Dear School Leadership 2.0 members:

There is so little any person can say as we reflect on the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School yesterday.  Those of us in education know the regularity of school, day by day, sweet children growing under the watchful eyes of skilled, loving, and dedicated educators.  To have that routine shattered makes the whole world seem terrifying, uncertain, and frightening.

Words do not seem adequate but somehow we try to summon them to comfort others, make sense or just to cry out on the awful wrong of it all.  Perhaps the best we can do at this point in our shared grief is to offer this forum for all to express their feelings.  

Please scroll down and offer your thoughts and prayers.  They may help us all.


Michael Keany

William Brennan

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Words cannot express the sadness I feel.  I keep everyone involved in this tragedy in my thoughts and prayers.

I am so heartbroken by this tragedy. May God Bless those for all their courage in doing everything in their power to keep their students safe. I pray for all those left behind that God may grant them the strength to heal and find peace. 

Having been a Principal of an elementary school for many years, I find this to be the most tragic, unspeakable event that I have ever experienced. I am not one whom is easily brought to tears but I have found myself breaking into tears several times over the past 2 days. I can't even imagine the sorrow the families of the victims must be experiencing. Our family suffered the loss of a baby but is was due it illness, not a crazed gunman. I don't believe we will ever know why this happened and that will make any type of closure nearly impossible. I went into education to make a difference in the life of a child -- I'll step that up even more just to try and come to grips that any human being could have done this horrific act to innocent children.

EVIL.   This is the only appropriate description of the events that occurred at the Sandy Hook Elementary School yesterday.

My wife, children and I cannot even fathom the pain the families of the victims must be feeling.   There is no educational or law enforcement training that could possibly prepare anyone to handle what happened yesterday Our hearts and prayers go out to all of those affected by this horror. 

As a retired Elementary School Teacher/Principal, I am deeply touched by this horrific, sensless event. This one, due to the fact that it happened at an elementary school full of young children like mine was, makes it a particularly emotional event for me. After each school shooting event and unfortunately there have been too many others, we the principals of our district met to discuss what we can do to prevent this from happening at our schools. All the talk yielded very little. We would have to change the school into a prison to possibly prevent another assassin from carrying out this, to us sensless, act.

I have no words to tell how sad, angry or questioning I am but as was first stated, words are all we have.


How many times does this have to happen?
And each time more incomprehensible.
These were little ones, so young and innocent.
What a horror for their parents. Unimaginable.
The heroism of the educators. Indescribable.
We need to push for gun bans, forget control.
We need more access to mental health care.
Reframe the argument for gun control into one of
Public health and safety.
How many times?

Having a forum here to express our thoughts is very helpful.  Thank you for doing this.  We are the ones that others turn to for strength, and we are not always afforded  the chance to say we are speechless or sad or frightened.  We give ourselves thirty seconds to feel so (privately) and then step out to help others as we furiously blink back the tears that would come to any human being.


Although we may wish we could, we can't even ask others to "keep them in their prayers" with the separations we are supposed to uphold.


I am also proud of our profession - of the teachers and the administrators at Newtown who thought of children first.  I am mystified by the easy access to guns, especially in the homes where troubled young people live.  I fervently hope - and yes, pray - that the parents of these 20 little ones will somehow find the strength to go on for their families. 



I had tears in my eyes when I heard the story of the young teacher who hid her students in closets and then lied to the gun man and said they were all at gym. She was so smart and so brave to do that and by doing so she was able to save her class. My deepest sympathy goes out to those families who lost their babies, as well as to those families of the teachers and principal who died trying to save the children. I don't know what to do to fix this. Aside from the whole gun issue, I strongly believe we need to look at the way we handle the mentally ill in our country. Too many mentally ill people fall through the cracks and don't get the help they need. We need to offer more services and care for families when things aren't going right.I also feel very badly for the father and the brother of this mad man...I don't know if anyone can ever be strong enough to have to carry the weight of this terrible burden for the rest of their lives. I will remember all of them in my prayers.

I am having such a difficult time dealing with this horrible tragedy.  Before taking an administrative position, I taught Kindergarten for many years, and I keep picturing the faces all of the little ones I had the priviledge to teach  - so young, so innocent and so eager to learn everything we offered them.  I cannot imagine how anyone could even think of harming them.  And as a mother and grandmother, I cannot fathom the depth of the grief these families are experiencing.  They are all in my thoughts and prayers. The one positive I can find among all of this horror is that the teachers in the school were true heroes.  They saved lives by  following lock-down procedures  keeping children out of harms way . The photograph of the teacher leading her students to the safety of the firehouse is so powerful.  It is so  important to remember this during these challenging times when our educational system is being questioned and criticized.   

A sensitive and heartfelt comment. I agree. 

Thank you Mike and Bill for providing me with this opportunity to express my grief.  I dedicate my post to the heroes of Sandy Hook Elementary School.  It is impossible for me to rationalize let alone conceptualize what took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  I send my deepest condolences and prayers to all those affected by this horrific deed.  It is too soon to do much else but to mourn, to pray, to help and to eventually heal this community in any way we possibly can.  I found this post from another educator who quoted Fred Rogers.  It is something I am holding onto; we must continue to try to believe in and highlight the goodness in people.  Remember the heroes!

"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." To this day, especially in times of "disaster," I remember my mother's words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world." Fred Rogers

Thank you for allowing us this venue to express our thoughts. I can say that my heart is broken and as a principal of an elementary school, and as stated above, we do this everyday, and our main goal is to keep everyone safe. When evil outside entities take over, it is most likely logical that we cannot protect ourselves or others. This is an example of the intensity of this crime. It is not the norm and we just don't know why this happened. I am praying, I am saddened, I am hoping I can make it better somehow for all of us.

To the children lost, rest in peace and god bless you all. To the adults in charge, that lost their lives you have not died in vain, you died protecting the children and by doing so saved so many. God, please help us overcome and pray for our nation during this horrible time.





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