North Park Staff, Parents Prepare for School’s Reopening After Shooting; Hundreds of Teddy Bears to Greet Students

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Three days after a gunman opened fire in a classroom, killing a teacher and a student and wounding another student, the North Park Elementary School community in San Bernardino is preparing for the campus to reopen.

Stacy Brooks poses April 13, 2017, with some of the hundreds of stuffed animals she's collected for North Park students. (Credit: KTLA)

A public meeting for parents was being held at 5:30 p.m. Thursday to discuss the reopening the school, set for Monday.

The San Bernardino City Unified School District was hosting the meeting at nearby Holcomb Elementary School. The gathering comes after a closed-door meeting for school staff earlier in the day.

"No one will be allowed through the office to disrupt instruction," said Dale Marsden, the school superintendent on new safety measures the school plans to enact.

Teachers and staff were able to talk to crisis counselors and each other Thursday morning after a couple days away, a district spokeswoman said.

Ten extra staff members are being brought on to support students and ensure safety on campus, and there will be a police presence around the school. The extra staff are set to stay through the rest of the school year.

North Park has been closed since shooter Cedric Anderson walked into his wife's special needs classroom and shot her and two boys and then turned the gun on himself. Teacher Karen Smith died on scene, and 8-year-old Jonathan Martinez died at a hospital.


The other boy, 9-year-old Nolan Brandy, was improving, his family said. A GoFundMe page was set up for him Thursday.

Jennifer Downing, a student's aid at the school, told KTLA about the moments leading up to the shooting and how she fled the scene once the shooting began.

"All I see are people are getting hit, we're all going," said Downey. "The gun clicked; he stalled for a half a second. I got out, I had my two students with me and I yelled 'get out, get out.'"

A Cal State San Bernardino worker has organized the collection of teddy bears, which will greet North Park students when they return.

"I wrote a tearful email ... to my campus and just said I wanted to collect teddy bears, one for each student ... so that when they return to school, they would have a little gesture, an outward ... hug from their community, knowing that we care," said bear drive organizer Stacy Brooks.

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