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      Connecticut school shooting: D.C. area parents talk with children

      Police in Culpeper patrol outside a school. (Photo: Culpeper)

      The ramifications of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut will extend into homes across the D.C. area and the country tonight.

      As children hear what happened, it's up to parents to explain, and that can be very challenging.

      Some children will be asking about their own safety.

      While parents aim to shield their children from the horrifying events, they acknowledge it can be impossible in a world where even small children are plugged

      Aubrey Quinn says she intends to tell her children about what happened so they get the information from her and she knows it is not distorted.

      Andrea Bonior, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in Bethesda, says parents must be sensitive, but not deceptive.

      For a lot of parents there will be painful discussions to help their children feel safe in a world where mass murder has gone from unimaginable to occasional.

      In the D.C. area, some local parents went to schools today to take their children home early.

      The chaos and bloodshed that struck Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut this morning left parents everywhere stunned.

      Arlington's Barrett Elementary School just had a lockdown drill this week.

      And at Patrick Henry Elementary School, like many others, notices went home to parents dealing with school violence.

      ABC7's Greta Kreuz talks with parents in Virginia.

      ABC7's Kimberly Suiters talks with parents in Maryland.