Senator Toni Boucher in coordination with Senator Minority Leader John McKinney joined together to help deliver more than 200 letters of condolence to the superintendent of schools in Newtown. The letters were written by students from the New Visions Charter High School for the Humanities in Bronx, N.Y.
"The letter writing campaign was started by a teacher at the charter school who had a connection to the Newtown Community. We are acting as ambassadors for the school and delivering these heartfelt letters on behalf of the students in New York," said Sen. Boucher. "Many of the students at the New Visions Charter School know all too well about gun violence in the community and live with that reality every day. These students actually have metal detectors in their school."
"These children and teenagers are the future of America and it is inspiring to see them look out for one another in the aftermath of a tragedy that even adults cannot comprehend. The Newtown community is deeply grateful for their concern and support," said Sen. McKinney.
The principal at the charter school, Seth Lewis Levin wrote to Senator Boucher, a ranking member of the Education Committee expressing his desire to have the delegation deliver the letters. A portion of Levin's letter to Newtown Superintendent, Dr. Janet Robinson reads as follows;
On behalf of the community at the New Visions Charter High School for the Humanities, we would like to pass on our most sincere condolences for the recent tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary. One of our teachers has a deep connection to your community and initiated a campaign to have our 9th and 10th grade students write letters to the school staff, families and students.
Senators Boucher and a member of McKinney's office say they were honored to deliver these cards. The New Visions Charter High School for the Humanities also offered any counseling help the Newtown district may need in the coming weeks and months ahead.
"This tragedy has touched so many lives around the country and the world. These cards will mean a lot to a district that will be grieving for quite some time. It is a small gesture, but one we are happy to help facilitate," said Sen. Boucher.
Senator McKinney who has represented the Newtown district for more than a decade says he takes a personal lesson from the tragedy, "I plan to just try to be a better person. I will hug my kids a lot harder and a lot longer."
Portions of the letters from the charter school students can be read here:
9th grade girl - We didn't know one another but I know how you are feeling. It is hard to know Christmas is Tuesday and you don't have the people you love anymore. But I want you to know you are not alone. We love you and we are really sorry.
9th grade student - I was shocked when I found out. I spoke with my mom about it that night. Take care of each other and watch out for each other because together we are one.
10th grade student - I know you will be scared for a long time. I have experienced loss of loved ones because of gun violence. I'm devastated by what happened. When I saw the news my heart broke into small pieces it will take time to understand. You are not alone. I wrote so you'll know I care. I hope you overcome this tragedy.
10th grade student - I can't begin to imagine the loss of my teachers and children in my class. You are in my thoughts. I am so sorry you experienced this at such a young age. You are so special surround yourself with family - you are loved.