Parents of Sandy Hook victims present ideas to commission Friday

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)–Parents of three first-graders who were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School spoke at a Sandy Hook Advisory Commission on Friday.

The panel was reviewing current policies and making recommendations on school safety, mental health and gun violence prevention.

Over the internet, the parents gave presentations to the 16-member panel.

It was a chance to discuss what worked that terrible day with those in power, and a time to talk about controversial subjects.

One such subject was how to deal with mental health.

“Some of the cultural changes, while not easy, are doable,” Hamden mayor Scott Jackson said.

“In terms of the immediate aftermath of the event, I will say that the decision to assign police officers as liaisons to the families was the best possible decision that could have been made,” said parent David Wheeler.

“None of the families had, or have a direct liaison to the town government,” Wheeler said. “There are many times where we don’t know who we should be asking for things.”

The committee also discussed ways to prepare students in the event of a situation like the one at Sandy Hook.

“We are challenging our teachers, parents and students with the concepts of run, hide and fight,” said Denis McCarthy, Fire Chief in Norwalk.

No decisions were made at the meeting, but Scott Jackson, the Democratic Mayor of Hamden and the chair of the commission said he thinks it was effective.

“These are some personal stories that can help inform us, in terms of our analysis of the recovery,” Jackson said.

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