The Connecticut school shooting is a story that may dominate the headlines and our own thoughts for weeks to come.
For many parents and teachers in our area, their immediate reaction was to hold their own children tight.
Dr. Michael Mahon, Superintendent of the Abington Heights School District in the Clarks Summit area, said he was dumbfounded by news of the mass shooting in Connecticut.
"It's just unimaginable, it's hard to even think of it as an administrator because all of us look at this in the context of being parents," said Mahon.
Newswatch 16 spoke to Dr. Mahon right after he picked up his own daughter from the bus stop. A privilege that means so much more to him on this day.
He struggled with the idea of explaining a tragedy to his own child, and to the thousands of children in his district.
After 20 elementary students and six adults were killed at school in Newtown, Connecticut, Dr. Mahon said it's most important our children feel their own school, and their own world, is safe.
"In the end we need to recognize that schools are safe and they're good places to send kids. While our minds are with people in Connecticut, we don't want to overreact to create a situation where our students become more and more afraid," said Mahon.
Mahon added that what happened in Connecticut is the unimaginable tragedy that school administrators prepare for but pray they never see. Though he said the issue of school safety will be a hot topic for months come, he feels the most important thing to do right now is hold our children tight and move forward.
"There are millions and millions of students who went to school today, and all week and last week and will go to school on Monday, and they'll be fine and safe and have a great experience. It was a horrible thing that happened, but it's important for people to know that their elementary schools where they send their children, where we all send our children, they are truly safe places," said Mahon.