Healing from trauma takes mental health professionals, support of family and friends, and architecture? Sandy Hook did just that.
Sandy Hook school design was like many other schools across the country built in that time period; lots of brick, rectangular glass, cold steel. Very austere.
What was created in those months, was nothing more than magic. By erasing the horrific past, a phoenix rose from the proverbial ashes in design, light and color!
“Newtown decided it was best to demolish the Sandy Hook school and erect a new building on the same property. The town organized a search to find an architect to design it on a tight 20-month schedule, using $50 million given to the town by the state of Connecticut.” – Courtesy of Architect Magazine
After interviewing numerous architectural firms, the community decided on Svigals + Partners’. The importance of community, textures, shapes, nature, color, functionality, but most importantly the design is to lift the hearts and minds. The uplifting of spirit started from the get-go.
“I’m thinking all these architects are going to come in with stuffy suits and tell us how it’s going to be done,” remembers Anzellotti, who’s been a custodian with the school system in Newtown for 15 years. “At the very first meeting we sat there and they went to each person individually, in front of everybody, and said, ‘What did this school represent to you? What does this town represent to you?’ I thought that was pretty cool. Everybody shouted out ideas. They didn’t knock anything down, they just listened to everybody.” –Courtesy of Architect Magazine
Svigals insists, “We can’t remember who made any of the decisions. It was so collectivized. For instance, Sandy Hook, which is a small village within the larger municipality of Newtown, is knit together by a series of footbridges across the Pootatuck River. The river and the bridges were one of the things many of the townspeople said they loved.”
Taking inspiration from the surrounding nature, the footbridge motif was created for the school. To enter the school you’ll have to cross 1 of 3 footbridges, a design that also ensures that everyone is forced to approach the building along 1 of 3 well-watched pathways. Simple calculations to the building’s overall design to address security concerns. The approach to security, according to McFadden, was driven by a concept called Criminal Prevention Through Environmental Design, which stresses openness and clear sightlines over ‘bunker-building’.
The final interior design is nothing short of awe-inspiring!
In the last 11 decades, scientific studies have proven that human-environment-reaction in the architectural environment is, to a large percentage, based on the sensory perception of color. In short, it confirms that human response to color is total – it influences us psychologically and physiologically. One of the most amazing results concerning color, is its consistency cross-culturally and around the globe. From women to men, adults to children, and even monkeys to humans, show that color is an international language understood by all.
The end result back at Sandy Hook Elementary is a fascinating study in what happens when an architecture firm invests its ego not in the formal attributes of its buildings, but in the quality of its community collaboration with all the people, young and old, who will use them.
Or as Anzellotti puts it, “It’s almost like we worked for them. That’s how they made us feel. It was really comfortable.”
Jacob believes age is just a number.
This 17 yr old Senior is planning to run for Mesa’s District 3 City Council seat. This isn’t his first go at running for office. At the very young age of 9, Martinez circulated a petition in his elementary school to provide better lunch options. He has already served on the student council since elementary school, elected as student body president at every school he has attended. And to boot, was chairman of the Arizona Teenage Republicans. Impresssive, right?
Jacob Martinez also helped register more than 200 voting-age students HIMSELF. And that’s not all, last year, as a junior, he became involved in the March For Our Lives, a wonderful student activism group for stricter gun laws in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. That one shooting left 17 students and staff dead. March for Our Lives held protests at the state Capitol last Spring, hosted a town hall for gubernatorial candidates in August and so many more events.
“It’s my generation that’s going to be impacted by the decisions that are being made now. We’re the ones that are going to have to face the repercussions and it’s better that we get in there now rather than later.” -Jacob M.
On February 14, 2018, while a Senior at Stoneman Douglas in Parkland, Florida, David Hogg was on campus when a 19 yr old former student at the high school started shooting with a semi-automatic rifle after pulling the fire alarm. David was in his AP environmental science class. He heard the ‘pop’ repeating in the hall, that ‘sounded like gunshots.’ David and other students tried to exit the building, but a janitor instructed the students to go back into the classroom. David credits the janitor for saving their lives. The group of students were unaware that were about to head right towards the shooter. A culinary arts teacher pulled him, as well as other students into a closet. That would change anyone’s life.
David took to social media and used his cell phone to record the scene and to interview the other students hiding in the closet, to leave a record in the event that they did not survive the shooting. That’s powerful.
David’s life changed. As so many other’s did that day. Hogg emerged as a leader in the 2018 United States gun violence protests. Along with Alfonso Calderon, Sarah Chadwick, Emma González, Cameron Kasky and other students, he turned to the media to talk as survivors of the shooting and started using his voice on gun control and gun violence issues. He has called on elected officials to pass gun control measures and has been a vocal critic of officials who take donations from the NRA, and he has been urging them to compromise on legislation to save lives.
This is just the tip of the iceberg for Hogg, he has helped lead several high-profile protests, marches, and boycotts. With his sister, (who also survived the Parkland shooting), he wrote a book titled #NeverAgain: A New Generation Draws the Line that made the New York Times bestseller list. And if that wasn’t enough, they have pledged to donate all income from the book to charity.
“What if we taxed guns, made a gun registration process for them and had licensing for owners just like cars? We could use that money to help harden soft targets like schools and many other places with bulletproof windows and doors.” — David Hogg via Twitter
“I don’t remember exactly when I found out Carmen Schentrup was dead. Carmen and I became friends in middle school. We had science together. …We rode the bus together every day after school… At her birthday parties everyone would eat pizza and watch a movie in the Schentrups’ living room, and then after the movie we would all just talk — about school, politics, life. I still have one of her party invitations taped up on my mirror. I found out she was dead on Feb. 15. I think it was the 15th — that’s when The Miami Herald released the names of those who had been killed the day before in the shooting at my high school, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, in Parkland, Fla. I’d thought she’d only been injured. I remember thinking that very clearly; she has only been injured, don’t worry about her. “ shared Emma with The New York Times
Surviving a horrific event such as this and at the same time, discovering best friends, close acquaintances, teachers, staff and lost friends died, how would that effect YOU?
It changed Emma.
3 days after the shooting, on February 17, 2018, González gave an 11-minute speech in front of the Broward County Courthouse at a gun control rally in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. In the speech she pledged to pressure lawmakers to change the law. “We are going to be the last mass shooting,” Emma proclaimed. “That’s going to be Marjory Stoneman Douglas in that textbook, and it’s all going to be due to the tireless efforts of the school board, the faculty members, the family members and most importantly the students.” The most quoted part of her speech was “We call B.S.” Emma is also a part of March for our Lives advocate group. Also has had many articles published by The New York Times and Harpers Bazaar.
“The people in the government who are voted into power are lying to us … And us kids seem to be the only ones who notice and are prepared to call B.S.” – Emma González
“It has been months since the shooting. But whenever one of my friends finds an old picture of someone who died that day, or another shooting happens, or I hear helicopters or one too many loud bangs in one day, it all starts to slip. It feels like I’m back at the vigil, in the hot Florida sun, with volunteers handing out water bottles to replenish what the sun and sadness had taken away. Looking for friends and finding them, hugging them, saying, “I love you.” Looking for friends and not finding them.” –Emma G. via The New York Times
These are just three amazing individuals that have suffered tragedy and are trying to make a difference in the world they live in. True phoenixes from ashes of horrific events. There are SO MANY more amazing young people stepping up and showing us how to change the world for the better. Inspiring, indeed.
458 page report just released. Bottom line?
Teachers should be armed. Not less guns, more guns. Yeah, say that out loud. This is not the solution, but let’s hear more.
Is that the solution?
“So what are we saying to people—we’re not going to allow you to defend yourself, we’re not going to allow you to defend the kids—why? Because of some ideology that we don’t like guns? Anyone who thinks they’re going to get rid of guns is crazy,” Gualtieri said. “It isn’t going to happen. We’ve got to do something differently and people should be able to protect themselves.” Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, chairman of the commission.
When the report was released, students, teachers and parents passionately disagreed. Currently, Florida schools are already allowed, under present law, to arm some employees, such as resource officers and/or administrators.
“As a student attending school in Florida, I am appalled that the commission that was established to make schools in our state safer is recommending teachers carry guns,” Juliana Simone Carrasco, a student and volunteer with Students Demand Action said, according to The Guardian.
“I don’t want my teachers to be armed, I want my elected leaders to pass policies to keep guns out of the hands of people with dangerous intentions to begin with.”
A program already in trial, is training teachers to carry weapons. It’s called the Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program, named after the coach who protected students during the Parkland attack. Students vehemently object to the program being named after the coach. The Broward County School Board voted against the program.
“The report carries many other recommendations, including allowing school districts to increase taxes in order to raise money for school security, and requiring mental health providers to notify authorities if a patient threatens anyone. The report also sharply criticizes law enforcement officials who failed to stop the attack. “ – Courtesy of Splinter News
The report recommends that Florida “expand the guardian program to allow teachers… to carry concealed firearms on campuses for self-protection, and the protection of other staff and students in response to an active assailant incident.”Board members say it’s unlikely that the Broward County School Board will approve the recommendation this time around.
“I am very concerned about arming teachers,” school board member Robin Bartleman told the Sun-Sentinel. “I think it’s a discussion we need to have with the community. I have not found many people in favor of this. The overwhelming response I get is people don’t want teachers with guns.” – Courtesy of Splinter News
Teachers chose this profession to teach. TO educate. To bestow knowledge. Not to be substitute law enforcement. Let’s leave the guns to the trained professionals, and encourage knowledge, remove the threat and let teachers educate our children. The law currently states teachers aren’t allowed to be armed, except current military members, those with law enforcement experience and ROTC instructors.
“The report is not the commission’s final act. It is impaneled until 2023. It will identify areas requiring further investigation and make additional recommendations. Despite the traumatic impact of the massacre, the report says many entities, such as school districts, have been slow to make changes.” -courtesy of The Sun Sentinel
The earliest known school shooting in the United States on school property was, the Pontiac’s Rebellion school massacre on July 26, 1764,
4 Lenape American Indian entered the schoolhouse (near present-day Greencastle, Pennsylvania), shot and killed schoolmaster Enoch Brown, killed 9-10 children (varying reports) and only two children survived the massacre.
Starting in the mid-1800’s school shooting started to become more prevalent. 1853, 67, 68, 73, 79, 84 and the list goes on.
What has changed in the present day events is the amount of deaths per shooting. In the 1800-early 1900’s shootings, one to 3 people were shot and not all ended in death.
Today, the U.S. statistics are staggering.
Annual numbers look like this:
1992-1993 (44 Homicides & 55 Deaths resulting from school shootings)
1993-1994 (42 Homicides & 51 Deaths resulting from school shootings)
1994-1995 (17 Homicides & 20 Deaths resulting from school shootings)
1995-1996 (29 Homicides & 35 Deaths resulting from school shootings)
1996-1997 (23 Homicides & 25 Deaths resulting from school shootings)
1997-1998 (35 Homicides & 40 Deaths resulting from school shootings)
1998-1999 (25 Homicides from school shootings in the U.S.)
1999-2000 (25 Homicides from school shootings in the U.S.)
2000-2001 (19 Deaths resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
2001-2002 (4 Deaths resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
2002-2003 (14 Deaths resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
2003-2004 (29 Deaths resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
2004-2005 (20 Deaths resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
2005-2006 (5 Deaths resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
2006-2007 (38 Deaths resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
2007-2008 (3 Deaths resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
2008-2009 (10 Deaths resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
2009-2010 (5 Deaths resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
-courtesy of https://www.k12academics.com/
2011 (5 Deaths, 13 injured resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
2012 (41 Deaths 16 injured resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
2013 (17 Deaths 34 injured resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
2014 (15 Deaths 36 injured resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
2015 (20 Deaths 41 injured resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
2016 (10 Deaths 15 injured resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
2017 (17 Deaths 28 injured resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
And currently in 2018 44 Deaths and 81 injured resulting from school shootings in the U.S. -courtesy of Wikipedia
What are similarities of the shooters?
When interviewed by authorities, shooters often told investigators that alienation or persecution drove them to violence. Instead of looking for traits, Secret Service urges all adults to ask about behavior:
1. What has this child said?
2. Do they have grievances?
3. What do their friends know?
4. Do they have access to weapons?
5. Are they depressed or despondent?
One “trait” that has not yet attracted as much attention is the gender difference: nearly all school shootings are perpetrated by young males. Is violence gender specific?
Only 2 female school shooting incidents have been documented. – courtesy of https://www.k12academics.com/school-shootings
With each new shooting, we have to ask the important question, how can we do the most to protect our children, our educators, our future from murdered?