Sandy Hook victim’s mother speaks in Westerville, dedicated to make schools safer

WESTERVILLE, OHIO (WCMH) – The mother of a Sandy Hook victim is sharing her story in Central Ohio.

Michelle Gay’s 7-year-old daughter, Josephine, was killed in the tragic school shooting back in December 2012. She spoke at Westerville South High School on Tuesday.

“It started that day in the parking lot before I really even knew fully what had happened in our school that day,” said Gay.

Today, she’s dedicated to helping schools across the nation better protect themselves from the tragedy she’s endured through the organization she co-founded called Safe and Sound Schools.

“She is still to this day a driving force for me, still very much an inspiration,” said Gay, speaking about her daughter.

She said they provide schools across the nation with free workshops, training and resources. They also bring police, parents, students and school administrators together to talk about safety and security in the classroom.

“When all those groups converge over the safety of the schools, this shared goal that we have over this sacred space we have in our communities, that’s when we can move the ball forward,” said Gay. “That’s when we can really make a difference.”

Local 1st grade teacher Jennifer Kovach came to tonight’s event to learn about more ways to keep her students safe.

“Practicing the evacuation, talking to the students, what worked what didn’t work, what can we do better revising the plan just staying present in the topic,” she said.

Gay said she’s inspired to keep pushing forward after the loss of so many children and educators, as well as for those who survived.

“It’s about how we put ourselves back together, how we help others ensure that they’re safe, that they can always be working toward being safer,” said Gay. “It’s about coming together and supporting one another in the community.”

To learn more about Safe and Sound Schools CLICK HERE. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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