New School Day Starts amid Fresh Safety Concerns

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Parents across the country are hugging their children tighter as many head back to school today. But Friday's Newtown, Conn., shooting has raised new worries about safety.

School districts across the country are working to calm those fears.

All of the schools in Newtown are closed Monday. Students from Sandy Hook Elementary will go back to school within the next few days at an unused building in a neighboring town.

In Boston, the public school administrators have asked police to step up visits throughout the day. And in Denver, school psychologists are prepared to visit children.

As difficult as it may be, experts say it is critical that parents send their children back to school.

How can parents reassure their kids that they will be safe at school? Dr. Linda Mintle, licensed family therapist, has this and more, following this report.

  • Please join us in praying for the families and parents in Connecticut who have lost their children and loved ones. Share your prayers on CBN's on Pray for Newtown, special page.

"It's important after a trauma that we get kids back to routines," Dr. Jamie Howard, with the Child Mind Institute, said. "So we can be kind and compassionate and acknowledge that it's difficult and address their concerns. But they do need to go back to school. It's in their best interests."

In an interview with ABC's "Good Morning America," author Willow Bay advised parents to talk to their children.

"Remind them that there are adults out there whose job it is to keep them safe," Bay said.

"Whether it's policemen, their school principal, their teachers, always come back to reminding them that it's the job of adults, and there are a lot of us, hard at work to keep them safe," she said.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy praised first responders for their actions at Sandy Hook Elementary. On ABC's "This Week" he pointed out that their quick arrival prevented more children from dying.

"We surmise that it was during the second classroom episode that he heard responders coming and apparently at that, decided to take his own life," Malloy said.

New and chilling details continue to emerge about 20-year-old Adam Lanza, the gunman in the school massacre.

Richard Novia, director of security for all of Newtown Public School system, was also advised for the technology club, where he interacted with Lanza.

Novia told television reporters Lanza "often had little episodes like that where he would just shut down and pull within himself."

"Getting him back out of that would be challenging. What led up to Friday morning, there was no indications of any kind that that could have ever happened," he said.

Police continue to investigate as they removed computers and videos from the Lanza family home over the weekend. They hope the items can provide clues about a motive.

Investigators say it could take months to put together all the events that led to the shooting spree. State police say they still have to interview many witnesses, including the young children who survived the carnage.

"Any interviews with any children will be done with parents and professionals," Lt. Paul Vance, with the Connecticut State Police, said.

Police say Lanza carried an arsenal of weapons, including a military-style rifle and hundreds of rounds of ammunition, as well as two handguns. They say he only stopped firing and turned the gun on himself when he heard police arriving.

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Caitlyn Burke

Caitlyn Burke

CBN News

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