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State Child Advocate Still Investigating Sandy Hook Shooter
Although the State Police Report of the shooting incident at Sandy Hook Elementary provided zero information about the motive for the murderous actions of Adam Lanza, there still is an on-going investigation by the State’s child advocate’s office that may provide additional clues.
In March of 2013, the child advocate’s office requested Lanza’s school records, including report cards, attendance records, any individualized education plans, minutes of any meetings with specialized teams, psychological reports or evaluations, suspension and expulsion records, nursing and social work reports, and any correspondence with his family.
That’s a lot of information and much of it may provide a glimpse into not only the kind of mental health treatment Lanza received while attending school, but whether or not he even received state mental health care benefits. Hopefully, unlike the State Police Report, the public may learn something about the last five years of Lanza’s life.
As everyone now is fully aware, the State Police Report provides no information about Lanza’s mental health treatment for the five years leading up to the shooting incident. This complete lack of mental health information did not, however, stop state legislators from implementing costly increases in mental health services throughout the state.
Worse still, even if there had been information about Lanza’s mental health treatment in the investigative report, it would not have made a difference to lawmakers, as they passed the legislation, with no public input, seven months prior to the release of the investigative report on Sandy Hook.
Faith Vos Winkel, the Assistant Child Advocate, advised Ablechild that they received the records in February of this year and it would be at least two months before the report would be completed.
The state Office of the Child Advocate investigates child deaths and, in this instance, to collect information “to say, what are the lessons potentially to be learned here,” Vos Winkel has been quoted as saying.
Yes, what are the lessons of Sandy Hook? It’s hard to know given the complete shutdown of specific information about Lanza’s mental health treatment, including what drugs Lanza had been prescribed over the course of the last five years of his life.
The state Police Report provides information that in 2007 Lanza was prescribed Celexa. But in a recent New Yorker Magazine article by Andrew Solomon, the public was made aware that Lanza also had been prescribed a second antidepressant, Lexapro.
Nancy Lanza reported that Adam experienced severe adverse reactions to both drugs and was essentially blown off by mental health care providers and labeled as being “non-compliant” because she refused to continue to subject her son to the drugs.
According to an interview conducted by the Newtown Bee with Assistant Child Advocate, Faith Vos Winkel, the child advocate’s office “subpoenaed many records, not just school documents.”
That’s great. The question, though, is will the public be allowed to review these documents? Will the child advocate’s report be a carbon copy of the previous investigations of the shooting incident, where the public is entitled only to the opinion of those who write the report, rather than having access to the actual documents in order to make an informed decision?
Only time will tell. But Ablechild will alert its members of any updates and, of course, provide the report for review when it becomes publically available.