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December 15th, 2012
02:26 AM ET

Principal's friend: 'The kids loved her'

The principal and psychologist were among those killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Anderson Cooper pays tribute to their work.

soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. maggie franks

    Children went to school on Friday morning with backpacks...and went home in body bags.
    We must not let this go away.

    December 16, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
  2. nicky from vancouver

    This is so sad.

    This could had been avoided had the American Government and The Courts not falling victim to the voracious appetite of gun guru capitalist pontiffs.

    Except for America most all modern civilized Nations abandonded laws considered evil threats to civilized socieity. The right to bear arms is just one of many such laws.

    Unfortunately in America such horrible crimes on defenseless people of all walks and ages is becoming a regular event.

    For those of us who live outside of the United States we hope the leadership of the country will quickly move forward to enact laws to stop this senseless waste of precious life.

    God Bless all the Victims, especially the children.

    December 16, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
  3. Jarek Paszkowski

    A friend of mine posted this on Facebook
    “I can't even start to think about the tragedy that has happened without crying. The thing that really gets me is now everyone is talking gun control instead of affordable and available access to mental health care. The people who do these horrible and unthinkable things usually have signs that they need help but it is not there for them. I don't know this guy’s history but I know that he is not the only one out there that needs help before they snap as well. Relying on family only to help those who truly need professional help is like trying to defuse a ticking bomb because the bomb squad charges by the hour.”

    December 16, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
  4. Frances Ryan

    Who will be the first hero to lay down their gun, rather than flowers? The memory of these lost innocents will be best served if such horrors never occur again. Say again 'Lest we forget'....

    December 16, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
  5. Tim

    I have a thought for all who want to help if they could get donations to build a new school so those children and families do not have to go in that building ever again

    December 16, 2012 at 11:15 am |
  6. JC Maguire

    Why is the news media not asking why a mother of a mentally disabled child, or any child for that matter, did not properly secure her weapons?

    December 16, 2012 at 11:10 am |
  7. moondance13

    My strength and love to all the victims in this masacre...i lost my 7 year old daughter Alissa to a drunk driver. I know the pa in, the emptiness, the total futility....one person i did not blame in my loss was God. I quickly understood that it was not that God allowed this to happen but that God too was weaping. He gave man the greatest gift...the gift of free choice...this gift allows each and every man to choose to do right and choose to do wrong....the man who killed my daughter chose to drink and drive...he chose his weapon....the man who slayed 20 children also chose to do wrong...he chose to kill..he chose to make many people suffer...look not to God to blame but look at ourselves as free thinking and acting power...and where is our responsibility in times of sorrow....God is also weaping.....

    December 16, 2012 at 10:50 am |
  8. Bruce Anderson

    The news reporting of the tragedy in Connecticut seems to be focusing on gun control. They are wrong.

    The real question should not be how many guns were available to the shooter, but rather how many video games did he have.

    Doesn’t any of the professional, astute journalists see the connection between the many recent mass killings done by young people to the violent, mass-killing, no consequences video games marketed to the young people ?

    The most recent issue of Time Magazine (December 24, 2012, with a baby on the cover, no less, asking what is his future? !!) listed the top ten video games. EACH AND EVERY synopsis touted the amount of violence, mass-killing and gore they had, as if this were a GOOD thing.

    You can not but conclude that we have an entire generation of young people that were targeted and raised on this instruction of mass-killing and the winner is the one who kills the most people. THAT is the reason we have these kids going out to kill the most people they can.

    So the issue is not gun control. The real issue is the content of video games.

    December 16, 2012 at 9:59 am |
  9. jacque

    In light of the recent shooting and all of the other recent shootings

    We had the same problem of gun violence in schools before in the African American community during the 80's and 90's. In fact it was epidemic! Yet all of these situations have been forgotten about! Is it fair to say that studying what these situations in the past might have prevented this from happening today?

    In fact the same thing happened in a California school in 88/89 (singer Janet Jackson made a song about it in 89!).

    The fact is this; We are not learning from the past as far as gun safety is concerned, so were are merely repeating the past as the saying goes!

    December 16, 2012 at 2:30 am |
  10. Nancy

    We need to look at several issues, including the availability of guns, and especially assault weapons, and the process that is already in place but not being enforced as far as who can get a gun through legal channels. And we also need to look at the treatment of people with mental illness which is diminishing due to funding issues. Most of these mass shooting have been carried out by people who are so ill and suffering so much that have already decided to end their life and then decide to take others with them. But I also can't understand why we can't make our school buildings themselves more secure. I think entrances should be designed in a way where people have to walk through a corridor or a hallway, before actually entering the school, that is equipped with cameras and metal detectors. A reaction from the metal detector could automatically alert security and prevent a final, fortified entrance door from opening at all. We accept security at airports, and at stores we go in and out of for shoplifters, and cameras at every ATM. Why not for our most precious children? In this day and time, with the technology we have, there has to be a better solution. Thoughts and prayers to everyone involved with this tragedy.

    December 16, 2012 at 2:12 am |
  11. Brian Kizuik

    As a father and a grandfather, I was horrified, angered, and sickened. Our family lives in Canada and as a nation we certainly have many imperfections. I would however say that our great neighbors to the south must take a long look at themselves in the mirror. They must stop and think before they pass judgement of other countries that have incidents of horrid, unspeakable crimes. Will the events in Conn. be enough to make changes? Will someone take charge and change your gun laws? Or will CNN report another mass shooting in a few years, months? It's in your hands America. Our prayers go out to the families of the victims

    December 16, 2012 at 12:44 am |
  12. kerry fedosenkp

    Canada grieves for the families of New town. I wish I could understand why the Medical Examiner had to give so much horrible information, was it necessary to report that the children had been shot three to eleven times.
    Our prayers and thoughts are with you all.

    December 15, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
  13. Baroudi

    I think they should put the names of each victim on the city streets of newtown, memorizing them as they are angels in heaven. May God be with their families.

    December 15, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
  14. Mary Okiomah

    I mean gun * access*

    December 15, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
  15. Mary Okiomah

    When will there be gun controls for gun recipients that will prevent this type gun acres that results in this type of gun shooting of innocent lives. Something needs to be done for the purpose of safety.

    December 15, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
  16. DianaWillaimson

    My heart is breaking- both as a parent aand as teacher for what has happened. First of all, something has to change- both within our mental health care and our lax laws with guns. Although I think it's pie in the sky for the all powerful NRA to accept change, I think there are some changes that could be made within the schools. Bank tellers have to push a button to alert police of a robbery, why can't schools have that same technology? I know that my purse as a teacher is in a file cabnet turned off and the class phone does not connect to an outside line. Why can't we push a button that not only alerts authorities but the rest of the school that a person of harm is in the building? Also, is it time to build safe rooms within the classroom? I know that if a person intendending to do harm wants in my classroom we are sitting ducks- what good is it to be hudling together against a wall? School should be a safe place for the students both from outside harm and harm from within the family. My heart bleeds- Diana Williamson

    December 15, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
  17. S. L. Killey

    I don't know why, when these terrible events happen, no one addresses the issue of the violent games and videos that children are exposed to from an early age and that dominant the video game market. Does no one think, that playing these violent, weapon driven games does have the possibility of de sensitizing some kids and creates a copy cat mentality? Think of just when these mass shootings started happening in schools, movie theatres and malls. Is it not consistent with the introduction of these games into the marketplace?
    There was a time when our heroes were the good cowboys, or Mr Smith goes to Washington.
    Who are the heroes and the images the kids are growing up with today.

    December 15, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  18. Bill Manns

    Anderson,
    Keeping them honest-
    The deadliest school massacre (US) was in 1929, Bath Township, Mich. Philip Kehoe (school board member) killed 44 (38 grade school kids) and another 58 were injured. Kehoe set off hundreds of pounds of dynamite in the Bath Consolidated School after killing his wife. He was upset by a property tax that had been levied to fund the construction of the school building. He blamed the additional tax for financial hardships which led to foreclosure proceedings against his farm.

    December 15, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  19. Jeff Hall

    The tragedy in Connecticut, Aurora, CO, Oregon, Columbine... the list goes on. People ask why did God allow this. God gives us the freedom to make choices and put us in charge of the world he has given us. God is grieving asking us WHY DID YOU ALLOW THIS. May you allow God back into your life, listen to His guidance with your heart and make the changes our society needs to make. I am not angry at God, for he is good and great. I am angry and sad at us for not taking control and listening to his words. As an elementary school teacher my heart aches immensely over this sad event. My thoughts and prayers go out to all those who have been enveloped with grief. May the Spirit of God ease the grief and give us ANOTHER chance to fix what has been broken for too long.

    December 15, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  20. California Mom

    I think that there are several factors that contribute to mass shootings. Of course access to guns is one. But the reality is that unfortunately if someone wants to obtain a gun in our country, they will be able to regardless of the laws. There are so many people in our country that are so in love with their guns, they have turned blind to the problems surrounding them. To say that guns don’t kill people, people kill people is utterly irresponsible. To me, that is the equivalent of stating that drug dealers have nothing to do with the drug problems in America. I think that gun owners choose to live in a world of denial, to avoid taking ownership of their role in killings in America. At the very least, we should create a new federal law requiring gun owners to lock up their guns, otherwise they will be liable. It’s simple, and it might have prevented this particular mass killing.
    Another factor is mental health and laws surrounding mental health. Forty years ago, we had government funded housing and care for people with developmental disabilities and mental health problems. My father was an administrator in that industry at facilities in California for many years. But now due to funding cuts, people with these conditions have nowhere to go for help. Some end up on the streets, and some live with family members who are not trained to deal with them. People with mental health problems sometimes turn violent, and families have nowhere to turn to help avoid these types of mass killings.
    I think that we as a society need to look at the big picture in order to develop an action plan to alleviate these types of mass shootings. I think that it is possible that this shooter’s mental health problems were created by his environment. I think it is significant that this young man went back in time. He went back to the elementary school where he attended, and killed the Principal and Psychologist, along with the children and teachers. Maybe something traumatic happened to him at that school? Maybe we need to start at the beginning, to help prevent these killings? Maybe we are not doing enough as a society for our children?
    I think that if our society really wants to alleviate these mass killings, we need to take an honest look at all of the root causes. We need to conduct a root cause analysis and come up with an action plan. We need to be honest with ourselves about the root causes. It’s easy to just blame the killers. After all, they are the ones that committed the crimes. However, I think that until things change in our society, we will continue to breed these types of mentally unstable, violent people.

    December 15, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  21. Arleen

    As a nation looks for a motive in the horrific events of the past 24 hours, I would like to throw out a thought. I am a retired educator and spent 18 years teaching Kindergarten. Kinders become part of your family. You don't teach set hours; you take responsibility and the moral obligation of being available to these children and their families 24/7........I know there were times during these years that my own children would complain, "You spend more time with your students then you do with us." Of course, as they grew up, they understood and embraced my students as well.....As I watch this tragedy unfold, I wonder if the shooter, being very mentally unstable, felt that his mother cared more for her students than for him....Could he have cracked - killing his mother first - and then going after the students that, in his twisted mind, took away the attention of his mother?

    December 15, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
  22. M. Melin

    This senseless event demads societal changes, introspection and self accountability and responsibility – many own "guns" in the form of violent video games that expose our children to senseless violence on a daily/hourly basis. While we will not be able to change gun regulation in America soon enough, we each individually, as familes and responsible adults, can remove violent video games from our homes TODAY – in ability to demonstrate love, care and compassion for these littlest victims begins within our homes, that we do control – start the national trend to remove and stop purchasing and supporting any form of "gun" violence in video gaming.

    December 15, 2012 at 9:09 am |
  23. Donnette McCartney

    It is about more than gun control. It is about mental illness and the legal rights of people to refuse treatment. Ronald Regan saw to the destruction of many health facilities (that cost lots of money) that had control over the mentally ill. Our prisons are now overflowing with the mentally ill. Young people without insurance are particularly lost in the cracks. Due to Hippa laws those closest to the mentally ill are helpless at assisting them. People are no longer able to discuss their concerns about loved ones with physicans. This list at how the mentally-ill avoid treatment goes on and on. Even if stricter gun contol laws are in place. Mentally ill people are not stupid. They often have higher than average IQ's. They always know what friends and family may have guns and if they want them they will get them. People with mental ilness are not usually insured due to their inability to hold jobs, and yes the cost to care for people is huge. We also have to watch the cyclic nature of this illness not everyone needs for care remain the same at any given time in their lives. Its a very complicated thing.

    December 15, 2012 at 8:25 am |
  24. Alice Okoloise

    It's atrocious what took place on 12/14/12 at Sandy Hook Elementary. Some of these kids have Xmas gifts still sitting under the tree waiting to never be opened!!!! I must say that my heart goes out to all the families who lost their loved ones in this senseless act of violence. Personally, I do not think that the students of that school should be expected to return to those premises considering what happened there yesterday. That building needs to be demolished and/or memorialized in honor of those who lost their lives there... A new school needs to be built away from those ground in order to retain whatever sanity is left in those children's minds, after such a gruesome and memorable experience. The government can afford it, so let them do it!!!!!

    December 15, 2012 at 4:59 am |
  25. Olga Davis

    How many innocent deaths the government needs to outlaw the guns? Why if 20 soldiers are killed in Afghanistan it becomes such a big issue and when 20 innocent children are shot within its country’s borders it is being forgotten in a month (in this case in two weeks due to Christmas)? At last, those who are sent to the war are the SOLDIERS and they know the circumstances. What about us, ordinary people? Who will protect us? And why do we have to carry guns to protect ourselves during the peaceful times? After the 9-11 troops were sent to Iraq, we are being thoroughly searched at the airports. What have changed after the Columbine shooting? What have changed after Virginia Tech, Arizona, recent Colorado shootings????? – NOTHING?!?! What have changed is that I am afraid to go to the public places and I am afraid to live here. Rather make heroin legal, at least only those who want it will die, by legalizing guns those who do not want to die – DIE.

    In Great Britain, Russia, Greece and many other countries guns are banned. How often do you hear about school shootings there? Can you relate one to another? This country is so good at statistics, can you see the correlation? It is inevitable! I am afraid to admit but to my believe politicians might depend on gun makers, seems like they are doing anything to allow them making billions of dollars despite of the deaths. Or maybe they worry about people loosing their jobs?!? Well, allow drugs and a lot of people will get the jobs, but less will be shot.
    I speak to different people and most agree that guns should be outlawed. Why are we not being heard? In Switzerland, if there is a big public concern they hold referendums (they don’t combine them with local or federal elections and include 20 additional confusingly stated questions, they make it a single issue referendum) and it will be known what people think (you do not have to wrongly speak for them) no matter what big buck gun makers “whisper” and trying to tell the public like “it is not guns, it is the people” – NO!!! It is GUNS!!! If they were not accessible, there would be 90% less shootings.
    I hate watching politicians and other people saying “Oh, such a tragedy, we are with those who lost… they did not even started their lives…” BS! Do something, so you do not have to pronounce these empty phrases!!! Change it now to protect us in the future!
    The United States is a multicultural and multi religion highly populated country (it is not Finland with 5 mln same religion, same culture people) and if the changes will not be made immediately there are more shootings to come. Ahh, so upset with the government inactivity on such a vital issue…..

    December 15, 2012 at 2:32 am |