Amidst great evil, Sandy Hook teachers save children’s lives

On Friday afternoon, I heard an expert on the psychology of mass murderers like Adam Lanza interviewed on the Mark Levin radio show. John Lot said shooters like Lanza are bent on committing suicide. What distinguishes them from other suicides is their grandiosity — they want to go out in a blaze, taking as many innocent lives with them as they can, because they want to make a name for themselves, albeit in the most perverse way. But their names will be emblazoned in the media and in our consciousness nevertheless.

We need to stop finding excuses — Lanza had Asperger Syndrome! — to minimize their deeds. We need to call these mass murderers what they are: EVIL.

But sure enough, evil men like Adam Lanza do succeed in their malignant quest for publicity. What these evil men do is so unthinkably horrible, we can’t help but want to find out who they are. Who is Adam Lanza? Why did he kill 26 innocent lives in Sandy Hook Elementary School, including 20 first-grade little children whose lives had barely begun? What rage can possibly account for him shooting all his victims execution-style and shooting each precious 6-year-old child ELEVEN times?

The way we can thwart these evil bastards from the publicity they seek is to focus on the Good and the Light.

Here are examples of the Good and the Light, in the midst of great evil that terrible day in Newtown, Connecticut.

Sandy Hook 1st graders learn about the three As of concert behavior: attention, appreciation, and applauseMaryrose Kristopik teaches a group of first graders about the three As of concert behavior: attention, appreciation, and applause

Daniel Bates reports for the Daily Mail, Dec. 14, 2012, that during the shooting at Sandy Hook, music teacher Maryrose Kristopik had the presence of mind to gather her students, ages 8-10, into a closet. She kept the children quiet by praying with them and assuring them “I love you,” and so saved 20 precious lives.

In an exclusive interview with MailOnline, Kristopik said she barricaded herself into a closet with her students while killer Adam Lanza battered on the door screaming: “Let me in! Let me in!” Only when the shots, which had been ringing out, had died down did she lead her students outside to safety.

Mrs Kristopik said: “I did take the children into the closet and talked with them to keep them quiet. I told them that I loved them. I said there was a bad person in the school. I didn’t want to tell them anything past that.”

Kristopik said there were 20 kids in the closet and there wasn’t enough space for them. One door had several instruments, including big xylophones, blocking it. But Kristopik stood in front of the other door and held the handle to keep the children out of harm’s way.

She said, “I was just trying to be as strong as possible. I was thinking about the children. I told them that we had to keep quiet and we were hiding and nobody knew we were there. Of course I was afraid too. I wanted them to be quiet, I thought it was a pretty secure out of the way place.”

Maryrose Kristopik rightly is hailed a “hero” by parents.

An unnamed mother, in her 40s, whose nine-year-old son was among the children said: “I want to thank her. She saved their lives. The shooter kept banging on the door screaming: ‘Let me in! Let me in!’ but he didn’t get in. Now I have to explain to my nine-year-old son that his friends won’t be coming back. How am I supposed to do that?”

Brenda Lebinski said her eight-year-old daughter is safe thanks to the teacher’s decision to move all kids into a closet when Lanza had entered the building. “My daughter’s teacher is my hero,” Lebinski said. “She locked all the kids in a closet and that saved their lives.”

Asked about the incident itself, Mrs Kristopik denied that she was a hero: “I called the police, I dialed 911 and they said they had reports of shots in the school, so that’s when I had to tell the kids there was a bad person there because I didn’t want them to talk. I did what any other teacher would have done and I know there were others like me doing the same. They were doing whatever they could. They were my fourth graders. We held hands, we hugged and I just tried to talk to them a little. We also said some prayers and one of the children said we should say a prayer, and we did.”

There were other heroes at Sandy Hook.

One of them is the school’s principal Dawn Hochsprung, who reportedly tried to shield students from Lanza with her body before she was gunned down.

This picture was recently taken of an assembly at Sandy Hook elementary, with hero music teacher Maryrose Kristopik conducting the choir This picture of hero music teacher Maryrose Kristopik conducting the choir at assembly was taken Wednesday and tweeted by murdered principal Dawn Hochsprung

Another hero teacher was Kaitlin Roig, who barricaded her first grade students in the classroom’s bathroom and locked the door when she first heard gunshots.

Roig said, “The kids were being so good. They asked ‘Can we go see if anyone is out there?’, ‘I just want Christmas”, ‘I don’t want to die, I just want to have Christmas.’ I said, ‘You’re going to have Christmas and Hanukkah… I tried to be positive’.”

Another teacher (name unknown), according to Richard Wilford’s seven-year-old son, went out of the second-grade classroom to check on the (gun) noise, came back in, locked the door and had the kids huddle up in the corner until police arrived. “There’s no words,” Wilford said. “It’s sheer terror, a sense of imminent danger, to get to your child and be there to protect him.”

Melissa Makris’s 10-year-old son, Philip, was in the school gym and “heard a lot of loud noises and then screaming.” His gym teachers immediately gathered the children and kept them safe in a corner. The students stayed huddled until police came in the gym and helped them get out of the building, telling the kids to run.

light in darkness

God bless all these wonderful teachers — candles in the darkness — who, as Hell broke loose and unleashed its demons, had the courage and presence of mind to secure the safety of their little charges.

~Eowyn

9 responses to “Amidst great evil, Sandy Hook teachers save children’s lives

  1. You made it appear that to be diagnosed with Asperger
    syndrome is evil per se? i have a nephew who has autism and Asperger syndrome. Does that mean he is evil? Does that mean he is really a mental case. I need to be enlightened. They say autistic children are special, now they are to be treated like devils after all?

    • mayg,

      You sure have a strange way with reading comprehension. Where did you get the idea that I “made it appear that to be diagnosed with Asperger syndrome is evil per se?”

      What I did write is that Asperger is and should not be an excuse for Adam Lanza, as there are countless Aspergerites who don’t go out and shoot to death unarmed innocent people, including 20 6-year-old children!

      Stop making Lanza into a victim.

      • excuse me, im not making him a victim. im a big fan of your website even if im a flilipino. you had a statement that says, no excuse, he has asperger’s syndrome… and it came into my mind that i construed that as thinking people with asperger’s are evil. don’t be so cranky. i am hearbroken. for the kids and my nephew’s future. i like you and your website. im a big fan. just don’t be as condescending as you sound now. i swear, im a big fan. and im filipino. i like conservatives. im very pro repub pro conservative pro usa pro god pro christ pro israel even if im filipino. i just want to be enlightened. i worry for my nephew. i hope you won’t misconstrue this. believe me when i say I LOVE THIS WEBSITE. IM A BIG FAN OF YOURS AND THIS WEBSITE’s. i really need to know more about asperger’s syndrome. I visit this website everyday.

        • mayg, I am glad you love this website. I am sure you would not love this website had you been treated in a condescending manner, which you were not. If you read Dr. Eowyn’s sentence, she is clearly saying that Asperger’s is not responsible for the actions of Adam Lanza; he made the horrible and evil decision to slaughter 20 children and 7 adults himself, using his own free will, his mind, his heart and his soul. There is nothing whatsoever that is condescending about that sentence. Dr. Eowyn does not “condescend” as you have already discovered since you love this website. Additionally, doctors on the major news channels have all indicated that this syndrome would not motivate violence in a person who has it.

  2. Adam Lanza having Asperger’s Syndrome does not provide an excuse for what he did, but it does play a part in his crime. Does it make him just as “evil” as other killers without the syndrome? I can’t speak to that. But, it should be a wake-up call for all parents of adult children with this syndrome to implement a specific monitoring plan so interventions can hopefully be provided when individuals are having difficulties coping with life stressors.

    Symptoms of Asperger syndrome:

    More males than females are diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. While every person who has the syndrome will experience different symptoms and severity of symptoms, some of the more common characteristics include:

    Average or above-average intelligence
    Difficulties with high-level language skills such as verbal reasoning, problem solving, making inferences and predictions
    Difficulties in empathising with others
    Problems with understanding another person’s point of view
    Difficulties engaging in social routines such as conversations and small talk
    Problems with controlling feelings such as anger, depression and anxiety
    A preference for routines and schedules which can result in stress or anxiety if a routine is disrupted
    Specialised fields of interest or hobbies.

  3. Rereading the accounts is so difficult. I am reading them though it is painful because I would like to make sense out of the horror. As a former teacher I can only say, there but for the Grace of God, go I. We practiced fire drills, bomb threats and intruders but one always hopes that they are skills one will never need.
    I have never found children with Asperger’s syndrome to be violent. I think the greater question would be what medications was he using and what side effects are prevalent in his dosage level?

  4. to dr eowyn, i apologize if you didn’t like my comment. i am a big of yours. i did not intend to be weird or rude here. i like this website a lot. i am from the philippines but i make sure that everyday i visit this website. i hope my message is sent the way i intend to. i didn;t mean to be rude here. i even hope we are friends. it just bothers me alot that my nephew is autistic and has asperger’s syndrome.

    May God bless you always!

    God bless America and the Philippines!

    Fyi, i despise Obama and dems more than you could ever imagine! Promise!

  5. Thank you Dr. Eowyn for this beautiful post. As can be seen from reading the comments, the purpose of the post has again been ignored. The point of this post is to memorialize and give our absolute attention not to Adam Lanza, but to all of the heros and heroines who helped save many children, some having given their own lives in that process. I hope they are face to face with Jesus, Our Lord and that today they are experiencing complete happiness and joy! I pray for their family, friends and loved ones who will miss them terribly and who will begin the healing process, but who will always have a “hurt” within themselves. I also pray for those heroes and heroines who survived this slaughter, for their healing and their welfare.

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