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Public Statements

Preventing the Next Sandy Hook Tragedy

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Speaker, in our continuing efforts to turn the tragic events at Newtown to high purpose, I include in the Record today two articles from the USA Today newspaper, one entitled, ``A Boy Lost in the Shadows,'' and another, ``Newtown Puts Mental Services in Spotlight.''

These articles remind me of a conversation I had a few years ago with a caring grade-school teacher from my own district who became quite frustrated with the local school system's inability to help her manage the behavior of a child in her elementary classroom. After repeated attempts that took 3 years--and let me emphasize 3 years--the teacher was able to have the child referred to behavioral specialists and placed in a more appropriate learning environment.

As a society, we seem to lack the methods to identify troubled youth and to put them on a proper path early to healing. Too often, a child is left floundering due to our collective inabilities to help him find a constructive path forward. Many of our local boards of education often are not properly equipped to identify and assist children who are uncivil or who are completely alienated in their surroundings.

Mr. Speaker, I was very pleased with the President's announcement the other night, that of a commission on youth violence to be formed to look into what is happening across our country; let us hope that it provides a national forum to listen to those voices among us who grapple with these human challenges every day. This must be our responsibility to future generations.

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