Teachers and staff members at schools around the country are preparing to lead conversations about the Newtown, Connecticut, shootings when classes resume Monday.
The discussions won't be easy. One Coon Rapids middle school teacher tells KARE-11 one of the difficulties is that there's no explanation for what happened. Another teacher says she plans to give out plenty of hugs and smiles Monday.
Across the country, teachers and other school district officials expect they'll need to reassure students about the safety of their schools. The Associated Press reports some districts are asking police departments for more help with security. But for now many are focusing on helping students get through their grief and fear. That includes the Anoka-Hennepin schools, where a mental health consultant will meet with school officials and three counselors will be availabe for elementary, middle, and high school students.
At Rocori High School in Cold Spring, which was the site of a school shooting nine years ago, counselors will be available but no special ceremony is planned. The superintendent tells the St. Cloud Times family, friends, and routine activities are the best support for kids now.
Meanwhile, Minnesotans paid their respects to the Newtown victims Sunday. At Minneapolis' Basilica of St. Mary a candlelight vigil was dedicated to the 28 victims. In Duluth, many residents left remembrances at a statue called the Angel of Hope, which is dedicated to children who have died.