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Community Reacts To Sandy Hook Shooting

Nation mourns for Newtown following

deaths of 20 children, six adults

In the aftermath of the unthinkable, local students, teachers and administrators returned to school on Monday, Dec. 17 following the Connecticut school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that took the lives of 20 children and six adults the previous Friday.  

The Hicksville Public School District Superintendent Maureen Bright, along with the board of education, said that in the face of danger, teachers and administrators at Sandy Hook displayed an altruistic side that many educators are known for throughout the country.

“The courage, love and selflessness demonstrated by the teachers, administrators and school staff serves as a shining example of the commitment that school professionals make caring for the children in our care,” Bright said in a statement.

The superintendent said that the district takes safety “very seriously” and maintains an ongoing relationship with the Nassau County Police Department.

Bright said that the district’s doors at its schools are locked and the district screens any visitors. Buzzers and security staff are utilized and cameras in place districtwide. A building emergency response plan is in place and staff are trained in lockdown, lockout and active threat protocols that are practiced with students and staff members.

School safety teams also participate in reviews for evaluating plans and administrators take part in workshops that the Nassau County Police Department sponsors.

“This tragedy highlights the importance of working together to be diligent in following security procedures in our schools and reporting unusual or concerning individuals or behavior to school personnel,” Bright said.

The incident has raised many questions, including how lawmakers will respond to not only gun control issues but also the nation’s stance on mental illnesses.

“We cannot begin to assign a psychiatrist to every American, but we can take meaningful steps to lessen the effect of what has become an American culture of violence and obsession with guns,” said Assemblyman Charles Lavine. “I have long fought for rational measures of gun control and to keep high-capacity magazines and weapons out of the hands of those who should never be allowed to use them. I will continue to do so.”

County Legislator Rose Marie Walker, a former teacher whose children attended Hicksville schools, empathized with those who lost their lives in such a tragic way.

“As a parent, grandparent, and a former teacher, I can speak from my heart and say that this was truly an unspeakable tragedy. Words seem so inadequate at a time like this. May God bless all the beautiful little angels and the adults who died trying to protect them, and give all their loved ones the strength to continue on,” Walker said.

Tips on speaking with young students about the tragedy are available on www.hicksville publicschools.org.

News

Local veterans groups and residents gathered at Hicksville Middle School Veterans Memorial Park recently to honor brave servicemen and woman, past and present. William M. Gouse Jr. Post 3211 hosted Hicksville’s annual Veterans Day ceremony on Nov. 11.

The ceremonies began with the pledge and national anthem sung by Hicksville High School student Cassie Pursoo, accompanied by trumpeter Conner Hoelzer. Monsignor Thomas Costa from Our Lady of Church in Hicksville gave the invocation.

On Nov. 10, a dedication ceremony was held to celebrate the completion of a beautiful new two-story house in Hicksville. However, while new dwellings are an ordinary occurrence on Long Island, this one was unique and special in a way that very few are.

The house at 77 Thorman Ave. was built in memory of Navy Lieutenant and posthumous Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Michael P. Murphy, a Long Island native who tragically died in combat while serving in Afghanistan in 2005. However, this house represents more than just the dedicated service of a man to his country; it represents the beginning of a new life full of hope for a brother-in-arms and his family as well.


Sports

Football was Mike Torrellas’ heart and soul. He also liked a good Turkey Bowl.  

Unfortunately, the Hicksville Crusaders co-founder wasn’t able to witness the program’s inaugural event, which took place Saturday, Nov. 8.

Torrellas passed away suddenly last December due to a blood clot, but the spirit and drive of the man who wore the number 53 and tragically passed at that age still surrounds the Crusaders football program.

The Long Island Fight for Charity will be hosting its 11th annual Charity Boxing Event on Nov. 24 at the Hilton in Melville. Among the 20 volunteers putting up their fists for funds will be Hicksville business owner Mell Goldman, who will be fighting under the nickname “The Kid.”  

Goldman is the President of All Boro Cleaning Services. He stated that he was enticed at the opportunity and wanted to contribute to charity.


Calendar

Model Railroad Open House

November 28-30

Popcorn Balls

November 30

Craft Fair

November 30



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