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The Hill's Congress Blog: "Sandy Hook, two years later: Steps we must take"

12/17/2014 News Release Image

The Hill's Congress Blog: "Sandy Hook, two years later: Steps we must take"

The recently released report by Connecticut’s Office of the Child Advocate describes a trajectory toward unimaginable tragedy – lost lives of twenty young children and those of the educators who tried to protect them two years ago on December 14th, writes Andrea Spencer, dean of Pace University’s School of Education, an educational consultant to the Center for Children’s Advocacy and co-author of “Shooting At Sandy Hook Elementary School.” Investigation of this trajectory was commissioned by Connecticut’s Child Fatality Review Panel, conducted by experts from psychology, psychiatry, social work, education and advocacy. The result is a document that details the life of AL, the perpetrator of the Sandy Hook shootings. Amidst a welter of informational sources, the panel struggled to comprehend and then to communicate the complexities of systems failures that emerged. These failures left untreated a desperately damaged and severely mentally ill individual who brought about unparalleled devastation in the lives of school, families and the Newtown community. What remedies might diminish the potential for similar disasters? The report provides many important recommendations. However, among these, school records were one key source of insights into the circumstances and lost opportunities that defined AL’s withdrawal into isolation and violence. From an educational perspective, what lessons might be learned?  

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