According to The Hartford Courant, a summary of the Connecticut State Police report on the Sandy Hook elementary school tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut will be released on November 25th, 2013. Families of the victims met with State’s Attorney Stephen Sedensky and police personnel to discuss the summary before it is released. Relatives said that Sedensky told them that names of the students would not be included either in the summary report (which will run 40-50 pages) or the full report, which will probably be over one thousand pages in total. When the full report is released to the public it will also be heavily redacted to remove transcripts of the 911 calls, the names of the victims and crime scene photos of areas where victims were located.
The release of the Sandy Hook summary report and the full report will be beneficial to the school safety community, which has been waiting for almost a full year to see what actual lessons can be learned from this terrible event rather than relying on rumors and news reports. Many schools across the country have already invested tens of thousands (and in some cases, millions) of dollars in security equipment upgrades, building renovations and security staffing. With the release of the final report hopefully schools will be better poised to make rational and effective planning and budgeting considerations when looking for ways to respond to Sandy Hook.
In the year since the horrific incident at Sandy Hook happened, I have been amazed at the sheer impact that the residents of Newtown have had on the rest of the country. There are few events that have such a large impact that it is one of the forefront issues on the minds of almost every educator that we speak to during our school safety and security assessments. Our schools have come a long way since Columbine, but Sandy Hook is a stark reminder of why we must never stop improving safety and security for our educational institutions in even the safest of communities.
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