Wilmington Parents React With Shock to Connecticut Shooting

Readers react after a large number of adults and children were reportedly killed when a gunman opened fire in an elementary school.

Though Newtown, Conn., is nearly three hours outside of town, the news of a massive school shooting at an elementary school is leaving an impact on Wilmington parents.

According to coverage on Newtown Patch in Connecticut, reports say that 27 people are dead, including 18 children, after a gunman inside Sandy Hook Elementary School opened fire this morning.

Readers on the Wilmington Patch Facebook page said that though the incident happened far from Wilmington, it still hits close to home.

"I have a five-year-old at Wildwood. Stories like this break my heart and make me want nothing more than to go pick him up from school," said Jennifer Johnson Erickson. "Terrifying. Scary thing is it can happen anywhere, anytime."

Just last week, Wilmington schools prepared for situations similar to this one with lockdown drills at Wilmington Middle School and Wilmington High School.

Many parents in Wilmington praised the town's efforts to prepare for and prevent these kind of incidents, and also said it is stunning to see such a grusome scene develop in an elementary school.

"Anyone who thinks it can't happen in our or any community is kidding themselves," said Donna Pietrzak Leone. "I applaud our schools in Wilmington for the extent they go to to keep our kids safe. I have four students ranging in grades from eighth to third and have seen this district's commitment to student safety evolve in that time period."

Though Wilmington parents have no personal connection to the Connecticut school, it is still emotional for them to watch coverage of what is likely one of the worst school shooting in United States history.

"I'm crying and sick thinking about this," said Colleen Fogg O'Hearn, who has a child at Boutwell School. "The scariest part is thinking about what we've done to the world that this could happen, but also what comes next? What does the world have in store for our kids as they grow? And how do you deal when they become old enough to hear about it and realize it could happen to them? So sad. My heart is breaking for those families."

Does this incident hit close to home for you? Is this news something you will talk to your young children about? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Lennie Malvone December 14, 2012 at 11:47 PM
TOnight My prayers go out to the Families in Newtown Ct. The sad thought of how 20 sets of parents and grandparents who woke up this morning with happy laughing children will now go home to a sad silent house. 20 sets of Parents and grandparents who have closets full of Christmas gifts who now have no one to enjoy or give them too . and 20 sets of parents and grandparents for whom the holiidays will never ever be anything else but a reminder of heartbreak and sadness. I pray God keep them close to himself and give them the strength to get through the most difficult times of their lives May God bless them and Keep them Close
Kevin MacDonald December 15, 2012 at 04:02 AM
gbd (another patchtonian afraid to give their real name and slandering again), I am not blaming the police. This is truly a heartbreaking tragedy and my prayers for the families go up to the Lord. The tragedy is also very angering. How can this happen? Where's the security? I believe there would be nothing wrong with having schools locked and strict discipline. What would be wrong with having a police officer (armed) in each school? I also believe that removing God from the schools and having a large portion of society forsaking the teachings of God is leading to a reprobate society. There is a verse in scripture that I will quote: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; but fools despise wisdom and instruction." Proverbs ch. 1 verse 7. You might want to read the whole chapter gbd. I'll post the link all for you. http://www.tldm.org/bible/old%20testament/proverbs.htm
Deborah December 15, 2012 at 07:00 AM
Although I now live in FL, I grew up in MA and earned my teaching degree at FSU. I have several friends with famiies "up north" and have shed many tears today as I watched this horrific story unfold. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone touched by this tragedy. God Bless the little angels and give thieir families strength.
Deborah December 15, 2012 at 07:35 AM
I agree! Kevin, elementary schools should not NEED security. As a former elementary teacher, I have had officers on campus. They teach stranger danger and bike/bus safety. Security measures, such as ID cards and vdeo monitors have also been implemented. However, rf someone knows the school, ,they know whether the custodian leaves the door open while he is doing ground maintainence, or the P.E. teacher has the equipment room unlocked so kickballs can be grabbed at recess time. Have some compassion!
Kevin MacDonald December 16, 2012 at 12:52 AM
I have compassion Deborah. I am glad you are a former teacher. If you think we should spend millions of dollars on police (49 now on our farce) and not have one in each school during the day where there is a large concentration of defenseless children then you must like driving by Adelaide Street and seeing at least 10 cars parked in the parking lot. Try going inside the station and seeing how many are watching TV. Did you have the 49% of the middle school students when they were in elementary school who are now in the warning or needs improvement category in mathematics?


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