On the same day that 20 elementary school children were shot and killed in Newtown, Conn., children at Byrd Elementary School in Selma go about their normal day, walking to the carpool line and waiting parents. -- Ashley Johnson

Friday’s shooting in Connecticut sparks fear in local parents

Published 9:22pm Friday, December 14, 2012

“I’m just glad this didn’t happen in Selma,” said mother of two Meadowview Elementary School students, Molanda Kimbrough. She sat in the carpool line Friday afternoon along with other parents who arrived early, more than 30 minutes before the school dismissal bell.

Meadowview Elementary was one of many schools in Selma that took heightened security measures and even practiced an emergency drill following the news of the Newton, Conn. shooting.

Kimbrough’s eyes filled with tears when she learned the news of just how many children were confirmed dead.

“I just can’t believe that it’s just horrible,” she said. “You don’t send your children to school to be harmed — you send them there to get an education and you think that you will see them when they get home.”

She said she would be talking to her children about the tragedy and warn them of being safe at all times.

“I’m going to tell them if they see anything strange, they need to report it,” Kimbrough said. “Tell someone as soon as possible and look out for each other and stay safe.”

Another parent in the line said she was thinking about homeschooling options following the tragedy.

“I wanted to come get my kids right after I found out, but when I found out it wasn’t in Alabama — it was an ease but it still wasn’t enough,” Meadowview Elementary parent Nona Brown said. “I’ve got one more [child] starting school next year — I don’t want to send them to school. I want to home school them so that way I know they will be safe. I’m looking into it more now.”

Bob Frazier, youth minister of Elkdale Baptist Church in Selma has provided counseling in moments of grief. But the scope of Friday’s tragedy is nothing he has ever faced.

Frazier said it is still important, however, that those counseling those first responders to Friday’s tragedy should really make themselves available.

“Just be there and as they have questions, agree with them that you don’t understand why something like this would happen, agree with them that this doesn’t make sense.” Frazier said. “Why does something like this happen? There’s not a good reason. The world can be a really horrific place at times because of the brokenness of the world. It’s just an imperfect world. “

As for school policies and procedures, Selma City School Board president Henry Hicks, Sr. said he wants the board to discuss its current strategies.

“I think we really should have that conversation. I know I’m willing to bring it up and talk about it. You really can’t be too safe,” Hicks said.

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