At schools across Hawaii, mom who lost son in Sandy Hook massacre urges kids to ‘choose love’
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A mother who lost her 6-year-old son in the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre is on a mission to visit as many schools, including in Hawaii, as she can.
Jesse Lewis, 19 of his first-grade classmates, and six educators died in the 2012 shooting.
“I came home after the shooting, after Jesse’s murder and I found a message that he had written on our kitchen chalkboard ― three words nurturing, healing, love and I knew that was the solution,” said mother Scarlett Lewis.
Through her nonprofit, Choose Love Movement, she has visited roughly 300 Hawaii schools over seven years.
She’s traveled the world and her programs aim to create safer communities.
Kaelepulu Elementary in Kailua is the first Hawaii school to embrace the movement.
“Choose love means to be kinder to other students, being respectful,” said student Jude Munter Reimann.
Young students going through the program embrace little Jesse’s heroism.
“He stood in front of the person with the gun and and told his friends and his classmates to go run and I’ll try to protect you,” said student Fara Ross.
Lewis has overcome incredible adversity.
Earlier this month, a jury awarded Sandy Hook families almost $1 billion because of the lies spread by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.
“I think the settlement highlights the importance of truth,” said Lewis.
Today, she teaches life skills and says everyone plays a part in overcoming school violence and bullying by starting with mental health awareness, acceptance, compassion and love.
“If we address the root cause and provide these essential life skills, we can prevent and reduce the suffering before it starts,” said Lewis.
Lewis says three million people across 120 countries have been touched by her message.
Choose Love Movement programs are offered to schools for free.
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