The shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., has affected communities across the country, and East Meadow is no exception.
Louis DeAngelo, superintendent of the East Meadow School District, posted a letter on the district website that was also sent to parents. It read, “The tragedy which occurred last week at an elementary school in Connecticut has touched all of us and our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the Sandy Hook Elementary School community in Newtown, Connecticut.”
DeAngelo explained that meetings were held with principals and staff on Monday to discuss the incident and how school officials should address children in its aftermath. “Please be assured that the safety of our students is of the utmost priority,” he wrote, adding that school psychologists and social workers would be available to any students who needed them.
DeAngelo also included information from the website of the National Association of School Psychologists. The entire letter can be found on the East Meadow District website, www.eastmeadow.k12.ny.us.
U.S. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy responded to the tragedy by asking government officials to address gun violence. “There are a lot of unanswered questions right now, but one thing is clear — there’s too much gun violence in our country,” McCarthy said in a statement. “These shootings are becoming all too common, and it’s too easy for dangerous people to get the weapons that help them perform mass executions like [Newtown].
“We owe it to our children to work harder to reduce gun violence,” she continued. “The Second Amendment is the law of the land but it was never intended to allow murderers to take the lives of innocent kids. It’s our moral obligation as policymakers and as parents to do more to save lives.”
Some local officials focused on individuals with mental illness, and how the government can better serve them. “Your first reaction is to the parents having to deal with a devastating tragedy,” said Assemblyman Tom Mc-Kevitt, who lives in East Meadow and has two children, ages 5 and 3. “I don’t know how anyone ever gets over something like that.”