Adam Lanza update: After Sandy Hook shooting, Newtown schools told to give subs keys to classrooms
DAVE ALTIMARI and STEVEN GOODE, CTNow
9:04 AM, Feb 1, 2013
NEWTOWN, Conn. -- Following the Dec. 14 slaying of students and school personnel at Sandy Hook Elementary School, town education officials took steps to make sure all substitute teachers have keys to their classrooms so they can lock the doors at the start of each day.
"We became aware that not all substitutes had keys," Superintendent of Schools Janet Robinson said Wednesday.
Each school was notified that substitutes should be given classroom keys. The issue arose after the shooting when the father of substitute teacher Lauren Rousseau, one of the victims, raised questions about whether she was provided with a key to the classroom.
Investigators have not indicated whether she had a key or whether her door was open or closed. They also have not said if the door was locked.
Robinson said she was not aware of whether Rousseau had been given a key. She said the school district supplied individual schools with "a reminder" about supplying classroom keys to substitutes.
Rousseau's father, Gil Rousseau, said Wednesday that he did not know whether his daughter had a key to her classroom.
State Police spokesman Paul Vance said he couldn't comment on the key issue because the case is still under investigation. He referred questions about the policy regarding providing keys to substitutes to Newtown school officials.
Rousseau was filling in when, authorities say, 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot his way into the school. Lanza entered Rousseau's classroom first, passing by two others, including one in which the door was shut. He shot and killed 14 children, Rousseau and special education aide Rachel D'Avino in that classroom.
Lanza then entered Victoria Soto's first-grade classroom, killing six students, Soto and special education aide Anne Marie Murphy. It is unclear if Soto's door was closed or locked.
Lanza killed himself in Soto's room as police were entering the building. He killed the 26 students and school personnel with a semi-automatic rifle.
Robinson said the school district's policy was for teachers to set the lock, located on the hallway side of the door, with their classroom keys when they arrived and started work in the event of a lock-down during the school day.
"They are supposed to have their doors locked and then just slam them shut (if there is a lockdown)," Robinson said.
Many of the teachers did lock their doors. As local, federal and state police poured into the school after the shooting they described having to slide their badges under the doors to convince teachers to open them.
Another first-grade teacher, Kaitlin Roig, whose classroom was closest to the front entrance where Lanza entered, said in a television interview that she closed her classroom door and gathered her students in a bathroom in the back of the room.
Lanza passed by Roig's room during his six-minute shooting spree. Rousseau's classroom was the third one on the left after Roig's and Soto's.
Lanza shot his way into the school through the glass windows at the front entrance. When he turned left towards the first grade classrooms he encountered Principal Dawn Hochsprung and school psychologist Mary Sherlach who were in a meeting with a parent in a room on the right hand side of the hallway. Lanza killed them first before going into the classrooms.