Sandy Hook Elementary School: how do you report on horror?
SANDY Hook Elementary School Newtown, Conn.? How do British newspapers report on the actions of Adam Lanza that led to 27 dead and hundreds of lives scarred? In Britain we stop and stare. This is a foreign news event. But it isn’t entirely. America is the another Britain. We see ourselves. The landscape is familiar. Language matters.
Adam Lanza is dead. He murdered his mother mother Nancy Jean Lanza. He shot dead 20 children. He murdered head teacher Dawn Hochsprung, 47, first grade teacher Victoria Soto, 27, and school psychologist Mary Sherlach, 56.
He used two guns – guns registered to his mother. The school was no-gun zone. Adam Lanza forced his way in. Had only the security had guns to keep him out…
We can focus on the goodness
One hero of the madness was Vicki Soto, a young first grade teacher. She placed her body into the line of fire to protect the children.
First grade teacher Kaitlin Roig said she had told her class that she loved them all very much because she feared it would be the last thing they ever heard.
Diane Day, a school therapist, was in a meeting. Another female teacher pressed their body against an unlocked door. Bullets ripped through it, hitting her in the arm and lef. “She was our hero,” said Day.
MaryAnne Jacobs hid 18 first grade children in a storage cupboard.
“They weren’t crying. We had to crawl out of the space we were in because we discovered one of our doors was unlocked and we locked ourselves in a back storage room where we have some (computer) servers inside the library. At that point they were a little freaked out I think, there were some crayons and paper so we tore up paper and gave them all something to do. It was hard to just keep them quiet and calm.”
She blocked the door.
What about theThe British victim?
Jesse Lewis as 6. His dad, Neil Heslin, tells the New York Post:
“He went happily. That was the last I saw of him.”
His teacher was Ms Soto.
“Everyone knew Jesse. He was just a happy boy… They were helpless little children. The question is why, and I guess it’s something we’ll never know. The way he (Lanza) died, by killing himself like that, was too good. It was just a cowardly way, for what he did to his victims and the way he went into the school. He picked victims that couldn’t defend themselves against him.”
Why Adam Lanza did it
We don’t know. We won’t ever know. We can guess.
Maybe he did it because he was a Goth? Add that theory to the list.
Lieutenant Paul Vance, of Connecticut state police:
“Our investigators at the crime scene at the school and at the second crime scene [where Lanza’s mother was found dead] did produce some very good evidence in painting a complete picture of how and why this happened.
How it happened. Tracing Adam’ Lana’s movement will a job completed. Why he did the police, like us all, cannot hope to know.
“We are peeling back the layers of the onion. We are examining every crack and crevice of that facility. We are also examining the outside of the building, including the cars.”
The media might be a problem
We’ve seen eight-year-old on the news. They told us what happened. Is it all just entertainment, other people’s pain and heartache?
To we lead with the sorrow? One parent’s words hurt even the hardest hearts?
“All these parents were waiting for their children to come out. They thought they were alive.”