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Reflecting on the Newtown Tragedy

The Frank Jenkins Law Office extends its deepest condolences to the victims and families involved in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Connecticut. In Kentucky, we are profoundly impacted by this tragedy because we also experienced the shock and pain of a school shooting in our own state 15 years ago this month.

It was a normal morning at Heath High School in Paducah when one of its students opened fire on a prayer group outside the school. In the end, three students were dead and five people wounded, including one who will remain paralyzed for life.  The shooter pleaded guilty but mentally ill.

In an NPR interview over the weekend, the Paducah school’s former principal, Bill Bond, recalled the horrors of that day and talked about the challenges of building a safe school environment to avoid tragedies like Sandy Hook. He’s now a safety specialist with the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

Despite his credentials and past experience in Paducah, he was at a loss for words when he spoke to an ABC affiliate in Louisville.

“I don’t know what to say to a second grader, I don’t know what to say to anyone in Connecticut after this happened. I don’t know what to say,” he managed.

It’s the best any of us can do. Even though we lived through the shootings in Paducah and have gone on to see students and educators at other schools nationwide suffer a similar fate, there is little we can offer except our support and sympathies.

What’s important right now is to help the community of Newtown knit together again. From our offices in Lexington, we send wishes of comfort and hopes for a brighter future for everyone impacted by such an incomprehensible tragedy.