Newtown weighs fate of school

2013-01-14 13:59
26 teddy bears, each representing a victim of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn. (David Goldman, AP)

26 teddy bears, each representing a victim of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn. (David Goldman, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Video

Newtown children back to school

2013-01-03 15:39

Almost three weeks after the school-shooting in Newtown the pupils go back to school.WATCH

Newtown - Talk about Sandy Hook Elementary School is turning from last month's massacre to the future, with differing opinions on whether students and staff should ever return to the building where a gunman killed 20 students and six educators.

Some Newtown residents say the school should be demolished and a memorial built on the property in honour of those killed on 14 December.

Others believe the school should be renovated and the areas where the killings occurred removed. That's what happened at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, after the 1999 mass shooting there.

Those appear to be the two prevailing proposals as the community begins discussing the school's fate.

A public meeting on the building's future drew about 200 people to Newtown High School on Sunday afternoon, with another meeting set for Friday. Town officials also are planning private meetings with the victims' families to get their input.

Mixed opinions

Sunday's meeting was an emotional gathering with many speaking in favour of keeping the school.

Although opinions were mixed, most agreed that the Sandy Hook children and teachers should stay together. They've been moved to a school building about 11km away in a neighbouring town that has been renamed Sandy Hook Elementary School.

"I have two children who had everything taken from them," said Audrey Bart, who has two children at Sandy Hook who weren't injured in the shooting. "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."

But fellow Sandy Hook parent Stephanie Carson said she couldn't imagine ever sending her son back to the building.

"I know there are children who were there who want to go back," Carson said. "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."

Mergim Bajraliu, a senior at Newtown High School, attended Sandy Hook, and his sister is a fourth-grader there. He said the school should stay as it is, and a memorial for the victims should be built there.

"We have our best childhood memories at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and I don't believe that one psychopath - who I refuse to name - should get away with taking away any more than he did on 14 December," he said.

Police said Adam Lanza, 20, killed his mother at the home they shared in Newtown before opening fire with a semiautomatic rifle at the school and killing himself as police arrived.

Dilemma

Residents of towns where mass shootings occurred have grappled with the same dilemma. Some have renovated, some have demolished.

Columbine High School, where two student gunmen killed 12 schoolmates and a teacher, reopened several months afterward. Crews removed the library, where most of the victims died, and replaced it with an atrium.

On an island in Norway where 69 people - more than half of them teenagers attending summer camp - were killed by a gunman in 2011, extensive remodelling is planned. The main building, a cafeteria where 13 of the victims died, will be torn down.

Virginia Tech converted a classroom building where a student gunman killed 30 people in 2007 into a peace studies and violence prevention centre.

An Amish community in Pennsylvania tore down the West Nickel Mines Amish School and built a new school a few hundred meters away after a gunman killed five girls there in 2006.

Newtown First Selectwoman E Patricia Llodra said that in addition to the community meetings, the town is planning private gatherings with the victims' families to talk about the school's future. She said the aim is to finalise a plan by March.

"I think we have to start that conversation now," Llodra said. "It will take many, many months to do any kind of school project. We have very big decisions ahead of us. The goal is to bring our students home as soon as we can."

- AP
Read more on:    adam lanza  |  us  |  us school shooting  |  gun control
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Africa: Land of Billionaires!

Find out who are the richest of the richest in Africa!

 
 

Men24.com

Goalkeeper saves five penalties with his FACE!
Hottie of the day: Jesselyn
This invention makes farts smell like chocolate!
11 things men don’t know about their clothes

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

24 hour sale – Up to 70% off

Its black Friday, save up to 70% on a wide range of awesome products at kalahari.com. Offers valid while stocks last. T&C’s apply. Shop now!

Save up to 60% on toys!

Don’t miss out on this hot offer, save up to 60% on toys. While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Grandiose ideas and plans can trip you up today. Keep things in context and take one step at a time....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.