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Northland Reacts to Connecticut Shooting

Posted at: 12/14/2012 6:44 PM
Updated at: 12/14/2012 7:02 PM
By: Maarja Anderson
manderson@wdio.com

The entire nation was in shock Friday after a gunman opened fire and killed 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut, and the Northland was no exception. Parents across the Northland have a hard time imagining a tragedy such as an elementary shooting happening here.

"It's almost hard to believe," said Jamie Chapinski as he waited to pick up his 11-year-old daughter from school. "We've seen a lot of other tragedies in the shopping malls...but I think it's the first time children this age have been targeted like that."

Jenny Lau has two children, a 7th grader and a 3rd grader. She said her heart breaks for the parents in Connecticut.

"It's just heartbreaking, I'm shocked," said Lau. "It's hard to even imagine. Words cannot describe a feeling like that."

Art Johnston of the Duluth School Board responded to Friday's shooting with a statement: "Duluth Schools takes any kind of threats very serious. We are really trying to address any issues that could potentially lead to any situation like that. I really have a lot of confidence in our staff's ability in being aware of any situation occurring. I really do feel that we have a really competent staff, but of course you can never plan for something like this."

On tragic days like this, many parents can't help but think of their own school district.

"As soon as you hear it you automatically think, 'what if something like that happened at a school that your kid goes?' It's a horrible thing," said Chapinski.