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WDAY: The News Leader

Published December 17, 2012, 09:28 PM

Moorhead school paying tribute to Newtown victims

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Students across the metro area head back to school for the first time since the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary.

By: Kay Cooley, WDAY Staff Reports, WDAY

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) - Students across the metro area head back to school for the first time since the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary.

While some schools are addressing the tragedy, a majority instead want to focus on getting the day back to normal for students.

As students return to walking the halls of Moorhead High School just three days after the Newtown shooting, their teachers are left trying to shed light on the horrific nightmare that played out at a school much like their own.

Scott Matheson, Moorhead Student Counselor: "I think as educators, because we care so much about our kids, it was the same for all of us. It was kind of surreal. We were in shock, disbelief."

The school has increased security and held a moment of silence for the victims. But the majority of schools in the region did not address the tragedy. West Fargo and Fargo school officials refused to talk and did not allow media access inside the schools.

Matheson: "It brings too much attention to such a traumatic event, and what we're trying to do is keep the school day as normal and routine as possible."

Although they would not go on camera, staff at Reinertsen Elementary in Moorhead say students are wearing green today, some of many nationwide honoring the victims of Sandy Hook.

A movement began on social media asking people to wear green and white, Sandy Hook's school colors, to remember the innocent people who lost their lives. Most schools here did not participate, but pictures online show many elsewhere did.

Matheson: "We want to reinforce this idea that school is still one of the safest places to be, and the likelihood of that happening here is very remote."

And Matheson says it's now they're job to make sure it never does.

Reinertsen students already had green shirts designed for the school's Fill a Bucket movement. Staff thought today would be an appropriate day to wear them.

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