EAST NORTHPORT - The supervisor of a school aftercare program at East Northport Elementary School says she was fired for talking to students about the Sandy Hook school massacre.
Gigi Kearns says the discussion began with a lockdown drill at the school. She shut off the lights, closed the windows and doors and had the kids hide under classroom tables. Kearns says she stopped the drill when a handful of the boys began giggling.
Kearns told News 12 that when a student told them to stop and mentioned Sandy Hook, some kids inquired about the massacre that claimed 20 students and six educators.
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Kearns says she told them about the massacre and showed them some pictures of the "bad man" responsible, referring to Adam Lanza. She also showed them pictures of parents crying in an effort to show them just how important drills are.
She then told all the parents of the kids in her program what she had done. All but one, she says, were supportive.
"She said, 'Why would you do that? I didn't want him to know anything,'" Kearns told News 12.
Two days later, Kearns says she was fired for using "poor judgment." Since then, more than 1,000 people have signed a petition in an effort to get her job back.
In a statement to News 12, the SCOPE executive director says, "We are aware of and appreciate the concerns brought to our attention by several parents. However, as this is a matter of personnel, we are legally prohibited from discussing the details associated with this decision. All decisions are made in the best interest of the children attending our programs."