(NEW YORK) — Teachers and students across America are confronting the issue of safety and security in the classroom today after a weekend of grappling with the deadly massacre at a grade school in Newtown, Conn.
“It’s very important that we address their concerns [about safety],” teacher Lauren Marrocco of New Jersey said. “I think my students will have a lot of questions and, as adults, we don’t have answers to those questions.”
Near Newtown, one teacher’s weekend homework for students was simple: Go home and hug your loved ones. In California, another educator wrote, “I’ll be locking my [classroom] door this week to make my students feel safer.”
For many, Monday morning’s school drop-off will be a difficult but necessary start to the day.
“I’m not too worried about her, I’m more worried about how I feel and how I’m going to let go of her hand when she gets on the bus,” a parent told ABC News.
In Fairfax County, Va., schools sent notice that they would be upping security, not for any specific threat but to alleviate anxiety.
Dr. Steven Marans, head of the National Center of Children Exposed to Violence at Yale University’s Child Study Center, said that falling into normal routines can provide comfort.
“One of the ways of demonstrating that their lives are secure and reliable is to have them disrupted as little as possible,” he said.
Marans says it is also important not to avoid discussing Friday’s events, where 20 children and six adults were killed before Adam Lanza took his own life.
“We need to acknowledge that we all have big feelings,” he said. “This is very sad. This is an opportunity for kids to put into words what their thinking about.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Julie Wootton, Times-News
Debra Goldschmidt, CNN
Wayne Drash and Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN
Jessica Ivins, CNN