Mother of Sandy Hook shooting victim speaks out on school safety
This was the petrifying scene parents drove up to that December morning nearly three years ago. A senseless shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary left many parents, teachers, and students scarred for life.
"To receive the news as the day was going on as the events occurred was more than anything a shock for me. The emotions didn't really set in until we got home that evening and really began to accept the gravity and the magnitude of our losses," said Michele Gay.
Michele Gay, a mother of three daughters, was one of the parents who lost a child that morning. She was a part of a group of parents who stood together and founded a non profit organization--Safe and Sound Schools.
Their mission is simple: to empower school communities by having vital conversations ensuring that safety measures and precautions are available in all schools.
"Being aware of your surroundings, understanding the ways in which your doors lock or open. Just very simple, everyday things that we may already take for granted," said Jaclyn Schildkraut, a Public Justice professor.
Michele says she and her family have learned to fold their lost daughter, Josephine, into their lives everyday in different ways.
"She was the center of our life, the baby. She was autistic, so our lives revolved around her therapy, her special treatments, and her diet, and her life in our community. Just to have her not present in our everyday is still just a huge adjustment to us," says Gay.
Michele says she and her family are still inspired by Josephine and she says they will continue to honor her by helping other schools become better when it comes to security and safety.