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SANDY HOOK GHS students spread kindness on anniversary

December 15, 2018

GREENWICH — Greenwich High students went out of their way to write and distribute kind notes on the sixth anniversary of the deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown.

The student body government and the Roots and Shoots club cosponsored an event to “build a community of trust,” said Kathleen Méndez, a social studies teacher and the GHS Roots and Shoots Club adviser.

The students gathered in the student center for the event, which was created in response to an assembly held earlier this year with Sandy Hook SAVE (Students Against Violence Everywhere) Promise Clubs.

The national organization is made up of Sandy Hook Promise, which works to prevent gun-related deaths due to crime, suicide and accidental discharge, and SAVE, a network of student clubs that engages young people in preventing gun violence.

It is a good idea to spread kindness and express positivity on the anniversary of the Sandy Hook shooting, freshman Aarya Dhru said.

She was satisfied with how students at lunch engaged with them, writing notes and delivering them to others.

“This is so much more than I anticipated,” she said.

The 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook, which left 20 first-graders and six educators dead, showed students in Greenwich how close these tragedies can happen, sophomore Sarah Peng said while she was making her kindness note.

The two walk-ins held at GHS last year after the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., started a movement that united all the grades, Peng said.

Mendez encouraged teens to hand out the notes to students they might normally not interact with. Not everyone has lunch in the student center, and it can be isolating, she said.

“It takes a lot to go out to the student body,” she said.

In a school as large as Greenwich High, safety is the first priority, Mendez said.

For Dhru, spreading kindness will keep the student body safe from violence.

“It already happened, but we can hopefully stop something in the future from happening,” she said.

jo.kroeker@hearstmediact.com

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