Carson City joined the country in shock and mourning after a mass school shooting in Connecticut, which claimed the lives of 20 children and eight adults.Richard Stokes started at Holiday with a Hero but moved back to the office.“People are in disbelief,” said Stokes, the Carson City School District superintendent. “It's just unbelievable.”A 20-year-old man shot 20 children at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., in addition to eight adults, including himself, bring the death toll to 28 in a mass shooting Friday morning.“I think people are in shock,” Stokes said. “It had a profound impact on those of us” whose job it is to work with children. “We have professionals on hand to address the emotional needs of students and staffers,” counselors and psychologists, he said.The help is available for students who want or need it, he said. He expects teachers at the secondary level to see an opportunity to talk about what has happened and students can ask their teachers to see the counselors.The Carson City School District has a crisis plan that is updated annually, he said.“We practice annually,” he said. “This is something we take seriously.”A candlelight vigil in front of the Capitol for the victims and families of the Connecticut tragedy will be held at 3:30 p.m. today. It is hosted by Fighters Against Child Abuse and Fighters Against Bullying, the vice-president of both organizations, Jackie Kilfian said.“If we can educate the youth and our adults, we can prevent these events from happening,” she said. “What happened in Connecticut is what we've been trying to prevent in our community.Sheriff Ken Furlong arrived in Carson City on Thursday night from Georgia, where he presented at and attended a conference on mass shootings, hosted by the Department of Homeland Security.One of the issues identified, he said, was families trying to solve mental health problems.“It's so common,” Furlong said. “Families are embarrassed to get some loved ones help and try to fix the problem themselves. Love and embarrassment get in the way. Emotions are going to get in the way.”Families need to seek outside help, he said.
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