Ferguson welcomes sense of normalcy school brings

Parents in Ferguson, Missouri, are welcoming the sense of normalcy that the school year brings them and their children. While the kids may not be happy about the homework, it does give them a much-needed break from the previous weeks' chaos, CBS News' Vladimir Duthiers reports.

For Yolanda Frenchie and her 7-year-old son London, the beginning of the school year almost got off to a rocky start.

"I thought we almost missed the bus," Frenchie said. "I'm like, 'On the first day of school I think we're going to be late.'"

Classes across Ferguson began this week after near-nightly violent protests stemming from the police shooting death of Michael Brown caused school officials to delay the opening by nearly two weeks.

"You've got to be wise, and I feel that that was a wise decision, and we just had to cope with it until things let up," Frenchie said.

But tensions are easing. The violence has stopped, and life is beginning to return to normal.

"It seems like things are getting back on course," Frenchie said. "Thank God for that. As long as I see that smile, I know everything is fine."

London joined nearly 11,000 other students in Ferguson for the start of school Monday, welcomed back with open arms by people like fifth grade teacher Darion Murdoch.

"My students had a very normal first day back - lot of laughs, lot of smiles," he said.

Murdoch, along with all 2,000 staff in the school district, attended a training session last week on how to identify traumatized children and ways to help.

"We need to teach cultural understanding and respect, tolerance," he said. "I think it starts here, but it also has to carry out into the community."

For the McCluer South-Berkeley Bulldogs, playing football was a way to escape the chaos around them.

"When hard times come, football is a way to get our mind off this stuff so, sometimes, just want to be at practice where everything is going on," football player Jerrod Blanchard said.

Their determination and focus became a symbol of strength for the community.

Locked out of their school because of the nearby protests, the team was forced to train in a local park.

But now school's open, and for coach Howard Brown and his players, there's no place like home.

"We love Ferguson," he said. "We love our environment, and we're happy to be home. It's good to go visit, but it's great to be at home."

The Bulldogs say that having their field back should help with morale and training. Meanwhile it was another quiet night in Ferguson, perhaps a new normal there as well.

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