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Sandy Hook mother advocates for school safety during La Crosse Central presentation

Published: Jul. 14, 2021 at 5:23 PM CDT
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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) - Eight years after 20 young children and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary, the mother of two survivors is talking with educators across the country.

Carly Posey wants to make sure other school districts and their students don’t have to go through the same thing her children went through on December 14, 2012.

Posey works with the “I Love U Guys” Foundation to give presentations on school safety and dealing with traumatic events.

“I wanted it [the presentation] to be about proactive things that we all could do in our lives to help us and not have to go through tragedy, and if we do go through tragedy, then how do we recover from that,” Posey detailed.

Part of Posey’s presentation Wednesday morning focused on reunification, a practice which Safety Coordinator Scott Johnson says is an emphasis of the La Crosse School District.

“When an incident happens, whether it’s a violent incident or having to evacuate a building, it becomes chaos when everybody comes to the same site and then you’re not able to account for all of the students being picked up,” Johnson said. “Our Student Resource Officers and myself are really going to work on reunification.”

Posey stressed that the best way for students to recover from a tragedy is to foster strong relationships with the people around them.

“My kids needed teachers that cared about them, they needed other people that had been through similar tragedies,” Posey expressed. “It doesn’t matter what tragedy you’ve been through, get around that group of people that have also been through similar things, and that connection is a remarkable thing to see grow.”

Which is why she compares returning to school following a shocking event like a shooting to students coming together following the pandemic.

“You leave school and you don’t go back for weeks and sometimes months, and same with COVID, we told our kids they need to be out of school because it’s not safe to be in school,” Posey explained. “Everybody has their own tragedy, and it’s how we get through that and how we recover and how we make those relationships and bring the positive side out of it, so I’m hoping we can do that with the pandemic. "

Posey says it was humbling to be able to get her message out to people from more than twenty different school districts on Wednesday.

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