NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Students at several schools in Lower Manhattan were placed under lockdown Tuesday, while a deadly terror attack unfolded outside.
One day later, those students, many who saw things children should never see, returned to school in Lower Manhattan, where the unspeakable happened and innocence was lost, CBS2’s Scott Rapoport reported.
“She said, ‘mommy, I don’t want to go to school today.’ I said, ‘well you have to go,'” one mother said.
Sixth grader Owen Chang said he felt “kind of nervous.”
“Cause if it happens again,” he said.
Parents clung tightly to their kids at drop-off at PS 89 and IS 289.
Police officers were posted at the entrance of Stuyvesant High School and all over the area for security.
There were also grief counselors at the schools, at the ready.
“Right now, I think it’s about getting back to normal, treating anyone who needs to be talked to,” New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina said.
But for parents and their children, life as they knew it changed Tuesday and going to school will never be the same.
Eight people were killed and 12 others injured when officials said Saipov deliberately slammed a rented pick-up truck into a school bus and cyclists on a West Side Highway bike path, in what police are calling the worst terror attack in New York City since 9/11.
“Of course we’re in mourning right now, because of all the dead bodies and casualties,” said high school senior Shiva Vummidi.
12-year-old Audrey Lee said she was in lockdown at IS 289 as the madness unfolded.
“It was scary. A lot of kids were crying, and my friend was too,” she said.
Lee said another friend of hers was too close to the danger.
“He was face-to-face with the attacker. He was like 10 feet away from him,” she said. “A lot of other people at my school could’ve gotten hurt or died.”
All of this creates a terrible dilemma for parents like Jeanette Kastenberg, who has two young boys at PS 89.
When asked what she’s telling her sons, she replied, “the truth.”
“That there are some bad people and that we have to continue on with our lives,” she said.
Nancy Usatinski spoke with WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond as she dropped her 10-year-old son off at PS 234, just blocks away from the crime scene.
“This is New York. I’ve lived here all my life. My kids have lived here all their lives. But they are scared, and my younger son slept with me last night,” she said. “So you know, it’s a little close to home.”
She reassured her son the city was safe Wednesday.
“Just tell him that he’s OK, and that we are OK, and that crazy things happen, and that’s really the best we can do,” she said. “We really can’t do any more than that, because they know at this age that terrible things happen.”
Students at Stuyvesant High School must remain inside the building during their free periods and lunch Wednesday for safety purposes.