The struggle to return to normalcy in Newtown

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December 18, 2012, 10:21 pm
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(NECN: Alysha Palumbo, Newtown, Conn.) - Students and teachers returned to class and school buses returned to the streets of Newtown, Conn. Tuesday, adorned with green and white ribbons in remembrance of the 26 students and staff killed at Sandy Hook Elementary school last Friday.

"It’s good to be able to get back into as normal a routine as you can get in after something like this happens," said Newtown resident Madison Hauck.

Hauck says her brother returned to class at the Reed School, as visiting comfort dogs tried to help the students cope.

"I think it means a lot because it says that they still feel safe and it’s nice to have a distraction and I think it truly means a lot to people to be able to know that they can go back to school and be with their friends and be with people who are going to love and support them and listen to them," said Hauck.

Parents of students at the Middle Gate School said as difficult as it is for parents to let go, students to try to focus on their studies and teachers to feel safe in their classrooms again, it’s one of the first steps in the healing process.

"I think just to see their friends and just to know that it’s not, it will be okay down the road, we just have to go on," said Newtown parent Lori Stroili.

Residents say it would also help if they could grieve in private, without the glare of the international media on their small town, or people from all over the world traveling here to see the site where this tragic shooting unfolded.

"The past few days I’ve seen people taking pictures, kind of as a tourist site and it’s not, people died here, and I think people crying isn’t something you should take pictures of so I get that people are coming to pay their respects, I honestly think as a Newtown Sandy Hook resident they should kind of back off a bit, come when everything’s kind of settled," Newtown resident Courtney Amaral said.

Meanwhile, Monroe’s Chalk Hill School continues to be prepped for Sandy Hook students, with donated desks, chairs and books being trucked in and tradesmen volunteering their time to set up the school that has sat empty since the district consolidated two years ago.

"People rallied to support this gesture and it gives everyone a sense of I guess pride and happiness that they can pitch in in this way," Monroe Superintendent Jim Agostine said.
School officials had originally hoped to get Sandy Hook students back in the classroom by Wednesday, but Agostine says it doesn't look like that will happen at this point.

He says they will most likely not go back to school until after the Christmas break.

Tags: connecticut, children, Alysha Palumbo, parents, Newtown, victims, sandy hook elementary school
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