​Sandy Hook educators fight to change gun laws


Sandy Hook teachers Carol Wexler (left) and Abbey Clements, part of Sandy Hook School Educators for Gun Sense.

CBS News

Two years after a lone gunman opened fire on students and staff at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., a group of educators who were there that day talked with "Sunday Morning" correspondent Jane Pauley about their lives since the tragedy -- and their mission to change gun control laws.

Twenty children and six adults were murdered at the school by a lone gunman during the Dec. 14, 2012 incident.

Abbey Clements, a second-grade teacher who remembers listening to the 154 gunshots fired that morning, said there have been nearly 100 shootings at American schools since the Sandy Hook tragedy.

Clements is now part of Sandy Hook School Educators for Gun Sense, an organization committed to changing gun laws as a way to honor those who died that day. The group is pushing for expanded background checks, limits on magazine sizes for assault weapons, and easier access to help for the mentally ill.

"I go home, I do lesson plans, and I research gun violence prevention," Clements tells Pauley. "That gives me a purpose."

Second-grade teacher Carol Wexler told Pauley, "I look at the young children in school every day, and I think, 'I can't let them grow up in a society where this is acceptable.'

"For myself, I feel that I have a responsibility to make sure that I at least try and do something. ... I just know that I don't want other people to go through what we went through."

Although classes resumed for Sandy Hook students in a neighboring town one month after the shooting, life has not returned to normal in a community still going through a grieving process. In her report, Pauley explores some of the fallout from the tragedy that continues to affect many families.

"Our high school students really felt the impact very, very deeply," Monsignor Robert Weiss, of St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church, tells Pauley. "There are still some that are having psychological issues, sleeplessness, you know, issues with their diets."

Watch Jane Pauley's report Dec. 7 on "Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood," broadcast Sundays from 9:00-10:30 a.m. ET on the CBS Television Network. The show is also rebroadcast on the Smithsonian Channel at 2:00-3:30 p.m. ET.

Rand Morrison is the executive producer.

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