Communities across Maryland have been reeling in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Some residents said they feared dropping their children off at school while others demanded action from legislators.
Hyattsville Elementary School's new principal, Julia Burton, addressed her students Monday before Prince George's County schools observed a minute of silence to honor the victims of Friday's school shooting in Newtown, CT.
"Take care of yourself. Take care of each other. And take care of the place," she told students.
In Wheaton, parents reacted to the tragic news and talked about school safety in Montgomery County.
Frances Frost, a contributor to the Local Voices section on Wheaton Patch, wrote in an email: "As a mom of 4, I can't imagine a greater loss for a parent such as a senseless act like this that snatches away innocent lives."
"As for our elementary schools, I feel like my children are relatively safe, although the portables do make me a little nervous," Frost continued. "But I realize that no one can be 100% safe all the time and I pray that every day my children come home safely."
In Anne Arundel County, parents throughout the county dreaded Monday morning.
“I started to tear up and was wailing by the time I got home,” posted reader Wendy Worth Cronin.
Another local reader, Kelly Proctor, wrote, “I drove by the school later and got a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes at the sight of the police car at the elementary school.”
Police and schools around the state have also be re-evaluating the safety of students.
On Monday, Howard County school officials reported they would hold staff meetings to review emergency plans at each school, discuss visitor policies and guidelines for reporting suspicious activity, according to a statement from the county.
Prince George's County police and the Montgomery County Police Department increased police presence in schools, though police have no indication of a threat to any schools. In Montgomery County, police may remain at schools all week.
Prince George's officials also sent school safety reminders to teachers Monday in light of the heroic efforts of Sandy Hook teachers.
Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and Police Chief Jim Johnson Monday called for tougher gun laws, but a representative of the Associated Gun Clubs of Baltimore said it is too early to discuss stricter gun laws.
TELL US: Maryland already had one school shooting incident earlier this year in Perry Hall. What should legislators and school officials do to prevent another shooting from occurring in the state?