Some Newtown families upset about school decision - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Some Newtown families upset about school decision


The unanimous recommendation from the task force in charge of determine the fate of the school where 26 children and educators were shot and killed has upset at least one of the families, who lost a loved one on that December day.

On Dec. 14, 20 first graders and six adults were shot and killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

"I think the school needs to be built somewhere else and the memorial needs to stay right here," said Carlos Soto, who is the younger brother of Vicki Soto.

Vicki Soto was one of the teachers who confronted the killer and died trying to protect her students.

Carlos Soto, who wanted to do the interview in the room they created as a memorial to Vicki, said he wants the town to reconsider its plan to rebuild Sandy Hook on the same property.

"Even if you change it, there's still going to be kids and the educators going in there knowing this is where 26 people lost their lives," Carlos Soto said. "Two weeks before Christmas they lost their lives for no reason."

The plan is to get full funding from both the federal and state government to build a new school that would be drastically different with a completely new entrance and driveway.

If things stay on schedule, the school could open during the week of January 2016.

"I think it is a really bad idea to rebuild the school I think the memory will always be there and it is disrespectful to those lives that were lost," said Donna Soto, who is the mother of Vicki Soto. "A new building is not going to change the fact that there was a massacre there."

Nicole Hockley, who is the mother of 6-year-old Dylan Hockley that died at Sandy Hook, said it "was a difficult and emotional decision" and understands "there is no perfect solution that will heal all wounds."

"That said, we respect that a decision needed to be made for the community, and most importantly for our students," Nicole Hockley said. "As we continue in our grieving process, we do want to better understand the future plans for the new school and any plans to protect the area where our loved ones were killed."

Carlos Soto said he wished his family was asked for more input because they would have told the town it's not fair to the children who have to go to school in the new building.

"I know they are going to grow up learning about what happened but they don't need to learn it right where it happened," he said.

Sandy Hook Elementary is still blocked off to the public, even after five months after the Newtown school shooting.

First selectman E. Patricia Llodra told Eyewitness News Monday if there are no issues, the new school could be open for the 2016 school year.

To hear more from some of the families impacted by that deadly day, CBS talked to some of the parents about how they would like their children to be remembered and how they are recovering. That airs Tuesday on CBS This Morning.

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