MONROE, Connecticut (AP) — Classes resumed Thursday for the students of the Newtown, Connecticut, school where a gunman last month burst in and killed 20 children and six adults before killing himself. It was the second largest school shooting in the US history.
With their school still being treated as a crime scene, the more than 400 students of Sandy Hook Elementary School attended classes in a neighboring town.
Law enforcement officers guarding the new school called it “the safest school in America.”
The school district said parents who wanted to be close to their children were welcome to visit and stay in classrooms or an auditorium throughout the day.
Newtown Superintendent Janet Robinson said officials would do their best to make the students feel at ease.
“We will be doing a normal day,” she said.
The gunman, Adam Lanza, killed his mother at their Newtown home before driving to the school. He had no known connection to the school, and police haven’t released any details about a motive.
One father, Vinny Alvarez, said he wasn’t worried about his 8-year-old daughter going back to class. He said she got to pick out a stuffed animal to take home from the school library.
“The fear kind of kicks back in a little bit, but we’re very excited for her and we got to see many, many kids today,” Alvarez said. “The atmosphere was very cheerful.”
The students’ desks, backpacks and other belongings that were left behind following the shooting were taken to the new school to make them feel at home.
Several signs welcoming the Sandy Hook students were posted along the road leading to the new school, including one that said, “You are in our prayers.”
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.