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Sandy Hook kids face first classes since shooting


Gary Seri, general manager at the Stone River Grille, hangs a message written on a table cloth in honor of the teachers who died along with students a day earlier when a gunman open fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012, in the Sandy Hook village of Newtown, Conn. Seri, who put up red balloons that were not used when a sweet 16 party was canceled the night before in light of the massacre, said the teachers were scheduled to have their holiday party at his restaurant. The massacre of 26 children and adults at Sandy Hook Elementary school elicited horror and soul-searching around the world even as it raised more basic questions about why the gunman, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, would have been driven to such a crime and how he chose his victims. AP FILE PHOTO

MONROE, Connecticut — The Newtown schools superintendent says they are preparing for a “normal” day, but it will likely be anything but that when classes resume for Sandy Hook Elementary School students for the first time since a gunman killed 20 of their classmates.

With their original school still being treated as a crime scene, the students will begin attending classes at a refurbished school in the neighboring town of Monroe on Thursday. Law enforcement officers have been guarding the new school, and by the reckoning of police, it is “the safest school in America.”

Still, Newtown Superintendent Janet Robinson said officials will do their best to make the students feel at ease.

“We will go to our regular schedule,” she said. “We will be doing a normal day.”

On Wednesday, the students and their families were welcomed at an open house at their new school, which was formerly the Chalk Hill Middle School in Monroe but renamed as the Sandy Hook Elementary School. Students received gift boxes with toys inside and shared joyful reunions with teachers.

One father, Vinny Alvarez, took a moment to thank his third-grade daughter’s teacher, Courtney Martin, who protected the class from a rampaging gunman by locking her classroom door and keeping the children in a corner.

“Everybody there thanked her in their own way,” he said.

The gunman, Adam Lanza, also killed his mother at the home they shared in Newtown before driving to the school, where he slaughtered 20 children and six educators, including the school’s principal. Lanza fatally shot himself as police arrived. Police haven’t released any details about a motive.

Numerous police officers on Wednesday guarded the outside of the Monroe school, which is about 7 miles (11 kilometers) from the old school, and told reporters to stay away.

“I think right now it has to be the safest school in America,” Monroe police Lt. Keith White said.


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Tags: Connecticut , News , Police , Sandy Hook Elementary School , School shooting , world




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