Mother of Sandy Hook victim in Warren County urging schools to 'choose love'

March 12, 2019 07:02 PM

QUEENSBURY - He was a loving 6-year-old boy, but Jesse Lewis was shot down by a gunman who charged into his first-grade classroom at Sandy Hook Elementary.

Jesse told classmates to run when the shooter's gun jammed, saving nine young lives.


His mother, Scarlett Lewis, has set out to save even more lives.

Not long after she buried her son, she realized she could choose to be bitter or make things better.

"I cry every day," she said Tuesday afternoon.

She decided that the shooter lashed out because he never learned to cope. She says many of us never do.

"I know that this would have saved my son's life."

She's talking about a program for schools called the "Choose Love Enrichment Program."

Lewis worked with mental health experts and educators to produce a free curriculum for schools, teaching kids social and emotional learning.

"I'm talking about how to have healthy and positive relationships, deep and meaningful connections, how to manage their emotions how to be resilient to the issues that we know they're going to face in life."

Most schools, like Hadley-Luzerne, embrace it.

"It makes sense on all levels and so for us, I could see it being implemented Pre-K through 12 and doing some positive things in our district with it," said Beecher Baker, superintendent of schools.

Lewis says the only schools to reject it are those that say emotional learning should take place at home.

"If we can supply it at all schools where all kids are mandated to go, then we should be doing it," said Sheriff Bud York, who invited Lewis and Jesse's father, Neil Heslin, to speak with NewsChannel 13 Tuesday.

Lewis calls it the Choose Love Movement and says it all started with these three words she found at her home after his death that Jesse had scrawled on a small chalkboard -- nurture, healing, love.

She took it as a sign.

"I believe that that was a spiritual awareness. That he knew that he didn't have that much time on earth."

MORE INFORMATION: Jesse Lewis - Choose Love Movement


Mark Mulholland

Copyright 2019 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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