Thu 3 Jan 2013

Sandy Hook pupils resume classes after shooting

The students of the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown are likely to resume classes in neighboring Monroe, Connecticut. According to sources in Monroe, negotiations were on the way to prepare the former Chalk Hill Middle School in the nearby town to allow students and staff displaced by the shootings to return to their activities.

On December 14, the school became the scene of a mass shooting that claimed the lives of 20 first graders and six educators. In the aftermath of the shootings the school was closed indefinitely. 

In order to facilitate the transition, the Newtown school district along with several other districts in the region have put in place a series of measures that would allow students to "get back to school quickly in an environment that is familiar and safe." Students and staff who wish to discuss the tragedy will be counselled by trained personnel, representatives of the districts stated. A police officer has also been appointed to patrol Monroe schools, as an additional security measure.

The mass shooting has fueled a longstanding debate over the gun control policies in the United States. At a vigil held for the Sandy Hook victims on Sunday, 16 December, President Obama pledged to use his position to put an end to the gun violence affecting the country. 

"These tragedies must end, and to end them, we must change. We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and it is true. No single law, no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society. But that can't be an excuse for inaction. Surely we can do better than this," Obama told parents, community members and others gathered at the vigil.

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