Five Years After Sandy Hook: Perspectives on Gun Violence and Schools (Videos)

Five years after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, school shootings haven't stopped. And the debate over guns rages on. Here are three video stories about efforts to prevent another massacre like the one in Newtown, Conn.

Videos: Perspectives on Gun Violence and Schools 5 Years After Sandy Hook

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Twenty 1st graders killed in their Newtown, Conn., school on Dec. 14, 2012. Six of their educators murdered by a gunman with a semiautomatic rifle.

The massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School was shattering. News accounts relayed the horror of 6- and 7-year-olds killed while cowering in classrooms as teachers tried to keep them calm. People believed this would be the shooting—unlike Columbine, Virginia Tech, and others before it—to transform the nation’s gun laws. Parents of the victims became advocates for gun control and other methods to prevent gun violence, using their unspeakable losses to try to persuade lawmakers to expand background checks, limit access to semiautomatic weapons, and provide more resources for mental health treatment.

But the debate over guns rages on as fiercely as ever. Mass shootings haven’t stopped. Neither have shootings in schools, though they are rare: Since 2013, firearms have been discharged 144 times in schools, not including a shooting last week that killed two students and the gunman at Aztec High School in New Mexico.

Since Sandy Hook, schools have ramped up security: hiring police and practicing lockdown and active-shooter drills. But in some states, lawmakers want to arm educators, an idea many in K-12 passionately oppose.

Five Years After Sandy Hook, a Mom Who Lost Her Son Fights Gun Violence

Nicole Hockley can't fathom that it's been five years since her son Dylan died in the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Her life's mission is now to try to prevent gun violence.

Sandy Hook Parents Work to Prevent Another School Shooting

Five years ago, 20 1st graders and six educators were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Some of the grieving parents say the massacre was preventable. Here's how they’re working to head-off other shootings.

School Shootings Ignite Controversial Proposals Around Arming Teachers

Gun-rights advocates across the country are pushing to allow educators to carry concealed weapons in classrooms to protect students from an attack on a school. But many organizations passionately disagree that arming staff will help keep kids safe.

From Our Archives

Sept. 6, 2013: A Sandy Hook Parent's Letter to Teachers
Nelba Marquez-Greene, whose daughter Ana Grace was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School, writes about the courage of teachers.

Dec. 13, 2017: Five Years After the Sandy Hook School Shootings, a Focus on Preventing Violence
The 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., stirred conversations about how to recognize threats, how to secure schools, and how to respond to the mental health needs of students.

May 21, 2015: Use of School Shooter Drills Has Increased Significantly Since Newtown Shootings
The first new federal data on many school safety measures since the 2012 shootings in Newtown, Conn., show increases in use of active shooter drills, anonymous threat reporting systems, and security cameras in schools.

Feb. 28, 2017: Educators Join New Fight to Block Guns in Schools
A growing number of educators are lobbying against bills to allow guns in schools as some lawmakers argue for arming school personnel to protect students.

Feb. 3, 2017: Newtown Debates Letter Asking Trump to Denounce Sandy Hook 'Truthers'
The Newtown, Conn., school board authorized its chair to sign a letter calling on President Trump to denounce people who claim the 2012 mass shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School are an elaborate hoax. Some other city officials have been reluctant to sign on.

Dec. 14, 2016: Families of Newtown School Shooting Victims Praise New Mental Health Law
Four years after a mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School claimed the lives of 20 children and six adults in Newtown, Conn., families of the victims are praising a new federal law that is designed to improve access to mental health care.

Dec. 13, 2015: Three Years After Newtown, Schools Broaden Their Definition of Safety
While significant changes to gun laws have not materialized since the Sandy Hook shootings, the ways in which many educators, parents, and community members talk about and act on student safety has been profoundly reshaped.

Dec. 12, 2014: Two Years After Shootings, Newtown Works to Heal as Nation Looks for Lessons
It’s been two years since the deadliest K-12 school shooting in U.S. history, and the event continues to inform conversations about mental health, school climate, and student well-being.

Dec. 10, 2013: A Year Later, Newtown Tragedy Yields Little Policy Change
While districts have beefed up safety measures and added armed security, only a small fraction of the laws proposed in the immediate aftermath of the school shootings have been enacted.

Dec. 18, 2012: For Teachers, Shootings Prompt Reflection
The events of Dec. 14—and particularly the actions of the Sandy Hook educators—have brought teachers both deep grief and a strong sense of resolve.

Jan. 8, 2013: At Sandy Hook School, Tragic Day Unfolds
On Dec. 14, the news out of a Newtown, Conn., elementary school grew grimmer by the second.

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A version of this article appeared in the December 13, 2017 edition of Education Week