crack down on their security and take more precautions to ensure that something like this does not happen again. It even caused the president to question the second amendment and even try to repeal it. This has caused tons of controversy in America. Adam Lanza walked into this school loaded with ten thirty-round magazines for his Bushmaster .223 caliber model XM15 rifle and bullets for two handguns and a shotgun. Lanza, along with twenty-six others never made it home alive. Twenty of those were children aging between six and seven and were shot dead in less than five minutes (Candiotti, Botelho, and Watkins). Also, not only did Lanza kill twenty-six people at Sandy Hook, but he also murdered his own mother, Nancy Lanza. What was Lanza’s motivation? This question still goes unanswered. Though there have been many allegations as to why he would do something so terrifying, some believe that Adam murdered as an act of revenge. A close friend of Lanza’s mother told the news that he was bullied in school. “I think Adam felt betrayed by the school and this was his act of revenge,” said Marvin Lafontaine, a friend of Nancy Lanza’s (Lysiak and Shaprio). Other assumptions of why he killed were that he was afraid of his mother committing him to a psychiatric facility because she just could not handle him at home anymore. He felt that she loved the children in that class more than him because she volunteered with children at Sandy Hook (Keneally). Yet still, no one really has come to a conclusion as to why Lanza actually did it. The majority of his shooting was limited to the reception, where he forced his way into the building and killed those standing in his way, and then to a single first grade classroom. Those children are thought to be the ones that Nancy grew close with during the last academic year, when they were in kindergarten. (qtd. Keneally). The teachers tried to protect the students from the shooter, but sadly failed because they had no prior training for a situation like this.
“What the teachers and principal at Sandy Hook Elementary School did for the children in their care could win a soldier in a war zone a Purple Heart” (qtd. Brumfield). Principal Dawn Hochsprung tried to make sure teachers were prepared for a school shooting with lockdown practices. The front door was locked when Lanza arrived. A mother meeting with Hochsprung about her struggling child was astounded that Adam had gotten in: "It's a locked school; you have to be buzzed in," she later said. Hochsprung heard the loud bang. She, school psychologist Mary Sherlach and Vice Principal Natalie Hammond went to investigate. Their action had a heavy cost. Only Hammond returned from the hallway alive, but not unharmed. Anne Marie Murphy's body was found in a classroom, slumped over young children killed in the shooting. Anne, fifty-two, is assumed to have been protecting the children, but sadly failed. Rachel D'Avino, twenty-nine, was a behavioral therapist who worked with autistic children. D'Avino's boyfriend was going to propose to her on Christmas Eve. Lauren Rousseau, thirty, had dreamed of being a teacher since before she went to kindergarten herself. She had been hired only one month before the shooting by Sandy Hook and was substituting for a teacher on maternity leave when Lanza killed her (Brumfield). Many schools have started to train teachers to...
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