LITTLETON, Colo. (CBS4)– More than a dozen school districts were closed in the Denver metro area on Wednesday because of a woman who flew from her home state to Colorado this week then bought a gun and made credible threats against schools. That put parents in a position to explain to their children why schools were closed.
“It was terrifying, absolutely terrifying.”
That was Candice Ferguson’s reaction when word came via text at 2 a.m. that Littleton Public Schools were closed due to a safety concern.
“I am absolutely okay with that,” Candice told CBS4’s Kathy Walsh.
But telling 13-year-old Teaghan, 7-year-old Lachlan and 6-year-old Brennan about an armed and dangerous woman and that school wasn’t safe this day, was heartbreaking for Candice.
“Why someone wants to do harm to others? I do not have answers for that,” she said.
“I felt a little shocked,” said Lachlan.
“Did it make you scared?” Walsh asked.
“Yes,” he said.
“I was scared for anyone who could have been in the way of that person,” said Teaghan.
The Fergusons spent a quiet morning inside with the kids working on homework and mom close by.
Other parents sought advice.
“Our phones have been lighting up all morning long,” said Dr. Jenna Glover, child psychologist with Children’s Hospital Colorado.
On an abnormal day like this one, she advised parents to keep their children on a schedule and answer their questions.
“Validate how they’re feeling. This is a scary time. It’s okay to feel scared and also balance that with reassurance that schools, by and large, are very safe places to be,” added Glover.
Second grader Lachlan wondered about tomorrow.
“I’m worried that another person might do the same,” he said.
“No child should have to live in fear. That is not okay and, as a parent, I will fight for them not to live in that fear,” said a tearful Candice.
Candice said she will hug her children tighter, say extra prayers and work to make changes to keep schools safe.