Learning from the Sandy Hook School Shooting Tragedy
On December 14, 2012, twenty first-graders were preparing for the excitement of Christmas. However, these tiny children never got the chance to open their presents. A shooter entered their school and killed them along with six staff members. The tragedy of the Sandy Hook school shooting left a community and country yearning for better school safety.
The 7th anniversary of the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut brings in the forefront of our minds the twenty six lives lost that day. It is also a time to reflect on the lessons learned from that catastrophe.
A COUNTRY IN MOURNING
The country watched in shock and pain as the names of the victims were released. Soon after, pictures of young, beautiful and innocently smiling children flood television and phone screens.
“They had their entire lives ahead of them. Birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own.” said an emotional, teary-eyed President Obama immediately after the mass shooting.
Consequently, it was horrible day, a tragic moment that shook the country to its core. Americans had many unanswered questions regarding the safety of our kids in school. Unfortunately, since the disaster at Sandy Hook Elementary, we continue to see violence in schools.
Without delay, school administrators and law enforcement agencies have created preventive and responsive plans to minimize casualties. Sadly, keeping our children safe from school shooting has been challenging even in the aftermath of Sandy Hook.
5 COUNTRY-WIDE IMPLEMENTATIONS
Five country-wide implementations in many regions throughout the United States after the Sandy Hook school shooting:
- Keeping doors locked and secured while class is in session is a top priority. It prevents unrestricted access to intruders.
- Enhanced and updated response training for teachers were created.
- Monthly to Quarterly lock-down drills are recommended for teachers to practice.
- Age appropriate conversation from teachers to students about in-classroom response during a lock-down drill.
- Law enforcement began training officers in solo-response tactics to better respond to school crises.
To honor the lives of those who were killed, victims’ loved ones have since shared beautiful tributes and set up scholarship programs, nonprofit organizations and more.
One of those organizations, Sandy Hook Promise’s mission is to create a culture engaged in preventing shootings, violence, and other harmful acts in schools. Sandy Hook Promise is a moderate, above-the-politics organization that supports sensible program and policy solutions that address the “human side” of gun violence by preventing individuals from ever getting to the point of picking up a firearm to hurt themselves or others.
Another organization is Safe and Sound Schools, a school safety and security initiative.
Safe and Sound Schools is another initiative that was formed as a response to the Sandy Hook tragedy. Their mission is to support school crisis prevention, response, and recovery, and to protect every school and every student, every day.
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