The half-staff flag at North Middle School speaks volumes of what most everyone is feeling. But inside D-11 schools, mum's the word when it comes to teachers bringing up the Virginia Tech Massacre.
Virginia Tech students gather in front of the War Memorial on campus in Blacksburg, Va., to mourn their fellow students and faculty members Monday, April 16, 2007. A gunman massacred 32 people at the schoolin the deadliest shooting rampage in modern U.S. history Monday. (Photo: AP Photo/Roanoke Times, Sam Dean)
"We don't want to heighten fear in kids," said D-11's head guidance councilor, Dale Kemp. Kemp says talk of the shooting isn't banned, but teachers are being asked not to initiate it.
"They will respond if the students raise their hand and say, 'did you see the news?' Then teachers will tell them we do have plans, and our schools are safe."
Dan Moors takes a different approach with his 3 kids.
"We've had conversations in the past about other school shootings," said Moors, who sees this tragedy as another way to broaden communication with his children.
"When incidents like this happen, my wife and I start dialog with our kids right away so that they'll know in the future, there's nothing that they can't talk to us about."
District officials say there's nothing kids can't talk to teachers about either. They say it's just best if they bring it up, so teachers won't risk bringing them down. On the same theme, the district doesn't recognize anniversaries of tragic events such as September 11. Come this Friday, the 8th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting, teachers will not engage students in conversation about that day either.