Connecticut Mayor Wants To Name A School After Slain Teacher

MERIDEN, CT (Reuters) -

The mayor of Stratford, Connecticut, wants to rename an elementary school after teacher Victoria Soto, a resident of his town who was slain in last month’s massacre at the Sandy Hook elementary school in nearby Newtown.

Victoria Soto, 27, was killed when she tried to protect her students from an armed gunman, who shot and killed 20 children and six students on December 14 before killing himself.

“What a fitting tribute to Victoria Soto, whose heroic efforts protected the very students she was there to educate, nurture and take care of,” Mayor John Harkin said in a telephone interview on Monday. “Anything we do has to be done with the family’s approval.”

Police have said some of Soto’s first-grade students escaped the massacre, and she hid other students in a closet as the gunman approached.

Harkin said the family supports renaming a school in her honor and creating a memorial at the school. The project has the approval of the town’s Board of Education members and some Town Council members, Harkin said. The council will vote on the plan January 14.