- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 26, 2016

The superintendent of the Newtown Public School District in Connecticut this week said Sandy Hook Elementary will hold a normal day of classes on Dec. 14 in spite of the date marking four years since a gunman claimed the lives of 20 students and six staffers in a horrific mass shooting.

Superintendent Joseph Erardi addressed the upcoming anniversary and the day’s agenda in a letter sent to parents this week and published Thursday by the News-Times newspaper in Danbury, Connecticut.

Local faith leaders will lead a private prayer service for staff before the school day, and a remembrance service will be held later in the evening, the newspaper reported.

Other than starting the day with a moment of silence to be followed by age-appropriate messages for older students, Dec. 14 will be marked with a full day of school, according to the newspaper.

“I am certain that many of you will join me in finding private space for personal reflection as the Newtown community continues to recover from an unconscionable act of violence,” Mr. Erardi wrote in his letter to parents this week. “If requested by parents, school staff will provide talking points for parents to assist them with personal conversations with their child.”

“There has been a detailed review of how the anniversary was handled last year as 12/14/15 was the first year school was in session,” he added. “We will look to hold a very similar day as to what was established last December.”

Press outlets won’t be welcome on school property during the anniversary, and media is otherwise being discouraged from descending on Newtown when it likely recalls the 2012 massacre, according to the newspaper.

Adam Lanza, 20, waged his fatal shooting spree inside Sandy Hook Elementary after he killed his mother inside their nearby Newtown residence and then drove to the school equipped with a semi-automatic rifle. Police say he committed suicide inside the school, but not before claiming 26 victims, mostly children.

The scene of the Sandy Hook massacre was bulldozed in 2013 and replaced earlier this year with a new $50-million, 86,000-square foot facility built with bulletproof windows and doors.

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