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Holton students pay tribute to shooting victims | News

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Holton students pay tribute to shooting victims
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HOLTON, Mich. (WZZM) - About 30 teachers, students and parents gathered around the flag pole at Holton Elementary School early Monday morning to pray for the victims of the Sandy Hook school shooting.

Holton school superintendent Jason Kennedy says it took hours of planning over the weekend to prepare for students to return to school.

"We knew that students would be coming back after hearing and we wanted to have a plan in place," says Kennedy.

The efforts among teachers, principals, and counselors was to ensure staff were consistent when answering questions from students about the shooting in Connecticut.

Holton Elementary principal Kimberly Morden says teachers in her building were asked to limit conversations about the shooting to the student asking the question. Morden encouraged staff to pay close attention to students behavior and "to make sure there was extra comforting."

Many of the 400 elementary students wore yellow and blue ribbons to remember the teachers and students killed in Connecticut.  Morden say the ribbons were "handed out to students and teachers as they arrived at school."

A parent spent all day Sunday making the ribbons because she wanted to do something positive.

Administrators say their district crisis and emergency manual is currently their focus in the wake of the Connecticut shooting.  Superintendent Kennedy says it's reviewed yearly, and they already had plans to see if changes were needed -- even before Friday's shooting district leaders had requested a meeting with the Muskegon County Sheriff's Office to go over the district's crisis plan. Kennedy expects that will happen soon.

State law requires emergency response plans be tested to make sure students and staff know how to respond during potentially dangerous situations.

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