Be kind to isolated classmates, Sandy Hook dad urges Youngstown middle-schoolers


Daniel Barden was always a compassionate kid, even for a 7-year-old.

A victim of the Sandy Hook school massacre in December 2012, Daniel and his compassion live on through his father, Mark.

That’s what Mark Barden explained to a group of middle school students Thursday at Mahoning County High School on Bryn Mawr Drive, as the students were recognized for taking part in the No One Eats Alone program by the Sandy Hook Promise.

Barden explained to students from the Youngstown school district and the Mahoning County Educational Service Center that his son would take it upon himself to do a kind gesture for a classmate if he happened to see him alone at recess or in the lunchroom.

Barden said he wonders, had someone taken the time to speak to Adam Lanza, the man accused of killing Daniel and 25 of his classmates and staff at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., if that would have made a difference.

He urged the students to take time out of their day to do simple things, such as saying hello or sitting next to fellow students who are alone. He said studies show that a lot of people who commit violence, especially in school, often feel lonely and unwanted.

Read more of his remarks in Friday's Vindicator or on

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