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Charlottesville Parents React to Connecticut Tragedy - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Charlottesville Parents React to Connecticut Tragedy

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Parents across the country are hurting for the victims' families in Connecticut. They're trying to figure out how to talk to their children about this tragedy.

Area parents said they were so grateful to be spending time with their kids. Friday's tragedy has been a reminder to parents to make every moment count. Meanwhile, educators are taking every moment to reassure parents they are ready for Monday morning.

Heidi Klein is making Christmas cards and cookies with her children, and making the most of every moment, something too many parents in Newtown, Connecticut can no longer do.

"A lot of those parents that you saw yesterday on the news didn't get to hold their child again like I did," said Klein. "And so I hugged them extra long yesterday when they came home from school."

Klein embraces her kindergartner after 20 children and six adults were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut Friday, in one of the deadliest school shootings in history. Klein isn't sharing the details with her children, but they did have a talk about being prepared.

"We asked what would happen if a bad guy came into the classroom, so we just kind of discussed a situation that would happen and asked them how they would respond and then we talked about a plan of action that they could take," said Klein.

As parents mentally prepare for sending their children to school on Monday morning, the Charlottesville school system is making sure everyone feels secure.

"I think our teachers will come back into the classroom on Monday and love our children more deeply, and teach them with more passion," said Charlottesville Superintendent Dr. Rosa Atkins.

They sent letters home to parents and teachers and asked counselors to be ready to provide support on Monday.

"We know that in the counseling lessons and in our classroom lessons, we will have to infuse lessons about how students can maintain a feeling of safety," said Atkins.

And on Monday morning, Klein says she will hold on to her kids a little longer.

"It's quite possible during your morning routine that you don't take time to really see your kid, and for that to be the last time you saw them rushing out the door saying ‘you're late, you're late' is something that went through my mind," said Klein. "It's just a reminder to love your kids every second that you have them."

Like many psychologists who are speaking out, Atkins is encouraging parents to limit their kids' exposure to the coverage of this tragedy, and when they do allow their kids to watch, to be there to answer questions.

She also says to reassure children they are safe, and their teachers will always be looking out for them.

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