By AMANDA FALCONE and DENISE BUFFA, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Hartford Courant
7:45 AM EST, December 19, 2012
Somber students returned to Newtown schools on Tuesday — some on buses, some brought by their parents — as residents struggled to adopt some sense of normalcy.
Sandy Hook Elementary School, where 20 first-graders and six adults were shot and killed Friday, remains closed.
Donna Page, the retired principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School, will return to her own post when the school reopens, her husband confirmed Tuesday night.
At Hawley Elementary School, Peter Muckell dropped off his 8-year-old daughter, who "gasped" when she learned what happened on Friday.
"I just wanted to get them back into a routine," said Muckell, who also has a 13-year-old daughter in the school district. "I just told her I loved her, and I kissed her."
Muckell said the issue of gun control should be addressed.
"Are we literally going to watch all our kids get slaughtered before we do something?"
Newtown High School sophomore Mike Stierle, 16, said returning to school feels "Surreal, definitely. Not expecting anything like this to ever happen to this community."
"I really got to get to class," he said, before running off toward the school.
At Reed Intermediate School on Trades Lane, not too far away from Sandy Hook, parents lingered in the parking lot after dropping off their children, speaking with each other privately.
In an email to Sandy Hook Elementary staff and parents on Monday, Superintendent Janet Robinson wrote that officials hope to open Chalk Hill School in Monroe in January. Sandy Hook students and their teachers will attend school there.
Using that school "is a solution that allows us to keep the entire faculty together," she wrote. "In the meantime, we need to tend to our teachers' and students' needs to feel comfortable after this trauma in this new place."
She wrote that parents will be invited to visit the school with their children this week.
"For some children, it will be simply to re-enter a school and know that they are safe," she wrote.
Newtown's Head O'Meadow Elementary School closed on Tuesday "for precautionary reasons," police said. Police declined to release additional information.
The school, on Boggs Hill Road, was to reopen Tuesday along with other Newtown schools.
Head O'Meadow was among a handful of schools in Connecticut where vigilant authorities responded to threats or questionable comments on social media such as Twitter and Facebook. In some cases, schools were locked down briefly. State police Lt. J. Paul Vance said only a few incidents have been reported, but all will be aggressively investigated.
"Any [conduct] like this will be treated seriously," Vance said. "It's not funny." People found responsible could face state or federal prosecution, he said.
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