Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 31 August 2014

Shooting children start new school

A school bus rolls toward a memorial in Newtown, Connecticut for victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting (AP/Charles Krupa)

Children who escaped the Connecticut massacre are returning to classes in a refurbished school named after their old one.

Newtown superintendent of schools Janet Robinson said the pupils' new home, the former Chalk Hill Middle School, in neighbouring town Monroe, had been renamed Sandy Hook Elementary School and that the Sandy Hook staff had been behind the decision.

"That's who they are. They're the Sandy Hook family," Ms Robinson said after a news conference at a park in Monroe a few miles from the school. An open day was held for parents and students.

Ms Robinson said renaming the Chalk Hill school would allow staff and children to keep "their identity and a comfort level".

The Newtown school where the shootings occurred remains closed and guarded by police. Town chiefs have not decided on the building's future.

Children attending other schools in Newton went back on Wednesday.

It has been nearly three weeks since the December 14 massacre, when gunman Adam Lanza killed 20 students and six staff. Lanza also killed his mother at the home they shared in Newtown before the school shootings, which ended when he shot himself as police arrived.

Police have not released any details about a motive.

Numerous police officers guarded the outside of the Monroe school, about seven miles from the old school, and told reporters to stay away.

Asked about the level of security at the new school, Lt Keith White of Monroe police said: "I think right now it has to be the safest school in America."

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