A New Normal: Sandy Hook Students Return to SchoolMonica Bielanko
Parents of the students who escaped Sandy Hook elementary after a gunman shot twenty of their classmates and six educators are preparing to send their children back to school.
It’s been nearly three weeks and now, as Yahoo reports, classes are slated to start Thursday at a repurposed middle school in the neighboring town of Monroe.
Officials have gone to great lengths to make the transition as easy as possible by moving the students’ desks and bringing backpacks and other belongings that were abandoned as kids ran from the building on December 14. The school is being painted and workers are even raising the floors in the bathroom to accommodate the smaller children using the restrooms. Teachers are also hard at work fixing up their classrooms.
David Connor has 8-year-old triplets and tells Yahoo he’s nervous about sending them back. “It’s unchartered waters for us. I know it’s going to be difficult.”
Connor says his children have nightmares, jump at noises and cling tightly to their parents more than usual. The father says the family was reassured after visiting the new school. They were greeted at the door by police officers and grief counselors and found their backpacks and coats that had been left behind.
School superintendent Janet Robinson says they’re working extra hard to make everything as normal as possible. She tells Yahoo, “We want to get back to teaching and learning,” she said. “We will obviously take time out from the academics for any conversations that need to take place, and there will be a lot of support there. All in all, we want the kids to reconnect with their friends and classroom teachers, and I think that’s going to be the healthiest thing.”
Connor says his kids still ask questions about the gunman.
“It’s hard for us to say why,” Connors said. “That’s kind of what we tell them. This person wasn’t well, was sick and didn’t get the help he needed.”
Photo credit: cityofeagan.com
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