President Barack Obama will present the 2012 Presidential Citizens Medal to the six teachers and school administrators killed as they protected students at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., a White House aide confirmed.
The Connecticut Post was the first to report that the six would receive the award posthumously in a Feb. 15 ceremony at the White House. Obama will present surviving relatives with the medal, which goes to “citizens of the United States of America who have performed exemplary deeds of service for their country or their fellow citizens.”
Obama will honor Dawn Hochsprung, the principal, Mary Sherlach, the school psychologist, and teachers Rachel D’Avino, Lauren Rousseau, Anne Murphy and Victoria Soto. All six were slain, along with 20 first graders, on Dec. 14.
In the aftermath of the tragedy, Obama has been pushing a package of proposals to combat gun violence, including renewing a ban on assault weapons, limits on ammunition clip size, and expanding and toughening background checks.