Newtown Split on Future of Sandy Hook

Some want to raze school, others want it reopened

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 14, 2013 1:50 AM CST

(Newser) – More than 200 residents of Newtown attended a meeting yesterday to deal with one of the toughest questions facing the devastated community: What to do with the school where a gunman killed 20 students and six educators? Some residents want Sandy Hook Elementary School to be destroyed while others want to see elementary students return, the Hartford Courant reports. Other suggestions include turning it into a park, a memorial, or even a planetarium.

Sandy Hook's students are now at a new school but many are having trouble adjusting. At the Newtown meeting, high school student Mergim Bajraliu, whose little sister survived the massacre, reminisced about good times at Sandy Hook and argued strongly in favor of reopening. "If we were to knock the school down, we'd be losing the culture, that same Sandy Hook School feel that we all love and feel nostalgic about," the 17-year-old said. "One psychopath, whom I refuse to name, has unfortunately done his damage ... We can't let him do any more damage. We can't let his cruel acts go any further."

Mergiam Bajraliu, whose sister was a student in the Sandy Hook Elementary School on the day of the shooting, speaks to the media outside Newtown High School.
Mergiam Bajraliu, whose sister was a student in the Sandy Hook Elementary School on the day of the shooting, speaks to the media outside Newtown High School.   (AP Photo/The News-Times, Michael Duffy)
Kristen Kinsey, of Newtown, speaks during a community meeting at Newtown High School on the future of Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Kristen Kinsey, of Newtown, speaks during a community meeting at Newtown High School on the future of Sandy Hook Elementary School.   (AP Photo/Michelle McLoughlin, Pool)
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