Today children in Newtown, Connecticut are headed back to school today to a different world than the one they left last week after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary. Students at neighboring schools are receiving counseling along with teachers and administrators who are expected to discuss the tragedy with students in an age appropriate manner, according to the teachers' union. Classes however for the young children of Sandy Hook Elementary are not resuming just yet. A new facility in neighboring Monroe, Connecticut is currently being prepped for their arrival. This morning Principal and Founder of Capital Predatory Magnet School in Hartford, Connecticut Steve Perry joins a special edition of “Starting Point” to weigh in on the Newtown Massacre which occurred less than an hour’s drive away from his own school.
Perry says in the aftermath of the Newtown tragedy, one of the first things he did was ask his colleagues if they were ok. He says that knowing this was important, “because the teachers have to feel good before they can go in and make the students feel good.” Perry adds that while it’s important to get back into the flow of the regular curriculum it is also important to, “take a couple of minutes to pull together some kids and have some conversations.”
Perry stresses the importance of listening to the kids because he says, “A lot of kids have fatigue over this. It’s freaking them out. They can’t sleep and so they’d actually like us to pump the breaks and talk about something different.”
On the proposal of arming school faculty with guns Perry says that is, “absolutely absurd.” He adds, “You could have had Navy [SEALS]… there are schools that have absolute substations … police substations in them but that wouldn’t have saved these children.” Perry says the “deranged” shooter “shot his way into a school. There’s not much you can do about that. It was a secure school.” He says, “Our children are frightened to go back to school because we have this lawlessness… in our country because so many children are afraid somebody’s carrying a gun.” He urges gun rights advocates to, “step back and realize that not everybody thinks that carrying a gun is cool.”