Six educators who were slain in the Sandy Hook school massacre will be honored posthumously by President Obama next week in a ceremony at the White House.
Mr. Obama will bestow the Presidential Citizens Medal, the nation’s second-highest civilian award, to Rachel Davino, Dawn Hochsprung, Anne Marie Murphy, Lauren Rousseau, Mary Sherlach and Victoria Soto, all of whom were slain Dec. 14 along with 20 students by a lone gunman in Newtown, Conn. The shooting spurred a push by the administration for new gun-control measures.
A statement by the White House called the recipients “six courageous women were forever etched into the heart of our nation as unthinkable tragedy swept through Newtown, Connecticut.”
“Some of these individuals had joined Sandy Hook Elementary School only weeks before; others were preparing to retire after decades of service,” the White House said. “All had dedicated themselves to their students and their community, working long past the school bell to give the children in their care a future worthy of their talents.”
Mr. Obama will honor 12 other individuals in the ceremony on Feb. 15, including Dr. T. Berry Brazelton of Boston, whom the White House described as one of the nation’s “foremost authorities on pediatrics and child development.” After the Sandy Hook shootings, Dr. Brazelton authored an op-ed urging people to not to invest in retirement accounts that include stock in gun manufacturers.
Among the others to be honored by the president are former Sen. Harris Wofford of Pennsylvania, an early supporter of the civil-rights movement; and Adam Burke of Jacksonville, Fla., an Iraq war veteran who founded a handicap-accessible farm to teach wounded veterans how to make a living from farming.