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January 18, 2018

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Newtown parent says better communication was needed


AP Photo/Jessica Hill

Scott Jackson, mayor of Hamden and chairman of the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission, listens as David Wheeler, father of Sandy Hook School shooting victim Benjamin Wheeler, addresses the commission via Skype at the Legislative Office Building, Friday, June 27, 2014, in Hartford, Conn.

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HARTFORD, Conn. — A parent of one of the 20 first-graders killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School says communication between Newtown officials and local families broke down at points in the shooting's aftermath.

David Wheeler lost his son, Benjamin, in the Dec. 14, 2012, massacre. He told a Connecticut commission reviewing the school shooting on Friday via Skype that if another tragedy happens, there needs to be a better flow of information.

Wheeler says some examples of the poor communication include receiving information late about available counseling services and school officials appearing to make decisions about the contents of the school yearbook without input from parents.

Janet Robinson, then Newtown's school superintendent, said it's sometimes hard to know what individual families need, and but "all of us want to know how to do things better."

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