A trio of people directly affected by the Sandy Hook shooting spoke at a local school Wednesday night to share their collective message.
They’re part of an organization called Safe and Sound Schools.
“Are you ready? Do you think you’re ready?” Dan Jewiss asked the crowd.
Jewiss polled teachers, parents and community members from Berkshire County to determine if they’re ready to deal with a school shooting where dozens of young children and teachers were killed.
“You can’t describe it,” he said. “It’s just horrific. It’s the worst thing you’ve ever seen.”
Jewiss was the lead investigator in the Sandy Hook school shooting. He spoke at Lee High School Wednesday night to shed light on what was learned. The main message: shave seconds to save lives.
“So the difference of if we show up at the front of the school when we should’ve shown up at the rear of the school or the basement and the shooter is on the fourth floor, those are critical seconds when gunshots are going off and those are people’s lives,” he said.
Michele Gay’s young daughter, Josephine, was killed in the tragedy.
“We want folks to feel empowered,” she said. “We want them to feel engaged to take action together.”
Gay is letting Josephine’s legacy live on by persistently making sure no other parent has to go through it.
“Making our schools safe – keeping them safe – and always trying to stay ahead of the curve. And that’s tough and it takes a lot of hard work and persistence.”
Together with Jewiss, and survivor Natalie Hammond, Gay strives for safe and sound schools and advocates for more armed resource officers in schools to deal with potential threats.