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Students nervously return to school after shooting

Dec 17th, 2012 - National News

There's a new challenge facing schoolteachers across the country today -- as they face nervous and frightened students, looking for reassurance and answers following Friday's shooting that left 20 children dead at a Connecticut elementary school.

In Connecticut, state education officials are providing schools around the state with written guidance to help classroom teachers address the shooting in Newtown with their students.

One history teacher in Florida says, "It's going to be a tough day."

The superintendent of a Minnesota school district says a mental health consultant will meet with school officials today.

Many schools will hold a moment of silence today, and will fly flags at half-staff.

School administrators have pledged to add police patrols, review security plans and make guidance counselors available.

— In Newtown, Conn., and around the country, parents are trying to help their children return to school without fear today, in the aftermath of Friday's deadly shooting at a Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

The mother of two children who attend a different school in Newtown says she feels like "we have to get back to normal" -- but Kim Camputo adds, "I don't know if there is normal anymore." She says she'll be dropping her children off and picking them up herself for a while.

The mother of 10-year-old twins in a Miami suburb, Jessica Kornfeld, says parents need to hide their own fears. She says, "For them, you need to pretend that you're OK." But she adds, "It's scary."

She sat down with her son and daughter after school Friday, and explained to them what had happened. She told them they were safe with her. Her son replied, "But it could have been us."

Kornfeld says she drove the children to their elementary school over the weekend, hoping to show them it's still a safe place.

— There are no classes today at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., and officials aren't sure if the school will ever reopen.

Three days after a gunman killed 20 children and six adults there, the school district is making plans to send surviving students to a former school building in a neighboring town.

The first funerals are planned today for two of the children who were killed -- six-year-olds Jack Pinto and Noah Pozner. Others are scheduled for later in the week.

Federal agents, meanwhile, continue to investigate the recent activities of the shooter, Adam Lanza, who took his own life as police moved in on a classroom where he was killing children using a high-powered rifle. They've concluded that he had visited an area shooting range, but they don't know whether he actually practiced shooting there.

— The nurse at Sandy Hook Elementary School says she and the school secretary stayed hidden in a supply closet for almost four hours after the Connecticut school massacre had ended, leaving 20 children and six adults dead.

Sally Cox told ABC's "Good Morning America" on Monday that she knew "something terrible was happening" Friday morning when she heard loud popping sounds and the school secretary called out to her. She says she went under her computer desk, and the gunman entered her office. She says she could see his legs from the knees down, his boots facing her desk. He then left and closed the door.

She says the secretary raced into her office and they called 911 and hid in the closet. Cox says they were "petrified" and "didn't know how many there could have been."

The gunman was 20-year-old Adam Lanza, who killed himself at the school.

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