Newtown students back at school

NEWTOWN — The roar of school buses and the sight of bundled-up youngsters dashing out of them for home made a welcome return yesterday in a neighbourhood of Newtown, Connecticut, scarred by the second-worst school shooting in US history three weeks ago.

Classes resumed for more than 400 students at Sandy Hook Elementary School. But even as the community inched back to normal, reminders of the December 14 massacre that claimed the lives of 20 first-graders and six adults were everywhere.

For parents of the surviving students, there was a lingering anguish over how much their children understand and how it may have changed them.

Syeda Suriya Ahmed said her six-year-old son, Mamnun, a first-grader, has suffered nightmares since the shooting. A few days ago, he drew a picture of an adult lying in a pool of blood and told his mother it was a picture of his principal.

Ahmed, who came to Connecticut from Bangladesh 15 years ago, said her son speaks occasionally about the gunman, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, by name. Lanza shot himself dead following the rampage.

“How can he know that?” Ahmed asked. She said she has been careful not to talk about the shooting in front of her son.

A gregarious and playful child, Mamnun said he likes computers, and after school yesterday he giggled happily as he played with a photographer’s camera. (Reuters)

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