Teachers remember Sandy Hook

Keira Leitner, Staff Writer

On Dec. 14, 2012, Sandy Hook Elementary School was attacked by twenty-year- old Adam Lanza. Twenty-six lives were taken that day. 

“I remember the devastation I felt and the empathy that I had for the teachers, parents, and students that endured that horrific act of terror.  My heart broke for those that lost their lives,” teacher Joni Giles said. 

“I do remember that it was the first time I had to talk to students about active shooters.  Right after it happened the principal made each teacher talk to students about active shooter scenarios.  It was terrible. I couldn’t talk about it without crying,” Biology teacher Jennifer Tumlin said. 

Every day teachers are given the responsibility to look after their students. Witnessing what happened to Sandy Hook Elementary caused many to be very anxious about their loved ones. 

“My older two children were young, but old enough to be in school and ask questions.  I remember wanting to shield them from the reality of what happened and to protect them as much as I could,” teacher Julie Headrick said.

The reactions  from around the world was one of disgust to  this act of violence. Parents from all around the country wanted to help those that were affected  in Sandy Hook, Connecticut. 

I talked with Mrs. Headrick and Mrs. Staszak and said we need to help out some way.  We decided to collect money to send to the school to help in any way needed.  Mr. Obney played music in the Rotunda while students donated to hear their favorite song.  We also sent our officers to collect from each academy,  “ Giles said.

Tallmadge High School donated nearly $500 to Sandy Hook Elementary in 2013. 

Mark Barden, Nicole Hockly and Tim Makris are all founders of Sandy Hook Promise. Sandy Hook Promise is a nonprofit organization that trains students and adults to know the different signs of gun violence. 

Barden lost his first grader Daniel. After Daniel’s passing Barden decided to channel his grief into a group for gun control. Barden was determined to be a voice for gun control.

Eight years later, the anniversary of the event reignites the feelings from that day.

“I can’t think about it without my chest hurting or thinking about my own little guy in first grade right now. They are too little to have to worry about that kind of evil,“ teacher Arene Staszak said.  “It hurts my heart even now to think about the parents who lost their children that day.”