The Tragedy at Newtown

The nation mourned this week, following the deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown, CT., that took the lives of 20 children and six school staff members. And the nation will continue to mourn even as police investigators and educators try to understand not just what happened, but why…

President Obama’s memorial speech at Newtown

An excerpt:

To all the families, first responders, to the community of Newtown, clergy, guests — Scripture tells us:  “…do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away…inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.  For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.”


Resources for parents after traumatic events

A helpful guide, including tips on how to talk to your children about the Newtown massacre.


Resources for schools after traumatic events

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan reviews the guides and plans available from the department to help school personnel deal with, and recover from, traumas like the Newtown massacre.


And finally, an important study of school shootings

Though the mourning is just beginning, the investigation of the massacre is also just beginning.  This 2002 report by the U.S. Secret Service, a study of school shootings and other school-based attacks conducted in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education, must be reviewed by all educators and policymakers. In fact, it had been studied by Newtown police, who rushed into the school building — rather than wait outside as law enforcement personnel did at Columbine — and no doubt saved dozens of lives by confronting the gunman, who shot himself.

As the report says: “The study examined school shootings in the United States as far back as 1974, through the end of the school year in 2000, analyzing a total of 37 incidents involving 41 student attackers. The study involved extensive review of police records, school records, court documents, and other source materials, and included interviews with 10 school shooters. The focus of the study was on developing information about the school shooters’s pre-attack behaviors and communications. The goal was to identify information about a school shooting that may be identifiable or noticeable before the shooting occurs, to help inform efforts to prevent school-based attacks.”

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