Teachers prepare for class in the wake of Friday's shooting tragedy in Connecticut

 SUBURBAN LAKE WORTH, Fla. -- Teachers like Veronica Oland, a 1st grade teacher at JFK Charter Elementary School, are preparing to deal with the impact the shooting is having on her students.

Oland spent hours Sunday night grading math tests and readying her lesson plan for the week. It was hard for Oland not think of each of her students and what happened in Newtown.

"When we go in on Monday, there's going to be a big group of kids that knew what happened. They're going to be asking questions. They're going to want to know what's going on," said Oland.

When the 1st grade teacher walks into her classroom Monday, Oland said she is going to be an anchor of support and listen to the concerns of her students. She know it is a tough balance not knowing how each parent is coping. Oland has already received several emails and Facebook messages from parents.

"One having to do with the shooting on Friday that they're not going to be sending their child to school tomorrow," said Oland.

Oland said she understands the concern, but want her kids to know they are safe. Her classroom has practiced what they would do through "lockdown drills."

"You let the kids know that this is just a drill, this is just in case if something were ever to happen. But now it's so real," said Oland.

So real that Oland is replaying in her mind what she would do in a moment of crisis.

"We have back doors and is that where I'd take the kids? Would I just run out back with them?" questioned Oland.

Oland is a Connecticut native who was born in the city of Wallingford, which is just a short drive away from Newtown. She is at a loss when trying to describe the agony she feel for the community.

"I can't even explain through words. It's like everything I've felt this weekend, there are none," said Oland.

Many of the teachers who reached out to WPTV NewsChannel 5 said they will be wearing blue and yellow on Monday, the school color of Sandy Hook Elementary.

The Palm Beach County School District said it plans to have grief counselors available for students.

Print this article Back to Top

Comments