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Lilly Rosell contemplated keeping her 7-year-old daughter at home on the first day of classes since the Connecticut elementary school massacre, but she ultimately decided, like so many other parents, there was only so much she could do to keep her daughter safe.

“I’m panicking here to be honest,” Rosell, of Miami, said as she anxiously surveyed her daughter’s campus. “It’s now about being in the prayer closet a little more often.”

Most of the nation fell back into the familiar, if newly raw, routine of dropping off children at school, all too aware that a mass shooting can happen anywhere, at any time.

Schools across the U.S. beefed up patrols and security plans were reviewed as teachers and students returned to class after a gunman stormed into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Friday, killing 26 people and then himself. A handful of schools were locked down throughout the day as extra vigilant administrators and police responded to any report of suspicious activity.

At least three schools were on alert in Ohio after threatening comments were made on Facebook and Twitter. In Ridgefield, Conn., swarms of parents picked up their children and police were at each school after a report of a suspicious person at a nearby train station. In Philadelphia, officers rushed to a high school after security officers mistook a student’s umbrella for a gun. And in Tampa, Fla., the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office questioned students after a bullet was found on a school bus.

Some parents kept their kids at home. Camille Lacroix-Moulton said her two children both woke up feeling a bit under the weather, so she decided it was best for them to stay home. Her daughter is in kindergarten; her son is in fifth grade.

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