The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

January 2, 2013

Sandy Hook students, teachers head back to school

(Continued)

Before the shooting, a baby sitter would take Connors' children to the bus stop. But Connors said he'll probably take the third-graders to the bus the first few days.

"I think that they need to get back into a normal routine as quickly as possible," Connors said. "If you're hovering over them at all times, it almost intensifies the fear for them."

His children, who escaped unharmed, ask questions about the gunman.

"It's hard for us to say why," Connors said. "That's kind of what we tell them. This person wasn't well, was sick and didn't get the help he needed."

Connors said his children are excited to go back to school but predicted they might be nervous as the first day approaches. He hopes the grief counseling services continue, he said.

"It's going to be a long road back," Connors said. "Back to what I guess is the biggest question. Everyone keeps throwing that word around the new normal. What does the new normal look like? I think everybody kind of has to define that for themselves."

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