Newtown students begin new school year eight months after massacre

Students sit behind a quote by slain Sandy Hook Elementary School principal Dawn Hochsprung, displayed on the window of a school bus, as it approaches a stop near the original site of Sandy Hook
Students ride a schoolbus displaying a quote by slain Sandy Hook Elementary School principal Dawn Hochsprung.

Students from Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., the site of a mass shooting that inflamed the U.S. debate on gun control, began a new school year Tuesday, eight months after the rampage that left 20 young students and six faculty and staff dead.

The students will continue their studies at the former Chalk Hill school, which in January became their school’s temporary home as the community waits for authorities to tear down the massacre site and rebuild a new structure, due to open in time for the 2016 school year.

Last December, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, who had grown up in Newtown, shot and killed his mother and then shot his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School, where he killed 26 people before turning a gun on himself. The youth of Lanza’s victims, mostly 6- and 7-year-olds, stunned the nation.

The massacre inspired a package of national gun control measures in Congress as well as calls for better security in schools, including the presence of armed guards.

The bills, which included a ban on assault weapons and expanding the use of background checks for gun purchases, were ultimately rejected after lawmakers decided they would have interfered with Americans’ right to bear arms.

Several U.S. states, including Connecticut, New York and New Jersey, have passed laws tightening gun ownership requirements since the attack.


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