When I wrote Part Seven of this series, I had mentioned that I was in the process of sorting through somewhere around one hundred and twenty additional photographs taken in and around Sandy Hook School between 2008 – the year Sandy Hook deniers and hoaxers such as James Fetzer erroneously claim that the school was secretly shuttered, all while failing to provide even a single piece of empirical evidence to support their ridiculous fairy tales – and 2012, which is of course the year Adam Lanza broke into the school and murdered twenty-six people. Many of those photographs ended up in the entries that followed while others provided even further proof that Wolfgang Halbig is nothing more than a liar (spoiler: he never paid me).
Even after all of that, I still had over one hundred and one photographs left over – all collected from The Newtown Bee (which helpfully provides photographic metadata to the public for nearly all of their content) and The Newtown Patch – that were a bit more difficult for me to organize. So this entry serves to act as a “dumping ground” of sorts, heavy on photographic evidence of the school’s operation while lacking the structure or narrative seen in previous entries in the series.
Since there are so many photographs, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for me to post every last one of them. Instead, I will post those I believe to be the most important or incriminating to deniers like Fetzer and Halbig while simply linking to the remainder. I will also do my absolute best to present them in chronological order and with the corresponding articles whenever possible. Photos that are of no real significance and contain personal information (and there are about a half dozen or so of those total) will be left out for obvious reasons.
October 14th, 2009:
“Town Clerk Debbie Aurelia laughs with Sandy Hook Elementary School second grade students on October 14. The students were on a walking tour of town offices and other landmarks along Main Street. They will be among the last groups to see the town offices while still located within Edmond Town Hall.”
October 31st, 2009:
The Newtown Bee posted a dozen photos from Sandy Hook’s Halloween parade, which took place in the school’s courtyard on Friday, October 31st, 2009. As one would expect at an elementary school, the parade included a large number of students as well as their parents and staff (including then principal Barbara Gasparine):
You can view all twelve of these photos for yourself here. I’m only going to briefly discuss two of them, both of which stand out to me for different reasons. First is this picture of former Sandy Hook principal Barbara Gasparine high-fiving a young girl dressed as a princess as she makes her way back into the school:
I chose this picture knowing that while it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that a denier may make the totally absurd claim that the Newtown public school district would hold a Halloween parade in the courtyard of an abandoned school and expect everyone to play along (logic has never been their strong suit), certainly it would be much more difficult for them to suggest that these children were then marched back inside of a building that had been – according to popular denier lore – closed a year earlier due to “asbestos contamination”.
The second photo I chose illustrates how much more colorful Newtown is in late October than it is in the middle of December, when the shooting took place. This is important as another persistent, ludicrous claim is that the crime scene photos, evacuation photos, dash cam videos, and even the helicopter news footage was all taken in October rather than December. This claim is based on the surrounding foliage and is at its most puzzling when made by self-proclaimed Sandy Hook “researcher” Allan Powell, a braindead Australian (by way of the UK) who has almost definitely never stepped foot in the Northeastern United States and is completely ignorant of its seasons (as he is most other things). Look at how lush and full the trees are in this photo, taken on the very last day of October:
Now compare that to the following, taken from one of the crime scene photos:
The tall conifer towards the center of the above photo is the same one seen just right of center in the Halloween photograph. That should help to further illustrate the difference, which is substantial.
November 11th, 2009:
There are three pictures from the 2009 Veterans Day breakfast available on The Newtown Bee’s website. Why would they hold a Veterans Day breakfast in an abandoned, purportedly dangerous school? Easy answer: they wouldn’t. From the November 11th edition of the paper:
A third breakfast for veterans was served at Sandy Hook School on Wednesday morning after a flag raising ceremony, introduced by Sandy Hook School Assistant Principal Barbara Gasparine. Newtown resident Donna Monteleone Randle, who served with the US Army Signal Corp, raised the flag while Newtown High School senior Nahba Bropleh played the trumpet.
Navy Pilot and Commander William McNerney was the guest speaker for the morning at Sandy Hook School.
Of the three included photos, the following is the most notable as it very clearly shows the date – November 11th, 2009 – written on the whiteboard:
I have to assume (alleged) former Marine James Fetzer believes that the veterans who took part in these events are all lying. Is Fetzer brave enough to make that accusation? Probably not!
December 17th, 2009:
Students from Newtown Middle School’s seventh grade orchestra as well as Sandy Hook School’s fourth grade chorus practiced for their upcoming Winter Concert in the elementary school’s cafetorium:
December 18th, 2009:
“Cara Pellicone and her daughter Julia made a gingerbread house together on Friday, December 18, in the Sandy Hook School classroom of teacher Kaitlin Roig, along with the rest of Julia’s classmates.”
Remember that Adam forced his way into Sandy Hook shortly before 2012’s gingerbread house event, which is why a number of parents (including Christopher Manfredonia, who was briefly detained after attempting to locate his daughter) were already on the premises. A number of deniers have since attempted to cast suspicion on the activity, but this is proof that they’ve been doing it for years.
December 22nd, 2009:
“Members of New Haven Symphony Orchestra visited Sandy Hook Elementary School on Tuesday, December 22, for a PTA-sponsored cultural arts schoolwide assembly. Violinist Joanna Becker, left, violinist David Southorn, back left, cellist Laura Usiskin, standing, and violist Janice LaMarre shared information about the music they were performing and its composers with the gathered students.”
March 7th, 2010:
“Students across the school district were asked to ‘Take a Closer Look’ for a collaborative art project that is now hanging in the schools after Sandy Hook School art teacher Leslie Gunn visited Santa Fe, N.M., last summer. This is part of the selection of work on view at Sandy Hook School.”
“Artwork now up at Sandy Hook Elementary School was produced by students ranging from first grade through high school. The work is part of ‘Take A Closer Look,’ the first districtwide art exhibit based on a theme.”
“Artwork now up at Sandy Hook Elementary School, including these pieces by Kira Hood (top) and Erin Glaberson, was produced by students ranging from first grade through high school. The work is part of ‘Take A Closer Look,’ the first districtwide art exhibit based on a theme.”
“Artwork now up at Sandy Hook Elementary School was produced by students ranging from first grade through high school. The work is part of ‘Take A Closer Look,’ the first districtwide art exhibit based on a theme. This watercolor by Althea Hurley is based on a 1937 painting by Georgia O’Keeffe called ‘A Sunflower from Maggie.'”
April 7th, 2010:
“Kindergarten students at Sandy Hook School learned about Earth on Wednesday, April 7, when Sonya Robins visited the school. Ms Robins shared information about Earth with the students by using an Earth balloon to pinpoint areas like water, deserts, and lakes.”
April 22nd, 2010:
April 27th, 2010:
“Sandy Hook School fourth grade teacher Carrie Usher’s class performed an interactive skit for students during this year’s One School, One Read kick-off assembly on Tuesday, April 27. The students and their teacher stand together with a sign they created depicting an Alaskan zoo.”
Note one student in the front right wearing a 2009 “Fairfield County Fastpitch Softball League” t-shirt. It’s unlikely such a shirt was available in 2008.
May 5th, 2010:
On May 5th, 2010, Sandy Hook School hosted an art night where student art was displayed throughout the school for parents. In an article titled “Art Nights Invite Families To See Student Work”, published by The Newtown Bee on May 21st, 2010, reporter Eliza Hallabeck writes:
Hawley and Sandy Hook School both had Art Nights on Tuesday, May 5. Parents were invited to visit both schools and wander the hallways viewing works their students had finished throughout the year.
At Sandy Hook School art teacher Leslie Gunn oversaw preparations. Parents entered the school, and were guided through hallways by student art work.
The Newtown Bee’s website included seventeen photos from the event, all of which are available here.
May 6th, 2010:
“At Sandy Hook Elementary School, staff ate a lunch on May 6 that had been put together by the school’s PTA in honor of National Teacher Appreciation Week, May 3-7. All schools in the district recognized Teacher Appreciation Week with different PTA programs, events, and gifts. At Hawley lunch was provided for teachers, and at Newtown High School banners decorated the school. “
June 8th, 2010:
“Four students who attend Sandy Hook School had a very special ride to school Tuesday morning. James and Julia Doyle and Garrett and Madison Fetchick were picked up at the Doyle home on June 8 and driven to school in Sandy Hook Fire & Rescue Company’s brand-new 2010 Pierce Engine.” It should go without saying that a 2010 Pierce Engine would not have been available two years earlier, in 2008.
“Four students who attend Sandy Hook School had a very special ride to school Tuesday morning. James and Julia Doyle and Garrett and Madison Fetchick were picked up at the Doyle home on June 8 and driven to school in Sandy Hook Fire & Rescue Company’s brand-new 2010 Pierce Engine.”
“Sandy Hook School Principal Donna Page was at the front door when four of her students arrived at school on June 8 in an unusual mode of transportation. James and Julia Doyle and Garrett and Madison Fetchick were picked up at the Doyle home on June 8 and driven to school in Sandy Hook Fire & Rescue Company’s brand-new 2010 Pierce Engine.”
“Four students who attend Sandy Hook School had a very special ride to school Tuesday morning. James and Julia Doyle and Garrett and Madison Fetchick were picked up at the Doyle home on June 8 and driven to school in Sandy Hook Fire & Rescue Company’s brand-new 2010 Pierce Engine. The children were driven in by Lieutenant John Jeltema and EMS Captain Karin Halstead, thanks to a winning bid by the children’s parents during the Sandy Hook School PTA Spring Auction. Stacie and James Doyle and Kathy and Jeff Fetchick secured the special event for their children when they were the top bidders for the lot on March 13. From left are Madison, Julia, EMS Capt Halstead, Lt Jeltema, James and Garrett.”
June 15th, 2010:
From the June 18th, 2010 edition of The Newtown Bee: “A record number of 70 students passed monthly geography tests at Sandy Hook School, which were overseen by PTA program co-chairs Azra Sholtes and Jakie Jensen. The PTA Geography Enrichment Program tests students on their knowledge of states, capitals, bodies of water in the United States, and international oceans, mountains, and more. Above all 70 students stand with Ms Sholtes, left, Ms Jensen, middle, and Sandy Hook School Donna Pagé on Tuesday, June 15.”
There are two additional photos available from this awards ceremony here and here.
August 26th, 2010:
In this photo, Sandy Hook Assistant Principal Jennifer Sinal – whose hiring that year is covered in depth here, in Part Nine – greets kindergarten students during their preschool year visit:
I’ve included this seemingly mundane photo for two important reasons (not including the obvious: that it shows an incoming kindergarten class at an allegedly closed elementary school):
#1 – The cars in the lot are all facing the same direction. While this is more than likely to elicit a “who cares?” from most readers, James Fetzer – hold your groans – believes the fact that school teachers and staff chose to park so conveniently is somehow proof that the parking lot area, as seen in all photographs and video taken on December 14th, 2012 was staged. This claim even makes its way into the prologue of the atrocious “Nobody Died At Sandy Hook”. From page twelve:
Inspection of the vehicles in the parking lot in front of the school shows that they are parked in the wrong direction (which should have been nose-in), given the arrangement for driving into the lot. The image itself suggests of a group of drivers methodically filling up the lot with used or abandoned cars, driving straight into the designated parking places without regard for how they should have been arranged.
But here we have proof that they had been parking this way for years.
#2 – This event is corroborated by an article titled “Kindergarten Students Take A Trial Run”, published by The Newtown Patch on August 27th, 2010. This article features three more photographs taken that day and obviously makes no mention of the children being taken to a non-operational school.
The Newtown Bee also included a second photo from the visit, which you can find here:
“Jacky Hegarty waved to her mother Beth Hegarty at Sandy Hook School on Thursday, August 26, after she rode the bus for the first time. Jacky and her sisters, Shannon and Meghan, all visited the school as kindergarten students on Thursday.”
September 1st, 2010:
“Sandy Hook School Principal Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung (right) and Assistant Principal Jennifer Sinal (second from right) waved to students as they left the building at the end of the first day of school on Wednesday, September 1.”
Note: The previous three photographs were all originally included in an article titled “Educators And Students Upbeat As The New School Year Begins”, published in The Newtown Bee on September 3rd, 2010.
September 21st, 2010:
According to an article titled “A ‘Musical’ Work Of Art Taking Shape At Sandy Hook School”, published in The Newtown Bee on September 24th, 2010, Sandy Hook students and staff created a representation of Pablo Picasso’s “Three Musicians”, using broken tile. The project was overseen by “Art Spot of Danbury” owners Bruce and Joanne Hunter. Included in The Newtown Bee’s article is the following photograph:
“Art Spot of Danbury co-owner Joanne Hunter showed Sandy Hook School students and Principal Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung, left, how to glue tiles onto an art installation the school is creating with the Art Spot of Pablo Picasso’s 1921 “Three Musicians” painting on Tuesday, September 21.”
The completed piece was later hung on the wall of the school’s cafetorium, as seen in this photo from the 2011 Veteran’s Day breakfast:
But I guess they brought children into the empty and dangerous school in order to create a large tile mosaic that they then hung in the empty cafetorium, simply to provide a sense of continuity to articles in the local newspaper, right? Makes a lot of sense.
October 1st, 2010:
The Newtown Bee runs this photo of a student creating crafts in celebration of the school’s “One School, One Read” program:
The student is using a copy of the April 2nd, 2010 edition of The New York Times as a placement; an item I can only image would be very difficult to procure prior to that date, let alone two years ahead of time.
October 21st, 2010:
October 22nd, 2010:
“From left, Rachel Wolf, Kathy Gramolini, and Chris Wolf oversaw a table of treats during the Sandy Hook School Family Fair on Friday, October 22. Students walked the school’s hallways in Halloween outfits. The night included a Haunted House, created by Sue and Dean Harrell of Picture Perfect Landscaping.”
October 29th, 2010:
“Superheroes, a devil, a few princesses, and more walked through Sandy Hook School on Friday, October 29, and outside the school to parade for teachers, parents, and visiting relatives for the annual Halloween kindergarten parade at the school. Students also sang festive songs for the occasion under the guidance of school teachers.”
December 16th, 2010:
February 10th, 2011:
March 28th, 2011:
In this photo, two Sandy Hook students are shown enjoying their time as school “co-principals” for the day, an opportunity their parents won for them at a local PTA fundraiser which, according to this article, was held at the Alexandria Room at Edmond Town Hallon Saturday, March 12th, 2011. But why would anyone bid on the chance to be “co-principal” of a school that had been closed down for three years? Unless of course the school was never closed.
According to this article published in the April 1st, 2011 edition of The Newtown Bee, the money raised by the PTA was used to purchase SMART Technologies document cameras.
March 28th, 2011:
“Teachers, staff, and students celebrated the start of Sandy Hook School’s March Malarkey week by wearing their pajamas to school on Monday, March 28. Other days during the week were recognized with other special celebrations, like wearing crazy socks on Tuesday or Inside Out and Backwards Day on Wednesday. Second graders Kelly Terifay, left, and Susannah Drap wore their pajamas to school on Monday.”
March 31st, 2011:
“Sandy Hook School students learned about the Serengeti and a possible highway project in Tanzania that could upset the migration pattern of wildebeests when presenter Guy Combs spoke at the school on Thursday, March 31.”
May 25th, 2011:
This photo shows a half dozen Sandy Hook kindergarten students showing off books they had written themselves. According to this article, published in the June 10th, 2011 edition of The Newtown Bee, the students read their books to their parents and other visitors.
June 4th, 2011:
At the 2011 Relay For Life in Newtown, three Sandy Hook students carry a banner emblazoned with the school’s motto.
June 14th, 2011:
June 15th, 2011:
From the June 24th, 2011 edition of The Newtown Bee, this photo shows a number of Sandy Hook students participating in the school’s Field Day, which took place on school grounds. The school itself can be seen in the background.
June 21st, 2011:
Also from the June 24th, 2011 edition of The Newtown Bee, school principal Dawn Hochsprung leads a graduation ceremony for Sandy Hook’s kindergarten class of 2011.
November 9th, 2011:
An article titled “Sandy Hook School Welcomes Incoming Kindergarteners”, published by The Newtown Patch on November 9th, 2011, includes seven photographs taken inside of the fully operational school, including the following photo of school nurse Sally Cox, who deniers once accused of not being a registered nurse (and like many of their easily debunked claims, they’ve since dropped this one). Now they just accuse her of making up her story, which I’ve addressed here and here:
There’s also this picture, which confirms that the configuration and contents of the glass display cases in the lobby are constantly changing (see the “plaster people” below, on May 24th, 2012):
Again, you can choose to believe that someone visited the closed school a number of times between 2008 and 2012 in order to change the content of these cases, simply for the benefit of some photographs that appeared in local newspapers (while neglecting to update their “internet connection”), or you can accept that this was an open, functional elementary school.
December 16th, 2011:
“Sandy Hook School fourth grade students practiced during the school day on Wednesday, December 7, for the their Winter Concert, which was held on December 8 at Newtown High School. The day before, the fourth graders rehearsed for the formal concert by giving a presentation for their fellow students in the school’s gymnasium. Sandy Hook School music teacher Maryrose Kristopik, left, led the students while playing the guitar during the first number of the performance.”
December 17th, 2011:
Depot Day 2011 at Sandy Hook School. Again, the contents of the glass display case between these two gentleman has changed:
“Members of The Newtown Fund held the group’s Depot Day activities on Saturday, December 17, at Sandy Hook School. Pictured from left, front row, are Phyllis Zimmer, Max Zimmer; middle row, Doreen Kostecki, Sharon Maynard, Linda Bates, Ann Ragusa; back row, Rick Mazzariello, Don Brooks.”
“Ann Piccini, director of the Newtown Social Services Department, left, and Ann Benore, the department’s case manager, are shown in a Sandy Hook School corridor where hundreds of donated holiday gifts had been stockpiled for delivery to needy local families on December 17.”
January 4th, 2012:
From an article titled “Sandy Hook School Students Learn About Paper Engineering”, published in the January 13th, 2012 edition of The Newtown Bee:
Sandy Hook School students journeyed to different “countries” over the past two weeks, by having passports stamped for visiting multiple classrooms. In the art room, as Sandy Hook School teacher Leslie Gunn said, students learned about China with the help of visiting artist Martin Lin.
Mr Lin visited the school both on Wednesday, January 4, and Wednesday, January 11, to demonstrate paper engineering and help students use a piece of paper to create cranes.
Included with the article is this photo shows Mr. Lin guiding a student through the creation of a paper crane.
May 24th, 2012:
“Sandy Hook School hosted its annual Art Show recently featuring hundreds of drawings, paintings, sculptures, and multidimensional works by students from kindergarten through fourth grade. Among the projects were various ‘plaster people’ and tables packed with clay pots and ‘Fish Sticks’ ceramics, which drew the attention of Pat and Julia Calabrese, who were among the throngs of parents and families visiting the show May 24.”
“Sandy Hook School hosted its annual Art Show recently featuring hundreds of drawings, paintings, sculptures, and multidimensional works by students from kindergarten through fourth grade. Among the projects were various ‘plaster people,’ shown here.”
June 1st, 2012:
In an article titled “FootPrint Post Honors Staff Members”, The Newtown Patch reports on an awards ceremony held in the school’s cafetorium honoring the staff of the school’s newspaper, The Sandy Hook FootPrint Post, which celebrated its 28th year of publication. Accompanying the article was the following photo:
June 4th, 2012:
“Students in Sandy Hook School’s Marathon Mondays club ran with advisor and first grade teacher Kaitlin Roig on Monday, June 4, to complete the final mile of the group’s 26.2-mile goal for the school year.”
June 15th, 2012:
“Jeanine and James Parsons were the high bidders recently in the Sandy Hook School Spring Auction for a lot that promised a ride to school in a fire truck. On Friday, June 15, the family collected on that promise. Jeanine and her four boys — from left, Ethan, Sam, Andrew, and Joshua, seated inside Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire & Rescue’s rescue truck — were driven to school by Sandy Hook Firefighter John Will, and joined for the ride by Firefighter Shannon Hicks. The truck picked up the Parsonses at their bus stop, where friends and neighbors were allowed to join the boys in looking round the inside of the vehicle. After everyone else was picked up by the school bus, the Parsons settled in to the back of the truck for their ride to school.”
June 18th, 2012:
Eliza Hallabeck of The Newtown Bee was on hand for Sandy Hook School’s annual awards ceremony for the 2011-2012 school year. Note one student (in the second row, towards our left) in this large group is wearing a Miley Cyrus World Tour 2009 t-shirt which – much like the 2009 FCFSL t-shirt and April, 2010 edition of The New York Times we saw earlier – was probably very difficult to find in 2008:
The Newtown Patch also wrote about the awards ceremony in an article titled “Sandy Hook School 3rd And 4th Graders Focus On Community Service” and included the following photo:
June 21st, 2012:
Two from “2011-2012 School Year Ends”, published June 29th, 2012:
Notice the visible cars are parked facing the school.
August 24th, 2012:
Just like they did in 2010 (as well as 2011, though it is not pictured here), principal Dawn Hochsprung and vice principal Jennifer Sinal were on hand to greet the school’s incoming kindergarten class as they arrived for their “prerun experience”:
August 31st, 2012:
October 12th, 2012:
“Firefighters from Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire & Rescue spent Friday, October 12, at Sandy Hook School. Nearing the end of Fire Prevention Week, it was a time for students of all grades to learn about fire safety for themselves and their homes, as well as see some of the tools used by firefighters. Five members of the company arrived at the school for a fire drill Friday morning, and then spent the remainder of the day presenting programs geared to the different age levels. Students listened to presentations by Engineer Rob Sibley — seen here showing one group a thermal camera, while Firefighters Pete Barresi and Erica Knapp look on — and were then encouraged to ask questions. Each group was also given time to meet the firefighters and then headed outdoors for a few minutes to see (and, when the rain stopped, go through) Engine 442, one of Sandy Hook’s pumpers.”
Note the “Three Musicians” mosaic created by students in September of 2010 hanging on the wall.
December 12th, 2012:
Sadly, this is the very last photograph taken by Newtown Bee staff before the terrible events that took place less than forty-eight hours later. It shows the school’s fourth grade choir – as always led by music teacher Maryrose Kristopik – performing for their fellow students at the school’s annual winter concert. Many of these children went on to perform with Jennifer Hudson at Super Bowl XLVII, an event which has subjected them to endless and brutal harassment at the hands of deniers, who ludicrously insist that they are actually some of (why only some? Who knows?) Adam Lanza’s victims, alive and well, despite magically aging four years:
For more in the “Sandy Hook Elementary Was Open” series, please read:
Part One: The Lobby
Part Two: The Obstinate Pen
Part Three: Holiday Decorations And Calendars
Part Four: SMART Technologies
Part Five: Dawn Hochsprung’s Twitter Feed
Part Six: The 2011-2012 Scrapbook
Part Seven: Children’s Authors Visit Sandy Hook
Part Eight: Charitable Causes
Part Nine: The Library
Part Ten: 92 More Photos From Sandy Hook School
Part Eleven: 180 Articles Referencing Sandy Hook School, Written Between 2008-2012
Part Twelve: The Glass Display Cases
Part Thirteen: Google Earth
Part Fourteen: The November 2012 Scholastic Book Fair
Part Fifteen: Sandy Hook School Enrollment For 2008-2017
Part Sixteen: School Documents From 2008-2012