Dismissal at T.J. Harris Elementary School in Meridian was quiet and orderly this afternoon, a far cry from the pictures shown across the country from Connecticut earlier today. With a shooting at a quiet elementary school practically unheard of, many parents, teachers, and administrators are asking the question "Why?"
Parent Racheal Smith says that, "I just want to say that we all need to be thankful for those whose children we are picking up today that are still alive, and those people in Connecticut: you're in our prayers."
Calvary Christian School Headmaster Kurt Pouncey says, "You really don't know what to say when these types of things happen. More and more we're seeing these types of things happening in our country today."
Since Columbine, most schools have devised emergency plans and practice lockdown drills just like ones for fires and tornadoes in case something like this was to happen to them, and Pouncey says that he's had to enact them on more than one occasion.
"We have had to do that when I was working with the public schools. We have had a couple situations where we have had persons that came on campus that we didn't know about."
Elementary school parent Racheal Smith, like many other parents, is still having trouble fathoming what those in Connecticut went through today.
"We want to thank God that we're still alive, and that we do have our health and strength, and we're going to ask that everybody in Meridian and throughout the world just keeps the Connecticut families in their prayers."