Opinions differ on fate of Sandy Hook elementary school - New York News

Opinions differ on fate of Sandy Hook elementary school

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NEW YORK (AP) -

A month after a gunman opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary school killing 20 children and six women before committing suicide, town officials and residents are debating what to do with the school.

A proposal to name a school after a teacher killed in the Newtown, Conn., school shootings is set to go before a town council.

Stratford Mayor John Harkins is recommending naming a new elementary school named after Victoria Soto, a 27-year-old Stratford resident who died trying to shield her students from the gunman inside Sandy Hook Elementary School. The shooter killed 20 children and six women at the school on Dec. 14 before committing suicide.

The Town Council is scheduled to vote on the name of the school Monday night, exactly one month after the shootings.

The mayor also is hoping to build a memorial to Soto, and a petition has been started to rename a local street after her.

Soto graduated from Stratford High School in 2003.

Meanwhile, a group is launching an initiative in response to last month's shooting to prevent similar tragedies.

Sandy Hook Promise, formerly known as Newtown United, plans to announce the effort Monday.

The group says it invited victims' families to the event. Co-founder Tim Makris has said that the group does not represent or speak for the families.

Makris says he's not sure how many families might participate.

Newtown Superintendent of Schools Janet Robinson is traveling to Washington, D.C., to discuss gun violence prevention.

Robinson is scheduled to be part of a panel discussion on Wednesday. It's being organized by House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, which Connecticut Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro co-chairs.

The hearing is titled "Gun Violence Prevention: A Call to Action." The event is expected to focus on what can be done to prevent future gun violence based on the experience of the panelists.

It comes a little more than a month after a lone gunman killed 20 first graders and six educators at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. He also murdered his mother before later committing suicide.

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