Friday, September 06, 2013 3:33 pm
Newtown must turn over gunman's school records
By JOHN CHRISTOFFERSENAssociated Press
Hartford Superior Court Judge Sheila Huddleston granted the request to release Adam Lanza's records to the state's child advocate office, whose Child Fatality Review Panel reviews unexpected child fatalities.
The 20-year-old Lanza killed his mother at their home, then killed 20 first-graders and six educators at the school on Dec. 14 before killing himself as police officers arrived.
The child advocate's office first sought Lanza's school records in March, but Newtown school officials have not released the information. Attorney General George Jepsen asked on the panel's behalf for the release of his educational records.
The records sought include report cards, attendance records, any individualized education plans, minutes of any meetings with specialized teams, psychological reports and evaluations, suspension and expulsion records, nursing and social work reports and any correspondence with his family.
Brian Smith, attorney for the school district, said officials were not resisting the release but wanted to make sure they complied with privacy laws. He said the records would be released to the child advocate's office "expeditiously."
The child advocate panel's request said it reviews such cases to develop prevention strategies addressing trends and patterns of risk and to improve coordination of services for children and families.
The panel has already obtained some of Lanza's school and hospital records. Lanza attended a few middle schools, was home schooled and appears to have spent limited time in high school, Faith Vos Winkel, assistant child advocate, said last month.
Teenagers and young adults typically are involved in sports, clubs, jobs, community activities and have friends, but there was little evidence so far of that with Lanza, Vos Winkel said.
"I think from our perspective right now from what we've gathered, we're concerned about the level of isolation, Vos Winkel said last month. "It's never one thing. I think a theme that is beginning to emerge for us - how it plays out, what it ultimately looks like, I'm not sure - is that this was a very isolated kid."
A prosecutor said last month that a report on the investigation into the shooting will not be available until the fall. Authorities have not disclosed a possible motive for the massacre, which sparked new legislation in Connecticut and beyond on issues including gun control and school safety.