Parents and teachers brace for emotional return to classes Monday
As concerned parents prepare to send their kids back to school Monday, the first school day since Friday's massacre, the city's teachers said they're ready to raise their spirits.
Several mothers and fathers said they were still shell-shocked from the incident in Newtown, Conn., where 20 kindergartners and first graders died.
Parents say they've been having trouble telling their kids that they'll be fine when they drop them off after they were bombarded with the images of panic at Sandy Hook Elementary school over the weekend.
"If school is like that, where is a safe place?" Kamala Basnet, 37, of Sunnyside, asked.
Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott sent a memo to principals immediately after the shooting Friday and informed them that they will be in constant contact with the NYPD to ensure classrooms are safe and guidance counselors will be briefed to help concerned students.
"I encourage you to guide your staff and students in maintaining your school's regular schedule and continuing to be sensitive to the needs of your students as they learn more about this loss," he wrote in the letter.
Teachers said they aren't worried about handling the situation and will find ways to move forward.
Marissa Giglio, 31, a music teacher at the Achievement First Endeavor charter school in Ft. Greene, said she will make sure that her fifth through eighth grade students don't get emotionally affected by the shooting.
"I'll tell my kids that the more they act compassionately and treat others well the more they prevent this stuff," the instructor who taught in a Connecticut elementary school said.
An instructor at an Upper West Side public school who asked not to be identified, said she believes that her students won't be too scared because parents will limit their kids' exposure to the massacre.
Nick Marcilio, of East Village, said he did all he could to spare his 8-year-old daughter the bloody details.
"I just made the cabbie turn his radio off," he said.