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The new Sandy Hook school offers lesson on safety

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The December 2012 massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., which claimed the lives of 20 first-graders and six educators, is arguably the most impactful school shooting in our nation’s history. Last Wednesday, on the day marking 10 years since the tragedy, I paid a visit to the recently completed Sandy Hook Memorial. A trumpeter played somber melodies while a woman held a sign offering hugs to those needing one. Mourners silently read the victims’ names, inscribed in the concrete wall that surrounds a circular flowing stream adorned with floral bouquets.

The primary purpose of my venture, however, was to tour the new Sandy Hook Elementary School, a nearly $50 million facility that is both aesthetically welcoming yet well-protected from attack. Designed to reflect a treehouse motif, the school features bullet-proof glass exteriors and doors, window slats that allow sunlight but limit viewing from the outside, perimeter fencing and landscaping that discourage intruders, impenetrable safe rooms, and a curved main hallway that would greatly diminish an armed assailant’s line of sight. Importantly, these innovations allow the school to look like a comfortable and cheerful place for growth and learning.

Continue reading at The Boston Globe.

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