Heroic Teachers, Staff Protected Children During CT Mass School Shooting
In the wake of yesterday’s horrific Connecticut elementary school shooting—which left 27 people dead, including 20 children—investigators are still trying to make sense of the timeline of events, let alone any possible motives. Many stories have now emerged about the heroic teachers and staff who were able to protect their students—and that includes several adults who sacrificed their lives to do so.
Not all of the victim’s names have been released yet (they are expected to be released sometime this morning), but at least three of the six adults who were killed during the tragedy have been identified as 47-year-old Principal Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung, 56-year-old school psychologist Mary Sherlach, and 27-year-old first grade teacher Victoria Soto. According to the Times, Hochsprung buzzed alleged shooter Adam Lanza into the school after she recognized him as the son of Nancy Lanza, believed to be a substitute teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
School therapist Diane Day told the Wall Street Journal that staff members had been in a meeting when the violence began. “We were there for about five minutes chatting and we heard, ‘pop pop pop,’ ” she said. “I went under the table.” Hochsprung and Sherlach both went toward the sound of the shooting: “They didn’t think twice about confronting or seeing what was going on,” Day said. “At first we heard a bunch of kids scream, and then it was just quiet and all you could hear was the shooting.” Both women were reportedly fatally shot execution-style, like many of the victims.
Day said another teacher, who hasn’t been identified, pressed her body against the door to hold it shut. She was shot through the door in the leg and arm. “She was our hero,” Day said. An eight-year-old student told CBS that another teacher pulled him from the hallway as bullets were flying by. “I saw some of the bullets going down the hall that I was right next to and then a teacher pulled me into her classroom,” he said.
A cousin of first grade teacher Soto told ABC that she died trying to save her students: “The family was informed that she was trying to shield, get her children into a closet and protect them from harm, and by doing that put herself between the gunman and the children,” Jim Wiltsie said. “And that’s when she was tragically shot and killed…It brings peace to know that Vicki was doing what she loved, protecting the children,” he said. “And in our eyes, she is a hero.”
Music teacher Maryrose Kristopik told the News she barricaded her class of 15 kids in a cupboard, where she held them close and talked to them gently. “We hid in a closet, we stayed quiet, we held hands, we hugged,” she said. “I tried to talk to them calmly.” While they were inside, Lanza reportedly stood outside banging on the door and screaming, “Let me in! Let me in!”
First-grade teacher Kaitlin Roig told ABC a similar story: she hid her 14 students (ages 6 and 7) in the class restroom, with some atop the toilet so everyone could fit, and then moved a storage unit in front of the door. She instructed them “to be absolutely quiet.” “If they started crying, I would take their face and tell them, ‘It’s going to be OK,’ ” she said. “I wanted that to be the last thing they heard, not the gunfire in the hall.”
The NY Times, Patch, The Guardian UK and Daily News all have profiles of Hochsprung, who was described as a beloved principal who was dedicated to her school. “She was not the kind of principal I remembered as a kid,” Diane Licata, the mother of a first grader and a second grader at the school, told the Times. “She really reached out to the students and made them feel comfortable with her. She definitely took that extra step.”
Katie Singley, who was friends with Hochsprung for eight years, told Patch she was a selfless and protective person: “Dawn, she was like your mother, your friend, your grandmother, your teacher, your protector, everything all in one,” Singley recalled. “She was the best person to have on your side.”
Friends and family also remembered Sherlach, who was preparing to retire after the school year. “When somebody had a personal tragedy in their lives that affected their children, then Mary would be a part of trying to help them come up with a solution for that child,” Lillian Bittman, former chairwoman of the Newtown Board of Education, told the Times.
how is jon doing that
more importantly: how do i become that baby
all i want is to write and possibly star in an amazing tv show where everyone is awesome and there’s a baby and i can touch cute boys in comfy sweaters with their consent. that can’t be too much to ask for.
We sit here
Licking the fire off our thumbs
Pretending we’ve hurt like this before
Pretending we’ve buried our lines deep enough
To never cross them
That we’ve mourned our old skin
But we are rusting playground
Believing our fallen swings will never know sky
Will never cradle the youth we think we deserved
So we smoke our lungs black
And forget that we’re still growing—
Maybe not evergreen, but our roots know better than we
How much we can weather before
Our bark gets the better of us
So aim your chin a little higher, loverboy
Test the wind’s patience and lose
Lose like a flower being shepherded by a river’s current
Find that you are everywhere and never lost
Then teach me how my palms are an altar you wish to pray at—
But you never reached for me
So I could never reach back
Quiet like a sweeping winter
As tides bellow us to bleed something
Prove to each other how shattered reflection we both are
But we’re scared
I shouldn’t speak for you, but I know you’re scared
You only ever look at my knees
And their shaky restlessness—
You don’t want to see how much I see you
Last night, I found you in the white noise
Of exhaust and tequila tongues
In radiator heat and aging floorboards
And I’ve never felt more at home
You are the ringing in my bones, and I don’t want to shake you
Even if it means only looking at you
Through tinted glass
I will never regret the days I have missed you
All 247 days
Dreaming in red signs and lightning storms
So I know somewhere there is a war
And faith isn’t always winning
But it’s putting up a hell of a fight
So the least we can do
Is stop acting like hope is a bruise we get
When we’ve fallen enough times
There is truth in the way you pick at the stone in me
You know you can’t break through my walls
But you know I would tear them down if you asked me to
And I want you to ask me to
Enough hands have gifted me maybes and scars and turned backs
And I too have known how mistrust can harden a heart
But I need to know if there is room for me
Somewhere in your thoughts
That sometimes your fingers sift through words
Aching to spell your doubts
I know you’re scared
So you choose to see me through tinted glass
Never wanting to swallow the glint in my eyes
You don’t want to see how much I see you
But there is only so long we can sit here
Before we let ourselves fall
Halloween is not about being a “whore”, which is what everyone will think of you, regardless of who you are as a person, when they see you. They will see you as a sexual object. You will then treat yourself like a sexual object and expect the same from others. And if ever someone takes advantage of you, you will be slut-shamed into believing it was always only your fault. Fuck that.
Besides, the WHOLE FUN of Halloween is actually dressing up. Why not indulge in that??
Sexy referee.Sexy tiger.Sexy hamburger. Every year, Halloween costume companies offer women a host of skimpy outfits to wear on October 31st. And every year, a lot of people—concerned parents, writers at the New York Times and CNN, cable talking heads—try to convince women, especially young women, not to buy them.
“There’s always the mommy bloggers who get really angry, and then there’s people like me who get really angry,” says Rosalind Wiseman, author of Queen Bees and Wannabes and an expert on adolescent sexuality and self-esteem. But, Wiseman admits, the complaining about sexy Halloween ends with “limited success.” Young women keep buying, and wearing, suggestive costumes.
That’s probably because most of the anxiety about the sexualization of Halloween comes from adults—the very people teenagers are inclined to ignore. If sexy Halloween is going to die, girls themselves will have to kill it.
Read more. [Image: AP]