January 3rd, 2013
09:57 AM ET

Sandy Hook students return to class for first time since Newtown shooting

By Olivia Smith and David Ariosto, CNN

(CNN) - For the first time since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Christine Wilford plans do something remarkable on Thursday that once was routine: drop her child off at school.

The last time her 7-year-old son, Richie, was in class was on December 14, when a gunman smashed his way into his school in Newtown, Connecticut, and killed 26 children and adults.

As shots rang out, Richie's teacher locked the door and huddled her students into the corner as the shooter roamed the hallways, wielding an AR-15 assault rifle and firing.

When it appeared safe, the children were then hurried away to a nearby fire station, where teary parents either reunited with their sons and daughters or learned that they had been killed.

Nearly a month later, Wilford said her son still has trouble sleeping and is often scared by loud noises.

Newtown chooses faith, charity, hope

But on Thursday, he will join hundreds of other Newtown students returning to class for the first time since the tragedy.

"We think it's good he's going back," Wilford said. "If I leave my child anywhere, I'm leaving a piece of my heart, so it's difficult to leave him."

But Richie apparently isn't afraid and says he's looking forward to seeing his friends, she said.

They won't be attending Sandy Hook Elementary, which police say remains part of an ongoing investigation into Adam Lanza, the gunman who also killed his mother before opening fire at the school.

Instead, Richie and his classmates are expected to travel to Chalk Hill Middle School in the nearby town of Monroe, where a green-and-white banner greeting the children hangs on a fence.

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soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. David Neckolaishen

    I am sure that following all of the Forensic information that was collected at the Sandy Hook Elementary School: We should by now; Know exactly how many and of what size, the rounds shot in that School were. I have not seen any reports indicating that .223 Cal. (or any other size for that matter) "Spent Cartridges" (let alone, number of cartridges) were found "Inside" the School. WHY is This!? We have not heard about rounds going through walls like in the Aurora Theater Shooting...Why? We have gotten conflicting stories of what number of Hand guns were found in the school and What number of Long Guns were found in the Trunk of a Car. If the Data supports that the AR-15 was used "Inside" the School...Why is it not being Stated as FACT? Many Statements are being made that tend to Lead People to Assume that the AR-15 was used "Inside" the school, but No News Outlet has Stated as a Fact that the AR-15 was in fact, found inside the school or that Spent .223 Cal Cartridges were found "Inside" the school or that .223 Cal. rounds were found inside any bodies or found fired "Inside" the School. We are Not Being Told a LOT!!! And for Political Reasons!!!

    January 3, 2013 at 8:40 pm |
  2. David Neckolaishen

    Make No Mistake: Being trapped in a Feel-Good "Gun-free Zone" is what got some, if not many, of these children and teachers murdered! (Same for Aurora Colorado theater) These are the type of gun-free zones that are foist on an ill informed public, by clue-less gun-control Politicians whom work in real gun-free zones, with metal detectors and armed guards at the ready. There are No Laws that would have, or could have, prevented this Person from doing what he did! Criminals Do Not follow the Laws!! This person showed that he was willing to kill to get his hands on Guns. As has often been the case: Our Feel-Good Gun Laws only served to "Prevent" any Law Abiding Citizen, from possibly being able to render aid in the form of an Armed Response. The Only type of Aid that would have had any chance of being effective in this situation.

    January 3, 2013 at 8:38 pm |