A poignant column by two well-regarded special education attorneys, “Op-Ed: The Sandy Hook failure,” was published Dec. 9 in The Connecticut Mirror.

The piece makes the point that Adam Lanza, the perpetrator of the 2012 shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, should have been receiving special education services, but was not.

To quote one of many notable statements from the column: “The Office of the Child Advocate report makes plain that the Newtown Public Schools failed in its legal and educational obligations to Adam Lanza. It was not the teachers, some of whom sought more help for Lanza, and some of whom gave their lives to protect Lanza’s victims. And, while Newtown has been especially hostile to special education, the town is not unique. Many towns are fraught with voters who hate to spend money on education and do not think it makes sense to spend money on children with disabilities.”

Special education advocates and attorneys in Maine face the same challenges. Whether the student has an emotional problem or cannot read properly, school districts often loathe spending additional funds to provide necessary services.

For the safety of our children, let’s hope our state and local representatives learn from Newtown’s mistakes.

Buckley J. Hugo

Midcoast Advocacy


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