Wednesday, January 16, 2013

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 terrible day.

“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.


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