Official: Sandy Hook school may get Columbine renovation treatment
(CBS News) The students who survived the massacre at their school, Sandy Hook Elementary, on Friday, may one day return to the building, but it may not be anything like what they left, Dr. Joseph Cirasuolo, executive director of the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents, said on "CBS This Morning." That's because the school may follow a precedent set after the Columbine mass school shooting in Littleton, Colo., in 1999.
"In Columbine, the students did not go back for the rest of that school year, they renovated the school, so when they went back the next September, it wasn't the same building they had left. I mean, I can't foresee this or predict it, but something similar to that will probably occur," he said.
However, until -- or if -- that occurs, students are likely to attend a vacant middle school in Monroe, Conn., Cirasuolo said.
Cirasuolo said teachers will be in school themselves Monday, being instructed on how to address their students' and parents' concerns. He said, "That's going to be a serious concern because I think everybody in Newtown has been traumatized by what has occurred. ... I think the one thing you can assure them is they're going to be safe. The most important thing that can happen when they return is their teachers will hug them, nurture them, and go back into a regular school routine as quickly as possible. If they do that, then the children should be OK. Parents still need to be assured, so I'm sure there's going to be beefed up security throughout the Newtown public school system, as well as the state as far as I'm concerned. That's what you do, try to get back to normal as quickly as possible."
Speaking of the shooting and the security at Sandy Hook Elementary, Cirasuolo said was "almost a model for how to secure a building."
He said, "Unfortunately so long as disturbed people can get their hands on guns, somebody can shoot their way into schools and do this. ... There will be other things done. There will be police presence in schools, guards and all that. I remember when I was a superintendent, the police told me, if you put a policeman at the door and somebody wants to get in and do damage, the first person they're going go after is the guard, and then they're going to go into the school."
For more with Cirasuolo on the shooting and how security will be affected in its wake, watch the video in the player above.
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