An after-school supervisor was fired from her job in East Northport, New York, after she explained the Sandy Hook school shooting to some kids.
Gigi Kearns told the kids about the tragic shooting during a lockdown drill on May 22 (video below).
The lockdown drill happened at Dickinson Elementary during the after-school program, which is run by SCOPE Education Services of Suffolk County.
“I am a retired New York City police officer and I have been trained in speaking with children on very sensitive subjects such as Sandy Hook,” Kearns told CBS New York.
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Kearns recalled that some of the children were laughing during the drill, prompting one child to say that the drill was happening because of Sandy Hook. Another child then asked what Sandy Hook was.
Kearns claims that she sensitively explained the shooting to the children, but one parent was upset that Kearns showed some pictures of Sandy Hook parents weeping, a SWAT team at the school, students being escorted out by teachers and Adam Lanza, the shooter; all of which have been broadcast on TV and published countless times.
The parent, who complained, reportedly insisted that young children be shielded from the facts.
“I started showing them how I would protect them if anything happened. And I think that is what they gravitated towards,” Kearns stated.
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However, SCOPE fired Kearns for her alleged poor judgment and said in a statement, "We are aware of concerns of parents. All decisions are made in best interest of children attending our programs."
Many parents are actually concerned that Kearns was fired and are working to get her job back.
One of those parents, Aya Blaney, started a Change.org petition that states:
As a parent of one of the students who misbehaved during the lockdown, and my husband personally knows one of the parents of Sandy Hook shooting victim, I feel this situation was mistreated and lead too quickly without fair investigation.
Everyone has different opinions and ways about teaching kids lessons and show how the world is today, but I do not feel GiGi did anything wrong. I'd rather thank her for correcting my son's misbehavior and guiding him why being safe is so important and he needs to understand that.
The petition has almost 1,000 signatures.
The parents who support Kearns have tried to meet with SCOPE, but its education directors, who are aware of "concerns of parents," have reportedly refused to do so.