Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut — site of one of the largest and most horrific mass murders in recent memory, during which 20 first-grade children and six adult employees were gunned down — still stands, but it may not remain in its current form, a topic that has come to the forefront as the fate of Sandy Hook school is discussed.
Sandy Hook Elementary joins Columbine High School and Virginia Tech among sites that became infamous due to horrifying murders, yet still serve a vital function in their communities. In the wake of the shootings, Sandy Hook’s surviving students were relocated to a site seven miles away, and Sandy Hook Elementary remains a vacant crime scene, a shell reminding all in Newtown what they have lost — but the difficulty therein is that if the building is razed, the loss remains.
How to handle the future of the actual structure and fate of the Sandy Hook school is now a question those in charge of such decisions are forced to consider, even as residents admit the discussion is still difficult as the pain is raw. Some feel the building should be razed and replaced with a memorial (the specifics of which have yet to be considered), while others feel the building should not be demolished after the massacre.
Newtown parent Laurie Badick says that even as a resident and mother with kids who attended Sandy Hook, the question is a complex one. She explains:
“I’m very torn … Sandy Hook school meant the world to us before this happened … I have my memories in my brain and in my heart, so the actual building, I think the victims need to decide what to do with that.”