Friday, January 4 2013, 01:46 PM MST
Newtown Students and Teachers Return to School
(KUTV) Newtown, Connecticut students are returning to class Thursday – three weeks after a gunman massacred 26 classmates and teachers at the elementary school. They’re being welcomed into a newly renovated school in the neighboring town of Monroe.
Handmade signs bearing heartfelt messages greeted Sandy Hook Elementary School students as they rode buses to their new school. 3 weeks after a shooting rampage left 20 children and 6 adults dead, classes resumed inside a school that had been sitting empty in the nearby town of Monroe. It has been renamed Sandy Hook. Yet, parents like John Eisele are nervous.
“It's time to get back to business and anxiety is kicking in for everybody. I think the kids are probably more ready than we are,” said Eisele.
School officials tried to make it a normal day. Students' desks, and even their backpacks and other belongings have been moved from the old building. And snowflakes from around the world hang throughout the school, welcoming more than 400 students.
“Everything is in order where it should be. The desks are there, even down to the teachers' tic tacs are in the right spot so they've done a wonderful job,” Eisele said.
The road to the old Sandy Hook Elementary School remains closed. Police are blocking access. The Sandy Hook Elementary sign that was once on this pole was removed as Newtown tries to move forward.
“This is a new beginning for Sandy Hook but we won't be able to forget,” said Newtown Board of Education Chairwoman Debbie Leidlein.
Leidlein says security has been beefed up throughout the school district, and the media is being kept at a distance from the new Sandy Hook. Leidlein says getting back to a familiar routine will help the school heal.
Grief Counselors and “comfort dogs” are in the new Sandy Hook School to help the students.
(Copyright 2012 Sinclair Broadcasting Group.)