4 Jan 2013

Survivors of US school massacre return to class

5:14 pm on 4 January 2013

About 500 primary school children who survived the gun massacre in the United States of 20 of their schoolmates in the United States and six staff have finished their first day back at school at a new, heavily guarded building.

Sandy Hook Elementary School in the small Connecticut town of Newtown has been closed since the massacre on 14 December last year.

A disused school building in the nearby town of Monroe has been converted into a school for Sandy Hook pupils, AFP reports.

Counsellors were on hand and parents were allowed to stay with their children.

The ABC reports hand made signs of support, balloons and ribbons greated the children as they arrived at the school.

Police stopped every car coming near the school to reassure parents that no strangers would be able to get close to the children.

In Newtown, police have been stationed at all local schools as the town struggles to get over the tragedy.

The shootings, in which Adam Lanza wielded a semi-automatic assault-style rifle, provoked a major national debate on gun control and a promise from President Barack Obama to back a bill outlawing military-type weapons.

Vice-president Joe Biden is due to present proposals for tightening gun laws within weeks.

Lanza, 20, was buried at the weekend after his father retrieved his body from the authorities last week, a family spokesman said.

His mother, Nancy, whom Lanza shot at their home just ahead of the school massacre, was buried in New Hampshire in December.