Medical professionals and school staff missed many opportunities to help Adam Lanza with his severe emotional and psychiatric disorders before he burst into Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012, and shot dead 20 children and six educators, a Connecticut review panel has concluded, Politico reports. The Connecticut Office of the Child Advocate released a lengthy report Friday detailing Lanza's troubled history and recommending systemic changes in the public health system to better identify and support children with multiple mental health challenges. The authors cautioned against drawing a direct line from Lanza's mental illness or the inadequate response to his needs to the brutality at Sandy Hook. “Authors do not conclude that [these factors] add up to an inevitable arc leading to mass murder,” they write.
The report questions whether Lanza's parents were given too much deference to decide on a course of treatment for their son, such as withdrawing him from school when he had difficulty interacting with his peers. “Would a similar family from a different race or lower socio-economic status in the community have been given the same benefit of the doubt that [Lanza's] family was given?” the authors ask. “Is the community more reluctant to intervene and more likely to provide deference to the parental judgment and decision-making of white, affluent parents than those caregivers who are poor or minority? These questions are meant for reflection, rather than blame …”