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Sandy Hook Elementary Shooting: Stories of Heroism Bring Uplifting News to Horrible Tragedy

by Lindsay Mannering on December 15, 2012 at 11:24 AM

sandy hook teacherToday in Newtown, Connecticut, and all over the nation, people are grieving as updates about the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting evolve. Adam Lanza is suspected to be the 20-year-old man who, armed with semiautomatic weapons and dressed in combat gear, entered the grade school and opened fire Friday morning. Twenty children are dead along with eight adults, which includes Adam's mother who was found shot at her home. It's the second-worst mass shooting since the 2007 massacre that killed 32 at Virginia Tech.

But among the bullets, the chaos, and the terror, there was bravery, selflessness, and heroism.

Reports are coming in about teachers and school staffers who risked their lives to protect the kids as the shooter took his aim. The Wall Street Journal spoke with Diane Day, a therapist who works at the school. She was in a routine meeting with principal Dawn Hochsprung, the school's psychologist, and a parent when they heard the pop, pop, pop.

She explains that the principal and the pyschologist weren't afraid to confront what was going on, and that the lead teacher, was also quick to help. Day revealed that this particular teacher couldn't lock the door to the classroom, so held the door shut by pressing her body up against it. Her arm and leg were shot through the door, and Day says, "she was our hero." Ms. Hochsprung and the psychologist were apparently two of the adults fatally shot.

One parent who has an 8-year-old at Sandy Hook says that her daugther's teacher locked the kids in the closet and wouldn't let the gunman in.

Third grade teacher Kaitlin Roig herded her kids into the bathroom and pushed a bookshelf she brought in with her in front of the door, barricading them inside. She reassured everyone that they would get to celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah and told the kids to be absolutely silent. She said, "there are bad guys out there now, we need to wait for the good guys."

A custodian is also being lauded as a hero -- he ran through the halls alerting people there was a gunman, and telling everyone to get down and to hide. It's unclear if he survived.

And when I saw the photos of the classrooms being led out of the building in single file lines, holding hands, eyes shut, with a teacher or a school official leading the way, that too was evidence of courage under fire. They had to stay strong for the kids, and they did.

Where there's yin, there has to be yang.

Watch third grade teacher Kaitlin Roig explain her ordeal:


Have you heard other stories of heroism to come out of Sandy Hook?

Photo via

Filed Under: crime, in the news


  • c_gal...


    December 15, 2012 at 1:09 PM
    Thank you for writing this
  • c_gal...


    December 15, 2012 at 1:10 PM
    Thank you for writing this
  • ethan...


    December 15, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    It's so hard reading this. There were so many amazing people that day. May we remember the courage that they brought to save the lives of the innocent.

    I am looking for ways to help them and others. If anyone knows of any funds, etc. set up in their honor, please let me know. I will keeping a list of ways to help updated on my blog.

  • divam...


    December 15, 2012 at 2:29 PM
    how do i see ur blog?
  • Phyll...


    December 16, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    If you would like to mail sympathy cards, postcards or letters of support and teddy bears too for solidarity to the school of the shooting victims :
    Sandy Hook Elementary School
    12 Dickenson Drive
    Sandy Hook, CT 06482
    pass it on

  • jessi...


    December 16, 2012 at 5:10 PM

    Hero's ... those teachers are . I have no idea what I would have done if I was one of them or faced with this matter 

  • wamom223


    December 16, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    I couldn't hold the tears in any longer after hearing her say she told the children she loved them.  She wasn't suppose to say that as a teacher, they say it is against policy, and I am so glad she did it anyway.  Those children will not be able to think about this trauma without remembering her saying in the midst of it that she loved them and that they would wait for a good guy.  

  • eetfbf


    December 17, 2012 at 4:41 AM

    Courage  and prayers are with them and the families who lost their love ones.


  • Kelly
    -- Nonmember comment from


    December 17, 2012 at 7:30 PM
    Why are all the articles so unclear about why the gunman committed the crime? I think the school is hiding something supspicious about their relation with the Gunman's mother. Perhaps, they fired his mother from work and she became so stressed and committed suicide. Therefore, her son is so upset and had made the wrong decision to avenge his mother's death....
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