Free-Range Kids

Sandy Hook Parents Sue School Over Safety Issues

Behaving as if mass death is lurking around every corner won't make our kids any safer.

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Sandy Hook
Sandy Hook

The parents of two of the children killed in the Sandy Hook massacre are suing the town and the board of education for not doing enough to keep the kids safe. According to NewsTimes.com:

The suit claims the school's lockdown and evacuation plan was practiced, but never implemented on the day of the shooting, which "resulted in the death of 20 students." The suit also alleges the school failed to train a substitute teacher about the lockdown procedure and didn't give her a key that would have allowed her to lock the classroom once she heard gunshots being fired on the morning of Dec. 14, 2012.

While no one can possibly blame the parents for dearly wishing the day had not unfolded as it did, the suit seems to suggest that a school that is not 100 percent prepared 100 percent of the time for an unimaginable tragedy is somehow negligent.

This is a town that previously had endured a single homicide in 10 years. To suggest it should have been on high alert is like saying there is no difference, safety-wise, between a public school in suburban America and a secular girl's school in Taliban territory.

free-range-kids

As for the suit's contention about locked classroom doors, recall that the school actually was locked. The gunman simply shot through the glass. Should schools have no windows? Couldn't a gunman blast through classroom doors, too, the way he blasted into the school?

Holding schools—or any public gathering place—accountable for crimes that are unpredictable and unstoppable sets an untenable standard of wartime preparedness.

The idea that school or board of ed mismanagement "resulted in the death of 20 students" is at odds with the truth. A madman resulted in the death of 20 students. Behaving as if mass death is lurking around every corner all the time won't make our kids any safer.

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  1. The “Gun Free Zone” signs were not posted prominently enough, obviously.

  2. They should sue whoever manufactured the school’s “gun free zone” sign, since it obviously was defective.

  3. “The suit claims the school’s lockdown and evacuation plan was practiced, but never implemented on the day of the shooting, which “resulted in the death of 20 students.” The suit also alleges the school failed to train a substitute teacher about the lockdown procedure and didn’t give her a key that would have allowed her to lock the classroom once she heard gunshots being fired on the morning of Dec. 14, 2012.”

    Eh. This is less frivolous than the suit they leveled against gun manufacturers. If your argument is that the school had a procedure in the event of an intruder and that this shooting was partially caused by the failure to enact that procedure, I can kind of see where you’re coming from.

    You could make the argument that’s negligence for the same reason you could argue that failing to implement a fire safety plan is negligence if a fire breaks out.

    1. Their only problem is that I don’t see how they will prove that a fully implemented “cower in place” strategy would have saved any lives.

      OTOH, I support holding any organization that bans the means of self-defense liable if someone is killed or injured by violence on their premises.

  4. Did the school require students to carry canned goods as self-defence? No? Then it killed them as surely as the gunman did

    1. Good luck finding a canned good that has low enough sodium and sugar to make it past the school’s food nazis.

    2. HE HATES THESE CANS!

  5. the suit seems to suggest that a school that is not 100 percent prepared 100 percent of the time for an unimaginable tragedy is somehow negligent.

    That’s why you go to law school.

  6. One effect of these shootings is that some schools seem to be getting rid of their idiotic “die-in-place” tactic when there’s an intruder. My wife is a teacher, and the previous informal training was, “lock the doors and hide.” Now the formal Active Shooter training they must go through emphasizes getting the hell out if you can. It’s called a Kill Zone for a reason.

    1. If the schools are guilty of negligence, it is for telling teachers and students to stay and die rather than run.

      1. And not allowing staff with appropriate training to carry.

  7. I feel terrible for anyone who loses a child. Tragedy no matter how great does not excuse someone from duty to think rationally. Schools have a duty to protect children from foreseeable risks. It is not foreseeable that some lunatic with an AR 15 is going to show up and mow down the kids in a school in Connecticut. Sure, it is possible and did happen. That doesn’t make it foreseeable. Someone needs to tell these people to face up to the fact that horrible senseless tragedies happen and that they are not always someone still living’s fault.

    1. But some folks seem to believe that awarding them $1 or $2 million from the taxpayers will ease the pain of Johnny or Suzy’s death. Is it really less traumatic to recall a loved one’s horrific death from the deck of one’s new beachfront property or behind the steering wheel of the new Benz?

      1. A couple of years ago my wife had a near miss with a commercial truck, while driving alone. Fortunately, there was no accident. But had there been one, she would have most likely died and it would have been the truck’s fault. Had that happened, the payout from that trucking company would have been huge. When I considered this possibility, the thought occurred to me, “what the hell would I do with that money”. I wouldn’t need it to take care of her or to support myself. And it would to me at least seem deeply weird to have point at my new exotic sports car or beach house and say “I bought that with the blood money from my wife’s death”. Sandyhook is a very wealthy community. It is doubtful these people need the money. And it is kind of sad that they think getting it will help anything.

      2. Is it really less traumatic to recall a loved one’s horrific death from the deck of one’s new beachfront property or behind the steering wheel of the new Benz?

        Maybe marginally. In any case, I’d rather be rich and bereaved than not rich and bereaved.

        I don’t think that these people are probably thinking about that, though. They just want to blame someone or something.

        1. They just want to blame someone or something.

          I think it is all this.

          Somewhere along the line in the past generation or so p(sh)eople have been taught to believe that every tragedy, mishap, unfortunate accident is someone else’s fault, and that someone else should be made to pay financially.

          I fund it disgusting.

    2. “Someone needs to tell these people to face up to the fact that horrible senseless tragedies happen and that they are not always someone still living’s fault.”

      Just where do you think we’re living? In some kind of land of the free and the home of the brave? A reaction like that would require personal responsibility and realism. It’s been a long time (If ever) since that was the default behavior in the US. At least since the 1930s.

    3. the person likely to tell them that is a judge.

  8. I’m sorry that these parents lost their children, I really am. I can’t imagine their grief and I’m glad I’ll never have to experience it.

    That said, fuck these people.

    The world isn’t 100% safe and you can’t make it secure against black swan nutjobs who are planning to die after they get through killing people. All the lockdowns in the world wouldn’t have saved these kids.

    Having someone on the staff who was armed and trained to use firearms, might have. But, I imagine that would be the first thing these people would go after.

    1. It is a terrible thing to have to say, but you are right JW “fuck these people”. Just because they had something horrible happen to them, doesn’t mean the tax payers of Connecticut owe them a bunch of money. That money comes from somewhere. So, they get paid and some school in Connecticut has less money or someone has to pay more taxes, even though they had nothing to do with what happened. Yeah, fuck these people.

      1. And even more fuck the people who encourage and enable these people. Irrational behavior from grieving parents is understandable, if idiotic. The people who use them, whether to promote their gun control agenda or their career as a trial lawyer, have no such excuse.

      2. Sadly, if the lawsuit is successful, it’ll be their next-door neighbors that pay for the settlement.

  9. We really need to reform our justice system.

    There is one person responsible for the deaths of those kids and only one person. And he’s dead.

    Fuck these people, fuck their lawyers and fuck a system that moves us closer and closer to a police state where people are not only nannied, but afraid to take risks for fear of losing all they have. This system is our bane.

    1. We just need to go back to the common law. And in fairness to our justice system, these guys have filed suit. That doesn’t mean they will win.

  10. Given the choice, I think I would take the minute risk that some nutjob will come in and shoot up the school over introducing the idea of a “lockdown” to kids as a normal thing. No one who is not in prison should ever be subject to a “lockdown”.

    1. prison,school
      tomato, tomahto

      1. I forgot who coined the term, but I always refer to public schools as starter prisons.

  11. the law suit is ill advised in that the only thing to sue for is emotional damage. Case law does not look favorably on projecting future earnings for children. No way of knowing what their future would bring, unlike a the teachers who had an earnings record.

    So the lawsuit pits neighbor against neighbor, as the cost of any payout will be borne by the citizens of Sandy Hook & CT.

    The level of security some parents want in schools is simply not realistic. It cannot be healthy – mentally – for children to walk into a fortress each day.

    what about outside recess? do we need armed patrol guards walking the perimeter of the school to watch for snipers?

    1. “outside recess”?

      That’s crazy talk.

  12. do we need armed patrol guards walking the perimeter of the school to watch for snipers?

    If it saves one life……

    1. How about just letting teachers conceal carry – or at least the principal and his assistant principal.

      1. who certifies that these educators can also handle weapons?

        what do we do to be sure no teacher goes “rogue”?

        ahhh…arm the students!

        1. If the idiots that pass themselves off as properly trained police officers can pass a handling course then so can they.

    2. need at least TWO perimeter patrols – can’t be certain that gunmen won’t take out 1st level.

      checkpoints at each corner around school

  13. My six year old’s had lockdown drills at his school. First grade, and he’s telling me about how they’ll lock the doors if bad guys come, but that won’t help if the bad guys bring an ax (no way he thought of that himself). Scaremongering bullshit.

  14. Seems like the parents are just as complicit as the schools. They could have avoided the tragedy altogether if only they had… home schooled their kids.

    CB

  15. Why does Hit & Run attract the lamest trolls?

  16. Just before I saw the paycheck which was of $9215 , I did not believe that my brothers friend was really making money part time from their computer. . there sisters neighbor has done this 4 only about seven months and recently paid for the loans on their home and purchased a great Fiat Panda .
    all visit this page ******** http://www.jobsfish.com

  17. my neighbor’s ex-wife makes $77 hourly on the internet . She has been out of a job for nine months but last month her check was $18454 just working on the internet for a few hours. read………….
    ????? http://www.cashbuzz80.com

  18. my neighbor’s ex-wife makes $77 hourly on the internet . She has been out of a job for nine months but last month her check was $18454 just working on the internet for a few hours. read………….
    ????? http://www.cashbuzz80.com

  19. Perhaps they should have had canned goods deployed and at-the-ready…just in case.

    http://www.snopes.com/politics…..attack.asp

  20. Okay, now I’m not even sorry for the shit-for-brains parents whose little turds were blown away.

  21. “The idea that school or board of ed mismanagement “resulted in the death of 20 students” is at odds with the truth.”

    I’m not sure I agree with that entirely. . . did the school or board of ed implement or allow to be implemented a zero-tolerance, Gun Free Zone policy?
    If they did, their mismanagement was responsible for the death count being as high as it was, at the very least.

    1. seriously – you think Adam Lanza would have been deterred by a Gun Free Zone/Zero Tolerance policy?

  22. I’m going to disagree with most of the comments here. The headline says: “Behaving as if mass death is lurking around every corner won’t make our kids any safer.” I’m not sure that’s fair. I can imagine the anti-gun crowd saying to concealed carry advocates: Behaving as if assault/murder/mass death is lurking around every corner won’t make you/our kids any safer.

    I’m not saying the parents are right on the mark but then I haven’t read the complaint and just maybe they’ve got a point. Why have lockdown procedures if they’re not going to be implemented? If lockdown procedures are a fatally flawed strategy then hopefully that will come out during the course of the litigation. If nothing else lockdown procedures if properly implemented would slow down an active shooter and it doesn’t seem an unreasonable precaution to have wire-reinforced plate glass.

    The News Times article says: “The lawsuit seeks more than $15,000 in damages.” That doesn’t seem like an excessive amount. In fact, it suggests that the goal is a public policy debate, not an attempt to jump on the taxpayer gravy train. These parents have a right to their day in court. That doesn’t mean they should necessarily prevail but based on the scant facts available to me at this moment, I’m not so sure they shouldn’t, either.

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