Newtown educator uses tragic day to fuel her passion for teaching children


by Brian Washington

Millions of people across the nation recognizing today’s six-month observance of the brutal school house massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, will remember how a gunman, armed with military-style assault weapons, claimed the lives of 20 innocent school children and six dedicated educators.

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But high school science teacher Katherine Doerr Morosky doesn’t need an official observance to remember how that tragic day in December at Sandy Hook Elementary School dramatically changed her life, the lives of her family and neighbors, and her entire community. As an educator who lives in Newtown, Morosky, who spoke to Education Votes by phone, sees reminders everyday, all around her.

katherine doerr morosky headshot
Connecticut educator Katherine Doerr Morosky

“I am at my house in Newtown, and I am looking across the street at my neighbor’s house — his niece was murdered,” said Morosky. “Everywhere you turn in Newtown now, it’s not just like a reminder, it is a fact of our lives. It is a reality that is so deep, so stark, and so incredibly chilling.”

Morosky’s 6-year-old daughter attends school down the road from the former site of Sandy Hook Elementary. The young victims were all her daughter’s friends. They played soccer and took ballet classes together — that is until their lives were ripped away from everyone, leaving those like Morosky to wonder, “Why?”

“At Sandy Hook, they had a locked door. They had a camera. They had a buzzer system. They had a lock-down procedure in place,” said Morosky. “But the factor that changes it all is the kind of weapons that young man had and the ability of those weapons to shoot bullets that destroy flesh really, really fast.

“The fact of the matter is, if Adam Lanza had a different kind of gun more kids would be alive.”

That reality is what’s fueling Morosky’s drive to fight for common-sense gun legislation. She supports basic background checks for gun purchases and a ban on military-style assault weapons for civilians. In a blog post she’s written for Momsrising, Morosky is calling on Capitol Hill lawmakers to do the right thing.

“We need our leaders in Washington to act like leaders and pass measures, like simple background checks, that will help make massacres and the daily gun violence plaguing our country less likely. Protecting our children from guns is not too much to ask,” writes Morosky.

Without common-sense gun safety legislation, Morosky’s believes the love, caring, and compassion that educators invest in students to help them achieve their best will be put in jeopardy. And, as a nation, she says we cannot allow this to continue.

“It is unbelievable that it came to this in Newtown, but we are mobilized,” said Morosky. “But it will happen again and again and again unless we figure out a way to make this country safer.”

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Reader Comments

  1. Legislation taking guns away from good people will continue to tip the balance of gun possession in favor of bad people that will get their hands on guns no matter how much legislation is passed.

  2. I don’t see any guns as sensible. Why in the heck do you need a gun, especially on the well populated east coast? And if you think you need a gun for protection, think twice. By the time you got your gun, your intruder would have the drop on you and you’d be dead. Studies have shown that those who have a gun in their homes are seven times more likely to be killed by their own gun. Hmm, seven times fewer NRA members. Not a bad idea.

    1. Do you have a fire extinguisher in your house? If so, why? The fire department will eventually come and put the fire out.

  3. All of these shooting sadden me, I don’t see the guns as the problem. I grew up in rural communities and it was nothing to see the rifles of the young men in the backs of their pick-ups ready for as soon as school got out they were headed out hunting during hunting season. The difference was there was a respect, a respect for life that I am not seeing in society. There were disagreements, but not once did any of my school mates walk out to get a weapon.

    As an educator I do believe what children are being exposed to is a lot to blame. I have students who honestly believe that life is like a video game and that people will come back. They see so much blood, gore and violence in what they watch that they have become desensitized. I truly believe in these areas there needs to be a higher emphasis. We can make things illegal, but they still can get there hands on them or use things illegally if there is a strong desire, unfortunately I see this where I live a lot too. I think there is a lot more then regulation of guns that is what needs to take place to protect our communities. Its like the drunk driver who keeps getting DUI’s, is it the car that is the problem or his drinking? We need to get down to what is really causing people to think this kind of behavior is acceptable and why?

    1. Cyndi Hutchison is right on the mark. If more people would follow her line of reasoning, there would be a lot less bitterness in our society, and progress toward a common sense approach would likely result.
      Also, we need the enforcement of existing laws regarding violence and the possession of firearms.

  4. I admire you and feel your sadness that gun legislation has not passed. And gun violence continues. I remember years ago writing gun legislation letters after Robert Kennedy was shot in Los Angeles – it has gone on too long. Thank you for what you are doing.

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