Greensboro, NC -- Students across the Piedmont stepped back into classrooms Monday for the first time since the horrific murders of 20 kids and six adults at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.
Many Triad-area schools told WFMY News 2 they had extra officers nearby to ease the fears of both parents and children.
A Rockingham County Sheriff's Office spokesman said the agency got a call from a dad thanking deputies for being outside his son's elementary school Monday morning. The father said his son was apprehensive about school due to the tragedy in Newtown.
The 6-year-old kindergarten student became confident about his safety at school when he saw sheriff's deputies, the spokesman relayed.
"Rockingham County Government, Rockingham County Sheriff Sam Page and Rockingham County Schools Superintendent Rodney Shotwell are continuing our ongoing safety efforts," Rockingham County Manager Lance Metzler said. "Together, we are taking collaborative, pro-active approaches with heightened security, to provide a safe environment for our residents to live, work, and learn."
Metzler, who has school-aged children of his own, said the Newtown shooting deeply moved him.
"My heart and prayers go out to all the Newtown families that suffered during this senseless act of violence," he said. "I'm sure people all over Rockingham County are concerned and praying for those affected at Sandy Hook Elementary School."
Police in Greensboro said had additional officers near schools in the city Monday morning and afternoon.
The Guilford County School system reminded principals they can ask the district's school security team to reassess their safety plans and inspect their campuses for problems that might leave them vulnerable. The principal at Jones Elementary School said he was quick to take the district up on that offer. He also ordered a lockdown drill Monday morning to ensure students and teachers are familiar with crisis plans.
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools said extra presence from police officers and sheriff's deputies made for an easier morning at schools on Monday.
WFMY News 2