Sandy Hook takes steps to recovery



By Ashley Titler
Circulation Editor

Since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn. on Dec. 14, the community has been grieving the loss of students and teachers. Surviving students and teachers returned to the classroom on Jan. 3, almost a month after the shooting. School resumed at Chalk Hill School in a neighboring community but was renamed in honor of Sandy Hook. “The change is appropriate because we are still the Sandy Hook family,” Newtown Schools Superintendent Janet Robinson said the day before school resumed.

Chalk Hill Middle School was renovated to help make the transition of going back to school as easy as possible for students and teachers after experiencing such a travesty at their old school. Signs and banners lined the streets for the children to see while on their way to their new school. Some belongings such as desks and backpacks that were left at Sandy Hook after the shooting were brought to the new school to instill a sense of comfort and familiarity for the students. Counselors said that it is necessary for children to get back into a normal routine despite all they have encountered and for parents and teachers to provide reassurance and comfort to the students as they begin to adjust.

Now that school has resumed for students and teachers of Sandy Hook Elementary people are debating what should be done with the building where the shooting took place. Some believe that Sandy Hook should be demolished entirely, others think that just the locations where the shooting took place should be destroyed, and some think the school should be fixed but left standing.

Parents opposing the demolition are arguing that destroying the building will not erase what happened. The building is not just a building to the students, it is their school. “The Sandy Hook Elementary School is their school. It is not the world’s school. It is not Newtown’s school. We cannot pretend it never happened, but I am not prepared to ask my children to run and hide. You can’t take away their school,” mother of two surviving children Audrey Bart said.

Those encouraging the demolition of Sandy Hook Elementary School could not imagine ever sending their children back to the place where the shooting took place. The students are having a difficult time feeling safe in the new school where there are high security measures being taken. These parents are concerned that sending their children back to the place where the shooting occurred is dangerous for their well-being.

“I know there are children who were there who want to go back, but the reality is, I’ve been to the new school where the kids are now, and we have to be so careful just walking through the halls. They are still so scared,” mother Stephanie Carson said.

The first meeting held discussing the future of Sandy Hook Elementary School drew in a crowd of about 200 people. A second meeting regarding the issue has been scheduled for Jan. 18. Town officials are setting up private meetings with the families of victims’ to get their input.