Category Archives: Sandy Hook

Daughter of Slain Sandy Hook Principal Feels Betrayed by Boughton’s Decision to Split from Anti Gun Group

by Categorized: Gun control, Mark Boughton, Sandy Hook Date:

Erica Lafferty, the daughter of slain Sandy Hook Elementary School Principal Dawn Hochsprung, said politics prompted Mark Boughton to withdraw from Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

“My mom and my family have strong ties to Danbury – it was where my mother held her first school administration job and I know it is a place that was dear to her heart.  That’s why I feel betrayed to learn that Mayor Boughton is putting his personal political ambitions ahead of the safety of Connecticut families.  In fact, the tagline for his campaign is ‘People over Politics’ – but the only people that this decision serves are gun lobbyists,” Lafferty said in a statement.


“We need leaders who have the courage to stand up to the gun lobby and who support common-sense reforms that respect rights while protecting people – that’s what Mayors Against Illegal Guns supports and fights for,” added Lafferty, who is an outreach associate for Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

“Our state has been devastated by gun violence and we will remind voters of this betrayal of our trust when it comes time to cast votes,” she said.

White House to Honor Newtown High School Senior

by Categorized: Gun control, Newtown, Sandy Hook Date:

Newtown High School senior Sarah Clements is one of nine grassroots leaders who will be honored this week at the White House.

Clements is the founder and chairwoman for Jr. Newtown Action Alliance, and has been a forceful advocate for gun-violence prevention efforts. Clements\’ mother survived the December 14, 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Clements is also a gun violence prevention volunteer at Generation Progress, the youth advocacy branch of the Center for American Progress. She has helped build a national network of young people working on gun violence prevention on high school and college campuses.

Clements will be honored by President Obama Thursday as a \”Champion of Change.\”

In addition to Clements, President Obama is also honoring another Newtown resident: Mark Barden, whose son Daniel was one of 26 people killed in the Sandy Hook shooting.


Lawmakers Ponder New School Security Standards

by Categorized: Education, Mark Boughton, Public Safety, Sandy Hook Date:

\"photoConnecticut lawmakers are considering a bill that would set standards for school security officers.

Senate Bill 98 would require minimum training levels for security personnel who are not current or retired police officers. The standards would be developed in consultation with the state Department of Education and include training on drug detection and gang identification.

\”There\’s no uniform standard,\’\’ Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton told members of the legislature\’s public safety committee, which held a hearing on the proposal this morning. \”Certainly establishing those standards…is something that the state ought to consider.\”

The 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown prompted many school districts to assess their public safety plans. At least one Connecticut town installed armed guards at its schools.

Boughton said many communities chose not to have armed guards and cannot afford to assign a police officer to each of their schools.

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Malloy To Make School Security Announcement

by Categorized: 2014 Election, General Assembly, Newtown, Sandy Hook Date:

We\’re nearing the General Assembly\’s 2014 session, so it\’s time for all the new funding proposals. Today, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor today will announce a plan to improve security at the state\’s public schools. Protecting schools and improving mental health services are expected to be big issues this session. The announcement is in New Haven, by the way, a city critical to Gov. Malloy\’s re-election bid.



Secretary of the State Dedicates 2013 Blue Book To All 26 Sandy Hook Victims

by Categorized: Newtown, Sandy Hook Date:

Within days of the first anniversary of the Newtown massacre, the state\’s 2013 \”Blue Book\’\’ has been dedicated to all 26 victims at the Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, who oversees the book\’s annual publication, included photos of all victims, including the six educators and 20 first-graders who were killed by shooter Adam Lanza.

\”It is with a heavy heart that I somberly dedicate the 2013 Connecticut State Register and Manual to the victims of the unspeakable horror that took place in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown on Friday December 14, 2012,” Merrill wrote in the book.  “We dedicate this publication to the bravery of their sacrifice and the flower of their youth.  We dedicate it as a permanent memorial to the courageous staff at the school who gave their lives doing everything they could until the last to protect the children in their care.\’\’

Merrill added, \”And we dedicate it to forever remember the amazing, bright, beautiful children who were lost – whose energy still brightens all of our days, who walked with us here on this earth for just a short time, but whose lives have touched so many millions and will always carry such meaning.  You were taken from us too soon, but not in vain.  May your memories forever be a blessing.  And, may such a tragedy never happen again.” Continue reading

Deal With Unions Brings 40 Hours Of Comp Time For Sandy Hook Responders

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Gov. Dannel Malloy, Newtown, Sandy Hook Date:

In an agreement with six unions, the state is awarding 40 hours of compensatory time for state employees who were directly involved in the response to last year\’s tragic shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

Gov. Dannel Malloy announced the agreement Wednesday after many first-responders had taken vacation and sick time following the killings of 20 first-graders and six female educators by troubled shooter Adam Lanza.

“The men and women directly involved in the response to this horrible tragedy in many cases needed time to recover from the severe nature of what they experienced through simply doing their jobs,” Malloy said in a statement.  “This is only one step, but it is important that we recognize the professionals who are there during unimaginable moments of difficulty, and that we continue to support them.”

The agreement was crafted by the state\’s labor relations office in conjunction with the unions, including AFSCME, A&R, CSEA, District 1199, the Connecticut State Police Union, and the Connecticut Police and Fire Union.  The deal will also cover non-union employees who are eligible.

“This was a crime of unprecedented scope in our state that produced an unprecedented level of trauma for so many who were involved in the response,” Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman said in a statement.  “Crediting these men and women with compensatory time is one way we can thank them for their professionalism and dedication to duty during an event that required them to put their own emotions on hold in order to do their job helping others.” Continue reading

School Security Survey: Nearly 90 Percent Of K-12 Schools Nationwide Made Changes Post-Newtown

by Categorized: Education, Sandy Hook Date:

A Campus Safety Magazine survey on school security found that 88 percent of schools nationwide modified safety procedures after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown last December.

Researchers polled K-12 schools and school districts nationwide. Of the 88 percent of respondents who said they already implemented or intend to implement new safety policies in response to Newtown, 41 percent said they intend to make or have made \”many changes\” and 47 percent said they will make or have already made \”some altercations.\”

The response in hospitals and institutions of higher education was noticeable but not as significant, with 52 percent saying that they made or will make changes to security policy after Newtown.

In Connecticut, the changes have ranged from armed guards to door buzzers, and some districts spent up to $300,000 to make their schools safer.

Sandy Hook Promise Reboot: Focus On Parents

by Categorized: Gun control, Newtown, Sandy Hook Date:

Sandy Hook Promise, a coalition of Newtown residents and family members from Sandy Hook Elementary School, will now emphasize educating and organizing parents.

The group received wide attention when it brought Sandy Hook parents to Washington to lobby for stricter gun control. Now the group says it is beginning \”Parent Together\” and  planning a renewed effort to

… educate and empower parents to prevent gun violence in their communities. Emphasizing mental wellness, connection to community and gun safety, the campaign will bring parents together around their common love for all children to help prevent not just the next Sandy Hook tragedy, but also thousands of other acts of gun violence every year.


Sandy Hook Mom Backs Gun Control But Doesn\’t Want Crime Scene Photos Used to Support The Cause

by Categorized: Gun control, Sandy Hook Date:

Nicole Hockley, whose son Dylan was among the 20 children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School, came to the state Capitol complex Wednesday to make a case that 911 recordings and other documents related to the shooting be protected from public scrutiny.


\”Crime scene pictures that are currently protected need to stay protected and I ask that that same protection be extended to the 911 calls,\’\’ Hockley told the Task Force on Victim Privacy and the Public\’s Right. There are, she added, \”no lessons to be learned about what each adult and child looked like after receiving multiple gunshot wounds…there is no warranted need for this information.\’\’

But Hockley said she did hear from one person who made a case that there was a compelling public interest in releasing crime scene photos.

\”I\’ve been told if I allowed pictures of Dylan\’s body to be made public, it would help drive stricter gun legislation,\’\’ Hockley said.

Hockley is a supporter of tougher gun control laws, but she rejects the idea of using crime scene photos to advance the cause. She believes her son ought to be remembered as he was in life, a dark-haired boy with the sweet smile, and not as the victim with five gunshot wounds to his head and torso.


\”I am an advocate of sensible solutions,\’\’ Hockley told the panel. \”But I will only ever show pictures of my boy as he was and as he should be remembered. I believe the love I had for him and the love that parents across the country have for their children is enough to help make these changes happen.\”

Newspapers Virtually Never Publish Gruesome Crime-Scene Photographs

by Categorized: Connecticut, Crime, Newtown, Sandy Hook, State of Connecticut Date:

Newspapers routinely have access to gruesome crime scene photographs, but they are \’\'virtually never published,\’\’ a retired newspaper editor testified Wednesday.

G. Claude Albert, a longtime editor at The Hartford Courant who testified as the legislative chair of the Connecticut Council of Freedom of Information, said that no gruesome photos were published following the multiple homicides at the Connecticut Lottery Corp. in Newington and at a beer distributor in Manchester.

In addition, newspapers did not publish gruesome shots from the Boston Marathon bombings, even though professional photographers were at the scene within seconds because they had been waiting near the finish line at the famed race.

\”It does demonstrate that there is restraint\’\’ by newspapers, Albert told a special legislative task force that is trying to strike a balance between the public\’s right to know and victim\’s privacy.

The task force was created following the massacre in the Sandy Hook section of Newtown, where 20 children and six female educators were killed by shooter Adam Lanza on December 14, 2012. Many of the parents of the children were concerned about crime-scene photographs and 911 tapes being released in the Newtown case. Local officials in Newtown have also been concerned about the release of death certificates, which have less information than autopsy reports.

\”Connecticut death certificates are public records,\’\’ Albert said. \”The public is entitled to look at them. They\’re entitled to copy them. Any public official who withholds them is violating the Freedom of Information Act.\’\’

The difference between Newtown and the Boston Marathon was that the police controlled the entire crime scene inside the school in Newtown and no photographers were allowed inside. At the marathon, photographers were already at the scene and there were no restrictions on which pictures could be taken or where the photographers could go.

Albert chatted back and forth with Chief State\’s Attorney Kevin T. Kane, who acknowledged that the 17-member panel is seeking to reach a balance with victim privacy.

\”This is a troubling issue, and that\’s why we need help – and you have highlighted it,\’\’ Kane said. \”I hope you can help us. Your observations have been good, and we can use some more.\’\’ Continue reading