EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


December 20, 2012

Letter: In the face of evil, the power of the human spirit still shines

To the editor:

“I thought we were all going to die,” she said through tears. “I told the kids I love them and I was so happy they were my students. I said anyone who believed in the power of the prayer, we need to pray and those who don’t believe in prayer think happy thoughts.”

These are the words spoken by Sandy Hook Elementary School first-grade teacher Katlin Roig. The 29-year-old teacher is credited with keeping her young students safe during the tragic events in Connecticut on Dec. 14. shared her experiences with Diane Sawyer in an interview on “Good Morning America.”

What is as remarkable as the young woman’s resolve to preserve humanity in a moment of unbridled evil was the reaction of the children themselves, all between 6 and 7 years of age. While locked together and barricaded in a bathroom adjacent to a classroom, the children held onto hope that no harm would reach them. Most whimpered and stood still, wide-eyed with fear but never creating a condition that would have brought undue attention to them.

In the interview, Roig stated she did not know if the gunman came into her classroom. If the children were unruly with panic their fate could have been different.

She held the faces of some who were emotional and assured them, “It’s ok”.

Through screams, gun shots and other sounds no child should ever hear, this amazing young woman created an island of serenity determined to ensure that if this was the last moment of their lives “I wanted that (‘I love you’) to be the last thing they heard, not the gunfire in the hall.”

There were responses from the children, ranging from the bravado of a young boy who said, “I know karate,” to another who simply declared, “I just want Christmas” .

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News

NDN Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue
Photos of the Week