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Buell Elementary Students Return

"It's close to a normal day" at Buell Elementary School, says a Michigan school official.

With reassuring words from parents and grandparents, little pupils returned to the school Buell Elementary School Monday, for the first time since a 6-year-old was shot to death in her first-grade classroom.

Meanwhile, police are piecing together more details about the shooting.

The local police chief says the young suspect apparently talked to his eight-year-old brother about the gun on the way to school the day of the shooting.

Chief Eric King says authorities believe no one else knew about it. He says the boy told police that the six-year-old victim, Kayla Rolland, had slapped him on the arm, and that he had been thinking about it the night before the shooting.

King says the boy told police he brought the gun to school to scare Kayla.

Room 6, where Kayla Rolland died last Tuesday, received a fresh coat of paint. Counselors are on hand with teddy bears to help students and teachers get through a difficult day.


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Dropping her son off for kindergarten, Tajuan Burns said the boy wasn't frightened. "I talked to him and told him everything would be OK. I just put my faith in God," she said.

Genniva Coleman said her 10-year-old grandson "didn't want to go because he was scared. I told him it couldn't happen again." She dropped the fourth-grader off Monday morning.

But Laura Simons, who is circulating a petition to place metal detectors, security cameras and more teachers' aides in the school, said earlier that she will tutor her 8-year-old son at home, at least for now. "If I send my kid to school, how do I know it's not going to happen again?" she said.

Susan Stuber, a spokeswoman for a neighboring school district that has been helping out, said a trained trauma counselor would be in each classroom and students would be encouraged to talk or draw. Some students may have a normal day while others may not, she said. "School will be dictated by what they need," Stuber said.

The school also arranged for extra security Monday, and the flag is flying at half-mast.

Kayla was buried Saturday at a private funeral. Her family issued a statement of thanks to the community Sunday, saying "You have all become members of our family. God love you and keep you all safe."

No charges are expected against the 6-year-old boy who allegedly shot her. An adult in the house where the boy was staying has been charged with involuntary manslaughter for allegedly leaving the gun used in the shooting easily accessible to the child.

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