Child to Sunday School: "My friends died" - WLTZ 38 | Columbus Georgia Regional News & Community

Child to Sunday School: "My friends died"

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By Jason Carroll (CNN)-This is where some of the children who were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary prayed and went to Sunday School at Trinity Episcopal Church.

Sue Vogelman taught some of those children.

She was back on this Sunday for all her students, including some of those who survived.

You had a lot of children here in this room. What was that like for you?"

"It was actually very scary, because I spend yesterday trying to prepare for today, and you don't know what's going to happen,...and right in the middle of it, a child just raised their hand. I said, 'Yes?' And they said, 'My friends died.'"

"...and then, later on, when we got to the part where we prayed, pretty much every child in here all had a prayer, and many of them were, 'My friend, Jack, died.' 'My friend, Ben, died.' 'My friend, Charlotte, died.' So we prayed. We probably prayed more than we've ever prayed before."

Vogelman knew their would be anxiety among the children and their parents.

She saw both. "We were a little worried. There were kids that had...their parents had said that they didn't want to come to class because, again, it's like a school, and they were worried. The first grade class, one little girl didn't want to come because Ben wouldn't be there. So there was a lot of anxiety," Vogelman said.

"Ben would have been sitting right here on the carpet with me,.so when the kids bring it up that my friend bring it up that my friend Ben died..."

"I had to do the attendance. We have attendance sign-in pages for the parents. The parents have to sign their child in and out of church school, and as I was putting them in the boxes last night, the first grade page had Ben's name on it,.and I remember thinking, 'This is going to be hanging in the hall, and his name is not going to be signed in.' I didn't know if I should leave his name on there or take it off. So I printed one out with it off, and as I was going up to ask Pastor Cathy, I started crying. It really hit me. I deleted his name."

To help ease the grief, Vogelman had the children write cards.

"This one says Charlotte is safe..."
"That's for Charlotte. That was for little Charlotte, who went here."

Charlotte was six years old.
Another card reads, in part, you're not alone.

Vogelman says she felt pride in the strength she saw in her Sunday School Children.

"I've been working with kids my whole adult life, so they're my kids. They're my kids. People on Facebook are like, 'I'm so glad your kids are okay,' and I'm obviously very glad that my kids are ok, but my kids are not okay. That's how everyone feels in Newtown. I'm sorry. They're babies."

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