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There’s talk of razing Robb Elementary School and rebuilding it. Here’s what happened after other school massacres

<i>Chet Strange/AFP/Getty Images</i><br/>Police patrol outside Columbine High School in 2019
Chet Strange/AFP/Getty Images
Police patrol outside Columbine High School in 2019

By Holly Yan, CNN

The extraordinary trauma after a school massacre may be too overwhelming for survivors to even think about returning to class.

In Uvalde, Texas, students at Robb Elementary School are marred by the slaughter of 19 children and two teachers at their school.

But at some point, classes must resume. Now, questions abound as to whether or when a school devastated by carnage should reopen.

“In many cases, these schools are closed or entirely renovated in an attempt to decrease the traumatic reminders that they have become for community members,” said the Center for Violence Prevention at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

It’s not clear what will happen with Robb Elementary, which ended its school year a few days early after the May 24 massacre.

But when President Joe Biden visited Uvalde on Sunday, he told Texas State Sen. Roland Gutierrez “we’re going to look to raze that school, build a new one,” Gutierrez told CNN affiliate KSAT.

Gutierrez said there is a federal grant process for schools to be razed after a mass shooting. And that fact alone is depressing.

“What kind of world are we living in that legislation was created for razing these schools?” Gutierrez told KSAT.

Here’s a look at what happened to other schools after deadly rampages:

Sandy Hook Elementary School

Date of attack: December 14, 2012

Location: Newtown, Connecticut

Number of victims killed: 26 (including 20 children ages 6 and 7 and six adults)

What happened to the school: The entire school was razed and rebuilt.

Three weeks after the gruesome attack, Sandy Hook students traveled to the nearby city of Monroe and started attending classes at Chalk Hill Middle School, which was no longer being used as a middle school.

Four years after the massacre, a newly rebuilt Sandy Hook Elementary opened to students — including fourth graders who were kindergarteners during the bloodbath.

Columbine High School

Date of attack: April 20, 1999

Location: Littleton, Colorado

Number of victims killed: 13 (including 12 students and one teacher)

What happened to the school: Columbine High closed for the rest of the school year. Officials said the attack damaged about 23,000 square feet of the school and left an estimated 900 to 1,000 bullet and shrapnel holes in the walls and ceilings.

Four months later, at the beginning of the new school year, most of the school reopened — except for the library, where most of the carnage ensued. It was demolished and replaced with a newly built school library, called the Hope Library.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

Date of attack: February 14, 2018

Location: Parkland, Florida

Number of victims killed: 17 (including 14 students and three staff members)

What happened to the school: Students returned to the campus two weeks after the massacre. But the school’s Building 12, where most of the victims were killed, was closed off behind emergency tape with its windows covered.

A new building later replaced the temporary classrooms students had been using in the wake of the slaughter.

Santa Fe High School

Date of attack: May 18, 2018

Location: Santa Fe, Texas

Number of victims killed: 10 (including eight students and two teachers)

What happened to the school: Students returned 11 days after the bloodshed.

Even though there were only two days left in the school year, senior Kaitlyn Richards said she didn’t want her high school career to end with the massacre.

“I don’t know if we’ll ever be ready to go back to school,” she told CNN affiliate KTRK the day school resumed.

“But I don’t want that last day to be my last memory of my senior year. I just want to know I can see all my classmates once again.”

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CNN’s Jennifer Henderson contributed to this report.

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