Former Superintendent at Sandy Hook reacts to Florida shooting

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STRATFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Dr. Janet Robinson was Superintendent of School in Newtown when the Sandy Hook tragedy took place. On Friday, she spoke exclusively to News 8 with her reaction to the horrific shooting in Parkland, Florida on Wednesday.

It was like I got socked in the stomach. I thought, here it is again… Remembering all of the first responders and waiting for bad news and all of the anxiety and the fear of all of the parents.”

After seeing the footage from Florida this week, she picked up the phone.

“I did call the superintendent and leave a message.”Related Content: ‘We mourn for the potential that was lost’: Vigil held for 17 victims of Parkland, Florida school shooting

Dr. Robinson said she made that call because she knows what Superintendent Robert Runcie is going through. As the leader of a school district who must now help so many other cope, and try to move forward.

“Right now his days are probably 16 to 18 hours long, and he’ll work right through the weekend. He will be very busy, but eventually you have to talk and I just said I’ll be available when you want to talk.”

She says there’s one mistake she made in the past that she doesn’t want other superintendents to make in the future.

“Not knowing some of the mental health people in our area prior to what was going on, not realizing how quickly I needed to get mental health people into our classrooms.”Related Content: Newtown organizations respond to deadly school shooting

And Dr. Robinson has a message to the Parkland, Florida community as they now try to find the strength to move forward.

What I see 5 years after Sandy Hook is the work that so many of our families have done to create different funds to raise money and help other people. Somehow if you put this pain into a drive to make things better, it at least gives you a direction. Find ways you can contribute and that makes it at least something you can handle.”

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