December 20, 2012 | Back to: News

Student urges remembrance of Newtown shooting victims

As a show of support for the families of victims in the tragic Dec. 14 shooting in Newtown, Conn., one Grass Valley student is urging the community to write “Sandy Hook” on their hands and wear the elementary school’s colors of green and white today.

“I started a Facebook page for people to remember what happened and think about them all day,” said Carly Maxstone, a 15-year-old student at William and Mary Ghidotti High School. “Like tying a string to your finger.”

The Facebook event has 117 people “attending,” or participating in the event.

“In remembrance of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings, and in support of the friends and family of the victims, we should all write S.H.E.S. or Sandy Hook on our hands on Friday,” the event page reads.

Maxstone said the idea for the Facebook page came from a class project about doing good things.

“My English teacher inspired me,” Maxstone said.

“We were working on a project about doing good things.”

That English teacher, Kristin Aguilar, said her students were studying human nature, reading “Lord of the Flies” and “Night,” and then also had a project on the positive side of humanity, focusing on heroic imagination.

Aguilar said the assignment sparked many students to focus their assignment on Sandy Hook Elementary teacher Victoria Soto, who was slain in the tragedy.

“They wrote an essay about a quiet hero, and an essay about where they are in that process to be that person who would stand up for somebody else or notice when a stranger needs something,” Aguilar said.

“Many of the kids chose Victoria Soto, one of the teachers to have that tragedy happen and the kids noticed that especially because they had that idea of heroism on their minds.”

One of Maxstone’s childhood friends and classmates, Zachary Lantz, was among those who chose to write about Soto, saying she encompasses the heroism outlined in the assignment.

“She was the one who, when the gunman went into the classroom, locked all of her students to keep them safe and took the bullet for the kids,” Lantz said.

“I thought that was really selfless and great and I was really proud and inspired that she would (sacrifice) her life for the kids.”

Lantz said he will be showing support for Maxstone’s commemorative event.

“I’m going to write on my forehead and wear green and white,” Lantz said.

“I’m really going to show my support, because I think that’s the best thing you can do at this point.”

Aguilar said Maxstone, who took the initiative to create the Facebook event the day after the incident, is a forward-thinking and intelligent person.

“As a student, Carly is very intelligent, not shy and very mature for her age,” Aguilar said. “She has a very well-developed sense of who she is and I find her really interesting. You can tell she’s going to do something in her life.”

To contact Staff Writer Jennifer Terman, email or call (530) 477-4230.

“I’m really going to show my support, because I think that’s the best thing you can do at this point.”
e_SEmD Zachary Lantz, student

Jennifer Terman

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The Union Updated Jan 15, 2013 02:32PM Published Dec 22, 2012 08:00AM Copyright 2012 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.