School offers fresh start for Sandy Hook kids

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 4, 2013 at 2:00 am •  Published: January 4, 2013
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On Thursday, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced the creation of an advisory commission that will review and recommend changes to state laws and policies on gun control, school safety measures and mental health services in the wake of the Sandy Hook rampage.

A spokesman for Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman also said Thursday that Wyman has been invited to attend a meeting between former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and families of the victims.

Spokesman Steve Jensen said a visit by Giffords and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, is "planned but not confirmed" for Friday afternoon. He says the plans include the Giffords meeting at a private home with the families.

Meanwhile, the Hearst Connecticut Media Group apologized Thursday because one of its newspapers ran an ad for an antique gun show next to an article about the Newtown school shooting.

A statement released by Group Publisher Paul Farrell said the ad's placement in The Advocate of Stamford was the result of an oversight.

In Monroe, teams of workers, many of them volunteers, prepared the new school and even raised bathroom floors so the smaller elementary school students can reach the toilets. The students' backpacks and other belongings that were left behind after the shooting were taken to the new school to make them feel at home.

Students found the same chairs and desks, when possible. Their classroom walls were painted the same colors and hung with the same pictures. Other details, such as the location of bookshelves and cubby holes, were replicated as much as possible.

Newtown school Superintendent Janet Robinson said the school has been transformed into a "cheerful" place for the students. She said mental health counselors continue to be available for anyone who needs them.

Caron, 32, said her son knows what happened and has undergone counseling. She said her 5-year-old daughter, Paige, attends afternoon kindergarten at the school and has been dealing with nightmares about "snakes and bears and coyotes."

"She wasn't at school that day but was with me when we went to look for William at the firehouse," Caron said. "Unfortunately, she heard more about it than I wish she did."

Intellectually, Caron said, she knows her children will be very safe at their new school.

"But, emotionally," she said. "It's very hard to turn off the little 'What if?' that kind of hangs on and says, 'Well, you know what, December 14th started out as a normal day, too."

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Associated Press writer Michael Melia contributed to this report from Hartford, Conn.

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