U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty at hearing on"Gun Violence Prevention: A Call to Action"
U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-5, introduced Newtown
Superintendent of Schools Janet Robinson, hearing on"Gun Violence Prevention: A Call to Action."
The following is the text of the (unedited) release:
“Thank you so much to my good friend, Rosa DeLauro and thank
you to all of you for being here with us today – as witnesses to what happened
in our community of Newtown, Connecticut, and as a call to action for what we
must do as a country.
“I’m honored today to have the chance to introduce Janet
Robinson who has become a good friend, who is a true American hero, who
responded in a time of unbelievable tragedy. For five years Dr. Janet Robinson
has served as the Superintendent of Schools in Newtown, Connecticut. Throughout
her career, she has shown a constant and loving commitment to education and
improving the lives of children. In addition to having served as superintendent
of schools in three different Connecticut communities, Janet has served as a
teacher, a school counselor and a school psychologist.
“I met Janet in the fire house which was the emergency
center of Newtown, Connecticut, on the afternoon of the shootings. Janet was
grieving –she was there with parents of children who didn't know if their
children were going to come home. And as we know, 20 of them did not. And the
next morning this brave woman sat around a conference table with the board of
ed members of her community and began planning for how to protect those
children and those families, how to reopen a school, and get children back to
learning. She is an extraordinarily person. She was putting the Sandy Hook
community first, the teachers, the children and those families. And she did it all
the time with her heart broken for her friends who were cut down on that
“Janet, I know you will provide invaluable expertise to us
in today's hearing. You’re an expert on children, on teaching, but most
importantly, and for our purposes today, you are an expert on the price of
inaction. You are an expert because Newtown has paid this price. Your children
paid this price. Your teachers paid this price. You administrators paid this
price, and the community paid a price.
“You speak with unquestionable authority on that subject.
You’ve lived what has happened when we as political leaders fail to act. You
can speak to us here today on who these people were. Tell us about Dawn
Hochsprung – the extraordinary principle and leader of that school – these
incredible children, several of whose parents came today at the President’s
announcement – who these teachers and aids were – who these families are – and
the extraordinary community that you are a member of. What we need to do here
today, and with your help and guidance – you need help us to prevent tragedy,
to save lives, to ensure that no other community endures what Newtown,
Connecticut has gone through. We cannot prevent what happened then, but we can
go forward. This is about what happens now. I want to thank you for your
extraordinary leadership and courage in your community and for coming here
today. Thank you so very much.”
Editor's note: All information in this post was contributed. The photo is a file photo.
The Connecticut State Politics blog covers news of New Haven politics and from the seat of Connecticut's government and the state's elected leaders with a variety original reporting from Journal Register Connecticut staff, links to stories from other media and politics blogs, press releases, statements and more.